Physicists have found new evidence that supports the theory of quantum Darwinism, the idea that the transition from the quantum to the classical world occurs due to a quantum form of natural selection.
[ ]…The basis of almost any theoretical quantum-to-classical transition lies in the concept of decoherence. In the quantum world, many possible quantum states “collapse” into a single state due to interactions with the environment. To quantum Darwinists, decoherence is a selection process, and the final, stable state is called a “pointer state.” Although pointer states are quantum states, they are “fit enough” to be transmitted through the environment without collapsing and can then make copies of themselves that can be observed on the macroscopic scale. Although everything in our world is quantum at its core, our classical view of the universe is ultimately determined by these pointer states.
I have more training in biology and chemistry than physics so I can relate to quantum Darwinism from those fields, especially chemistry. Chemist know that bonding between atoms and molecules requires favorable bonding energy. In a sense the products produced from those bonds are the ones that are quantumly fit to survive. Knowing this has worked out well for everyone that has ever benefited from any medication. Those bonds or reactions are predictable. That predictability is what separates synthesis from magic, though the results might appear the same. Thou push comes to shove chemists know the mechanism involved, but are not sure why these rules always apply down to the quantum level. Reactions are supposed to be energetically favorable, yet sometimes a catalyst is necessary and energy can be lost in reactions – bond dissociation. If this is happening at the quantum level – a result of survival from the best bond – than such survival requirements might cascade up the complexity ladder – macromolecules to peptides to polypeptides to nucleic acids to cells.
Three related posts. The Tea Party Jacobins by Mark Lilla
A new strain of populism is metastasizing before our eyes, nourished by the same libertarian impulses that have unsettled American society for half a century now. Anarchistic like the Sixties, selfish like the Eighties, contradicting neither, it is estranged, aimless, and as juvenile as our new century. It appeals to petulant individuals convinced that they can do everything themselves if they are only left alone, and that others are conspiring to keep them from doing just that. This is the one threat that will bring Americans into the streets.
Welcome to the politics of the libertarian mob.
Lilla is a good writer and the full article has a rift to it. Maybe because he wanted to keep to the rhythm of his piece he scarified some details. I encounter a certain amount of the libertarian mob attitude everyday on a work level – they’ve got it all under control, they’re not babies, they already know – being open to new information not required. They’re frequently on Medicare or Social Security. Or they rely on those programs to help support family. It’s amazing how many are on civil service pensions or collect veterans benefits or work for companies that rely on government contracts. There is a lack of humility and the companion lack of acknowledgment appears rampant among the political practitioners of the leave me alone mentality. On a personal level I understand. The loner anti-hero permeates American culture – the lone detective, the lone sheriff, the misunderstood comic superhero. All of which have made our fantasy lives a little richer, but not without a price. Flesh and blood real life dictates having some common ground on the common good. Our Founding fathers understood that – What’s with conservatives’ fetish for the Founding Fathers?
It’s pretty revealing that, when casting about for a plan to oppose Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, the Republican National Committee decided to accuse her of not loving the Constitution enough. The item that the RNC thought was so dynamite? Kagan had quoted her mentor, Justice Thurgood Marshall, on the subject of the “defective” Constitution — that is, the document that allowed slavery, denied women the vote, etc.
Alex Pareene already took the RNC to the woodshed yesterday over this ridiculous argument. (Even in backtracking, the RNC seemed to dismiss, or not know about, Marshall’s crucial role in overturning segregation, as lawyer for the NAACP.)
The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. The next thing they did was start adding amendments. Even the 13th Amendment abolition of slavery did not completely kick in until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Revising and twisting history is not a Conservative or libertarian hobby. It is so devout and pernicious it is like a pre-Enlightenment dogma. They double down on the dogma when they play this game where conservatives pretend to offer objective studies of themselves – I’d Hear the Talking Through the Wall
The burgeoning field of Wingnut Studies – — the scientific classification and delineation, and with any luck reverse exhumation, of Homo Wingnuticus — continues to burgeon, as a field. In a notable recent development John Quiggin has proposed replacing the term “epistemic closure” with “agnatology,” meaning, the “study of the manufacture of ignorance,” which basically means “figuring out just what the hell these fuzzy little conservative freaks keep yammering on about,” but sounds better.
More at the link. It’s difficult to take seriously something that refuses to honestly define itself. Another blogger defined the coded language as a sort of dog whistle – all the convoluted, contradictory and hypocritical nonsense registers on a level that only members of the order can hear.