Subject: Think globally, act locally
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 16:47:38 +0300
From: Dimi Chakalov <>
To: Todd Brun <>
BCC: [snip]

Dear Todd:

Reading your recent "Computers with closed timelike curves can solve hard problems", gr-qc/0209061 [Ref. 1], is a real pleasure. You've speculated extensively on the staggering, although logically consistent [Ref. 2], possibility for closed timelike curves a la "Back from the Future".

Perhaps you may wish to know that such "weird" ideas have been debated many years ago, ensuing from the feedforward theory by Donald M. MacKay, presented in 1964 and published in 1966 [Ref. 3], Ulric Neisser's cognitive cycle [Ref. 4], and Benjamin Libet's idea of subjective referral "backwards" in time [Ref. 5]. It seems to me that the information does not "suddenly appear out of nowhere", as you put it [Ref. 1], but comes from the realm of potentialities generated with/by the human brain. If so, all you need is a brain.

Surely we have the *feeling* of our potential future and hence can anticipate possible outcomes from our possible actions -- think globally, act locally. This is the nature of consciousness,

Dead matter -- quantum computers included -- cannot anticipate its potential states and make intelligent choices. Living matter can, but how about quantum matter? For example, an electron endowed with anticipation would re-write its Schrödinger equation for each and every "point" from its trajectory, to adjust it w.r.t. 'everything else in the universe',

On the other hand, 'everything else in the universe' would "subsequently take into account" what the electron is thinking globally about it, and will adjust locally its point-like state w.r.t. the electron. To describe such "bi-directional" talk with math, however, is an outstanding task. John Wheeler, for example, had offered just some words about this bi-directional "talk" facilitated by spacetime geometry,

I'm wondering if you or some colleague of yours have done better. Please see my speculations on gravity control,

Also, the second beta version of my CD ROM "Physics of Human Intention" is available for review. Now it works flawlessly under Windows 98/NT4/2000/XP, and can be easily cloned. If you or some of your colleagues in CC: and BCC: lists agree for a brief and informal review, please know that I will be happy to mail the disk ASAP. I hope to discuss these issues at a seminar at Imperial College at the end of November. The title of my talk (confirmed last week during my stay in London) is "About points, if any". I need to be *very* well prepared in November, by taking into account all critical comments and suggestions.

I sent the first beta version of the disk to Prof. Sarben Sarkar, King's College, on September 10th from London, but haven't heard from him,

I do hope to hear from you and your colleagues.

For more information, please do to

Best regards,

Dead matter makes quantum jumps; the living-and-quantum matter is smarter.


[Ref. 1] Todd A. Brun. Computers with closed timelike curves can solve hard problems. Wed, 18 Sep 2002 18:52:39 GMT,

"As long as one is speculating, one might as well speculate wildly; so let us consider computers with access to closed timelike curves (CTCs), which are thereby able to send information (such as the results of calculations) into their own past light cones [2, 3].

"I argue that such computers would be able to solve computationally difficult problems with amazing (indeed, almost magical) effciency. In honor of Shor, I consider an algorithm for factoring large numbers; but it is easy to see that a very large class of computationally difficult problems, including NP-complete and PSPACE-complete problems, can be solved by the same trick.

"Of course, the most likely outcome of including quantum effects is that CTCs will no longer exist at all. This is the so-called "Chronology Protection Conjecture" of Steven Hawking, which postulates that the build-up of quantum fluctuations around a CTC will destabilize the spacetime and destroy the time machine [13]. There is some evidence to support this conjecture, though there is (as yet) no proof.

"It is very odd for information to suddenly appear out of nowhere, but in a universe with closed timelike curves such events can be expected to occur. (...) This is a strange, though logically consistent, conclusion. But perhaps the best conclusion to draw is that it makes the existence of closed timelike curves even more unlikely."

[Ref. 2] Matt Visser. The quantum physics of chronology protection.

[Ref. 3] D.M. MacKay (1966). Cerebral organization and the conscious control of action. In: Brain and Conscious Experience. Ed. by Sir John C. Eccles. New York: Springer, pp. 422-445.

[Ref. 4] U. Neisser (1976). Cognition and Reality. Principles and Implications of Cognitive Psychology. San Francisco: Freeman, Fig. 2 and Chs. 2 and 4.

[Ref. 5] B. Libet, E.W. Wright, B. Feinstein, D.K. Pearl. Brain 102, 193 (1979).

"For example, it could be argued that during the recall process, cerebral mechanisms might 'read back' via some memory device to the primary evoked response and now construe the timing of the experience to have occurred earlier than it in fact did occur." (p. 220)