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Metaphysics & Psychology

Objective Reality Doesn’t Exist, Quantum Experiment Shows

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Alternative facts are spreading like a virus across society. Now, it seems they have even infected science — at least the quantum realm. This may seem counter intuitive.

The scientific method is after all founded on the reliable notions of observation, measurement and repeatability. A fact, as established by a measurement, should be objective, such that all observers can agree with it.

But in a paper recently published in Science Advances, we show that, in the micro-world of atoms and particles that is governed by the strange rules of quantum mechanics, two different observers are entitled to their own facts. In other words, according to our best theory of the building blocks of nature itself, facts can actually be subjective.

Observers are powerful players in the quantum world. According to the theory, particles can be in several places or states at once — this is called a superposition. But oddly, this is only the case when they aren’t observed. The second you observe a quantum system, it picks a specific location or state — breaking the superposition. The fact that nature behaves this way has been proven multiple times in the lab — for example, in the famous double slit experiment.

In 1961, physicist Eugene Wigner proposed a provocative thought experiment. He questioned what would happen when applying quantum mechanics to an observer that is themselves being observed. Imagine that a friend of Wigner tosses a quantum coin — which is in a superposition of both heads and tails — inside a closed laboratory. Every time the friend tosses the coin, they observe a definite outcome. We can say that Wigner’s friend establishes a fact: the result of the coin toss is definitely head or tail.

Wigner doesn’t have access to this fact from the outside, and according to quantum mechanics, must describe the friend and the coin to be in a superposition of all possible outcomes of the experiment. That’s because they are “entangled” — spookily connected so that if you manipulate one you also manipulate the other. Wigner can now in principle verify this superposition using a so-called “interference experiment” — a type of quantum measurement that allows you to unravel the superposition of an entire system, confirming that two objects are entangled.

When Wigner and the friend compare notes later on, the friend will insist they saw definite outcomes for each coin toss. Wigner, however, will disagree whenever he observed friend and coin in a superposition.

This presents a conundrum. The reality perceived by the friend cannot be reconciled with the reality on the outside. Wigner originally didn’t consider this much of a paradox, he argued it would be absurd to describe a conscious observer as a quantum object. However, he later departed from this view, and according to formal textbooks on quantum mechanics, the description is perfectly valid.

The experiment

The scenario has long remained an interesting thought experiment. But does it reflect reality? Scientifically, there has been little progress on this until very recently, when Časlav Brukner at the University of Vienna showed that, under certain assumptions, Wigner’s idea can be used to formally prove that measurements in quantum mechanics are subjective to observers.

Brukner proposed a way of testing this notion by translating the Wigner’s friend scenario into a framework first established by the physicist John Bell in 1964. Brukner considered two pairs of Wigners and friends, in two separate boxes, conducting measurements on a shared state — inside and outside their respective box. The results can be summed up to ultimately be used to evaluate a so called “Bell inequality”. If this inequality is violated, observers could have alternative facts.

We have now for the first time performed this test experimentally at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on a small-scale quantum computer made up of three pairs of entangled photons. The first photon pair represents the coins, and the other two are used to perform the coin toss — measuring the polarization of the photons — inside their respective box. Outside the two boxes, two photons remain on each side that can also be measured.

Despite using state-of-the-art quantum technology, it took weeks to collect sufficient data from just six photons to generate enough statistics. But eventually, we succeeded in showing that quantum mechanics might indeed be incompatible with the assumption of objective facts — we violated the inequality.

The theory, however, is based on a few assumptions. These include that the measurement outcomes are not influenced by signals traveling above light speed and that observers are free to choose what measurements to make. That may or may not be the case.

Another important question is whether single photons can be considered to be observers. In Brukner’s theory proposal, observers do not need to be conscious, they must merely be able to establish facts in the form of a measurement outcome. An inanimate detector would therefore be a valid observer. And textbook quantum mechanics gives us no reason to believe that a detector, which can be made as small as a few atoms, should not be described as a quantum object just like a photon. It may also be possible that standard quantum mechanics does not apply at large length scales, but testing that is a separate problem.

This experiment therefore shows that, at least for local models of quantum mechanics, we need to rethink our notion of objectivity. The facts we experience in our macroscopic world appear to remain safe, but a major question arises over how existing interpretations of quantum mechanics can accommodate subjective facts.

Some physicists see these new developments as bolstering interpretations that allow more than one outcome to occur for an observation, for example the existence of parallel universes in which each outcome happens. Others see it as compelling evidence for intrinsically observer-dependent theories such as Quantum Bayesianism, in which an agent’s actions and experiences are central concerns of the theory. But yet others take this as a strong pointer that perhaps quantum mechanics will break down above certain complexity scales.

Clearly these are all deeply philosophical questions about the fundamental nature of reality. Whatever the answer, an interesting future awaits.

This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

In England, children are allowed to take hormones to change their sex

12-year-old Ashley Lamin was born a boy and by the age of 8, her name was Ashton. Ashley lives in Kent, England.

Recently, with the full approval of the doctors, the child begins to take hormonal pills – blockers of puberty.

These pills will not allow Ashley to become a man because she consciously considers herself a girl. He wants to “lie under the surgeon’s knife” at the age of 18 so that he can transform his boy’s body into a girl’s body.

Ashley Lamin is one of the youngest UK teenagers to receive hormone medication. This immediately caused much controversy in the community.

Critics are sure that children of this age cannot even understand what they want, and that Ashton’s desire to become a girl is simply a fad.

In justification, Ashley’s mother, 43-year-old Terry Lamin, assures critics and reporters that her son was considered a girl from a young age. She also says that if the child is mistaken, then Ashley has up to 18 years to refuse surgery and medication.

Critics respond that the body will already be seriously damaged by hormonal drugs, whose effects on these young organisms have not yet been fully studied.

At the age of 5, Ashton doesn’t like his genitals and he urges his mother to remove them. When he was told that this was not right, he asked why he needed them after all.

Ashton did not like to wear pants and other clothes for boys. He liked to dress in pink dresses and was “in love” with the princess dress he wore on his birthday.

By the age of 8, this discrepancy led to Ashton begging everyone to call him Ashley and assuring them he was born in the “wrong” body.

When doctors allowed Ashley to take blockers, it was her first major victory on her way to the “right” body.

Ashley considers herself a girl and wants to undergo a transplant surgery after a gender change surgery so she can become pregnant and have a baby later.

Such statements drive the critics crazy. They see only one child who is brainwashed with words such as “tolerance”, etc., and who exhibits ridiculous “whims”. According to them, the child should visit a psychologist instead of being allowed to prepare for a dangerous operation.

Ashley’s mother says:

“At three, Ashley told me it was my fault she was a boy. I felt terrible. Then I just agreed with her. It’s important to me that my child is happy. “

Terry Lamin has seven more children (!), So it is not difficult to understand why it is more convenient for a woman to agree with the child’s words instead of continuing to confront him.

Ashley had no particular problems at home when she was wearing girls’ clothes before school. But when she started going to school in girls ‘clothes and using the girls’ toilets, conflicts arose with the parents of other children. To them, it was all too strange and unusual. They even stopped inviting Ashley to children’s parties.

At the age of 11, Ashley goes to high school, where she becomes a target for a group of children who offend her and throw away her things. Ashley had to undergo home schooling.

Because of all this, Ashley becomes very anxious and even thinks about suicide. She asked her mother why all this was happening to her and stated that she hated herself.

The woman began to guide the child to various doctors. After all, they ended up at the Clinic for Gender Dysphoria.

It is there that the child’s hormones are prescribed, which Ashley will take at least until the age of 18.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Blind seer Baba Vanga made predictions for 2020

Baba Vanga, also known as the blind seer, is without a doubt one of the most well-known mediums in the world. Even though she died in 1996, the predictions she made are still coming true today.

Blind seer Baba Vanga made predictions for 2020

Her real name was Vangelia Paneva and she was born in Bulgaria in 1911. When she was 12 years old, she lost her sight after she was lifted into the air by a tornado and thrown into a nearby field where she was found a few days later with her eyes covered in sand and dust.

She made her first predictions a few days after this traumatic event, and the legend states that she developed healing powers and clairvoyancy. One of her most significant and noteworthy predictions was the invasion of the Nazis.

Lots of the predictions that Baba Vanga made are expected to be fulfilled in 2020. All of them however are just based on theories from people who believe in clairvoyancy and powers like this and have no scientific foundation.

Drama in Asia

Baba Vanga also predicted the famous Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, and If her theories and predictions are to be believed, a much bigger tsunami will hit parts of Japan, China, Alaska and Pakistan in 2020. Nearly 400 deaths have already been recorded following an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale that hit Indonesia in September.

Putin’s life could be in danger

According to h ertheories, the Russian president Vladimir Putin will also be the victim of an assassination attempt and the assassin will be a member of his own security team. Putin admitted that at least four assassination attempts have occurred in the past, but all have failed and he is currently under the protection of a team of snipers.

Donald Trump will be sick

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, can also succumb to an unknown disease. Apparently he will suffer from tinnitus, severe nausea and hearing loss. The illness he would have contracted could be the same as some US diplomats contracted while in Cuba because of the similar symptoms they experienced.

What will happen after 2020?

And by 2023 we would suffer a drastic change on the planet, because the Earth’s orbit will change. It will influence the weather, the waters and much of nature, causing great difficulty for humanity to adapt. As a result of this calamity, a change in the ideology of social policy would flourish in the main countries and by 2076 the whole world would be living under communism.

Shortly after this reorganization of politics and the world economy, by the year 2100 human technology could create an artificial sun that served both as a source of energy and to heat the planet cooled from the change of orbit. Even as a result of human technological advancement, Vanga said that by 2111 all people would have become robots after finding a way to transport consciousness to a body that would no longer have to suffer aging and die of disease. And with the planet almost destroyed and without resources, this robotic humanity, which would already inhabit Mars, would face an interplanetary war, which in 2183 will trigger the independence of the Earth.

Reaching immortality

A few centuries after these conflicts, in 2271 the Laws of Physics will be totally altered. This will open the possibility of time travel a few decades later. The race for temporary travel will cause many conflicts between inhabited human planets, and in 3005 there will be a world war on Mars.

The only good news among Baba Vanga’s predictions is only for the year 4308. The seer says that evil will disappear from the face of the planet ; The human being will reach a stage of evolution that will promote the relationship through peace, love and ethics. Then, in 4599, we will achieve immortality. But again we have bad news: we will reach the edge of the universe in 5076 and the world would end three years later.

What does Vanga say about the future?

Baba Vanga’s predictions are almost uncountable. The Bulgarian seer spoke about many prophecies, and many of them hope they will never come true. The future seen by Vanga is nothing pleasant and speaks of the end of the world. There are many predictions that have drawn attention, but if there is one that we have to highlight is about China, which says it will be the next world power.

The truth is that we do not know if these prophecies will be fulfilled, what we do know is that our world has entered into a catastrophic dynamic, where everything seems to fall apart, and the future does not seem to be better.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

A computer game helped predict the likelihood of a breakdown of drug addicts after treatment

An assessment of the risk of patients who are treated for drug addiction will help to identify critical moments in which a breakdown is likely.

A research, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatrymay will be the basis for the development of a clinical tool to track and reduce the number of drug-dependent patients who again start using opiates after treatment. Scientists from New York University have created a game that helps assess the likelihood of a “breakdown” of a person who is undergoing or has completed treatment.

Drug treatment for drug addicts with methadone, buprenorphine and naloxone shows good efficacy. However, the positive effect of these drugs is largely offset by the lack of reliable tools for assessing the patient’s response to therapy. The new development makes it possible to evaluate how high the probability of a person returning to the “needle”, and allows you to adjust the treatment program.

Scientists have proposed using a computer application to simulate this probability, which simulates gambling with bets and cash rewards. To study the effectiveness of such a tool, the researchers selected 70 patients from the Bellview Hospital Center in New York who were treated for drug addiction. An additional 50 patients with approximately the same distribution by gender, age and race, but never suffering from opioid dependence, were selected as a control group in the same institution.

Subjects played weekly for seven months. The game was built in such a way that patients could receive a lower reward with a 50% probability or risk a large number of virtual “chips” to win a big reward with unclear chances. For all test participants, preparedness schedules for accepting risks were drawn up.

The results of the experiment were compared with the data of questionnaires, in which the subjects were interviewed for their desire to try drugs again or for the presence of recent “breakdowns” in their history records. Scientists have found that patients who are prone to take risks in the game are more likely to disrupt the process of anti-drug therapy using opioids.

“Our research shows that computer diagnostic tests may offer a new useful feature,” says lead author of the study, Paul Glimcher. According to the scientist, in the process of treating addiction, patients can experience a kind of “ups and downs”: at some points they show determination in the desire to get rid of addiction, but at times they are ready to risk the work done for a fleeting pleasure. The application, developed by Glimcher and his colleagues, will help to identify critical moments in the psychological state of patients and prevent breakdowns.

Previously, scientists created a test that will help to identify drug addicts by fingerprint, and developed an implant with an antidote which will save lives from drug overdose.

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