Coffin, Cage or Cocoon?

Imagine being put in a box. Is it a small prison cell? Is it so small that you cannot move, a torture technique out of the middle ages or some 9/11 black site of torture? Imagine dying, and being reborn in the same box. Imagine a life that is a dying and an awakening and a dying again, a Groundhog Day of suffering.

What would freedom mean, in this circumstance? Would release from the cycle, physical death constitute freedom? Would being released from the box by outside forces, returning to the life we had before the box be freedom? Or is freedom taking the experience of the box and using it for transformation, to become something more than what we were before?

Coffin, cage or cocoon. Choose one.

Frauchiger-Renner Paradox Clarifies Where Our Views of Reality Go Wrong

“The experiment, designed by Daniela Frauchiger and Renato Renner, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, involves a set of assumptions that on the face of it seem entirely reasonable. But the experiment leads to contradictions, suggesting that at least one of the assumptions is wrong. The choice of which assumption to give up has implications for our understanding of the quantum world and points to the possibility that quantum mechanics is not a universal theory, and so cannot be applied to complex systems such as humans.”

—Anil Ananthaswamy, “Frauchiger-Renner Paradox Clarifies Where Our Views of Reality Go Wrong.” Quanta Magazine. December 3, 2018.

Probably the clearest explainer you’ll find. The assumptions are that: quantum theory is universal, quantum theory is consistent, and opposite facts cannot both be true. This thought experiment suggests that at least one is false, and depending on which one either leads to positions that quantum theory collapses into classical physics at scale, observer perspective changes results, or the many worlds hypothesis.