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Observation is an abstraction of knowledge from the impact made by mappings F(Wi) of the world's states Wi on the states Wi themselves. For instance, when we watch a paly of billiards, the positions of the balls are registered by means of the light thrown on the balls and reflected into our eyes. We rightfully believe that the effect of the lighting on the movements of the balls is negligible, so we speak about the play in a complete abstraction from the way we know about it. This separation is not always possible. Quantum mechanics deals with actions so elementary that the means we use to know of them cannot be abstracted from. Our ususal 'classic' notions of space and time include the abstraction of observation. Indeed, the mental construction of a reference frame uses shiftes and waits which are assumend to have no effect on the studied processes; for quantum-mechanical processes this assumption is not valid, and the classic space-time frame of reference looses its legitimacy, becomes meaningless. One should not use in mental constructions and experiments those things known not to exist.

Copyright© 1991 Principia Cybernetica - Referencing this page

V. Turchin,

Sep 1991


Metasystem Transition Theory


Basic Concepts of Science

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