Over at the Optimizer’s place, the Optimizer compares libertarians and those who believe in the many worlds interpretation of quantum theory. (Key Ron Paul apologists in three, two, one…) An amusing comparison. So if many worlders are the libertarians of interpretations of quantum theory, what political parties do the other interpretations of quantum theory fall under?
- Copenhagen Interpretation: The standard interpretation before many-worlds became the standard. Key personality trait: worship of the founders of quantum theory. If Bohr said it, it must be true! Clearly these are the characteristics of the Reagan worshiping wing of the Republican party and of the Constitution Party. Questioner: “Did Reagan raise or lower taxes?” Copenhagenist: “Such questions are meaningless, just as you cannot ask where the position of a particle is before you measure it, you cannot ask whether Reagan raised or lowered taxes.”
- Shut-Up and Calculate Interpretation: An interpretation favored by those who do experiments which don’t actually reveal any quantum coherent effects. Key personality trait: unwillingness to dwell on calculations beyond the numbers returned. Philosophizing is not, not, not allowed! Clearly these are the characteristics of the lower tax fanatics of the Republican party. SUCIer: “If we lower taxes on corporations then the corporations will make more money!” Rest of society: “But what about the welfare of the environment, those who work for the corporations, and the moral results of totally free wheeling capitalism?” SUCIer: “Shutup and lower my taxes!”
- Bohmian Interpretation: An interpretation characterized by a strong desire to bring some form of determinism back to quantum theory. This is achieved by turning the wave function into a universal field which guides particles. Key personality trait: a strong sense of pastoralism, wishing for the past view of reality to make a return so that one doesn’t have to deal with all this quantum uncertainty. Also characterized by the belief in a mystical guiding wave function. Clearly these are the religious conservatives of the Republican party. Bohmian: “We are fallen from our past glories. If only you accept that God has a plan for you, then you too can be saved.” Questioner: “But does your view lead to any experimental differences?” Bohmian: “Well if you knew Gods plan, a.k.a. the positions of all the particles in the universe, then you would see that what I am saying is the one and true way!”
- Transactional Interpretation: An interpretation characterized by mucking around with causality. Transactions going back and forth in time somehow arrange for quantum theory to be true. Key personality trait: no respect for causality. Clearly these are Naderites. Transactioner: “If I vote for Nader, it won’t lead to Bush winning the election, because causality is an illusion” Questioner: “But if you vote for Nader instead of Gore in a close election, aren’t you aiding Bush?” Transactioner: “Bah! You silly Democrats and your respect for chronology. I can just go back in time and change my vote to Gore if Bush wins!”
- Relational Interpretation: An interpretation in which quantum theory is a theory about the relation between an observer and a system. Key personality trait: It’s all relative, dude! Quantum theory is only about you and your relation to the system you are studying. Clearly this is the postmodern wing of the Democratic party. Relationalist: “One must accept that all is according the prism through which you view the world. All moral systems are relative.” Questioner: “But what of the abuse of girls in polygamist sects in Teaxs?” Relationalist: “There you go bring in your own particular unrelational view of quantum morality!”
- Many-Minds Interpretation: An interpretation characterized by a belief that your mind can enact the collapse of the wave function. Key personality trait: minds are special and, since the mind is where we discuss and rationalize about quantum theory, this must also be the place where reality is created (obviously!) Clearly these are the characteristics of the new age faction of the Democratic party. Many-Minder: “Quantum theory tells us that we create our own reality. Thus if we just think positive thoughts, smoke a little dope, and use magnetism to cure cancer, all will be well!” Questioner: “But what if your mumbo jumbo belief in the power of creating your own reality isn’t true, and that actual hard work is needed to overcome the problems in the world?” Many-Minder: “See now your mind is creating negative energy which is collapsing our universe into one with bad things happening!”
- Consistent Histories Interpretation: An interpretation where the mysteries of quantum theory are magically brushed under the rug by focusing on consistent histories where traditional probability theory is upheld. Key personality trait: by the application of an authoritarian set of consistencies everything can be made nice and Kosher. This is clearly the Communist Party of the USA. Consistent historian: “Equality for all workers! Down with the proletariate! You are not special, and homogeneity must be enforced!” Questioner: “But what of these cases where quantum effects seem to obey quantum theory and not traditional local probabilistic realism?” Consistent historian: “These effects are not special, and must be wiped out! Down with you upper class quantum effects!”