It turns out you innately understand quantum physics
Think of a ball.
Now you understand.
Although I know you are a genius and get it now, let me break it down for the Swedes, as it is important that they understand it as well.
What it feels like to an adult when a waveform collapses
I’ll start with stimulus and reaction.
The stimulus in this case was the reading of the word “ball.”
Well, perhaps more precisely, the
- optical reception (presumptions, presumptions! Sorry alternate-accessibility individuals, you will have to do your own work to versionize this content) of quantized photons, which comprise the incoming sensory dataset compiled by your
- occipital cortex to project a mental simulation of the computer screen on your internal mindscape,
- as another part of the brain “observes” this rendered and projected image, (I’m told this is where the mystery occurs) and
- parses that projected scene into understood patterns or objects such as letters, and the
- subsequent, but similar, organization of those letter-objects into “words”—aggregate objects that point or map to acknowledged and understood memes
- that themselves are unique, individuated and personalized representations (see similar blogs on: The Power of the History of Pattern Recognition and How Memory Is History and How the Brain Evolution of Extended Memory Induced Consciousness) of a priori abstractions initially “downloaded” from a socio-cultural repository
- Our “individual” interpretation of an object (such as a ball) is shaped by a unique degree of compliance to our “recognition” (note another seeming moment of magic) of the socio-cultural definition,
- a definition that itself is not absolute and precise, but is more so (spoiler alert!) a realm of possibilities that has evolving (temporal and interpretive) bounded ranges (as reflective of the composite perspective renderings of its contributors—a feedback loop spurred by the co-incidence of imagination manifestations as described above)
- from which a personalized, limited, and abridged copy of the Body of Human Knowledge is appropriated
- which becomes your Body of Knowledge, or, more simply, yourself.
(All of this presumes there was no signal interference [here meaning multiple compliant stimulant mappings, such as ball == gala affair] or signal unclarity [I’m sorry, did you say “pall?”] or system errors [altered conscious states, biochemical irrationality, etc.].)
Phew. Now, as a reaction, you intentionally projected into that same or similar (One doesn’t need to know the geometry or geography of mindspace to experience the outcome) mindscape some imagery or abstraction of a ball.
The properties of that ball, prior to its “conjuration” was a wave-function of possibilities that mapped to your Body of Knowledge that, as we saw, maps to the wave-function (or realm above) of possible socio-cultural renditions or potential articulations of ball.
For simplicity, we could conceive of that wave function as a basic Bell curve. It was highly likely that you would create a mental image of a ball in a high contrast environment; my default mental background for imagination is black and relatively two-dimensional. In other words, I do not generally imaginate “things'” as three-dimensional objects such that I could then internally visualize as touching or picking up. (Sometimes, if asked to picture a ball on the ground that I could pick up, I am finally occasionally thinking in imaginary 3-D space, where I might simulate myself reaching down and grabbing.)
For me, upon reading the word, my ball was likely to be red or yellow on a black background. Those properties, to my unique imagination, are highly likely and would sit in the center of my wave-function Bell curve of balls.
At the unlikely edges of the curve of instantiation probabilities were images of low contrast, like a black ball on a black background. Or equally unlikely that I thought of a ball in an altered property state, such as deflated. In this case, I was illustrating cohesive adherence to the larger conceptual frame of being told to imagine something, which traces far back into my memory scape from at least childhood, where imagination was still thrilling, the invigoration of being capable of conjuring and altering internal reactionary manifestations to stimulus. It is not impossible nor improper that I might think of a ball with these properties or in such states (properties and states are more precisely defined as layers or intersections with other nomenclated abstractions such as color, or blue), just highly unlikely.
What I did not think of was an elephant, or: “shdfaou7hoil4 l”—there is a fairly substantial infinity of incarnations I could not have thought of, again presuming that there was no signal interference. (And yes, it is signal interference and intentioned interstition that generates creativity and novelty.)
But then. But then. Something incredible happens.
It's all fucking fiat...
My socio-cultural assignation schemata informs me that you are an asshole.
And then something truly exceptional happens.
You actually think of a ball.
And then, in the act of observing a ball in your mindscape, the wave function of possible ball interpretations collapses into a single, unique representation of a ball. It is no longer the wealth of options bound by your personal Body of Knowledge, but that specific ball that you just imagined.
In observation, you have collapsed the wave-function of a concept into a specific particle of an idea.
And so, thanks to memory, and Time (that’s a whole ‘nother story), you cannot alter the initial moment even though you can influence and alter the following trajectory of that collapse—(although I assure you that the imagination trajectory that follows is yet another semblance of rational possibilities defined by wave probability) for, regardless of how long you focus on, or subsequently alter that ball in your stream of consciousness, that initial state that triggered the outcomes is retained: observed and measured. The “incarnation” of ball you thenceforward observe and transform will forever trace its origin back to its first instantiation, which has thus been established and reified, not surprisingly reinforcing a pattern of personalized ball visualizations that is the feedback loop to your Body of Knowledge, and ultimately, invisibly and innately reflects back onto the Body of Human Knowledge.
And now, thinking of balls may cause you to also overlay a thinking about wave-particle duality, and what is a ball anyway, but a representation of a particle.
Time constrains us to a consequential trajectory of articulated imagination, but…curiously enough… for most of us, at some point, we forget exactly what we imagined, and this “ball,” that was days or years ago so particle real and manifest, is returned to a state of probability, although most likely somewhat more narrow or bounded a probability than before its first thunking.
And this weak force of time’s memory allows us to resurrect and re-collapse the wave function of our idea of remembering the thinking of a ball into imagination existence. And when it is resurrected, some higher order wrapper could measure and evaluate its fidelity to its original “position,” or state.
So the entire rigmarole of conceiving of wave-particle duality should be second-nature to we conscious beings.
While there may be something magical in the conceptualization that our conception of the universe is fuzzy and probabilistic by nature, we are directly capable of analogizing it, and soon, with the introduction of electronic concretization of the socio-cultural concepts, we can explore the spaces between quanta.
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