Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Locke versus the Higgs Boson


Like me I reckon Locke would see the Higgs field, an evenly spread (hence almost undetectable) field of particles that give mass to other particles, to be a version of the “ambient fluid” of the ether, an idea he demolishes brilliantly (see above).

The Standard Model is pretty much atomism plus correlationism. The fact that a single photon obeys the speed of light is, in my view, enough to punch a serious hole in it.  Because nonlocality must mean something real, something subquantum: otherwise there would be signals that could travel faster than light. And even a single photon doesn't do that (it has just been established).

If philosophers could only stop talking solely to one another and start having the courage to talk to scientists, not just to interpret them, but to change them.

I mean come on, some guy from Newton's time is kicking your ass!

(Come to think of it “Higgs Boson” sounds like a character in Defoe or Swift...)

2 comments:

Adam Roberts said...

Interesting. But I don't get this bit: "The Standard Model is pretty much atomism plus correlationism. The fact that a single photon obeys the speed of light is, in my view, enough to punch a serious hole in it."

Why? Surely the speed of light is a function of spacetime geometry, not materiality?

Kris Coffield said...

Higgs Boson as a character in a satire, perfect. I've been working on a short 'OOO' play, in which a woman believes she can relate to objects and, in the end, convinces her therapist that he can, too. Needed a name for the therapist. This is happening. Brilliant. You get the naming credit.