Thursday, November 27, 2008

Transactional Dialogues on Quantum Consciousness

Wheeler delayed choice experiment (1) shows that a decision can be made after a photon from a distant quasar has traversed a gravitationally lensing galaxy by deciding whether to detect which way the photon traveled or to demonstrate it went both ways by sampling interference. The final state at the absorber thus appears to be able to determine past history of the photon. Quantum erasure (2) likewise enables a distinction already made, which would prevent interference, to be undone after the photon is released. Feynman diagrams (3) show similar time-reversible behavior. Time reversed electron scattering (d) is identical to positron creation-annihilation. (4a) In the transactional interpretation, a single photon exchanged between emitter and absorber is formed by constructive interference between a retarded offer wave (solid) and an advanced confirmation wave (dotted). (b) EPR experiments of quantum entanglement involving pair-splitting are resolved by combined offer and confirmation waves, because confirmation waves intersect at the emission point. Contingent absorbers of an emitter in a single passage of a photon (c). Collapse of contingent emitters and absorbers in a transactional match-making (d).


This blog is a dialogue on a possible connection between a certain interpretation of quantum theory and conscious anticipation and free-will in decision-making. Firstly I present a discussion and then others interested in understanding the brain-mind relationship try to make sense of the proposal in a series of free-ranging discussions.

The theory is explained in full detail with neuroscience discussion and references in my paper: The Central Enigma of Consciousness


A short account of the quantum approach is summarized as follows. One of the basic ways to explain both subjective consciousness and its apparent influence on the physical world in the form of free-will is through the idea that quantum uncertainty provides a loop-hole preventing physical processes from being entirely deterministic and at the same time opening a small window of opportunity for subjective consciousness to act upon brain states if they are in turn sensitive to quantum fluctuations.

Since the critical issue of survival is anticipation of potentially lethal or highly advantageous situations in a complex computationally intractable open environment the question arises as to how uncertainty might provide an anticipatory property. This leads yo spooky aspects of quantum reality including quantum entanglement and transactions.

All forms of quantum field theory stem from the special relativistic form of the energy. This gives two solutions, a positive energy solution traveling in the usual (retarded) direction in time and a negative energy (advanced) solution, traveling backwards in time.

All special-relativistic quantum theories, such as quantum electrodynamics anre based on these dual solutions. Feynman diagrams likewise implicitly contain both the advanced and retarded solutions. For a photon, which is its own anti-particle, the advanced and retarded solutions of electron-electron repulsion by exchanging virtual particles (3a-c) are identical, as a negative energy advanced photon IS a positive energy retarded photon. Likewise electron scattering becomes positron creation-annihilation when time reversed (d). The delayed choice experiment and quantum erasure, (1,2) confirm that changes after emission, or even at absorption, can influence the path taken by a photon or other exchanged particle .

In the transactional interpretation, such an advanced ‘backward traveling’ wave in time gives a neat explanation, not only for the above effect, but also for the probability aspect of the quantum in every quantum experiment. Instead of one photon traveling between the emitter and absorber, there are two shadow waves, which superimposed make up the complete photon. The emitter transmits an offer wave both forwards and backwards in time, declaring its capacity to emit a photon. The potential absorbers of this photon transmit a corresponding confirmation wave. These, traveling backwards in time, send a hand-shaking signal back to the emitter. The offer and confirmation waves superimpose constructively to form a real photon only on the space-time path connecting the emitter to the absorber.

The transactional interpretation offers the only viable explanation for the apparently instantaneous connections between detectors in entanglement experiments in which a pair of correlated photons are emitted by a single atom, in which neither of the photons has a defined polarization until one of them is measured, upon which the other immediately has complementary polarization. In (4b), rather than a super-luminal connection between detectors A1 and A2, the two photons’ advanced waves meet at the source emission point in a way which enables the retarded waves to be instantaneously correlated at the detectors. One can also explain the arrow of time, if the cosmic origin is a reflecting boundary that causes all the positive energy real particles in our universe to move in the retarded direction we all experience in the arrow of time and increasing entropy .

The hand-shaking space-time relation implied by the transactional interpretation makes it possible that the apparent randomness of quantum events masks a vast interconnectivity at the sub-quantum level, reflecting Bohm’s implicate order , although in a different manner from Bohm’s pilot wave theory . Because transactions connect past and future in a time-symmetric way, they cannot be reduced to predictive determinism, because the initial conditions are insufficient to describe the transaction, which also includes quantum boundary conditions coming from the future absorbers. However this future is also unformed in real terms at the early point in time emission takes place. My eye didn’t even exist, when the quasar I look out at emitted its photon, except as a profoundly unlikely branch of the combined probability ‘waves’ of all the events generating parallel ‘probability universes’ throughout the history of the universe between the time, long ago, that the quasar released its photon, and me being in the right place, at the right time to see it distant epochs later.

In the extension of the transactional approach to supercausality, a non-linearity collapses the set of contingent possibilities to one offer and confirmation wave, (4c,d). Thus at the beginning, we have two sets of contingent emitters and absorbers and at the end each emitter is now exchanging with a specific absorber. Before collapse of the wave function, we have many potential emitters interacting with many potential absorbers. After all the collapses have taken place, each emitter is paired with an absorber. One emitter cannot connect with two absorbers without violating the quantum rules, so there is a frustration between the possibilities, which can only be fully resolved if emitters and absorbers are linked in pairs. The number of contingent emitters and absorbers are not necessarily equal, but the number of matched pairs is equal to the number of real particles exchanged.

Top right: Beats of constructive wave interference determine the uncertainty principle. Bottom: Two-slit interference experiment illustrates wave-particle complementarity. Top left: Cat Paradox experiment.


Dhushara: We have three notions of randomness.

One comes form a situation where we have only partial or statistical information about a classical system, or when we are sampling populations statistically. leaving aside one in which randomness is
an artifact of sampling and partial information, we turn to two and three.

Two comes directly from quantum uncertainty whose description is based on the probabilities you get by a square of the (complex) wave amplitude and is the root of the whole quantum riddle and the cat paradox.

Three comes from situations like tossing a coin or throwing a die where we set up a chaotic or unstable process and use it to determine an outcome.

In three chaotic instability comes down to an arbitrarily small perturbation becoming the seed of the instability so there is a good case it is sourced in quantum uncertainty too, if we are very careful about how we toss the coin. so three becomes two.

Everything we discover about entanglement shows us something of the under-stratum of how uncertainty may come about. I probably used entanglement a little incorrectly in the sense that I was referring to the hidden dynamic that causes the probability interpretation and the interrelated properties of entanglement.

When you release two particles in an EPR experiment, each behaves randomly - e.g. the polarization could be in any direction - but when you put the two records together you find that each was complementary to the other, so there was a hidden causal connection we couldn't see at one detector alone.

Transactions provide the only explanation I know of about how this comes about (i.e. the advanced waves from the detector states run back to the source emitter at the instant the two photons are being emitted) so transactions look like the basis for the hidden realm.

Cliff: I got the feeling that the YIN many worlds of the future are virtual worlds that the YANG present, probably at the Planck Scale, gets to choose from; thus making the real world- one real world.

Richard: I prefer, and I think it is a preference, to think of the Many Worlds as all virtual, until the moment of selection, along with virtual quantum waves, that define the many worlds. I suspect that cosmic forces work out the consequences of every possible selection, beforehand, to keep information finite. But at a moment, in fact in the present moment, all transacrtions yield the one real universe. I get that from my religion as well.

Dhushara: If we are dealing with virtual particles we have a virtual summation. If we are dealing with a real exchanged particle we have a transactional collapse of the wave packet.

When the particle that is exchanged is virtual, all the histories take places as a superposition, so when two electrons repel we have an infinite sequence of Feynman diagrams. This is the summation of histories approach to calculating forces in quantum field theories.

When we are talking transactions, we are talking about a real particle being exchanged, e.g. in an interference experiment. The boundary conditions of the emitters are that of an atom at high energy ready to emit a real photon. The boundary conditions at the absorbers are an atom at low energy ready to absorb a real photon. After the transaction we know which emitter linked by a real photon to each absorber - the marriage dance.

The parallel universes come from the different ways real photons could be linked between. These parallel universes are virtual until we make a decision in which one of them becomes real. One meaning one constellation of monogamous marriages if there are many emitters and absorbers.

All transactions yield one real universe after collapse.

It's not atomic forces which work this out. If you want to understand this you have to figure out what kind of meta-space-time the transaction is occurring in. Before hand we have a Feynman space-time diagram with promiscuous interaction. After collapse we have monogamous transaction. Now this change is happening outside space-time so we are dealing with a dynamic in which we have to think outside the box of space-time.

This is where consciousness as a cosmic complement to the physical universe seems to find its function in collapsing to historicity. This is why we can't replicate experiments about consciousness, because we can't make a replicable study of any of these things without trying to intrude to make a yes or no answer about conventional causality when we know the EPR experiments violate Bell's inequalities. Also if you think about any experiment with reduction of the wave packet influencing decision making by the brain, the context is changing, so you don't get a repeat at all. If you do stipulate perfect replication you just get the probability interpretation of quantum theory which is what the pair-splitting experiments do.

Not only that but transactions for the same reason involve future parallel universe states as absorber boundary conditions. You can't get away from this. When I look at a quasar, the photon is absorbed by my eye which to the quasar is just one probability universe in the future wave function.

You think your eye is real but to the quasar its just one of many probability universes.

Richard: "If we are dealing with virtual particles we have a virtual summation. If we are dealing with a real exchanged particle we have a transactional collapse of the wave packet." says Chris K

Now Chris, are you not mixing the Many Worlds interpretation with collapse and Copenhagen? What Everett tried to do, and I think succeeded, is to replace Copenhagen and collapse (for which there is no theory or even a reasonable concept for how it could happen).

You apparently see a real electron wandering along and encountering a detector where a transaction with virtual positrons from the future takes place; where I see virtual quantum waves propagating along with virtual electrons that transact with virtual positrons and virtual wave functions from the many future Worlds. You also say "These parallel universes are virtual until we make a decision in which one of them becomes real".

Thus, at any instant of time, "all transactions yield one real unverse " but with no need for collapse, I think.

In my scheme the only thing that is real is the transaction. Virtual wave functions immediately propagate after each transaction. The resulting electron in the detector has such constrained quantum wave functions that we approximate it as a real particle; but actually its just a bunch of highly constrained wave functions, so I think.

Dhushara: In Everett's many worlds, all possibilities happen with both real and virtual particles. So the universe branches endlessly and I mean endlessly, not just in two, or three-way splits, but infinite smears of splits because unlocalized quanta have continuous eigenfunctions.

Everett's theory says the Cat Paradox doesn't exist because when we open the box we split into two parallel universes, one is where the cat is dead and the other where it is alive. But the experimenter
doesn't know he/she has split because the branches don't communicate with one another. Therefore the universe looks real to us only because we can't see we are actually split into an uncountable infinity of forms and futures.

Now the problems set in. Since all histories are followed, however improbable, all decisions never get made, because if we decide to walk on the shady path at the cross roads and this decision is a function of a quantum superposition then we were also walking on the stony path and a decision wasn't actually made at all. Therefore our impression of not only free-will but more basically personal autonomy over our lives ceases.

The idea that every step we take and every decision we make we are splitting into infinite forever separated apparitions of ourselves while not being able to sense anything of it is nothing short of psychotic. Also this
universe has again become parallel deterministic.

There is no room for any form of choice than there would be if we were automata. No collapse of the wave function ever occurs and there isn't one real universe but an infinite superposition of parallel ones. The waves never become particles either because really the waves are the superposition of the particles so waves become parallel waves when particles collide. Well okay but this doesn't explain how the wave traveling through the two slit experiment ends up forming a wave the happens to curl up on one atom and give all its vital energy to that one. Some sort of non-linearity has occurred. This is where Bohm's pilot wave idea is trying to reach.

Now the problem is that an alive/dead cat patently isn't what we experience the world to be like. We always experience the cat alive or dead when we actually open the box although we may imagine all possibilities up to that point. This looks like collapse and it looks like the superposition of eigenfunctions has become one eigenfunction.

Everett fudges the problem by replacing collapsing by splitting, both being functional applications of the probability function. Now this is the heart of the mystery because its almost impossible to find a situation in the classical world where a dynamical process distributes itself probabilistically according to a wave function rather than as a summation of dynamical forces. So the wave particle relationship itself is the koan as we have known all along.

So along comes the transactional interpretation, which Cramer originally coined as an interaction between one emitter and one absorber as boundary conditions.

This finesses the collapse problem because his boundary conditions already give 100% probability of interaction between one emitter and one absorber, but it also shows how entanglement is communicated in the EPR experiment and suggest why the arrow of time exists from a reflecting big bang.

So if we are going to bring the transactional idea together with the parallel universes idea, we have to figure how the superposition of many possible emitter-absorber connections become socially monogamous
partnerships. This again is in terms of the probability interpretation, but now its become a probability associated with a discrete set of transactions, so its beginning to show something about how the hidden variable realm works, and it works very weirdly handshaking past and future.

Now it becomes possible to ground ourselves in a universe that has both parallel aspects as Everett's superpositions try to declare, but at the same time a real history occurs and free-will and consciousness has a role in collapsing the wave function and thus making the real path of history out of the process. This is the historical world we experience.

Now what's good about this is that we have a plausible if speculative basis for consciousness and free-will having an evolutionary role of anticipating future uncertainties and we can intuitively get a feel for the alive/dead cat before opening the box, which then plays a role in how the opening box unfolds.

If we go all the way to Copenhagen, we are lost again because there is no meaning to uncertainty except as a random variable with no predictive worth making decisions for us in a manner no better than a magical superstition.

Richard: Easy button. Just make everything virtual except for the transaction. The transaction negates the need for splitting or collapsing including Coping(hagen) as long as all the myraid possibilities that exist before the transaction, and immediately spring up afterwards, are virtual.

Dhushara: You need to spell your real and virtual idea out in enough detail to make it plausible.

A transaction is already a description of a real particle exchange. Making it real isn't the issue and it won;t make many worlds true. One can deal with virtual exchanges using transactions but they always sum all histories so it doesn't tell you anything new.

You still haven't said anything about how your many-worlds idea leaves any room for choice to interact with the quantum world, or how it differs from the many-worlds of Everett.

It looks to me that many worlds will turn real transactions into just such sums of histories and render the real interactions choiceless as well.

Richard: I did indicate that as soon as the transaction is complete thereby choosing a real particle that real particle immediately propagates virtual quantum waves. So the real particle does not propagate and the real particle becomes again virtual.

So the sum over all histories is not lost either in the transaction or in subsequent transactions of that one particle, which becomes virtual until the next transaction

The point is that with every transaction a particular world is chosen which amounts to many potential worlds becoming one world with the choice of the transaction.

Everett claims that a real particle in supperposition, chooses every possibility, and launched numerous real particles into real worlds. That is not a choice if everything is chosen.

In essence I am saying everything is virtual except the choice. No collapse, just a choice. Randomness is preserved.

Dhushara: This ends up looking just about the same as how I described it.

Cliff: From what you said I get that the future pulling us is like fate that ultimately we cannot avoid. But along the way we have the freedom to go off the path leading to the future or even move efficiently along that path by being open to the future, and the coincidences or synchronicity it provides to us for advancement.

Dhushara: We are the arbiters of which future we choose. when we are making a real choice there isn't one future but many - at least two. each future has a probability universe just like the cat paradox before we open the box. conscious free will is a way of opening the box in a certain kind of way. that is by taking the shady path or the rocky path we cause one of the probability futures to become the real one. We aren't being sucked towards either future. nor are we sucked towards THE future. generally we are splitting the wave function dramatically into myriads of possible futures - all of us at once - and trying to make the best free-will interventions we can for our own survival.

One might hope that if consciousness is using free will to anticipate, then this amounts to the universe choosing a more beneficent outcome. this may be true, but we aren't going to be able to prove it easily, or it would have become locally causal and violated bell's inequalities, so we have to be content with an undecidable proposition and just try to be as astute as we can and hope things work out okay.

This is the thorny problem of replication. The problem with trying to do replicative experiments about transactional anticipation (or coincidence) is that if they succeeded we would have inevitably in some sense violated the probability interpretation so we are always I fear going to find the results ambiguous.

However the pair-splitting EPR experiment shows that, in at least some circumstances, we can see there is a causal connection hidden in the entanglement even thought the statistics at each detector appears random.

Also the YANG emitter isn't just one and the YIN absorbers many. Each absorber could have come from lots of emitters too so you start with a tangled bunch of emitters and absorbers all having promiscuous transactional affairs and end up with monogamy - one photon connecting one emitter to one absorber - quantum coitus.

Cliff, your idea that the emitter doesn't need an absorber is reiterating the standard 'model' of quantum theory. All virtual particles need both an emitter and an absorber to exist. We don't know if real particles do too and some people might think in an expanding universe emitters can just radiate into the empty sky. This remains to be settled, but brain states can't be radiated into an empty sky and if the brain sets up internal reverberating states, which only it can absorb later, we are in the transactional anticipation business.

Transactions a-la-Cramer have boundary conditions one emitter and one absorber exchanging one real photon, but that's just an idealized case.

If there is only one future, how do we make any decisions?

Really it's highly abnormal for one historical process to emerge in the quantum mechanical world, so the fact that we experience a single real line of history requires some explanation, posing the contradictions involved in collapse of the wave function.

Cliff: IMHO Transactions are a quantum leap into the future and the result of that leap is that a value is placed upon the future observed.

A transaction is not between the present and many worlds but between the present and one world. It may be that the value of the future state is judged to be to low to go there. That future is assigned to dissipate away.

When we make a choice to move toward a future, we choose the path of dissipation by which the present will dissipate into the future.

If the mind has a state of momentum, then choosing the evolutionary advantageous path of least resistance maintains the momentum of the mind.There are many worlds to choose from but what we don't do is see many futures and then choose one. We see one and either choose it or don't.

Dhushara: Looked at from prescient consciousness ... what happens if we have a premonition or a nightmare about crashing and don't take the plane?

Some people have argued that this isn't a let out and quote someone who had a premonition and avoided a fatal air accident in India only to be shot dead a couple of weeks later in the mountains. But this isn't one history at all and the idea that we are destined to die by the grim reaper who will chase us down with a revolver two weeks later is intriguing, but scarcely plausible or hell would break loose all over the place.

So don't we seriously have to consider one or two options for the future, or we are all doomed?

Cliff: Yea or nay. Do we move toward that future or not? I know if I decide yes, I will follow the perceived path of highest efficiency towards that perceived future. If I decide no, a new future takes its place. Rinse and repeat. When I am thirsty, I don't choose from sleepy and hungry and tired. I see a thirst quenching future. If there are two sources of water, I'll take the low road unless the historical resistance can overwhelm the reward, in which case, there was only one choice.

Yes, yea or nay, towards that future or towards a different one. The farther into the future one contracts can result in increased efficiency. I'm still working on why that is.

Dhushara: Cliff EVERY decision I make has at least two possible futures.

I am about to decide whether to go to the movies. If I don't go to the movies I will watch a video.

To make the decision I have to imagine and relate to two futures.

You seem to cease to exist altogether if you don't choose one.

So what do you actually do if you don't?

Cliff: Where I want to go with this is, what is happening inside the transaction itself. Yes, advance wave, retarded wave, but what information is actually being exchanged and how ...

Dhushara: We can't think of quantum entanglement in terms of information exchange because the fact that EPR experiments violate Bell's inequalities shows that local Einsteinian causality doesn't work.

If you look at the transaction diagram, both the advanced and retarded waves on their own are zero-energy waves which are actually going in both directions in space-time (i.e. the advanced wave has both an advanced and a retarded component radiating from the absorber) but both have crossed phases at the source so the net energy is zero.

When an advanced and a retarded wave is superimposed the crossed phases cause only the advanced part of the advanced wave and the retarded part of the retarded wave to interfere constructively, equaling together the real exchanged particle. Outside they cancel one another destructively.

If you look at the transaction in the EPR pair-splitting experiment, you find that the advanced waves of the two detectors interact at the emission point. So we can see how quantum entanglement can make the appearance of instantaneous communication between the detectors. What has actually happened is that the advanced waves have communicated the orientations of the detectors back to the calcium atom emitting the two photons at the source, and these two then get emitted 'implicitly
knowing' the orientations of the detectors they are going to hit.

But this isn't something we can reduce to classical information about the future because we can't sample the advanced wave without setting off the transaction. Hence we can't use a transaction to classically predict the future in terms of information. IN fact this has to be impossible because clearly the boundary conditions of the transaction include both the initial conditions (an excited calcium atom which must emit two photons to conserve spin) and the final conditions (orientations of the detectors).

Since the boundary conditions involve both past and future states it is impossible for the initial conditions to determine either the final conditions, or how the collapse takes place.

Now move to the real situation which is that the past emission point, in any transaction could emit its real particle anywhere inside its wave function, leading to many parallel probabilities of collapse at lots of points along and across the waves path, we see that what the emitter really sees is all the parallel advanced waves.

Moreover it can't simply make a decision on its own, because these parallel absorbers might also absorb from other emitters. This is why the transactional problem is a 'marriage dance' that is it is a mutual decision made by all the emitters and absorbers together to pair off monogamously.

This is a really logic-defying situation, because we are used (a) to making individual decisions and (b) to making decisions about the future based on the past.

However it really does tell us a lot about how the entangled wave function of the universe might be sorting things out outside space-time proper. God moving on the face of the deep if you want to be superstitious.

Dhushara: Put in its completion, the relationship between consciousness and physical reality, rather than being either an epiphenomenon, or mere identity, or a fully divided Cartesian duality has characteristics more of the complementarity we see between the wave and particle aspects of the quantum world, in which a quantum can manifest wave, or particle natures, but not both at the same time, and in which the two aspects are also qualitatively symmetry-broken, one being discrete and the other continuous. It is this type of complementarity that Lao Tsu called a Tao or `way' of nature, and subjective consciousness and the objective physical universe clearly have just such a qualitative complementarity existentially.

Cliff: In the next world (for lack of a better term) the future is viewed as something which comes closer or moves farther away. So if the probabilities that a certain future will occur increase, that future, feels, seems, appears, is somehow sensed to be closer than before.

But it may be, that it is the mind which has the momentum and our choices become vectors bringing us closer or farther away from the future perceived.

Dhushara: A fundamental theme, which has proved very useful in exploring brain dynamics, is a transition from chaos to order, in which an unstable high-energy chaotic exploration falls into an ordered attracting state, corresponding to recognition of a smell, or the `aha' of eureka that replaces the confusion of a problem with the flash of inspiration of an insight that appears to pop out of nowhere.

Cliff: If it is chaos that rises up and order is what settles out then the future is order and the past is chaos. The dimple in the top of the sombrero is the desirable future. The future collapses from the filtered weight (what rises the highest) of the past. We place a value upon the future as we look down from the heights of chaotic upwelling and it is the upwelling which weighs heavy upon our choices.

However, having reached such upwelled heights, we can usually see another future to vector towards if we so choose.

The hard problem of why we have qualitative phenomenal experiences seems to be described in the topological state of chaotic upwelling which creates a disequilibrium between the present and future. Such thinking would mean that the upwelling was over and done with before the future was ever perceived or vectored toward. Doesn't that fit with transactions? It's all over and done with by the time the emission/choice takes place.

But it may be, that it is the mind which has the momentum and our choices become vectors bringing us closer or farther away from the future perceived.

Dhushara: The mind only has a momentum by virtue of our emotions. Once we are contemplating, the emotions dissipate like waves on a silent, or restless ocean. The restlessness is our daydreaming, which contemplation is attuned to smooth away as well.

But the probabilities which determine, collapse of the wave function, or the likelihood of entering a parallel universe, are not like momenta, or forces, or energy. A particle can have energy or momentum but all this does is cause a wave function distributed over space - in principle over the entire universe.

When a choice occurs in the quantum world it is a choice that can happen anywhere the wave function is non-zero. The strong does not dominate the weak except in democratic proportion based on amplitude. It may be close or far but the closer doesn't rule over the more distant by virtue of its greater strength at all.

This is a very unusual counter-intuitive situation and all attempts to deal with it in terms of classical dynamics fail.

Cliff: You can't honestly defend that. If we are born into a position then momentum is more or less a complete unknown.

I am thinking of a model of the mind like a transaction diagram. The mind gives up something or absorbs something, and said absorption or emission causes a vector change toward a new future.

Dhushara: But look its not the transaction that matters but which transaction from which emitter.

The momentum of the exchanged particle is an inevitability by the Schrodinger equation once which transaction is determined but until which is its a matter of uncertainty.

I for one don't accept I'm born into a position. I'm here to alter the zeitgeist.

Cliff: If it is chaos that rises up and order is what settles out then the future is order and the past is chaos. The dimple in the top of the sombrero is the desirable future. The future collapses from the filtered weight (what rises the highest) of the past. We place a value upon the future as we look down from the heights of chaotic upwelling and it is the upwelling which weighs heavy upon our choices. However, having reached such upwelled heights, we can usually see another future to vector towards if we so choose.

Dhushara: You seem to be trying to say that hidden in the chaos of the sensitive initial conditions is a single hidden ordered optimization. This isn't true in either the brain dynamics or the quantum chaotic situation, because the past doesn't have the capacity to determine the outcome based on any logical or formal computation. The quantum situation may have more than one scarred orbit which the particle given its uncertainty of energy could enter.

Furthermore in the brain it is the pseudo-random nature of the chaotic orbit that is pivotal in making sure the orbit doesn't get stuck in a non-optimal ordered attractor that is as important as the sensitivity although the two are part of the same phenomenon. In an artificial neural net thermodynamic annealing a random process takes on this role.

You are trying to suggest there might be just one ordered future although there is a chaotic past. There are not necessarily one but many potential futures and the transition from order to chaos is to choose one. You can argue that in some insight situations, like Archimedes' "Eureka" that there was only one good answer and Archimedes found it. This is true in some situations, but it is also true that even in Eureka situations, there is more than one potential outcome. For example Heisenberg's matrix theory and Schrodinger's wave function are very different algebraic and calculus ways of describing the quantum, so Heisenberg found a different albeit equally effective insight 'future'.

Cliff: The hard problem of why we have qualitative phenomenal experiences seems to be described in the topological state of chaotic upwelling which creates a disequilibrium between the present and future. Such thinking would mean that the upwelling was over and done with before the future was ever perceived or vectored toward. Doesn't that fit with transactions? It's all over and done with by the time the emission/choice takes place.

Dhushara: Yes and NO. This is the problem about two versions of time. The first version is the real time within space-time. This is the time over which the photon travels from emitter to absorber. The second time is the meta-time before which the transaction is promiscuous and after which all the contingent emitters and absorbers have become monogamous. (You can add some particles escaping into empty space if you like). The point is that what makes which future happen in terms of uncertainty is happening in meta-time, not real time. We can try to avoid meta-time but then we run into the many worlds problem which simply isn't how things look at all although Everett tried to claim we wouldn't know about it anyway because we would be endlessly split.

Remember the wave function extends throughout space-time so collapse can happen at different times as well as different places. For example a photon we saw from a distant quasar had a non-zero probability of already having been absorbed by galactic dust on its way here.

What I think is the solution here is that the universe solves the problem of super-abundance of parallel universes by giving itself a living history through a non-linear entanglement-based collapse in meta-time. Meta-time parallels real time, because before all the transactions we are before the events in real time and after all the events we are afterwards in real time too. So meta-time is a kind of quantization of real time. I have to think more about this. I used to describe consciousness as the "quantum of the present".

Cliff: That's not what I'm saying. Whatever part rises where ever on the wave function, that is the part that carries the weight. It has to spike somewhere, I'm saying from the spike comes the perceived disequilibrium. Once you are at the peak, you have all the potential momentum you need. The only question is will you vector into the future of the dimple or the future of the brim.

Dhushara: In Freeman's model we end up somewhere on the flattened mesa of high energy space. Not on the top of the hat but in a little crater (attractor) that either was there and we recognized a known smell (order to chaos) or we had to learn a new smell so there is a feedback between high energy chaos and the whole landscape of the hat which causes a new attractor to appear out of the repellers hidden in the chaos itself.

This is why transitions from chaos to order are not a done deal. There is an infinite number of generally different kinds of periodicities hidden in the fractal structures within chaos, any of which could become the attractor.

Your idea that "the part that carries the weight" is incorrect. It's a classical misconception.

Part of the reason for my hunt for transactions originally was not just to explain how consciousness could manifest free-will, but because I have sometimes had a series of precognitive dreams.

They started after I read J W Dunne's "An Experiment with Time" in my 20s in the 1960s in which dreamers' diaries were compared with their daily experiences in a double blind experiment and found correlate as much about the future as the past. Of course one could imagine rehearsal might go some way towards this effect, but nevertheless ....

Then I had a double nightmare about being stung. I told my wife, who got up to feed our first baby, and then an hour later was stung wide awake, after my wife opened the window in the bedroom, and a wasp flew in and crawled into the bed.

After that I had regular although whimsical examples, which particularly would come true in the first 30 minutes of waking. For example I dreamed I was eating cakes but the banana cake was moldy. The first thing in the morning my daughter turns up and teases her son saying "You silly old rotten banana"! Deja Vu! It all turns into a dream flashback. Now I realize this looks somehow like what subjective consciousness is here to do in a way that computation can't mimic.

Then I looked all through the theories of everything for a solution. For a while I thought gravitinos were tachyons, which is why I don't find Penrose's one graviton idea of objective orchestrated reduction OOR very interesting because, although all particles experience gravity through their mass-energy, the secret trick has to be in the common or garden quanta we are actually exchanging with reality, namely photons, phonons and solitons, not exotic particles like BECs, nor higher energy super-particles in the grand unification which are way off the biological scale of energies either towards absolute zero or the super-high unification temperature, nor in gravitons which are everywhere, but not related directly to our senses except balance

Cliff: If we were the advanced wave moving in the retarded direction towards a future emitter would the universe appear the same?

Since the wave coming from the future is choosing the path that the emitted will follow then perhaps we are doing the same.

Perhaps we are born coming from the future and we choose the path of our forward progress toward the future. We would have free will to select the route but not the destination.

Dhushara: The transactional explanation for the arrow of time is that the big bang is a phase inverting reflector.

This means that positive energy real particles are retarded. Hence a positive energy retarded photon, like we usually envisage, is identical to a negative energy advanced photon, since a photon is its own anti-particle. A time reversed positive energy electron is a negative energy positron.

So you can go from future to past but your energy and anti-matter parity is reversed.

Cliff: I don't want to go from future to past, I want to go from future to present. I want to go from the future absorber towards the source of emission to be.

If we were traveling such a path perhaps that would explain why we only see four percent of the universe.

If we were traveling such a path, wouldn't that explain our anticipation of the future due to our relationship with the potential emitter. Our choices would dictate the path of the eventual emission.

We think of time forward from the big bang. But is that because we have an opposing relationship with the negative energy advance wave that reflects our motion toward the emitter?

If we were traveling on the wave from the absorber towards the emitter where is our past?

Liz: Look behind you Cliff there it is.... oops it moved when you moved, look it's behind you again, nope you moved again and it moved also... look cliff it behind you again....

Are you making dusty donut groves in the sand yet?

Dhushara: We ARE traveling that path and I'm a monkey's nephew!

The EPR experiment shows that the emitter 'knows' the relative orientations of the detectors even when they are going to be moved after the photon has been emitted. That's why the transactional description is so enlightening.

Future-present is the same as future-past, because the present IS in the future's past!

But if you want to travel it step by step liver and all you are violating all the precepts of quantum reality.

But remember you ARE also a negative energy anti-Cliff moving in the advanced direction.

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