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Dick's Achievement

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Posted by Aurino Souza on April 4, 2002 19:45:50 UTC

Since Dick is away, I thought this would be a good opportunity to have a different kind of discussion on his work. It's not like we can talk about anything else here anyway.

I am in no position to evaluate his work. I think some of the stuff he says makes a lot of sense, but the truth of the matter really lies in the math, and I have neither the training nor the interest to evaluate it closer than I already have. For the most part, I think the greatest value in his work is to force people to think, and I can probably say he's been quite successful at that.

On a more practical side, and as far as my meager knowledge of physics allows me to see, I think his paper points the way to solve one specific dilemma in modern physics, even though Dick himself didn't solve it. That would be the conflict between quantum mechanics and relativity. I think one has to be too silly to believe the universe behaves differently depending on how you choose to describe it. To me that makes no sense at all. More likely, someone blundered.

That someone, I believe, was Einstein. Einstein was quite smart and his achievement cannot be lightly dismissed (inconsequential remarks aside), but he was no god. Most problematic with Einstein's work are his ideas about time, which not only are totally counterintuitive but can actually be demonstrated to be self-contradictory. Even I can understand that!

I think it's quite possible that the reason relativity is incompatible with quantum mechanics is simply because relativy is wrong. Not blatantly wrong, and certainly not wrong according to its own premises, only inconsisten with some basic premises of the rest of physics.

As far as I can tell, and despite all the noise and outrageous claims, I think Dick is absolutely right in demanding that physicists be as rigorous with their definitions as they possibly can. I think he's far from being alone in that regard.

The rest of his claims, well, I found them more fun than relevant, and I have a hunch that so does he.

I just thought I'd make my position clear.

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