There's another big story out there, big because it has big implications, and a few of them concern today's high octane speculation. The story was spotted and shared by M.W. and E.G., to whom a big thank you!
Most readers here have heard of quantum entanglement, that mysterious property whereby the information properties of two entangled particles interact immediately, regardless of distance between them; if one alters the properties of information on one such particle, the alteration transmits immediately to the other.
Well, now they managed to do it on entangled particles on two separate computer chips:
Today I'm going to jump right to the implications, and in so jumping, also leap to the end of the twig of high octane speculations to some more implications. Note that if one can entangle photons on two separate silicon chips, one is entangling, at least at that level, two very distinct systems. Or to put that point differently, the possibility arises that one might be able to extend this entanglement to whole batches of photons, and therefore ultimately be able to extend that entanglement to the systems themselves at the macro level.
And this is where my high octane speculation of the day comes in, for there is no inherent physical reason that this entanglement need be limited to non-living systems; it could equally apply to biological systems, and more specifically, to the photons firing in the neurons and synapses of an individual brain. If that is possible, then one can look for and expect entanglement experiments to be performed on, say, laboratory mice or rats. Say two "entangled rats" were put into mazes, and one of the rats learned how to negotiate the maze quickly. One could expect that the other rat without having run the maze, will be able to do so instantly. Thus, one might have an entanglement demonstration of Dr. Rupert Sheldrake's hypothesized 'morphogenetic field" to account for how species, isolated physically, are able to transmit information among the species. It would be a way, so to speak, to use the phenomenon of entanglement to account for such phenomena as telepathy, and so on.
And there's the rub. For the sake of argument and speculation, suppose for a moment that technicians are able to entangle whole networks of computers, and couple that with the desires of some transhumanists to merge man and computer: via entanglement, one would have a collective mind-manipulation technology that would make available mind manipulation technologies pale by comparison. But one can go further: I've blogged recently about the possibility of the types of miscegenation that now seems to be all the fad among genetic engineers, creating chimerical creatures, mice with human brain cells, pigs being used to grow human organs, or the ultimate: human cloning. In the process of doing such things, could we be playing with far more than genetic technology? Could we be playing with fundamental properties of entanglement and consciousness itself in ways we, with our current physics knowledge, do not fully understand? Could we be playing dangerously, and without full understanding, of Sheldrake's morphogenetic field?
I don't know about you, but everything in my intuition says yes, and that we need to slow down dramatically, and be very certain of all the ramifications and implications that entanglement, especially if true at a macro level, entails.
See you on the flip side...