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Origin



The development of the ideas in this book span three decades. In high school I became convinced that no infinite or continuous structures exist. This was reinforced as an undergraduate studying Zermelo Fraenkel set theory (where all of mathematics was built discretely or by induction from the empty set) and computer science and recursive function theory (where all mechanistic physical processes could be built from boolean logic and a potentially infinite storage device).

The quantization of energy in physics was further evidence to me of the discrete discontinuous nature of reality. In my first course in quantum mechanics I came to suspect that a discretized finite difference  approximation to the wave equation was a good candidate for explaining quantum mechanical effects while preserving Einstein causality  .

This same train of thought led me to ask what the discrete structure that underlies physics is. I concluded that the simplest answer was that existence is the same thing as consciousness. This idea was elaborated in a paper in an advanced philosophy course.

I tried to develop my ideas about physics for a Ph.D. thesis. This was deemed too risky a topic and von Neumann  's false proof[34] that no more complete theory was possible was still widely accepted. Bell's refutation of this proof was published around this time[4] but I was not aware of it. I eventually completed a more conventional thesis in computer science[10].

With one avenue blocked, I pursued another. I investigated the mathematical implications of rejecting completed infinite totalities. I came to understand that most of the mathematics that is dependent on such structures could be reinterpreted as the mathematics of creativity in a potentially infinite universe. I discussed these ideas at the time with some leading logicians

but since there was no new mathematics involved nothing came of these discussions.

Recently I have been able to extend my ideas in physics. The sci.physics  newsgroup on Internet has been particularly helpful to me in this. It has allowed me to get a wide variety of feedback on my unconventional ideas and to learn the language of modern quantum mechanics.

The difficulties in getting support to work on these ideas has become another major interest of mine. The writings of Jung have helped me put this in perspective. My greatest strength and guiding star is intuition, although I am an `introverted thinking type' in Jung's terminology. This creates difficulties in a culture that has so one sidedly focused on an intellectual approach to problem solving. My ideas about physics are in the spirit of Einstein and I have come to see Einstein's quarrel with his colleagues about quantum mechanics as an almost mythical example of the struggle between intuition and intellect. The title, Einstein's revenge, refers to what I foresee as the ultimate victory not only of Einstein's ideas about physics but also of his intuitive approach to science.

The major themes of this book are the development of these ideas on mathematics and physics and the need for our culture to develop intuition the way we have developed intellect. Many of the deepest problems we face today are beyond intellect's ability to deal with, just as a predominantly intellectual approach is unable to see past the existing conceptual framework of quantum mechanics. We must start to reverse the one sided focus on an intellectual approach that is both the greatest strength and greatest weakness of Western culture.

New version of this book


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