State of Innovation

Patents and Innovation Economics

Dale B. Halling Invited to Debate at Freedom Fest

I have been invited to a debate at Freedom Fest 2015.  The topic of the debate is “Competition in Business: Good or Bad?”  I will be taking the competition is for loser side of the debate.

February 7, 2015 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment

Save The Inventor

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Blog | Leave a comment

Inventing to Nowhere: The Movie

This documentary explains how the United States is destroying its Patent System that has been the engine on which America’s technological and economic leadership has been built.  The movie can be seen in a number of cities on December 15.

 

Invention is as old as human existence, and no country has promoted and thrived on invention more than the United States thanks to its patent system. But is American invention at risk?

Framed around the story of two first-time inventors, Inventing to Nowhere explores the stakes in policy fights over the American innovation economy, with interviews of legendary inventor Dean Kamen, historians, members of Congress and other key players in the effort to keep the country innovating.

For more than 200 years, the U.S. patent system has helped protect and grow ideas. This reverence for intellectual property rights has been a driving force in making the United States an economic superpower. But as the patent-law debate becomes more influenced by special interests, the future of inventors and entrepreneurs is in jeopardy.

December 12, 2014 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Self-Ownership: A Conservative Conspiracy?

The Depclaration of Independence and Individual Rights are generally assumed to be based on the concept of self-ownership.  For instance, the article Who are the Real Liberals? in the American Thinker states “self-ownership entails an inviolable right to our lives, liberty, and property, which at the same time entails a prohibition from violating the rights of others.”  According to the Article Jefferson was even accused of plagiarizing John Locke in writing the Declaration of independence.  According to Nathaniel Branden in an article entitled Reflections on Self-Responsibility and Libertarianism argues that the United States stood “Freedom. Individualism. Private property. The right to the pursuit of happiness. Self-ownership.”  And Walter Williams, the conservative economist states “That Americans have joyfully given up self-ownership is both tragic and sad” in an article entitle AMERICANS HAVE GIVEN UP SELF-OWNERSHIP.  But now Leonard Peikoff, of the Ayn Rand Institute, says we got it all wrong and the idea of self-ownership is dangerous.  This issue goes to the source of all property rights.

Leonard Piekoff, the founder of the Ayn Rand Institute and a philosopher, in a podcast asks if there a difference between the principle of self-ownership and the principle of individual rights?  He first restates the questions as is there a difference between someone being the owner of their life and that he has a right to life?  His answer is yes there is definitely a difference. Peikoff argues that ownership is a relationship between you and some external object. As a result it makes no sense to say you own yourself. Next he suggests that ownership is about possession. Finally, he says this whole idea of self-ownership is some sort of Conservative conspiracy and a bad idea. Others have argued against self-ownership because if you can own yourself then it implies that you can be owned by others.

The conservative that Peikoff seems to be arguing with is John Locke, the 18th century philosopher responsible for the idea of Natural Rights that underpinned the US Declaration of Independence.  Locke stated “every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his.” (Second Treatise on Government, Ch. 2, Sect.27.)  Now some people have argued the preposition ‘in’ here does not imply self-ownership. This is based on a misunderstanding of property rights. A property right is a moral and/or legal claim to a right of action. Or as Ayn Rand, the philosopher and author of Atlas Shugged, states it “Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object.[1]”  Self-ownership then is the right to action with respect to oneself. Peifoff has used the wrong definition of property and variously confused property with possession and only applying to external objects. Possession may be one right that comes with property rights, but you may own a house and then lease it to someone else. If you do that you have traded your right to possession. Property is often confused with the object itself or with possession of the object, but as Rand’s definition makes clear this is conflating different concepts.

Peikoff also provides no justification for his idea that property only relates to external objects. This inconsistent with Ayn Rand’s definition and is inconsistent with how we use ownership in normal language. For instance Rand variously states:

Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. (For the New Intellectual, p. 89.

 

“What greater wealth is there than to own your life and spend it on growing?”

–Ellis Wyatt, Atlas Shrugged, Pt. 3 of book.

 

“For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors — between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.”

–John Galt, Atlas Shrugged, http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/good,_the.html

 

“There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life.”

Ayn Rand Lexicon, Man’s Rights, The Virtue of Selfishness, 93

 

Without property rights, no other rights are possible.

Ayn Rand Lexicon, Man’s Rights, The Virtue of Selfishness, 94

 

Now it is true that Rand also said that “The right to life is the source of all rights.”  (The Virtue of Selfishness, 93), but given all her other statements I think it is clear that she is talking about the right to one’s own life, not a disembodied right to life.

Neither Rand nor Locke argued that self-ownership was an axiom. Some people say Locke based self-ownership on god, but then why did he spend so much time explaining what rights we had a in a state of nature. As explained in Wikipedia, State of Nature:

For Locke, in the state of nature all men are free “to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature.” (2nd Tr., §4). “The state of Nature has a law of Nature to govern it”, and that law is Reason. Locke believes that reason teaches that “no one ought to harm another in his life, liberty, and or property”

Clearly, Locke was not relying just on a deity for his support of self-ownership.

Rand’s genius in ethics was to show that self-ownership was the result of the unique nature of man, namely that he is a rational animal. His survival requires his ability to exercise his own reason and when others attempt to limit his ability to use his mind, they are acting in a way that is inconsistent with his survival.

Peikoff argues that being the owner of your life is different than the right to life and I agree. If you are the owner of your life you not only have the right to life, but you have the right to create property, the right to free association, the right to travel freely, and on and on. A naked right to life does not provide any of these things. Peikoff might argue that the right to life includes those things necessary to sustain that life. But if you are being provided food and shelter enough to be alive, your right to life is being observed even if you are a slave or in a prison.

Ownership of oneself is absolutely vital to Rand’s and Locke’s idea of the origin of property rights. If you own yourself then you own those things your produce, but if you do not own yourself then there is no reason why the things you produce would be your property. Image an unowned robot that produces furniture or cakes. Without self-ownership, there is no reason for the robot to own those things he produces.

Self-ownership is not the axiom on which individual rights are built, it is a derived intermediate concept. However, it is a common starting point in a conversation about individual rights because it is easy to comprehend and is familiar to people who grew up in the United States or most common law countries. The idea of self-ownership is incorporated into the Declaration of Independence and in common law. Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries was the most important treatise on common law in the 19th century. Locke’s idea of self-ownership permeates Blackstone’s Commentaries. Starting with the idea of self-ownership one can build a logical system that is almost as exact as Euclidean geometry. That system explains why we have property rights, how they arise, and who is the rightful owner of the property.[2]  It also explains why murder is illegal, why slavery is illegal, why theft is illegal, in fact most of our common law criminal law. It also explains contract law, why we have a right to free association, right to self defense (including the right to bear arms), right to free speech and on and on. It is an extremely powerful tool.

Does self-ownership open up the possibility of you being owned by someone else?  If so this would be a powerful reason to avoid the concept of self-ownership. The default position is that you own yourself (morally) under self-ownership, so to be owned by someone else you would have to sell yourself. This means you would have to enter into a contract. But a contract requires two people who are able to enter into and fulfill it. Someone who does not own themself is not competent to enter into or fulfill a contract. The second you enter into a contract to sell yourself to someone else you no longer have the capacity to contract so the contract is invalid. In addition, for a contract to be valid it is necessary that both parties provide consideration. When you sell yourself into slavery you are not receiving any consideration, since you have no right to anything as a slave. Attempting to sell yourself into slavery is a logical contradiction. Self-ownership does not lead to the idea that you can be owned by others, but the exact opposite.

Some might complain that this argument is too legalistic. But we are talking about property rights and contracts and therefore the philosophy of law applies. Property rights and contracts have definitions and logical conclusions and one of those logical conclusions is that you cannot sell yourself into slavery because it is an invalid contract.

Self-ownership is not the axiom on which individual rights are built, but it is an intermediate concept that is consistent with individual rights. When starting from an intermediate conclusion it is always important to be aware of the underlying fundamentals to avoid making a mistake. Self-ownership means that you have a property right in your life and property rights are a right to action. This means that self-ownership encompasses the right to life, but it encompasses so much more.

 

 


[1] Ayn Rand Lexicon, Man’s Rights,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 93

[2] As opposed to the in vague idea that property rights are the result of scarcity.

December 10, 2014 Posted by | -History, -Legal | 2 Comments

USPTO’s Secret Program to Deny Politically Inconvenient Patents

According to Alyssa Bereznak of Yahoo Tech, in an article entitled The U.S. Government Has a Secret System for Stalling Patents, the United States Patent Office has a secret program called the Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) designed to delay and deep six certain politically sensitive patent applications.  The Patent Office only admitted to the program after a FOIA request.  The program goes back to at least 2006 and therefore includes the actions and knowledge of both Jon Dudas and David Kappos.  Both men should be brought up on Capitol Hill for investigations.  Did Kappos favor IBM patent applications or delay IBM’s competitors?  Did Jon Dudas, who is not a patent attorney and is not legally or factually competent to be a patent attorney, provide favors to enhance his post public life position?  If they were aware of this program, and it is hard to believe they were not, their pensions from the PTO should be revoked and they should be disbarred at a minimum.

I have actually had examiners tell me that they were not going to allow a patent application because they did not want to see the patent end up on the front page of the New York Times.  I am not sure where that is in the statute, but it is illegal and unconstitutional.  According to the article applications can end up in this purgatory for astonishing number of vague reasons including the application is “broad” or has “pioneering scope,” “seemingly frivolous or silly subject matter,” or those “dealing with inventions, which, if issued, would potentially generate unwanted media coverage (i.e., news, blogs, forums).”

I wrote a novel with my wife entitled Pendulum of Justice, where a plot device was abuse of this kind by the Director of the USPTO.  Turns out fact is stranger than fiction.

December 5, 2014 Posted by | News, Patents | , , | Leave a comment

Yale Law Professor’s Attack on Patents: A Comedy, Farce and Tragedy All Rolled into One

An article on Cato Unbound entitled, “What’s the Best Way to Fix the Patent System’s Problems?” by law professor Christina Mulligan, argues for two different solutions of what she perceives are problems with software patents.  One solution advocated by Eli Dourado is to eliminate all software patents (See CATO and Mercatus Center: Another Flawed Study on Patents).  The other solution, advocated by John F. Duffy, is a more rigorous application of the obviousness standard.  Ms. Mulligan comes down on the side of Eli Dourado’s solution of eliminating patents on software.

What is amazing is that Ms Mulligan never even addresses the inherent contradiction that if you are going to eliminate patents of software you have to eliminate all patents on electronics.  Of course this may be because Ms. Mulligan does not have a technological background, she is not a patent attorney nor is she legally or factually competent to be a patent attorney.  Software is a way of wiring an electronic circuit.  Any invention implemented in software executed on a computer can be implemented in hardware (i.e., an electronic circuit) as any competent electrical engineer knows.  In fact, this is exactly what happens when software is executed, it is converted into a series of voltage levels that open and close switches in a general purpose electronic circuit called a computer to create a specific electronic circuit.

Ms. Mulligan quotes the clearly incorrect statement that:

Many software patents are merely mathematical formulas or abstract ideas and should not be considered patentable subject matter because they remove too much “raw” material from the public domain.

This statement confuses two separate points.  One point is that many software patents are merely mathematical formulas or abstract ideas.  The second point is that software patents remove too much raw material from the public domain.  The idea that any software patent is a mathematical formula is complete and obvious nonsense to anyone who has worked with computers.  While it is true that software often uses mathematical formulas, so do electronic circuits, radar, rockets,  mechanical systems, chemical processes, in fact almost every area of technology.

Ms. Mulligan does not define what she means by an abstract idea.  In one sense every invention in the history of the world is an abstraction.  Inventions define a class of things.  For instance the invention of the incandescent light bulb is not a specific incandescent light bulb, but the class of these objects.  The only logical definition of an abstract idea is “a thought or conception that is separate from concrete existence or not applied to the practical”.  Every invention that meets the requirements of 35 USC 112 first paragraph is not an Abstract Idea, since this section requires that the invention be described in a manner so one skilled in the art can practice the invention.  Something that can be built and used (practiced) is concrete and applied, therefore it is not an abstract idea.  Clearly software patents are not abstract ideas because they are concrete and applied to a problem of life.  If they did not solve a problem of life, then no one would care, because no one would want to practice their invention.

The second point is that they remove too much raw material from the public domain.  This is a bald statement without any support.  In fact, patents do not remove any material from the public domain.  They secure the property rights of an inventor to their invention that did not exist before they created the invention.  To suggest that this removes anything from the public domain would make even the most strident Marxist blush.

Ms. Mulligan attempts to use Ayn Rand in support of her position.

Even Ayn Rand sidestepped suggesting a length for intellectual property terms, stating that if intellectual property “were held in perpetuity . . . it would lead, not to the earned reward of achievement, but to the unearned support of parasitism.

Of course she forgets to mention that Rand stated “Patents and copyrights are the legal implementation of the base of all property rights: a man’s right to the product of his mind.”[1]  You can see from this statement that it is very unlikely that Ayn Rand would have supported Ms. Mulligan’s position.

More importantly, all property rights are term limited.  A dead person cannot own property.  Property is a legal (moral) relationship between a person and something.  Once the person is dead they cannot have a legal relationship to something on this Earth that would be a contradiction.  There is only a question of what happens to property relationship when someone dies.  But no property rights go on forever.

Ms. Mulligan also ignores the obvious Constitutional problems with a law prohibiting patents on software or any other group of inventions.  Article 1, section 8, clause 8 requires that the right of inventors to their inventions be secured.  There is no basis under the Constitution to discriminate between securing the rights of inventors for chemical inventions, but not to software inventions for instance.  Ms. Mulligan may argue that the preamble to article 1, section 8, clause.8[2] is a limit on patents, but this is a clear misinterpretation of a preamble under legal construction.  Preambles are never considered limiting in law.  In addition, if the founders intended such a limitation then they would have said Congress can take whatever steps they believe will promote the sciences and useful arts.

Ms. Mulligan’s arguments do not stand up to scrutiny.  Part of the problem may be that Ms. Mulligan is not a patent attorney.  But some of the problems are so outrageous, especially for someone who is a Yale Law professor that the only conclusion is that she has a political agenda.

The United States of America created the strongest patent system in the world.  Most of the greatest inventors in the history of the world, Edison, Tesla, Bell, etc. lived and worked in the United States.  In less than 100 years, they created the most technologically sophisticated country ever.  Almost every modern product you use today was subject to a patent or a patented processes at some point.  Your cell phone is the subject of hundreds of patents.  The same is true of your computer, the Internet, the power system, the medicines your take, the car your drive, even your glass windows (Venice patent system), even cement.  For Ms. Mulligan to suggest that patents on software or anything else inhibit the progress of technological is an extraordinary claim and requires extraordinary evidence.[3]  Ms. Mulligan has failed to provide even a scintilla of evidence and logic for her position.


[1] Rand, Ayn, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Signet, New York, 1967, p. 130.

[2] “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”

[3] Thomas Paine.

November 20, 2014 Posted by | -Philosophy, News, Patents | , , , , | 6 Comments

Competition is for Losers

This statement is from a Peter Thiel interview.  Peter Thiel is a founder of Paypal, investor in Facebook and many other technology startups.  Mr. Thiel is talking about entrepreneurs and businesses and that you want to create a unique company and dominate your market space.  I have just finished a manuscript for a non-fiction book that makes this point from an economy wide point of view.  Wealth is not created by manufacturing undifferentiated, me-too products, it is created by new technologies.  There is no contradiction between what is good for the economy and what is good for an entrepreneur, despite the statement of economists on perfect competition.

One of Peter Thiel’s interview questions is tell me something you know to be true that no one else knows is true?  How would you answer that question?

My answer is that the source of real per capita growth is inventions and patents, property rights in inventions, are the key to stimulating people to invent, resulting in the Industrial Revolution and our present standard of living.

November 6, 2014 Posted by | -Economics, Innovation, News, Videos | , | Leave a comment

Philosophy of Science

This paper explores the philosophy of science.  The philosophy of science is mainly concerned with metaphysics and epistemology, but it is not completely divorced from ethics.  This paper defines the necessary philosophical underpinning of science.  Note that I am not suggesting that every scientist holds or held this philosophy.

Identity: The fundamental principle of science is that A is A (Identity), meaning that things exist; they have certain properties; they always act in accordance with these properties; A does not suddenly become B without a reason.  Aristotle had three laws of thought: 1) Law of Identity, 2) Law of non-contradiction, and 3) Law of excluded middle.  It seems to me that the second and third laws follow from the Law of Identity.   Note for the present discussion we will assume that A is an inanimate object.

Causality is the second tenant of science meaning things happen for a reason or for every effect there is a cause.  This means that A is always A unless acted upon by another object/force.  For example, gold is always gold unless it is acted on by another object/force.  It means a body at rest stays at rest unless acted upon.  Causality and Identity result in repeatability.  In other words things in the same situation will act in the same way.  A mass acted upon by a certain force will accelerate in a consistent way.  Identity and causality provide the justification for experimentation.  If an experiment is correctly setup to exclude other factors (object/forces) then it will result in the same result, excluding measurement and experimental errors.  If any of these tenants were not true, then there would be not point to experimentation.  If a lead ball’s mass could suddenly change without any cause, then experimentation would never lead to repeatable results.  When we find out experiments are not repeatable, then we know that we have failed to account for a variable.  Note the Identity and Causality tenets are the rejection of superstition.

Experimentation: The goal of experimentation is to isolate causes and effects.  For instance, if we are to determine if the gravitational effect of an object on Earth is the same, independent of mass, we have to ensure that our experiment does not include other factors.  For example, we cannot allow wind resistance in our experiment.  This means the objects have to have an equal wind resistance, or better yet, we need to eliminate wind resistance in our experiment.

Since no experiment or measurement can be perfect, we take into account measurement/experimental errors.  Note that if these errors are truly random (Gaussian), then they will average out for a continuous random variable and significantly reduce for a discrete random variable.  If they are not random, then we have not properly setup of the experiment, meaning we have failed to account for a variable.  Note the experimental tenet of science requires that we can trust our senses.  This does not mean that our senses give us perfect information, but that the information we receive from our senses is also ruled by the Identity and Causality laws.

Theories: Identity and causality allow us to use logic and reason to categorize and predict results, or form hypothesis and theories.  Experiments are used to verify or disprove these theories.  Smaller theories can be built upon using logic to create broader theories.  For instance, inertia and Galileo’s law of falling can be applied to planets and tides, which is what Newton did in creating his ideas of motion and gravity.

A good scientific theory is one that explains and predicts many individual facts.  Every theory so far is incomplete and it is where experiment does not agree with theory that leads to the next big leaps in science.  Thus if we assume that heavier object are subject to a greater gravitational acceleration than lighter objects, but we find that lead balls of differing masses fall at the same rate, we know we need to revisit this hypothesis/theory.  This also means that there is an evolutionary or expanding nature to scientific theories.  Newton’s laws of motion and gravity refined and expanded upon Galileo’s theory of inertia and his law of fall.  Einstein’s relativity did disprove Newton, it just refined and expanded on them at speeds near the speed of light and in regions of very large gravity.  Part of how we know that Einstein’s theory of relativity is ‘correct’ is that it is consistent with Newton in certain regions and with the body of facts that Newton physics explained.  There is a similar thing in mathematics, where we define over what range a statement is true.  For instance, if a*b=c, then b=c/a, where a is a non-zero real number.

This evolutionary, expanding nature of scientific theories is the difference between a real science and pseudo science (or at least a poorly formed science).  In a pseudo science a new theory can come along and predict totally different results.  For instance, under classical economics printing money (counterfeiting) has a negative effect on the economy.  Along comes Keynes and suddenly if the government prints money it causes an increase in wealth (GPD).

Perfect Knowledge: Does knowledge have to be perfect knowledge in order to be knowledge?  Often scientific theories are attacked because as being incomplete.  Every scientific theory so far is incomplete, because we don’t know everything about everything.  I am going to postulate that we cannot ever know everything because there is always a deeper layer of knowledge.  For instance, Newton explains the effects of gravity but not how it works.  In fact, Newton was greatly disturbed that his best explanation of gravity required action at a distance without some intermediate (corpuscle).  Knowledge is certainty that a fact or theory is correct within certain limits and therefore repeatable in science.  For instance, if a builder assumes that Earth is flat or described by Euclidean geometry will this inaccuracy cause any problems?  Even if the builder is constructing a building with a mile long foundation, the error of assuming the Earth is flat is less than two inches or much less than the underlying variation in the terrain.  On the other hand if I am sailing across the world or launching a spaceship and I assume that the Earth is flat, then I have a problem.  This is like the bounds in mathematics and as long as we know the bound of our knowledge it does not cause any problems.  On the other hand, discovering the bounds of our knowledge is where the really interesting science and engineering occur and how we expand the bounds of our knowledge.  The idea that knowledge has to be perfect seems to come from Plato’s idea of pure forms.  Physics makes it clear that Plato’s ideal forms do not exist and are not necessary for science or realism.  Attacking a scientific theory for failure to explain everything is meaningless, it is just saying we have not learned everything.  It is only a valid attack on a scientific theory if it predicts something that turns out to not be so – a contradiction.  Even then the contradiction may only occur within certain bounds or only matter within in certain bounds, in fact any well tested scientific theory will only be meaningfully incorrect within certain bounds.

In keeping with this idea of imperfect or lack of absolute knowledge, I am sure my thesis (philosophy of science) is not ‘perfect.’  As a result, I have tried to define the minimum requirements for the philosophy of science.  I have not for instance included Locke and Newton’s corpuscular ideas, which are really about their philosophy of how physics works.

Statistics as applied to physical sciences is not in conflict with the Law of Identity or Causality.  Statistics are a way of bounding our lack of knowledge about certain factors.  For instance, if you know all the initial conditions of a coin flip, you can determine whether it will land on heads or tails exactly.  In grad school in physics I had to solve a similar problem of a quarter slightly tilted to one side and given an initial velocity, will it land on heads or tails.  There is an exact solution, it is not random.  Statistics also deal with measurement errors and uncertainty in the conditions of the experiment.  None of this in anyway suggests that the Law of Identity or Causality is suspended.

Curve fitting: There has been a popular theory in physics that all we are doing is curve fitting and understanding is illusory and wrong.  Curve fitting is something engineers do when working from first principles is too complex.  For instance, we know that the resistance of a thermistor varies with temperature, but we cannot solve the relationship from first principles.  In this case we will take a number of measurements (experiments) and then just fit a curve so that we can covert an output resistance, actually voltage to a temperature.  Curve fitting is useful, but it does not provide an understanding of the underlying phenomena and is generally limited to very specific situations.  It is not the goal or what science does.  Science looks to understand underlying physical phenomena, not just model it.  Curve fitting can tell you the rate that an object will fall to Earth, but not why and it can’t tell you why this is related to planetary orbits.

Animate objects present additional challenges.  For instance, a tad pole turns into a frog.  Does this violate the law of Identity?  The answer is no because a tadpole never turns into a cat or something else.  But with animate objects it is necessary to apply the law of identity at a finer granularity.  For instance, are you the same person you were ten years ago?  Well all the cells in your body have completely changed and you are older, so probably you have some wrinkles and of course ten years of experience you did not have ten year ago.  The difficulty with animate objects is that they can use internal energy to change their position or state.  But when we look inside of the animate object we see that it acts according (sometime very complex) to the law of Identity and Causality.

Ethics: The philosophy of science does include an ethics, which is that we must report (record) data accurately.  Fudging the data in science is the greatest sin in science.  This is one of the reasons the proponents of Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW) cannot be taken serious.  Not only have they repeated lied and fudged the data but their advocates suggest this is okay in fact required.  It also why much of economic data can no longer be taken seriously.

The Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) of Quantum Mechanics (QM)

There was a great fight at the beginning of QM over how to interpret Schrodinger’s wave equation.  Einstein, Schrodinger and others never accepted the point particle statistical model (PPSM) of QM.  Nothing in the mathematics or experimental evidence required the PPSM of QM and certainly nothing required the CI model.  The main justification for the statistical approach to QM is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.  If we can only know the location and momentum of a particle with certain precision then we cannot know the original state of a system exactly or the final state of the system exactly.  This is how I resolved the statistical nature of QM while I was in grad school in physics and I would bet that this is how most physicists think about this issue.  Note new research has shown problems with the uncertainty principle.  However, the CI does not resolve the issue this way.  The CI has never actually been well defined, but here is a rough sketch of their ideas:

a) negation of causality

b) negation of realism and

c) involvement of infinite and imaginary velocities or masses.

Note that part (a) directly contradicts one of the fundamental tenants of science.  You may think I am exaggerating, so here are some quotes:

Heisenberg[1] states clearly:

“The law of causality is no longer applied in quantum theory.”

In order to be coherent, physicists today should no longer try to find the cause of a physical phenomenon. According to Heisenberg’s statement, there is no cause, it is simple magic. Greenberger[2] uses the same expression and states simply, “Quantum Mechanics is Magic”.

Much more recently, following the use of the Copenhagen interpretation, Feynman[3] concludes:

“The theory of quantum electrodynamics describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it agrees fully with experiments. So I hope you can accept Nature as she is – absurd.”

Even worse, Mermin states that the results of those absurd interpretations are enjoyable. He[4] writes:

“The EPR experiment is as close to magic as any physical phenomenon I know of, and magic should be enjoyed.” (Whole section[5])

You may think the rejection of realism is also not true.  But here is another quote by Heisenberg.

“The next step was taken by Berkeley. If actually all our knowledge is derived from perception, there is no meaning in the statement that the things really exist; because if the perception is given it cannot possibly make any difference whether the things exist or do not exist. Therefore, to be perceived is identical with existence.”[6]

Clearly, the CI rejects the fundamental tenants of the science of philosophy.  We know that without causality the whole point of experimentation is meaningless – if anything can happen what is the point of an experiment.  The only logical result is that even the proponents of CI did not believe what they were saying.  However, the problems with the PPSI of QM keep compounding.  Below is a list of some of those problems.

1) Requires infinite velocities

2) Spin makes no sense for a point particles.[7]

3) Point Particles:  “Because point particles are assumed to occupy no space, they have to be accompanied by infinite charge density, infinite mass density, infinite energy density. Then these infinities get removed once more by something called “renormalization.” It’s all completely crazy.. But our physics community has been hammering away at it for decades. Einstein called it Ptolemaic epicycles all over again.”[8]

4) The Laser: “At the heart of laser action is perfect alignment of the crests and troughs of myriad waves of light. Their location and momentum must be theoretically knowable. But this violates the holiest canon of Copenhagen theory: Heisenberg Uncertainty. Bohr and Von Neumann proved to be true believers in Heisenberg’s rule. Both denied that the laser was possible.”[9]

 

Carver Mead, who studied under Feynman and worked closely with him had this to say about the CI.  “It is my firm belief that the last seven decades of the twentieth will be characterized in history as the dark ages of theoretical physics.”[10]

 


[1] Heisenberg, Werner, Physics and Philosophy, the Revolution in Modern Science, New York, Harper and Row, 1966, p. 88.

[2] Greenberger, Daniel, Discussion remarks at the Symposium on Fundamental Questions in Quantum Mechanics, Albany, SUNY, April 1984.

[3] Feynman, Richard P., The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1988, p. 10.

[4] Mermin, N. David, “Is the Moon There when Nobody Looks? Reality and the Quantum Theory”, in Physics Today, April 1985, p. 47.

 

[5] Marmet, Paul, Absurdities in Modern Physics: A Solution, http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/heisenberg/chapter1.html#1.6

[6] Heisenberg, Werner, Physics and Philosophy, the Revolution in Modern Science, New York, Harper and Row, 1966, p. 84.

[8] American Spectator, Sep/Oct2001, Vol. 34 Issue 7, p68, Carver Mead, The Spectator Interview, http://freespace.virgin.net/ch.thompson1/People/CarverMead.htm

[9] American Spectator, Sep/Oct2001, Vol. 34 Issue 7, p68, Carver Mead, The Spectator Interview, http://freespace.virgin.net/ch.thompson1/People/CarverMead.htm

[10] American Spectator, Sep/Oct2001, Vol. 34 Issue 7, p68, Carver Mead, The Spectator Interview, http://freespace.virgin.net/ch.thompson1/People/CarverMead.htm

October 30, 2014 Posted by | Pictures | , | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,943 other followers