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I specialize in logic and making sense of stuff. I don't want to believe in retrocausality because the universe I'm good at is more logical, and I would be lost if the world wasn't like that.
If enough people like me wanted to make retrocausality not exist, would we be able to change the past via the future as you suggest, and make retrocausality not true?


I predict that Scott Adams will make more scientifically vacuous claims followed by blowing his own trumpet.


I don't know, Scott. After skimming all your crazy spam and blogs, and such, I am beginning to question your efficiency skills…


Like you, Scott, I have a BS detector.

Like you, mine also goes off when I hear about how scientists claim to be able to trace all 500,000 years of human evolution from a handful of humanoid fossils found in a few points in the world, that date from random times. And it rings REALLY loud when a scientist claims that HIS new fossil shows the important link between X and Y - talk about luck!

It does not go off when you claim there is no free will. But if there is no free will, then many other things disappear too:
- Intelligence (all these strokes of genius of yours are pre-programmed responses to the random environment you exist in - they cannot be attributed to YOU);
- Love (just a pre-programmed biological reaction; you only think you love your wife.)
- Beauty (the colors are what they are; and your appreciation of them is just a matter of your upbringing.)
and so on.

It may be an illusion, but it's one I'd rather believe in than not.


Feinman idea that you cannot distinguish between an electro moving forward in time and a positron moving backwards in time has the interesting consequence that there may only be ONE electron in the entire universe, ping-pong-ing back and forth between the beginning and the end of the universe.

The BS detector is silent again. That doesn't prove its true, only that it isn't patently false.


Regarding the twinning photon experiment, however, the BS detector buzzes again. The phase that triggers it is "single photon". There's just something about the idea of an "elementary particle" being split that doesn't ring true.
Electrical charge is quantized, and is unsplitable. And while I understand how an electron in a particular atom will decay from an excited state to a lower state and releasing light of a single frequency and discrete energy, this just doesn't ring as a "single" photon, since the frequency and energy of this photon is different from the frequency and energy of a photon release by a different excited state, or a different atom.


Spooky/nerdily esoteric; potato/unwashed edible tuber

Theo Bee

Toying with the concept we are busy designing our own universe is fun.
It of course requires us to have a modicum of free will, individually or collectively.

It is clear how it operates, say P&F discover cold fusion, it promptly gets confirmed by some labs and denied by some others, clearly at that point it is undecided if it is going to be true.

So a contest ensues if this can be fitted into what our universe (through us) accepts as possible and/or desirable.

The tug of war between the universe and us on that still continues.

BTW, I do hope you had a look into the wave theory of our universe, see for example
It makes some kind of strange sense, the extension that there are incoming waves from external to our universe, implying what we perceive as a closed universe is an artefact is even more mind boggling.

Its all done with mirrors aquires a new meaning


Speaking as one who teaches Physics for a living, I can only say that you've been in California way, way too long. By the way, thanks for being infinitely amusing; smiles beat the heck out of Prozac.


So the root of this whole theory is,
"What comes around goes around."?!?

le Big Mac

Hi Scott and his fans,
I was imagining your Visualization theory from the Dilbert Future got justified by this Secret craze - it just needed the right warm/fuzzy ungeeky marketing scheme to make it palatable to Red America (remember when Red meant Anti-American? WTF?). It hasn't worked for me yet, and believe me I try but it costs nothing to put in the effort, right?
I still think the Moist Robot theory is crap though. Apologies.


Hmm. Boring and arrogant. Not a good combination. (But at least you'll get lots of comments!)

D. Mented

"...and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space because there's bugger-all down here on earth!"
(Star-Stepper's waltz, Monty Python's "Meaning of Life")
...Seemed appropriate.
D. Mented


Hi Nostradamus,

I am confused, which is rather easy, perhaps you would care to enlighten me.

I believe in free will, but I believe decisions are influenced by biology, emotions and a persons past. If retrocausality is proven, it appears to me that this means a persons future will influence his decisions. Which is rather cool, thanks for posting the article.

Bill Almighty

HA! You have it all wrong again.. You didn't predict any of this.. You caused it!


I feel compelled to point out that you also predicted in Dilbert Future that cable provided internet was doomed. Lets take a look at how that turned out shall we? Though I suppose that in your defense you didn't really have a choice. After all... you don't have free will!

Scruffy Dan

I don't recommend getting your scientific facts/theories from the mainstream media. It has a poor track record, and frequently exaggerates the findings, or simply gets it flat out wrong. This probably happens even more so when the subject matter is political (probably not an issue here) or when the subject matter is very complex and difficult for the average joe to understand (which this theory probably is).


Scott, how does retrocausality disprove free will? Even assuming that someone could send a signal to the past, how would that eliminate free will?

People are given lots of good reasons not to do stupid things and yet still do. I bet a lot of them would still do really stupid things even if they got a note from the future telling them not to.


It is just fun to read all this comments.


Prediction: Scott Adams will someday travel through time, thus retro-causing the creation of mankind. He will become known simply as "Adam" and say that God created him because that's the only thing the evolving monkeys can understand.


Ben, that's not the point of the blog. If you want funny, there are plenty of places for that, but the Dilbert Blog is about more then that. Also, it's Serious Sunday.


For anyone who thinks this phenomenon may exist, and may have practical application in the real world, you might want to read the scarily prescient Isaac Asimov's pseudo-articles on Re-Sublimated Thiotimoline (written as gags when he was working on his PhD thesis in Biochemistry). The first appeared in 1948!

Take that, Scott.


I've often wondered how you reconcile no free will with the ability to affect the future through affirmations. I don't have a firm point of view on either, but "I was always going to try to change the way the universe is because that's how the universe made me" seems a little hard to support.


the topic was too murky for me.

"To Jim:

I was wondering yesterday, how long it would take some poor desperate soul to jump up and yell,"WMD! WMD!". Not long at all, as it turns out...Pitiful!

CFS '93

Posted by: car free since '93 | March 18, 2007 at 10:00 AM"

See, even you admit I am right.


yeah seriously scott, i believe you have reached the tipping point here. dilbert is funny. you are not. no-one comes here for rants on how we don't have free will an humans are god. i am a liberal atheist, but seriously, just make a few jokes and dance monkey dance!

Andrew P

Imagine a 2-dimensional world. How would a sphere look to them? Since they have no concept of the third dimension, the only way they could envision such a thing would be to integrate it over "time", as a circle that seems to grow and then shrink.

Here's the trick, though: there's no way they can tell if it's a 3D sphere, a 4D hypersphere, or anything above that.

So by showing that we can effect things backwards through time, you merely demonstrate that the "time" dimension, if such a thing exists is higher than the currently-accepted number 4. However, it does NOT disprove the fact that time exists at all. What it DOES suggest is that the fourth dimension (time) is curved around a fifth dimension in the same way that the 2-dimensional surface of the earth is curved around the actual 3-dimensional ball in space. Therefore, if you go far enough into time, you'll loop around and be in the past.

This is all fairly well-known research. It seems like you're just subconsciouly absorbing it and then "predicting" press releases.

I don't know how that relates to free will, but it sounds like it should.


There is absolutely no way to prove retrocausality. If you used retrocausality to make yourself not say what you just said to your boss, then that would not be proving retrocausality because you wouldn't remember saying that thing to your boss in the first place because it never happened. So if in fact it does work and will take place, we can never prove that it does because the thing you change will just never have happened.

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