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Predicting the Future

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This is probably one of the scariest things I ever thought about.

 

Looking at Physics, there is a reaction to each action.

Theoretically this Reaction can be calculated before it happens.

 

Now, by precalculating every single reaction within the universe, we should be able to see what happens in the future, shouldn't we?

 

Now, hold on to that thought a second and combine it withMoore's law, Murphy's law and the singularity.

 

I'm scared. Please prove me wrong.

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by precalculating every single reaction within the universe, we should be able to see what happens in the future, shouldn't we?

 

Well, something like that, yes.

 

The only problem is that to do that you will need a computer bigger and faster than the entire Universe...

 

Regards

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Looking at Physics, there is a reaction to each action.

This is true, but the smaller things get, the harder it is to determine what the reaction would be.

Like, say action A happens. There's a 50 % chance that reaction B could happen, there's a 15 % chance that reaction C could happen, there's a 12 % chance that reaction D could happen, and so on.

 

In reality nothing in the universe has a certain position, a certain direction or a certain momentum which is why we can't predict everything if anything at all. We can only estimate.

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That is an interesting question - if you take two identical universes in identical initial conditions (down to each quantum number of each quantity of mass-energy) and let them run in parallel - will there be a divergence?

 

I suspect not.

 

However, in my earlier post I forgot to mention the second fundamental problem of predicting the future by calculation (thanks, Martin, for the reminder) - the impossibility of determining the initial state with 100% accuracy due to quantum uncertainty.

 

To summarise - you need a computer larger and faster than the Universe which future state you want to predict and you need to somehow determine precisely the full quantum state of that Universe in order to get the starting point for the calculations.

 

These two requirements seem very difficult to achieve.

 

Regards

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Wouldn't you also have to calculate in Planck time to even have a computer predict the present in real time?

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Yes, that's why we would need a *faster* (relative to our timescale, at least) universe to contain the predictor computer. :-)

 

Regards

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According to infinite divisibility in probability theory, anything can happen, literally.

Who knows if shit's gonna hit the fan anytime?

 

To find the chance that if something's going to happen, maybe we can try a q-computer... except it's still in development.

The advantage is it calculates simultaneously... the downside is it's difficult to build and maintain.

 

Predict the future or not, live everyday as your last.

 

EDIT: I just forgot. For a computer to calculate and predict the future, you need numbers and formulas. The probability theory WITH Permutations & Combinations theory is not enough. As everything is interdependent, even finding out the formula for choosing a urinal (as an example, look it up) can take some time, but it still ends up as a theory. A more practical example is if your house is going to be broken into tonight. The burglar(s) would need preparation, like getting tools and selecting targets. Then they have to travel to the target before acting. Now imagine what if they could not get the tools, or get into a road accident, or simply your house is not being targeted. All these things that you have to factor in!

 

By the way, is this really a civilization problem?

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That is an interesting question - if you take two identical universes in identical initial conditions (down to each quantum number of each quantity of mass-energy) and let them run in parallel - will there be a divergence?

 

That is the great question of quantum mechanics; is the universe deterministic? One of the more interesting things QM has to say about determinism is contained in the violations of Bell's Inequality. Essentially, we know experimentally that for some conditions, at least, the state of a system cannot be determined before its measurement, and hence there can be no knowledge of its state before the measurement, and no prediction of the outcome.

 

There's a really good article on Bells Inequality in an old issue of Physics Today.

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That is an interesting question - if you take two identical universes in identical initial conditions (down to each quantum number of each quantity of mass-energy) and let them run in parallel - will there be a divergence?

 

That is the great question of quantum mechanics; is the universe deterministic? One of the more interesting things QM has to say about determinism is contained in the violations of Bell's Inequality. Essentially, we know experimentally that for some conditions, at least, the state of a system cannot be determined before its measurement, and hence there can be no knowledge of its state before the measurement, and no prediction of the outcome.

 

There's a really good article on Bells Inequality in an old issue of Physics Today.

Short and sweet! :)

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Ah, all that quantum physics is making my brain's wave function collapse...

 

Bell's theorem does not falsify superdeterminism, though. And there are many interpretations of quantum theories which may mean that the apparent paradoxes can be resolved when a new, better, interpretation is found...

 

I personally like Bohm's interpretation because this may mean FTL travel and comms in not-so-distant future! :-)

 

Regards

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We will never know about paradoxes and much about q-physics until we try... I like to think that whatever we're doing now changes the future, but attempting to change the past may not cause a paradox or wipe out the present timeline, but simply creates a divergence.

 

Looking at Physics, there is a reaction to each action.

Theoretically this Reaction can be calculated before it happens.

I think we're still stuck trying to cram new discoveries to conform with classic physics, particularly Newtonian physics, conservation of energy and classical wave theory.

Anyway, q-physics is not that hard if we stop guiding ourselves with classic physics but start from scratch. I mean, for starters, the photoelectric effect need not follow classical wave...

 

Should we move this topic somewhere else? I don't think it belongs here.

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I like to think that whatever we're doing now changes the future, but attempting to change the past may not cause a paradox or wipe out the present timeline, but simply creates a divergence.

 

This was my preferred line of thinking too... Still is, but more like wishful line of thinking :-)

 

Regards

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If time works the way it should, you can go forward as much as you want, and never change anything, but even a nanosecond backwards and you go off on an alternate timeline. (my thinking)

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That actually fits with some of the current thinking: that you can't travel backwards within your own timeline, but you could theoretically jump into an alternate that already existed.

 

(It is my argument that that is what happened to Spock and Nero in the 2009 Star Trek movie)

 

But then you could almost certainly never jump both forward and back to your original timeline.

 

My luck, I'd jump back to 9th grade to ask Sarah out, but end up in an alternate timeline where H. Sapiens never evolved. OOK-OOK!

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That actually fits with some of the current thinking: that you can't travel backwards within your own timeline, but you could theoretically jump into an alternate that already existed.

 

(It is my argument that that is what happened to Spock and Nero in the 2009 Star Trek movie)

 

But then you could almost certainly never jump both forward and back to your original timeline.

 

My luck, I'd jump back to 9th grade to ask Sarah out, but end up in an alternate timeline where H. Sapiens never evolved. OOK-OOK!

 

I imagine more that you can travel backwards within your own timeline, but upon reaching your destination you'll automatically enter a divergent universe. Everything from that point will have it's set of differences from the universe you came from, and that is when it will be impossible to jump back forward to your previous timeline. Though that's suggesting a neurological jump where your brain from today and now jumps back to your brain from your destination timeline, rather than stepping into a device which brings your whole body to your target destination. Such a device would probably require the ability to either suppress or calculate and reinvent the universe to include any paradoxes that are created through its use.

 

Now I'm just thinking of the TARDIS so I'll stop there before we get into flat-out Dr. Who referencing. Wait...

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Damnit, I have a Civil Protection script that covers this EXACT scenario, it's just been shelved for a long time due to the time involved with animating.

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Damnit, I have a Civil Protection script that covers this EXACT scenario, it's just been shelved for a long time due to the time involved with animating.

 

Damn, maybe you should write some short stories or something to make up for all the things you don't have time to animate. ><

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