E.T. Jaynes and Hugh Everett - includes a previously unpublished review by Jaynes of a published short version of Everett's dissertation

by buybuydandavis1 min read2nd Jul 201210 comments

11

ET Jaynes
Personal Blog

 

E.T. Jaynes had a brief exchange of correspondence with Hugh Everett in 1957. The exchange was initiated by Everett, who commented on recently published works by Jaynes. Jaynes responded to Everett's comments, and finally sent Everett a letter reviewing a short version of Everett's thesis published that year. 

Jaynes reaction was extremely positive at first: "It seems fair to say that your theory is the logical completion of quantum theory, in exactly the same sense that relativity was the logical completion of classical theory." High praise. But Jaynes swiftly follows up the praise with fundamental objections: "This is just the fundamental cause of Einstein's most serious objections to quantum theory, and it seems to me that the things that worried Einstein still cause trouble in your theory, but in an entirely new way." His letter goes on to detail his concerns, and insist, wtih Bohm,  that "Einstein's objections to quantum theory have never been satisfactorily answered.

The Collected Works of Everett has some narrative about their interaction:

http://books.google.com/books?id=dowpli7i6TgC&lpg=PA261&dq=jaynes%20everett&pg=PA261#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

Hugh Everett marginal notes on page from E. T. Jaynes' "Information Theory and Statistical Mechanics"

http://ucispace.lib.uci.edu/handle/10575/1140

 

Hugh Everett handwritten draft letter to E.T. Jaynes, 15-May-1957

http://ucispace.lib.uci.edu/handle/10575/1186

 

Hugh Everett letter to E. T. Jaynes, 11-June-1957

http://ucispace.lib.uci.edu/handle/10575/1124

 

E.T. Jaynes letter to Hugh Everett, 15-October-1957 - Never before published

https://sites.google.com/site/etjaynesstudy/jaynes-documents/Jaynes-Everett_19571015.pdf?

Directory at Google site with all the links and docs above. Also links to Washington University at St. Louis copyright form for this doc, Everett's thesis, long and short forms, and Jaynes' paper (the papers they were discussing in their correspondence). I hope to be adding the final letter in this exchange, Jaynes to Hewitt 17-June-1957, within a couple of weeks. , and maybe some documents from the Yahoo Group ETJaynesStudy as well.

https://sites.google.com/site/etjaynesstudy/jaynes-documents

 

For perspective on Jaynes more recent thoughts on quantum theory:

Jaynes paper on EPR and Bell's Theorem: http://bayes.wustl.edu/etj/articles/cmystery.pdf

Jaynes speculations on quantum theory: http://bayes.wustl.edu/etj/articles/scattering.by.free.pdf

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In http://bayes.wustl.edu/etj/articles/fromhere.pdf pg20, Jaynes (<1985) makes the following comment in a discussion of time-series, which I take as being a bit sarcastic and to MWI's detriment:

One might thing that in a pure (noiseless) generalized inverse problem there is no place for sampling theory at all. Yet sampling theory has managed to work itself into the problem anyway, by a remarkable conceptual feat. If the real world has no sampling distribution, then we shall invent one, not by imbedding our data in a set of possible data, but by imbedding the whole real world in a set of possible worlds (just as Everett (1957) did in quantum theory). The one real, finite time series Y = {y_0,...y_N} that actually exists is regarded as only a "sample" drawn from some hypothetical ensemble of other infinitely long series - and we are back in business!

OK - links for the new stuff changed to the google site. Should be accessible to the world, but if google requires a login, you'll have to suck it up or do without.

If you can access the google site for the new document, (or not), please post so we know that it's working.

When I click on either of the yahoofs.com links, I get "Document not found".

Thanks, Beta Tester #1.

Yahoo Groups does weird things with temporary links when you browse there. I believe I have proper permanent links now.

Sadly not; the links take me to some sort of signin page now.

I signed in, and apparently one also has to be a member of the group too!

Really, OP should just use Dropbox or something sensible.

As my sister would say, "it's never that easy".

Uploaded the file, checked in my browser, all seemed a go. But I didn't reckon with Yahoo Group's permissioning, which has some limitations, so I needed to move the doc.

But, I couldn't just move it. Just move copyrighed material? Lawlessness! Theft! Anarchy!

The letter is part of a library special collection, of which I hope to get more. There are forms to fill out for where I'll be "publishing" the doc. Sent the forms in, I've given them a call now, and they're all happy, so I can update the post with the new links. Good times.

I've jigged up something moderately sensible at a google site. I'll update the post with the new links and we'll see how that works out.

There are probably a few files of interest from the Yahoo Group that I'll move out to the google site sometime too.

Thanks for the effort you put into fixing this - I can download it now. Amazing! Thank you for making it available.

Thank you for helping me debug. I've found more good stuff - including Everett's thesis. I don't agree with his fundamental conclusions, but he's a good read. Some of the long thesis is very much like Korzybski, but without the repetitive jargon laced pontifications - i.e., much improved read over K.

Directory at Google site with all the links and docs above. Also links to Washington University at St. Louis copyright form for this doc, Everett's thesis, long and short forms, and Jaynes' paper (the papers they were discussing in their correspondence). I hope to be adding the final letter in this exchange, Jaynes to Hewitt 17-June-1957, within a couple of weeks. , and maybe some documents from the Yahoo Group ETJaynesStudy as well.

https://sites.google.com/site/etjaynesstudy/jaynes-documents

It's too bad that no anonymous thief was willing to download the Yahoo copies, and reupload them to a Dropbox; after all, it's not like the library could blame you for such a thing happening - it's teh Internets, after all.