Came across a recent video on Youtube of Tom's focusing on the doubleslit business.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hzSjnPikIU
These questions may have been raised and even answered before, but it often seems like a revisit deepens the answers.
Suppose the physist doing the double slit gets an important phone call after the photon has been fired but before it can reach the slits: He (admittedly, quickly) calls in an undergrad to observe what happens while his attention is distracted. But, alas! The undergrad recieves an important text and runs out in the hall and grabs the janitor (again, before the photon arrives at the slits), and retains him to make the observation, though the janitor remains a bit hazy on just what it is that he is to observe. Alas! He recalls now that he left the hot water running filling his mop bucket, and so rigs his cell phone to auto-direct its cam intake directly to his wife, the only person in his automatic dialer. His wife gets the image and understands it to mean that her husband has bought her a fantastic new refrigerator for their anniversary. Meanwhile, the photon at last passes the slits during the course of the above events. ...at what level of observation would a particulate result cease to manifest and remain only an interference pattern on the far screen? ....or is there a definite threshold...? If there IS a definite threshold (say, education majors' observations show only interference patterns) then, that would be a sort of systematic artefact absolute, the existence of which would support the TOEist view, it seems.
Another question: The fallen tree in the woods is discussed only in terms of human-observed collapse. But, certainly, reality is rendered for chimps as well. And, for birds. Bugs. Protozoa? How about the very elements of which it is ostensibly composed...? If a hydrogen atom 'senses' another atom, and distinguishes between another hydrogen, with which it bonds, and a neon, which gives it a cold shoulder, hasn't the other atom been renedered for the original hydrogen atom...? In short, wouldn't the whole of a virtual reality be rendered for the benefit of all its components?
Now, also is the idea mentioned that if in a modern day virtual reality game, say WoW, one day no one showed up.... why would the server render the scenery...? Makes sense at first think.... BUT.... suppose that all the humans had died, but before they did, of course, some techie hacker designed a bunch of bots to go to WoW daily to auto create items and generate capital within that world....? Presumably, activity would occur as always, and evolution would, however it was wired, proceed as before. Yet, if there were no 'consciousness' behind the avatars, it would be a 'godless' world indeed! Or.... would it...? If it was, how could any of its characters tell...? (...Um.... <looks at cieling while pulling at collar/> ... is it me or did the LCS suddenly stop rendering oxygen in this room....?)
Anyway, intersting interview. Donna, the flowers were a great touch: as musical as a still piece could ever be.