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Seattle Analytic Philosophy Club Message Board › The problem of Now

The problem of Now

Jon C.
Mercer Island, WA
Post #: 236
An interesting lecture by a physicist that has a very good description of the nature of the problem of Now.

Jon C.
Mercer Island, WA
Post #: 238
A recent article by the same physicist is here:­

Mermin seems to have moved in a surprising direction.

His article on QBism is very compelling:­

The QBist interpretation says that quantum mechanics (and by extension all of science) can only be used to make predictions about one's own experiences. Mermin's Nature article makes the additional assumption that when we interact with another person that they are having their Now moment at the same instant as us.

One question QBism raises is whether the past is what we think it is, or is it just our current experience of the state of our brain's storage mechanism. In ordinary language that makes sense, but in light of QBism it says the past is just as uncertain as any other quantum measurement. It could even be that a different past would be created as a quantum measurement each time we perform the act of remembering. Of course in such a universe the very notion of time and self seem very mysterious.

Another possibility to the question of Now is the classical view that each particle simply moves around and there is no future and past. One problem with that is that QM has shown that assuming the existence of objects that are not actually observed raises all kinds of problems. That doesn't mean that the physics can't be such that something like that occurs, but that seems to contradict the Heisenberg uncertainty principle that energy and time are non-commutative, just like position and momentum.
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