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If TMA falls in the forest
Imagine for a moment that I have two locations, A and B. An electron is fired from A in the direction of B, in conditions such that its path is not within the cause and effect cone of any other particle in the universe. No object or force moving even at the speed of light can reach this path, since time dilation won't affect the electron. Therefore, the electron's probability of reaching B is one, since nothing can act upon it.

So provided that that is indeed the case, we have that it is theoretically possible for something to be a certainty.

So, a tree certainly falls in the forest, and there's nobody around to hear it....

I mean the first thing that crosses my mind is "a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there.. did it really fall?", which is why I've added the certainty to it. Let's assume that somebody set up the experiment such that the tree could not help but fall. So, does it make a sound?

We can put semantics aside too - let's say that a vibration in the air that would otherwise be a noise if an observer was present is still a noise. And such a disturbance in the air is a consequence of physics, so it will occur if the tree falls. And since we've shown the potential for a probability of one to exist, let's assume that this applies to the process that felled the tree.

But the question is, when does it make the noise? To my mind, the only things you can know have happened without observation are those things that you could predict in advance with certainty. Could we predict that the tree would make the noise? Suddenly, the scenario is made complicated by all these little causes and effects..

But what we do know is that the tree definitely fell. If we're very good, we can even know exactly at what time it was due to occur, with absolute certainty. But without observing it, how can we know that it did?

Imagine that, as with the cat, this tree falls within a container that is sealed to cause and effect. When the barrier is put up, time effectively stops within the conainer - with no means of observing time passing, it is not happening. After all, why does it need to? The only thing that is necessary is that, ideally, the two universes should be in sync when the container is opened. Though again, I'm not sure if there's a reason why they'd have to be.. In any case, it seems easier (to me) to suspend time while the container is sealed..

The second that cause and effect can once again occur between the two universes, time unfolds within that universe in accordance with the observed effects. Taking space/time to be a simple four-dimensional jigsaw, with every piece of information that escapes from the container, more of the jigsaw gets filled in.

I'm going to leave that idea there, and think about it a bit more, but a couple more ideas that I want to give thought to..

In such a scenario, if there are two distinct causes which can lead to the same effect, can it ever be determined which of the two occurred? Bear in mind, cause and effect works backwards too. We find humpty dumpty dead - did he fall, was he pushed, or did he jump? Forward cause and effect can eliminate the possibility of being pushed - we can conclude from the current state of all atoms in the universe that there is no scenario in which he was pushed that could lead to the current situation.

But imagine that humpty dumpty had been depressed, and clumsy.. Imagine that he was on the wall, ready to jump. Further imagine that as he went to do so, he changed his mind, but it was too late. Is it theoretically possible for everything to subsequently end up in exactly the same state, given two different circumstances? If so, can we extrapolate from known data from the past, i.e. work with what we have now, back to a point before he fell, and then forward to the point where he did?

If we cannot determine which happened, did either of them truly happen?

And the other thing I wondered is this.. if tma killed himself, in Sheffield, how fast could that information travel to me? And what if it depended on the time of day? Let's imagine he does away with himelf quietly, and unnoticed (as it surely would be). Small disturbances in the air, and the behaviour of particles interacting with his living / dead body would be the only indicators. Surely the ripple effect would take some time to reach me here in Cardiff.

But, would it happen slower at night, where it's dark and there is less information travelling back and forth (less light bouncing around, etc.)? Or would it be slower in the daytime, when there's far more interference? Picture it as a venn diagram. Two overlapping circles, one in which he's dead, one in which he's alive, with all the universe inside. Most of the universe falls within the middle, where either could be true. It's only when something from one or the other happens that it can be decided whether he is alive or not.

So surely in the daylight, with all that interference and noise, the uniquely-dead and uniquely-alive areas are diminished. But the whole diagram is bigger, because there is more information around. Hmm...

And finally there's this.. if I'm unable to consciously or unconsciously perceive the effects that confirm it one way or the other, have they been observed? I mean, if I haven't perceived them, then they might yet not have happened.. But anyway, it's time to go home now, so I'll work it out another time..

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You do know that you've just written the biggest pile of bollocks ever, right?

You're just saying that because I killed you off :oP

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