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Philosophy

Manifest Impossibility

If probabilities are real, then possibility and impossibility are as real (as functions of probability) as is Hawaii or chicken soup.

The unsettling consequences of quantum theory seem to be quite conveniently swept under the ontological (and epistemological) carpet but the fact remains that material reality is deeply infused by and in some mysteriously unintelligible built upon immaterial reality and shape-shifting probabilistic entities of such profound complexity that we can only ever model the simplest of these systems with our most advanced mathematical simulations.

(It is also a curious recursive novelty that we are as a technological civilisation at the very beginnings of using these probabilistic patterns and symmetries to simulate themselves.)

The problem is not as to how material reality can be grounded upon a probabilistic and plausibly immaterial labyrinth of imaginary numbers, relationships and abstract logical entities; it is in fact not a problem if we are to accept that the patterns and symmetries of information are themselves actually real.

We think in terms of these mischievous polymorphic entities as in some sense being contained by our world of material extension and intelligible causality but what if they equally (and inversely) contained the concrete and material, if our extended world of relative certainty and experience represented precisely the kind of logical discontinuity and logical complement to the immaterial as the immaterial does to us?

It makes me wonder if the truly disturbing power of quantum science will be to step several orders of magnitude beyond crude thermonuclear devices into a resonant manipulation of the probabilities and downstream material consequences of logic, information and complexity or entropy itself.

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