The Copenhagen interpretation (which is, by the by, still in vogue outside of LessWrong, please stop the groupthink) allowed people to get on with their science instead of getting bogged down in its bewildering philosophical implications.

This is a perfect example of the crypto-philosophy of "we're not doing philosophy". Copenhagen is a philosophical interpretation of QM, which makes metaphysical claims about wavefunctions coming into existence and then collapsing. If anything could be called the aphilosophical approach, it would be the Feynman... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

As far as I can tell the Copenhagen Interpretation basically is a shut-up-and-calculate interpretation. It's an operational theory that is only capable of predicting subjective-ish experimental results, and doesn't make claims about the "contents of reality". That is to say, all its predictions are of the form "if I did [EXPERIMENT] I would observe a result according to [DISTRIBUTION]". Which is somewhat respectable (although what exactly counts as an observation is naturally ill-defined, since the theory doesn't encompass the observer ... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

1Juno_Watt6y The CI as such is minimal in its commitments, and is not committed to the existence (or non existence) of a real wave function. You comment seems to reflect EY;s habit of conflating the CI with Objective Reduction []. ETA: Bohr and Heisenberg were in fact quite self-aware about their philosophical presumptions.
3TimS6y I agree with your main point, but I have a nick-picky side question: In what sense is the Copenhagen interpretation making "metaphysical" claims about wavefunctions coming into existence and then collapsing? My sense was that proponents are making a straightforward physical claim, on par with physical claims make by non-QM atomic theory. Copenhagen has not been empirically proved (or empirically disproved), but that does not make it metaphysical. In other words, I think you might be using "metaphysical" as a synonym for "nonsensical."

Rationality Quotes July 2013

by Vaniver 6y2nd Jul 20131 min read429 comments


Another month has passed and here is a new rationality quotes thread. The usual rules are:

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.