Beginning

Is the World
Nonlocal?

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Time Reversal


Physics

Philosophy

Piano


Satires

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The Beginning

“The back story to this homepage” or “How I fell out of the world and landed on the bottom of all things”.

Defining “art” would be a difficult task. However it can be taken for granted that since the Renaissance the character and the abilities of an artist reveal themselves in his/her oeuvre, as well as the character, the knowledge and the world view of the particular time: through art we learn who we are.

Who are we then?

“Die Welt” (a German weekly) from June 22, 2005:

“London – Three abstract pictures painted by a chimpanzee yielded 21.600 Euro at a public sale in a London auction house. The paintings [...] were acquired by the American Howard Hong, a ‘great aficionado of modern and contemporary painting’, the auction house Bonhams announced last Monday. Hong stated, he would have bidden up to a price of 40.000 Euro. ‘Many people told me it would be cheaper if I purchased my own chimpanzee and locked him into a room with paintbrush and canvas’, the Californian said. However the paintings of Congo were absolutely unique and reminded stylistically of an early Kandinsky. And he regrets that Congo has never assigned a title to any of his pictures.”

“Informationsdienst Ruhr” (a German news agency) from May 24, 2000:

“Duisburg. His pictures went fast: The zoo of Duisburg gained more than 75.000 German Mark from the sale of the paintings of ‘Happy’, the painting monkey. At last five-figure amounts were paid for his artworks. At present the last five pictures of the animal master are offered on the international art market by a gallery in Trier. Whether ‘Happy’ once again (Author's note: after his great creative crisis) will take a paintbrush, is uncertain.”

Monkeys who paint? – who draw not only the interest of zoologists, ethologists or structuralists but attract attention as artists?

Does this indicate that the long overdue suspension of the border between two species has finally taken place, whose full cultural unification is only a matter of time? Are monkeys going to take over science and politics too? Or has this already happened?

In the next case, the disappearance of the distinction between man and monkey becomes even more conspicuous. (The following comes from Ephraim Kishon, quoted from http://weg-mit-dem-muell.blogspot.co.at/2014/02/kishon-autor-von-70-millionen.html):

"Take, for example, that episode of the television program "Hidden Camera", which was aired two years ago. Two cheerful chimpanzee were there that splotched some fabric with colors. Then the artworks of the talented monkeys were brought to the exhibition "Young Savages from the Third World", which took place in the prestigious Hanse-Quarter in Hamburg.

At the ceremonial opening, the high-profile audience wandered around in high spirits, between the nonsensical scribblings. And the attendant art experts did not miss to extol the stunning works of art to the skies.

The renowned art critic of the prestigious "Zeit" congratulated "the artists from Africa" to their exceptional talent: "Although the influence of European painting, notably from Malevich and Miró, must not be underestimated, I look at the pictures with respect and pleasure". Also the director of the "Hamburg Kunsthalle" gave proof of his trained eye and demonstrated his exquisite expertise: "I find the images fresh and young and beautifully decorated. The painters work with economical means, using only four colors. Yellow-green-yellow-green, a blue at the beginning – and, as a counterweight, up and down a red. Perfect."

A few million viewers saw the "Hidden Camera" on TV, the monkey business was revealed in the press – and that was about it. The renowned art critic will certainly continue to write for the prestigious "Zeit", and the director of the "Kunsthalle" will remain in his position at this important cultural institution of Hamburg, as the supreme authority in matters of art."

No matter how cynically one tries to formulate a damning indictment of the state of modern art, one could hardly surpass the bluntness of this real event. They all made fools of themselves, and they should have learned something. Of course, the critics should have changed their profession.

None of it happened. Everything continued as before. There wasn’t anything of importance, right? Was just funny, wasn’t it?

No, it was not funny.

Who are we then?

The answer could nowhere appear more clearly than in this scenario of the painting monkey, because here not the monkey turned into a man – that would be out of his reach – but man made a monkey of himself.

However from the cultural self-mutilation that has taken place in painting I was not affected personally – I have never painted a picture. Yet in other spheres I was afflicted directly.

It started with physics.

Why physics? – Isn’t physics the precondition for the marvelous technical achievements of our time and almost the symbol of modern superbness?

Beyond doubt this is the case. The mathematical and technical side of physics is marvelous! However this is only one side – the interpretation of the physical theories dovetails nicely with the story of the painting monkeys.

Let us look at a well-known example: the so-called wave-particle duality.

What would you think about somebody telling you that he has observed a hybrid between a pig and a trumpet? He doesn’t know what it actually was, probably it was none of the two, but he is absolutely sure that, whenever he observed it with the left eye, it was a pig and whenever he observed it with the right eye, a trumpet. He tried for a long time to get to the bottom of this mystery, however eventually he had to realize that this characterization was just the only one that could safely be asserted at all.

No doubt, you would consider him insane! However, what now, if a physicist tells you that he has found something which behaves like a wave and like a particle, depending on how he observes it? Isn’t this actually the same as the trumpet-pig? So, why don’t you say anything?

You don’t say anything because you suppose he has sufficiently good reasons for his absurd assertion. However there are never sufficient reasons for nonsense, neither for a trumpet-pig nor for a wave-particle.

Thus, if obvious nonsense is alleged then this does not mean that nature itself is incurably garbled but rather that whatever is considered a reason for the nonsense has the problem of actually being just a fallacy, as tricky it might disguise itself as reasonable – and this is always the case!

Still, don’t we have to presume that physicists have scrutinized their assertion as far as possible? After all they know so much and they are so crazily intelligent!

A counterquestion: Do you believe there are only idiots in the arts?

Surely not! Admittedly, for an exhaustive explanation of the phenomenon of painting monkeys we can’t do without this assumption, however this is not the decisive point. Crucial is the fact that such developments take place with stringent historical necessity and that intelligence alone does not represent an effective bulwark against them.

And in the case of the wave-particle – would there actually have been the possibility to avoid this nonsense? Yes, of course. However for an explanation I would have to go into a bit more detail than I want to in the context of this introductory chat, and therefore I refer you to other passages of my homepage. (E.g. here, where, starting on page 23, the best-known wave-particle-paradox – the double-slit experiment – is clarified.)

After having been confronted with even more blatant nonsense as unshakeable fact (e.g. the so-called reduction of the wave function) I took flight and turned with great hope to the veritable temple of wisdom – to philosophy.

Not to mention the fact that the building where the philosophical institute was housed could not even to the most idealistic view appear as a temple – the furnishing was devastated, on the one hand due to the altered conception of ownership prevalent among the adepts and successors of the 1968 movement (they had already years before carried away to their homes almost all mirrors and wash basins and everything else which was not screwed down) and on the other hand due to the fact that defacing or destructing capitalistic buildings was estimated as a politically highly meritorious piece of work – I had the bad luck to bump into constructivism.

The epistemic position of constructivism is that we do not depict the world but construct it. Out there, there is indeed not what we believe to see but something which we can’t say more about than that the image feigned by the game that our neurons play with themselves must contain enough reality to allow us to survive in an otherwise totally unknown environment.

Thus even about the geometry of our nearest environment we cannot be positive.

Holy enlightenment! What nonsense!

Of course we are not simply copying the world! Of course we are reconstructing it. However exactly the same would be the case with a robot which we expect to find its way alone somewhere. Abilities like the distinction between figure and background or between information and noise can’t simply be accomplished by mere depiction: for that a model of the environment is required; thus the environment must be reconstructed.

However, this does not justify any doubt on the rightness of the reconstruction. Any other explanation for the fact that I am able to cross a heavily trafficked street without hurting myself than the one that I am reconstructing the reality correctly, would be comparably tedious! Not to mention that the constructivist reasoning postulates that our image of neurons is correct and thus annihilates its own precondition. It’s a destructive cycle of almost ridiculous narrowness.

Unfortunately, constructivism was not merely an exotic position – no, it was a fashion. And who is acquainted with science knows what happens then: almost everybody submits to this fashion. Everybody strives after maximum public attention, not only because it’s so nice to be on TV and because science more and more degenerates to self-promotion but because also the allocation of research funds depends more and more on that. Constructivist confessions became obligatory and constructivist verbalizations became epidemic. The whole thing escalated into a real hygienic problem.

So I fled again – this time to the piano.

What a salvation! 88 keys as entrance to a wonderful world of structure and passion, encoded in sounds! With music one experiences sensations which don’t exist elsewhere: wordless, pure movements of the soul.

But only with music up to 1920.

Indeed the dodecaphonic music emerging at that time does not appear, as Schoenberg meant, as savior of classical music but as its gravedigger. An expression structure that has developed for more than thousand years collapsed, and the basic principle of dodecaphonism, the tone row, is not an advancement of the fundamental parameter harmonics but solely a mathematical crutch, with which – as the historical experience has shown quite clearly – music does not get much further.

From this moment on music has lost any binding character. Since then it is in search of itself, of the lost meaning – however in this respect it does not differ from other arts.

In some scenarios the decay comes forward so bluntly that they appear like grotesque stagings. E.g. at academic piano exams, where concert pieces of different epochs have to be performed. So one could perhaps listen to Bach first, then to Beethoven, then to Chopin, and finally to a modern piece.

Modern – in this context this means nothing less than: as of now there rules jester’s license.

Maybe at first some stuff is placed into the piano to change the tone character (which has developed over centuries up to its present perfection). Then the player sits down on the keyboard and stares into different directions, as prescribed by the composer, while declaiming „toff dunk gorg wuz“, afterwards varying this expressive text freely and seesawing up and down with his backside on the keyboard.

Or the performer places a radio on top of the piano and tunes in a given frequency. What can be heard depends on the particular location – mostly hissing, sometimes an unclean signal. At the same time he plays something, which he is inspired to by a graphically annotated sketch which looks like the image of a Rorschach Test.

Fabulous! Passed with honors! A cheer for the unleashed creativity! At long last, over the cultural landscape, which for thousands of years knew nothing but the tortured moaning of creatures bound in the straightjacket of cultural tradition, once again the cry of spontaneity rings out! Come on! Let’s splatter paintings, fart music and shit art!

It’s a pity that up to now nobody had the idea to unify such music and painting monkeys to an integrated artwork. Additionally, a physicist could recite on the wave-particle dualism while a shortsighted constructivist stumbles across the stage.

Yes, I know – not everybody is insane, indeed there do exist genuine searchers too, and on rare occasions something even succeeds. Still, there is no doubt that all traditional systems in which meaning and significance were encoded have been destroyed, such that any form of a binding tradition has become impossible. The consequence is that ultimately – as can be seen with drastic bluntness at phenomena like painting monkeys – any kind of differentiation vanishes. Anything goes, and conspicuity will do for success.

Initially I thought, my unpleasant experiences were only a problem of the particular discipline and I could evade absurdity by changing the subject. However in the course of time I realized that I was not confronted with discipline-related adversities but with a symptom of our time that would afflict me wherever I would go. In fact, it was always the same nonsense that haunted me, and only its form changed each time.

Or let us describe the situation as follows:

Apart from purely technical criteria – in politics they are named factual constraints – there are no more any binding reasons of judgment. The border between sense and nonsense has dwindled away. And – such is the fatal regularity – just where this process has advanced the most, there is the least awareness of it.

What remains to be done if one thinks that the world has become insane, and if one does not want to become equally insane?

Then one has to retreat from this world. There is no alternative to that, and the only question is how to form this retreat.

I decided to explore – just for myself – the scope of cognition and reason. Hence I returned to the basic physical questions. This is the place where the limits of cognition as well as the infringements of reason become most obvious – just remember the wave-particle – and only there can actually be proved what is asserted.

At the beginning, I saw hardly any chance of discovering anything new. Nobody with half a brain could cherish any hopes to find solutions to physical questions, which the great savants failed to solve. And, moreover, I did not decide to go this way because I considered myself being chosen for it – rather I did not see any alternative.

However, after some years of initial studies and of indeterminate searching something unexpected happened:

Suddenly, in my imagination an idea took shape that seemed qualified to make the Theory of Relativity actually comprehensible, which means not only acknowledging its necessity and reproducing its mathematical structure but directly understanding the relativistic phenomena: the motion-dependent passing of time and length contraction. At first it was only a mere glimmer of something vague which I could not grasp, and it took some time until I understood it far enough to formulate it as a statement:

There is nothing but light speed.

– With the immediate consequence:

Everything existing is an interference phenomenon.

This might sound strange, however it actually represents the necessary and sufficient condition for Special Relativity. (See here.) This fact became evident to me to such an extent that I thought that – if I disclosed it to anybody today – the whole world would know it tomorrow.

What a naive delusion! By now I know that the opposite is the case. I could disclose it to everybody, and not the least would change.

That’s a pity. Because the statement “There is nothing but light speed”– if it is actually understood, i.e. as an insight – bears the character of absolute certainty. However far more important is that this statement does not only explain special relativity but also represents the starting point for the solution of the interpretation problems of Quantum Theory and of physical terms in general.

Thus already this one statement would entail – if deliberated in all its consequences – a reformation of the foundations of physics.

It points to a continuous fundamental layer of reality which effectively could be placed below physics in its current form and could serve as basis for the definition and understanding of physical terms, which up to now are just elements of a mathematical scheme and have proven inaccessible or even absurd outside of this scheme.

However this statement is not the only starting point from where the new physical concept becomes apparent; Proceeding from different physical problems, one arrives time and again at the same continuous basis. Eventually even the purely philosophical approach to the foundations of physics leads to the same result. Thus the degree of internal coherence of the whole system is high.

Once the ban of conventional thinking limits is broken, thoughts start to flow more freely; physical facts are seen in a new perspective, and relations which before were given only by equations and which one simply had to accept, become geometrically comprehensible.

However it also lies in the character of such a lonesome venture that the risk of fallacy is high. Even if one tries as hard as possible – self-criticism can never substitute the debate with others. Some assumptions won’t be questioned by that – as e.g. the one on light speed, however some remain uncertain as long as they are not scrutinized by others.

Whoever thinks that standard physics is on the right track won’t be ready to give alternatives a chance anyway.  However he or she who doubts that things do in fact behave in the absurd manner purported by standard physics, perhaps might be prepared to consider even apparently safe knowledge not as a dogma.

To me myself, however, the results you will find on these pages seem virtually miraculous. Initially I only wanted to untangle some physical paradoxes, and even for that I hardly gave myself a chance. However now not only this initial goal has been accomplished – the project has unfolded to something much greater: to a new understanding of the world which – due to its completeness and consistency and due to the lack of incomprehensible or even impossible conceptions – can indeed, without any restrictions, be considered reasonable.

It starts with the answer to the question why there is something at all and not just nothing.

Then follows the answer to the question what that what exists actually is.

Physics is based philosophically and traced back to a single equation that puts exactly the only two physical concepts into relation, which are comprehensible to us: measure and motion.

Finally a concept of being is derived which enables us to conceive mind as part of nature without abandoning free will.

With this, the pillars of reason are erected that offer a safe foothold against the threatening surges of nonsense:

The world is apperceptible. There are no gaps in our understanding of nature where irrationalism could intrude.

Although we are part of nature, our kind of being is a specific one: it is characterized by freedom and meaning.

Epilogue

The character of a civilization is reflected in its attempts to explain the origin of the universe and its evolution.

Therefore, in a civilization whose fundamental explanation of the world includes absurdities like those which are currently part of the interpretation of physical theories, reason and enlightenment must inevitably give way to other, more primitive ways of thinking and dealing with the world. On such an irrational basis, seemingly without any chance of understanding anything, every attempt to build a reasonable concept of the world – even outside of physics – is doomed to failure. However, without such a concept which – whether we are aware of it or not – represents the background of our thinking and acting as well as of our values and intentions, the meaning of life is in danger. If the discrimination between sense and nonsense gets lost at the fundament, it will ultimately dwindle away everywhere. If our apparently deepest insight transforms the world into a black box and our attempts to describe it into an insane babbling, then eventually we will turn completely into idiots.

All cultural phenomena depend on each other. It may happen that characteristic developments within different areas do not proceed simultaneously. However this does not affect their mutual influence. Therefore the paradoxical assertions of physics (the so-called wave-particle dualism, the non-local, non-mediated connection between measurements performed arbitrarily far away from each other, the reduction of the wave function etc.) are not just exotic and elitist baubles – rather they must be considered as symptoms of the ominous condition of the contemporary cultural subject. And, moreover, the leading position that physics possesses turns such assertions into deep rips in the already fragile enclosure of the area of reason, through which the old, eventually vanquished demons can invade again. There is hardly an esoteric that does without a reference to Quantum Theory. A wave of irrationalism flows over the world. In the borderlands of science, a weird alliance between esotericism and physics has developed which long ago has encroached upon everyday thinking; almost everyone who comments on ontological issues appears to be captured by the same kind of madness.

This self-destruction of reason, its surrender to the mystery and to the inconceivable, which takes place in physics and everywhere else, cannot be understood until it is seen as part of the general process of destruction of formerly existing normative and meaningful structures that has taken hold of the arts, sciences, politics, the society etc. – in short, of the whole civilization. In the arts, expression has become disfigured by the destruction of the artistic code systems, in society and in politics, meaning has become lost because of the decay of values, in physics, cognition has become deformed due to the complete loss of explanations, which moreover is accompanied by an equally complete unconsciousness.

However all that would be nothing but an irrelevant chattering, if the current interpretations of physical theories were actually determined by the inherent necessity in which physicists see themselves trapped, so that the failure of reason and the retreat into mathematics were unavoidable.

What is the world? Is its innermost core in fact of such absurdity as the current physics would have us believe? Or is it still possible to give reasonable and understandable answers to the fundamental questions to which physics has led us?

When you have made yourself familiar with the concepts presented here, you will agree with me: What happens on the bottom of things is neither absurd nor inaccessible. It reveals itself to our thinking and can be understood by us.

And this very knowledge could be remedy for the current epistemological disorientation and its fatal cultural consequences: it forms the basis from which reason and enlightenment can unfold anew.

Is the World
Nonlocal?