If accepted, this contains the idea (and evidence) that simply measuring a particle results in the observer becoming entangled with it. I've been pointing out for some time that so-called "spooky action at a distance" potentially melts away if the observer becomes entangled with the particle he measures, as follows:
- - One observer measures one of a pair of entangled particles, and becomes entangle with it (and, by implication, with the other particle)
- - At some other, indeterminate time and location, a second observer measures the other particle, becoming entangled with it (and, by implication, with the first particle and the first observer)
- - The two observers now compare their (entangled) results - which, being entangled, cannot help but correlate
Viewed in that way, no "probability wave" collapsed, nor did any signal travel at greater than the speed of light - let alone (as seen from some frames of reference) backwards in time. Entanglement forced, as seen by the entangled observers, two matching results.
Philosophers have nothing of use to say on matters of this sort; all they can do is play elaborate, aggressively argumentative word games, shifting their ground whenever they need to. Personally, I'm still waiting for a clear, SCIENTIFIC definition of "free will". Give me that, and I'll answer the question.**
It's a bit like the old saw about whether a tree falling in a forest makes a noise when there's no-one there to hear it. Define in scientific terms precisely what you mean by "a noise", and you'll find there's nothing to argue about. If a noise is a particular type of vibration in air or another medium, the answer is yes; if your definition's more complex, involving the detection and recognition of those vibrations in a human auditory system, the answer is no. Something inbetween will depend on your precise definition - but it will still be unambiguously answerable. The point is, definition is everything. Fail to define what you're arguing about - such as "free will" - and people will simply swap backwards and forwards all day between two or more conflicting definitions (without admitting or even necessarily recognising that the definitions are indeed conflicting), using each to argue that you're still wrong.
**For my money, by the way, the answer is almost certainly "no". The human brain is a hugely complex mechanism, true, but it's still just a mechanism, and I can't personally think of a definition of "free will" that isn't constrained by that. There's plenty of experimental evidence, for instance, to show that it reaches decisions, and that an observer with the right equipment can even detect those decisions, well before the individual becomes consciously aware of them, No - feed the identical information in under identical circumstances, get the same results from any randomisation mechanisms (such as quantum states) involved along the way (totally undo-able in reality, but we're talking theory here), and you'd get the exact same result out. So, even though I feel like I'm sitting here typing this because I decided "of my own free will" to do so, in fact it's simply a predictable consequence of my current mental state (combined with all my sensory input., etc., right now). Personally, I don't have a problem with that.
Myst was released 20 years ago, and the fact that Cyan feel the need to trade on the reputation of a property that old ought to be at least as much a warning sign as it is a cause for excitement. Yes, Cyan may technically be the company that produced it - but, whilst companies can theoretically live for ever, people move on. It's an absolute certainty that any new property would be produced by different people, under different management, with potentially different attitudes and values (and I've seen at first hand just HOW much of a difference 20 years of change in a company can make), using a different engine, to vastly different market expectations (Myst was good in its day - but if it launched today, I suspect it would barely make the discount shelves).
Good luck to them, by all means - new, quality products in the market are always welcome. And if they get to market, and it's any good, I may buy it. But this is no different to any other company coming along and saying "We plan to develop a new game, and it's going to be great, so give us the money to let us do it".
It's a worrying facet of law in the US, that it doesn't in general recognise territorial limits to its jurisdiction** (and that when the matter has been challenged in court, extraterritorial application of law has found to be perfectly legal). Whether a law is limited is down to a case-by-case examination. So - do anything, anywhere in the world, that's illegal in US criminal law, and the US will, in principle, charge you with it if it gets its hands on you - and will, and has on many occasions, do whatever it can "legally" get away with to get hold of "criminals" in order to bring them to trial (where "legally" is conveniently defined by the US, rather than some tin-pot, third-world country of no consequence, such as, say, China or Russia). Doesn't matter if what you did was perfectly legal in the country in question; US law doesn't care. Which comes down far too often of late to a US "might is right" approach - the US will do whatever it feels it can get away with. But then, no-one needed me to tell them that.
**Read, for example, the following Congressional research document: "Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law".
It is only correct in modern English because it has been abused and incorrectly used for so long that the improper use has become accepted.
Well, yes. So what? That 's how language changes and grows. By well-educated 17th century standards, your "correct" English is appallingly bad. Presumably you'll go change the whole way you speak, now that I've pointed that out?
Part of the court's job (here in the UK, at least, and undoubtedly therefore in NZ as well) is to decide what the legislators intended when they drew up the instrument in question - not just what the words can be argued to say. So here we have, on the one hand, a clear, unambiguous and unqualified statement that computer programs are NOT patentable, and on the other a very literal reading of part of the detailed wording that would mean that almost all programs WERE patentable (i.e. not excluded by virtue, of having already been previously implemented wholly in hardware**.
I know where my money is. This act bans software patents. Don't go betting the farm on any weasel arguments to the contrary.
**Whatever, indeed, THAT means in legal terms, given that a good argument could be made that even the cards controlling a Jacquard loom are "software".
I have to take issue with the article. It may make for a good Slashdot headline to say "Galileo wrong", but it's factually inaccurate. In the core of the argument, Galileo was 100% correct, and Colombe was 100% wrong.
Almost always, when trying to explain why something in the real world happens, there are multiple effects involved, and prising them apart is not always easy at first. When it comes to whether something something floats or not, that's overwhelmingly about density, not shape. Colombe's demonstration with his ebony sliver was, as the report effectively points out, actually a demonstration that there is another effect at the surface of water (surface tension) that is normally miniscule but which can become significant in extreme cases (when the mass per unit area on the surface is sufficiently low). Colombe's massive (if you'll pardon the unintended pun) error was to take one small experiment as evidence for all cases, and conclude not only that shape can have a role but that it is all that matters. Galileo, by contrast was correct in following Archimedes as the primary effect and saying that something else was going on in Colombe's demonstration. His auxiliary hypothesis may have been incorrect, but it wasn't a bad stab on the spur of the moment, and his gut feeling and faith in his understanding of the fundamentals was correct.