Hi Clerk (why don't you let us know your name so we can be polite?),
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I read a lot of posts which I do not comment on; however, your posts mention me and misinterpret some of the things I have said.
First, I do have an earned Ph.D. in theoretical physics from a quite prestigious American university so I am familiar with physics and mathematics. With regard to that issue, I also have some very strong opinions on the intellectual abilities of the physics community. Most of them are intellectual followers, not leaders (if they were all true original thinkers, the field would be a lot more exciting than it is). I got into physics because they were the only people who seemed to be rational and objective about what they knew. When I got into graduate school, they began to get as un-objective and irrational as any other field and I had many arguments with the faculty on exactly that issue. Their reaction was usually to do their best to shut me up. One of them actually had the gall to tell me "only geniuses think about things like that and, believe me, you're no genius!" Go read my essay on time:
which I think is understandable with very little mathematics. I showed that argument for a different representation of relativity to the chairman of the department when I was a graduate student. His comment? "You're right, one could look at it that way but don't show it to any of the other students, it will just confuse them!"
When I finished my thesis and was awarded the degree, I basically took the position that I couldn't work on physics until I had a coherent understanding of the foundations. When I got my degree, computers were a fairly new thing and almost all the theorists were spending all their time trying to figure out ways to calculate the results of their theories on those inadequate machines (my thesis was the performance of such an effort in collaboration on a problem at Oak Ridge). The general opinion was that they understood the universe (their theories were correct) and the only thing left to do was to figure ways to calculate the results of those theories. Essentially I had a bad attitude and was free in my derision of their faith in those "theories". Not a way to make friends and gain influence.
So I dropped out of the physics community and supported myself in the business world. Actually, I ended up with an income above those professors and I think that was also held against me. In the 1980's I made a major breakthrough and stuff started falling out. I tried to publish and was rejected by every journal I submitted it to. I think my views were so unorthodox that they couldn't find a referee because they all made the same comment in their rejection notices: essentially that they were not the proper journal for such a work. So, innocent that I was, I went to my thesis advisor and asked for help in getting it published. He told me that "no one would ever read my work because I had not paid my dues". He himself actually refused to even look at it!
Of course I didn't believe him at the time and tried to reach the academy for a few more years and finally gave it up as a worthless effort and went on with my life. Around the turn of the century, my son-in-law, who is a major consultant in business web page design, suggested I convert it to HTML and publish it on the web. And so that's how this whole thing got here. I only put this all here because I wanted you to understand my attitude, which is not appreciative of the academy.
What you have to understand is that I have had over twenty years to think out the consequences of what I discovered. That time has given me a clarity of view which can not be achieved without a little serious thought. From my perspective, which the entire physics community finds totally alien, the conundrums they put forth as real difficulties are no more than consequences of their confused outlook. I read professional papers on almost a daily basis which are clearly unjustified extensions of confused foundations and yet the authors are universally regarded with great respect: i.e., my attitude is no better now (perhaps worse) than it was forty years ago.
Your quote of Smolin above is almost exactly what I am complaining about. They will say things like "we do not really understand", "we make assumptions about", "no one really understands time" but try and raise one of these issues with a professional. They refuse to examine what happens when they look carefully at any of these problems. (By the way, I believe I am the only person on earth who understands the true nature of time! And I would love to discuss the issue with a rational mind.)
No competent physicist or mathematician has seriously examined what I have written. And I doubt any ever will. So it is not at all surprising that I do not get credit for what I have done. By the way, QED follows directly from my work.
So let us get to your puzzlement. As far as you are concerned, the statement,
"As I have said, and no one seems to understand, I think there are many possible explanations (stories which entirely fit the facts) for any phenomena one can experience",
and the statement,
"Now, whether they ever find the correct hypothesis or not, the question you raise is, couldn't it be possible for a universe to exist which behaves according to one of those other hypotheses? I think that Dick has shown that, no, that is not possible",
The error that every theory out there makes is that they presume the correctness of some basis outside their discussion. My attack is the only attack which is 100 percent holistic. That is, I construct a structure which is capable of organizing any collection of information conceivable as long as you are working with the entire thing. This is a mathematical construct which, by construction is internally self consistent. What I show is that there exists an interpretation of that arbitrary information which is consistent with most all of modern physics (and where it differs, there is good reason to believe my construct is a better reflection of reality than the conventional perspective).
What I am saying is that communication itself is the major difficulty here. You have in your mind, a mental picture of the universe which is consistent with your experiences, as best you can understand them. I have no idea of what is actually going on in your mind. All I have to go on is the information I, as a conscious aware individual, receive from the communications between us. The problem is that this information is processed by my brain before I am consciously aware of it.
Now, my brain is capable of translating vibrations of air on my ear drums into words so it is clearly able to perform complex transformations. (In fact, how do I know my ear drums exist? Because my brain tells me so! Or, even better than that, how do I know my brain exists?) The point here is that the translation itself is an open issue which can not be confronted. As I have proved that any internally consistent collection of information can be interpreted in a manner which is consistent with most all of modern physics, it follows that consistency with modern physics is not a defense of the truth of the interpretation.
This implies that the information you possess supporting your world view, if it is internally consistent, can be interpreted in a manner which is consistent with most all of modern physics. It makes utterly no difference what your actual world view is. The fact that we agree on all the physics experiments we can perform is no defense of the presumption that we are internally interpreting this information in the same way.
That is why I title my paper "The Foundations of Physical Reality". If we are to be serious about the communication issue, we need to start with some definitions which we know are dependable and correctly assigned. My proof provides us with that foundation: a set of concepts which must have an analogous image in your explanation (i.e., the relationships they express can not fail to exist in your explanation of anything). This provides us with a foundation for communication.
In fact, this is exactly why we all agree on most every common physical experience. This agreement is, in fact, the basis of our ability to communicate. Our brains have already found that transformation to be of great value. All I am doing is putting that agreement on a much firmer and more dependable basis.
If we are going to communicate, we must first agree to use the elements which we can guarantee exist in any internally consistent world view. If you cannot present your experiences in a manner which can be translated into a form flowing from those basic elements, the most probable reason is that your view is internally inconsistent.
I haven't finished editing another paper I have on the web. I will give out the URL anyway, just to see what the reaction is.
Have fun -- Dick