1 - Reality's Magic Trick

Scientists take pride in making the world rational. This helped society emerge from a dark and superstitious past. But it's time for that pride to end. It's preventing many scientists from truly appreciating the absolute magic at the heart of quantum mechanics and therefore of reality itself. Even the simplest demonstration of quantum mechanics - the double-slit experiment [1]  - shows the world behaving in impossible ways and should inspire the same type of wonder as if a ghost walked through the wall in front of you. Because that's essentially what's going on with the building blocks of our universe - the quantum world. David Deutsch, a father of quantum computing [2] , gives a simple demonstration: Instead of acknowledging the impossible magic of the quantum world, science traditionally has  obfuscated  it as "wave-particle duality" - as if that explains anything! It does not. The only interpretation of quantum mechanics that actually explains thi

2 - Anthropic Quantum Computing in Biology

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I'm about to make an extraordinary claim. The evidence is admittedly rather thin at this moment in 2018. But that may change as research evolves. Quantum biology is an emerging field of study into biological processes that do not have a classical explanation - in other words, magic (in a very real sense ) taking place in the natural world. As it turns out, biology depends on hidden parallel universes. For example, photosynthesis is  suspiciously efficient .  Research in 2007 showed that the molecular centers for photosynthesis  act like quantum computers  to find the most efficient route of a photon. But what if that's not quite accurate? Later research could find  no evidence  of the quantum coherence necessary for this computation to occur, which makes sense given how fragile coherence is, even in a quantum computing laboratory . Researchers are jumping through hoops trying to find a mechanism for quantum coherence in

3 - Anthropic Auspicious Coincidence

Science teaches us that the world is ruled by randomness. Life was created when some molecules randomly came together in a lightning strike or in geo-thermal vents. Random mutations in DNA were self-selected by survival leading to humankind. Humanity's history has been violent and ugly and meaningless. But what if history is not what it seems? The fine-tuning of our universe for life has been much discussed . The same goes for Earth itself - freakishly favorable accidents , like a cataclysmic impact early in our history that created a strange, gigantic moon that stabilized our orbit and allowed complex life to flourish. The initial self-replicator for life remains one of science's great mysteries [1] , while the human race has survived numerous evolutionary bottlenecks . These miracles would be an entirely natural consequence of an anthropic multiverse . This line of thinking becomes more unconventional as we get nearer the present moment. Close calls in our history books

4 - Quantum Ethics

There are profound consequences of our actions in the anthropic multiverse . How do I end up in a particular universe? Perhaps our intentions make certain outcomes more likely. If, say, you intend on shooting high-powered rifles into a crowd of concertgoers , perhaps consider that you're going to end up in a universe where you survive, maimed and writhing in agony, forced to face the terrible consequences of your actions. Perhaps that's the most likely outcome where you persist.  Whereas the most likely outcome of persisting for the concertgoers is a happy night out where fortunate events prevent the attack. So make your intentions good. And end up persisting in a good & welcoming world. The biggest takeaway from our place in the anthropic multiverse is that conditions could be tilted towards our existence and persistence. If there exists an outcome in which we persist, we'll find ourselves there. Our intentions make certain outcomes more likely. A core lesson  o

Appendix - on Meditation

There was an interesting article about the interplay between emotions and rationality. When the author talks about not aggressively holding onto labels, he is basically talking about meditation. In my experience, emotions - especially strong ones - generate discursive thought. "I wish I wasn't feeling this. He is to blame. If only I had this." It's always self-centered. Meditation is the process of dropping discursive thought and feeling the emotions directly. That often takes courage. But, by eliminating distractions, we give ourselves no escape and at the same time the gentleness to feel without holding back. This leads to clear insights on your world. And you realize that the whole process feels incredibly healthy. Over time it becomes easier to do outside of meditation, and life becomes one big learning process. Creative activities like morning pages start making a lot of sense. Things aren't so solid anymore - you see the holes in taking life so pers

[Random Thoughts] On American Nostalgia

From a family lineage standpoint (mine and all those WASPy types), the glory days really were the 1800s. Free from the religious and societal repression of the old countries, these pioneers forged this country from nothing but freedom and their hard work. It was a simple time of family and communities of people just like them. There were occasional encounters with Indians, slaves and other people not like them, but they could stay insular and lead their humble lives while gloriously helping build this great country, having pride that they were the "good" people. It was a simple time when all they had to rely on were themselves. Then came the Great Depression, the New Deal and Communism. Things started getting more complicated. Fast forward to today, and everything's now blended together. The government is omnipresent and taxes are relatively high. Global communications, entertainment and media make us aware of the vast problems in a vast world. The glory days are gone.

[Random Thoughts] Culturalists

Most Americans and even Trump supporters aren't actually racist. In my observation almost everyone will love someone else - regardless of race or color - if they are cool, speak similarly and make an effort to be friendly. But we all have strong biases against major cultural & language differences. We don't know how to connect. It's just that some people are more understanding of that then others. I would call those others "culturalists", not racists.