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Published 7 months ago with 7 Comments

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  • leweb
    +5

    Just because an explanation is simple and explains the observations it doesn't mean it's a good explanation. Here's an example: "Things are the way they are because God made them so, and he controls everything that happens". It's simple, isn't it?

    BTW this is the same university that has produced pearls like this paper arguing that the laws of thermodynamics are sexist and we need to replace them with a feminist theory (I'm not making this up).

    • AdelleChattre
      +4

      Yes, you do seem to be making things up. The linked paper sketches tentative ideas for a possible alternative way of understanding chemistry from a different perspective, hardly what you've claimed above.

      • leweb
        +2

        Nope. There's a follow-up paper also. She pretty much wants to do away with the idea of ideal behavior and models for deviations from ideal behavior on the grounds that the "ideal behavior" is sexist (the argument is longer, going throughout comparison of ideal models with Platonic ideals, etc.). There is no scientific reason to do any of this, unless she can provide a model that is objectively better based on physical reasoning.

        I'm not opposed to feminism in general, but everything has its place. The ideal gas model is useful because it's simple, not because it's some abstract embodiment of male superiority. This is seeing things where there's nothing.

    • kxh (edited 7 months ago)
      +3

      It's an idea I like. If all particles are "entangled" with many others, we are all connected with many other parts of the universe. Maybe it's that connection that gives us an "inner life". It's an idea I really liked from Stephenson's Anathem: the idea that our brains are a quantum computer. Heh!

      • leweb
        +3

        This article claims something even more radical, it attributes some sort of "inner life", whatever that means, to elementary particles. This doesn't have any basis, and is, strictly speaking, impossible, as an electron having an "inner life" implies the existence of some local hidden variable(s) that explains the electron's behavior, and that was proved impossible more than 5 decades ago.

        • kxh
          +4

          Bell's theorem? Not quite. There's still the possibility of super-determinism.

          If many particles are entangled that would give us a computer powerful enough to have consciousness.

          • leweb
            +3

            Superdeterminism is possible, but I'd much rather it not be true.

  • Psychologist
    -1

    Here's a question: if everything is conscious, what does it mean to be conscious? Wouldn't it be equally explained by nothing having consciousness? That there is no such thing as an 'internal' life, that everything merely arises as physical phenomena?

    Except we all experience and report an internal life (consciousness). This is part of what makes consciousness the 'hard problem' since it can't simply be ignored.

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