Can Time Unfold in the Wrong Direction?

…s is not a fact that all observers agree about. According to one common definition of objectivity, a claim is objectively true or false if and only if all observers agree about that claim. But in our example, the claim, ‘time unfolds from Harold’s crowning towards Harold’s death’ can only be valuated according to the subjective judgement of one observer. Other observers, such as the accelerating astronaut, are equally correct to valuate the claim…

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Bohmian Indeterminism

…ons of a particle on a string of finite length. Let be the set of differentiable square integrable functions . And let , the Hamiltonian for a particle free of any forces or interactions, and where . As a dirt-simple example of indeterminism, choose the initial condition , and given by,     This wavefunction is square integrable and differentiable. (Square-integrability follows from the fact that , and differentiability is obvious.) But let’s calc…

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Get Started Handling Academic Citations Like a Pro

…Using a Mac to do your academic work? Here’s a brief tutorial on how to optimize your day-to-day dealings with academic citations, by integrating Bibdesk, Textmate, Quicksilver and Scholar. Below, you’ll find instructions on how to set up all these neat little tricks. Quicksilver Web Search. After you download Quicksilver (free) and open the preferences window, go to Plug-ins > All Plug-ins, and check the box next to “Web Search Module.” Restart Q…

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LHC Black Holes: Why I’m Not Holding My Breath

The attention that these two nut-jobs are receiving is a bit discouraging. Some people do hope to see mini-black-holes at CERN, it’s true. Some calculate that we will see thousands. But: (1) if you have any empiricist scruples, then you won’t believe in these mini-black-holes at CERN; alternatively, (2) if you have no such empiricist scruples, then you’ll agree that all mini-black-holes at CERN are short-lived and harmless. Here’s why: Let’s begi…

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Group Structural Realism (Part 2)

…gacy. Yuval Ne’eman and Shlomo Sternberg have recorded an old particle physicist’s adage: Ever since the fundamental paper of Wigner on the irreducible representations of the Poincaré group, it has been a (perhaps implicit) definition in physics that an elementary particle ‘is’ an irreducible representation of the group, G, of ‘symmetries of nature’. (Ne’eman and Sternberg 1991, 327.) This idea captures much of the physical basis of GSR. Let’s dis…

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