Friday, February 24, 2012

Quantum withdrawal

Ilya Prigogine has come up in some recent posts so I'm re-reading his (along with Isabelle Stengers) classic Order Out of Chaos (Bantam 1984). The following passage for me accurately describes the excess that is always withdrawn from any particular actualization, in Bryant's terms.
Thus there is an irreducible multiplicity of representations for a system.... Bohr always emphasized the novelty of the positive choice introduced through measurement.... [he] expressed this idea through the principle of complementarity.... No single theoretical language articulating the variables to which a well-defined value can be attributed can exhaust the physical content of a system..... The irreducible plurality of perspectives on the same reality expresses the impossibility of a divine point of view from which the whole of reality is visible.... Music, for example, has not been been exhausted by any of its realizations, by any style or composition, from Bach to Schonberg” (225).

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