It was in June of 1990, Florence, Italy, when I formulated my Quantum Future Project. The project, with details, can be found here. Later on, in 1999, I consulted with my usually well-informed, albeit sometimes enigmatic and careful-about-what-to-share-and-what-not, sources about the status of quantum theory. The Questions and Answers run as follows:
Q: (A) Now, there are claims, more or less, shared by many scientists, that quantum theory is necessary to model or understand consciousness. From what was said before, it seems that quantum theory is not necessary, that it is sufficient to have the right geometric model of extended gravity.

A: No, not extended, expanded.

Q: (A) Does that mean that quantum theory is irrelevant for understanding the modelling of consciousness?

A: Quantum first needs to be graduated from the realm of theory.

Q: (C) It means it needs to be proved, right?

A: No. Proving is a concept we should now be moving beyond.

Q: (C) When you say 'graduated from the realm of theory,' I assumed that meant that it needed to be proven. So how does it get graduated? What is the next realm after theory?

A: No, my dear, you are missing the point. The currently imposed protocol for "proving" theories is a bit passe, we think. Can you imagine trying to fly a plane if you must first prove that there is a sky?

Q: (C) So, don't try to prove quantum theory, just go ahead and use it, I guess.

A: Pretty close.

Q: (A) Are you laughing at quantum theory?

A: No. We are laughing at 3rd density scientific protocol!
"Just go ahead and use it?" Easy to say, but use in which way? My original idea behind the Quantum Future Project was to understand the nature of Free Will, to construct a 'Free Will Detector and Amplifier'. Later on I understood that, perhaps, no one would buy such a device. Most people are probably better off giving up their free will, leaving decisions to others and to the wind. (At least they must think so since they do it all the time.)

Yet there are other possible uses of quantum theory; some of which I was not aware of until recently when I stumbled upon the publications of Louisiana State University theoretical physicist Jonathan P. Dowling. What I read is important, which is why I want to share the part that concerns our Quantum Future - yours, mine and everyone else's.

First of all, concerning the hero of this article. Sure, there is a page on Wikipedia, but this page does not tell us the whole story.

More can be deduced from the slides of Dowling's presentation at the 'Mad Scientist Conference' in Portsmouth, Virginia in 2008.

The term 'mad scientist' needs, perhaps, some explanation. Let me quote from Dowling's book, Schrödinger's Killer App: Race to Build the World's First Quantum Computer:
Dowling's book

J. P. Dowling: Schrödinger's Killer App: Race to Build the World's First Quantum Computer
"Our job, as mad scientists, was to cook up ways to destroy the world, as good mad scientists are wont to do."
So, what kind of 'Quantum Future' is awaiting us - from the perspective of a 'mad scientist'? In fact there are two perspectives: short time scale and the long one. Short time scale is scary, but just moderately mad. (The images below are from Dowling's presentation):
  1. Quantum technology enhanced robots
  2. Image
    © J. P. Dowling
    Quantum Battle
  3. Quantum computers, used at first mainly for cryptography and large data base handling
    Dowling Quantum Information Processing
    © J. P. Dowling
    Quantum Information Processing
  4. Quantum sensors
    Dowling Quantum sensors
    © J. P. Dowling
    Quantum sensors
  5. Quantum snooping that can not be detected
    Dowling - Quantum intearction-free imaging
    © J. P. Dowling
    Quantum interaction-free imaging
But then we also have the long time scale perspective, where it is not clear now how long it is. 20 years? 50 years? Dowling writes about it in his book: The future belongs to Quantum Artificial Intelligence (AI). Let me quote just a few main points:
The classical AI becomes smarter and smarter at an exponential rate and very quickly we humans, as dumb as bricks, become disposable.

Perhaps the quantum AI will decide if digital and meat computers are a threat and kill us all off or enslave us, leaving only the quantum AI left to rule the world.

In the meantime there will be hybrids: partly biological, partly nano- and quantum-intelligent beings.
Frankly speaking, it is not clear to me why quantum intelligent beings, having at their disposal super-exponential infinity of dimensions of their Hilbert spaces would at all bother with our poor three-dimensional space, filled with clutter-matter, that they even do not know what it is, because it is not in their vocabulary. But, even with these little doubts, the future, anyway, looks scary.

Are there any alternatives to these highly probable scenarios?

Stanislav Lem, Polish science fiction author, wrote in his book Summa Technologiae:
Someone who is capable of switching stars on and off will also be capable of annihilating whole inhabited globes, transforming himself in this way from an astrotechnician to a starbuster - and thus a criminal on a large cosmic scale. If the former is possible (no matter how improbable it seems and how little chance it has of coming about), so is the latter.

Such improbability, I should explain, does not derive from my belief in the necessary triumph of Ormuzd over Ahriman. I do not trust any promises, nor do I believe in any assurances built on so-called humanism. The only way to deal with technology is with another technology. Man knows more about his dangerous tendencies than he did a hundred years ago, and in the next hundred years, his knowledge will be even more advanced. Then he will make use of it.
I am not that optimistic, but the remark that the only way to deal with technology is with another technology seems to me to be rational. So can we see some other technologies that will beat the scary quantum ones? It seems that Dowling himself senses such a possibility, and he is discussing it, even though only superficially on his 'Quantum Pundit' blog. He writes:
What this tension between non-relativistic quantum theory and non-quantum relativity theory suggests to me is that there is some Ur-theory, likely a phenomenological one, which unifies non-relativistic quantum theory and non-quantum relativity theory.
...
Hence I suggest that there is some intermediate unified theory between quantum gravity and what we have now and that this theory in certain limits produces non-relativistic quantum theory and non-quantum relativity theory.
The idea is not new. It probably started with the 1966 paper [1] by Hungarian physicist F. Karolyhazy:
Image

Karolyhazy: Gravitation and Quantum Mechanics of Macroscopic Objects
Then there were other Hungarian physicists: B. Lukacs and L. Diosi. Finally Roger Penrose joined the train and added his ideas of noncomputability and consciousness. According to Dowling, (a physicist), Roger Penrose (a mathematician) does not really understand how quantum mechanics works. And the same applies to Henry Stapp, who, despite being a physicist, wants to add consciousness and ESP to the scheme - subjects that are beyond our technological control. Anyway, something needs to be done about relativity and gravitation, something needs to be cooked up - sooner rather than later, even if only at a phenomenological level. The problem is certainly not that of the first priority - unless 'bad guys' (we don't mention UFO's and other nonsense here - that would require a different audience, and other clearances) manage to do something usable with it, before us.

So, we are back to gravitation, and I am back to my Quantum Future Project that started with the statement: "For more than fifty years no satisfactory unification of quantum theory with relativity theory (including general relativistic theory of gravitation) has been constructed."

Stay tuned ...

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