Everything is NOT interconnected

February 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment

Yes, you heard me right. But let me clarify. Either the statement “everything is interconnected” is true in a trivial way or it’s false. Sure everything is connected in some way or other. For instance, any two physical objects have at least one thing in common: they exist! Any two objects in our universe have another property in common: they’re both composed of matter that came from the big bang. This kind of connectedness is philosophically uninteresting, and I doubt that these are the kinds of things that people who say “everything is connected” care about.

A more interesting interpretation of the claim that “everything is connected” is that everything is causally connected, in the sense that everything has some causal influence on everything else. But that’s just plain false. Consider the light cone of any event in Minkowski spacetime: No signal can propagate faster than the speed of light, and so an event cannot influence any events which would require a faster-than-light signal to reach them. That means that many, many things that happen in the universe cannot causally affect each other.

Another bit of new age nonsense is that all matter in the universe is quantum entangled. No it isn’t. It takes a lot of experimental finagling to get even two particles into a sustained entangled state.

Is there any other interpretation that is both interesting and not false? None that I can see.

What if someone tells you that they’ve been in just the right mental state, during meditation, and it became obvious that everything is interconnected?

If I seemed to see, hear, etc… a giant plaid octopus dancing around in my bedroom, and if my own experience was the only evidence I had, or if the only way I could get other people to see it was to put them into some “special” mental state, I’d be quite inclined to doubt my perceptions!

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Entry filed under: Complaining.

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Pleven
February 2012
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