[time 985] Re: [time 983] RE: [time 978] a fundamental question on QM time

Stephen Paul King (stephenk1@home.com)
Thu, 11 Nov 1999 16:23:26 -0500

Dear Prof. Matsuno,

        If I may submit my bit... ;^)

Koichiro Matsuno wrote:
> Dear Hitoshi and All
> Hitoshi Kitada <hitoshi@kitada.com> wrote
> >Could you explain in concrete examples what kind of leftover is?
> >> The leftover constantly serves as an impetus
> >> for moving the subsequent progressive mode.
> >How does the "impetus" move "the subsequent progressive mode?"
> Let me try some attempt. One thing we remember about the present
> progressive tense is that it is in the middle voice, neither exclusively in
> the active nor in the passive voice. Suppose I am walking through the crowds
> as avoiding collisions with others. Then, I recognize that others are doing
> the same on the spot. This means that the present progressive is necessarily
> in the internalist or local perspective and multi-agential. I also recognize
> that the factor driving me walking through the crowds is a possible
> collision with others which would be inflicted upon me unless I do
> otherwise. That is the leftover passed from the preceding progressive mode,
> and serves as the motive factor for the succeeding progressive mode.
> Everybody in the crowds is constantly being part of the moving obstacle to
> everybody else.

        This is interesting! You are defining by metaphor the notion of "The
leftover constantly serves as an impetus for moving the subsequent
progressive mode" by using a visual picture of persons moving around in
a crowd as to avoid collisions with others that are also part of the
crowd that are doing the same. Have you considered a slightly more
mathematical treatment of this picture? The last sentence in particular
seems to me to point toward a mathematical concept ... It is one that I
am very interested in! I see Mach's Principle and true concurrency
hiding here!

> >> Strangely enough, however, both
> >> CM and QM start from the categorical statements made in the present
> >>tense, and the present progressive is simply taken to be a derivative
> >>from the present tense there.
> >I think you are talking of "usual" QM, not any of its variants as Matti's
> >or mine or any others'?
> Any universal statement made in the present tense is about either the
> general universal or the universal singularis. I understand that QM in the
> standard practice is upon categorical statements on the general universals
> such as unitarity, whereas your new attempts are on QM about the singular
> universals. The difference is significant. Since any experience in our
> empirical world is about concrete particulars and since no one can
> experience general universals off hand, our linguistic vehicle suitable for
> approaching the concrete particulars should be through the singular
> universals in the present tense instead of through the general universals.

        This is also very interesting to me, igniting my philosopher mode! :-)
The distinction between general and singular universals is, I also
think, important. I would like to better understand your thinking about
the relationship and differences between concrete particulars and
singular universals. I tend to think of experiences as particular
observations that could be considered in an abstract sense as
measurements, or following D. Finkelstein, experiments.
        The making of a universal statement in the present tense by any finite
entity seems to indicate automatically that the entity considers his
statement as an accurate representation of the universal and this seems
to follow the way that observers in general always have their own
standards with which to make observations. It seems to me that there
exists a tacit solipsism inherent in this notion that is not problematic
if we remember that there exists more than a single observer. The
"crowd" metaphor is applicable! The crowd is not an individual at the
same level as any person that makes it up, but crowds of persons can be
considered as individuals in comparison with each other.
        Perhaps this line of thinking will help deal with a difficulty that
Lance and I have encountered with the mathematical notions of sets and
> Although one may find a lot of nice things on the general universals as in
> the form of various conservation laws, what is unique to the singular
> universals stated in the present tense is about their indefiniteness,
> variability and multi-agentiality. The present progressive mode that can
> also be referred to as singular universals in the present tense is a gift
> from our linguistic institution enabling us to cope with emergent phenomena
> including biological evolution and self-organization. Of course, if we are
> lucky enough, it may be possible to get something about the general
> universals from the singular universal as appealing to an abstraction from
> the latter in one way or another.

        A question: Are conservation laws necessarily general universals in the
sense that they apply equally to all possible agents/observers in a
strict quantitative sense or merely qualitatively? For example, in the
case of the conservation laws that involve time reversal symmetry, is
this only absolute in the limit of all possible clockings?

> >And time that implies the exact relation x=tv would be the one that
> >should be talked about in present tense and thus is a classical notion that
> >remains in QM which should be talked of in the present progressive mode?
> Experiencing as a basic ingredient of our empirical world is always about
> concrete particulars. The linguistic means for approaching the concrete
> particulars is through either the progressive or the perfect mode. A crucial
> issue in this regard would be how can one face these concrete particulars in
> the present tense. We cannot open our mouth unless the present tense is
> available. One candidate for this is to refer to the record registered in
> the present perfect mode in the present tense, since the record, once
> completed, remains there as it is at any present moment.

        Peter Wegner would say that "observers perceive only the observational
equivalence classes to which objects belong and not the objects
themselves". I think that the notion of a record as it relates to it
remaining in present perfect mode needs to considered carefully. Perhaps
Barbour's ideas about "time capsules" can seed this thinking... so long
as we recognize the error of assuming that the subsets of the Universe
can have time even if the whole has none...

> Although there is
> nothing wrong with this time-honored practice of reaching the present tense,
> its inevitable drawback is that it cannot address the non-frozen leftover or
> moving obstacles passed over from the preceding progressive mode. One more
> candidate for reaching the present tense as starting from the present
> progressive is to refer to the non-frozen leftover in the present tense,
> that remains singularly unique and also universal though necessarily
> indefinite and variable in its implication. Quantum mechanics is potentially
> open to such concrete particulars (e.g., measurement). Your Local Systems
> seem to me concretely particular enough when addressed in the present
> progressive tense, while singularly universal when referred to in the
> present tense.

        It looks like the "non-frozen leftover" is analogous to the "missing
information" that is always needed to complete in the Goedelian sense
any model of the Universe. The idea of a perpetual indefiniteness
driving time "forward" is very close to my thinking that there is a deep
relationship between the "tendency of closed system to go to
equilibrium" and the asymptotic approach to Goedelian completeness by
logical systems. I see this implicit in Pratt's thinking
(http://boole.stanford.edu/chuguide.html#ratmech), but am still having
trouble articulating this idea clearly.
> Cheers,
> Koichiro Matsuno

Kindest regards,


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Wed Dec 01 1999 - 01:15:39 JST