Can the future influence the past? The scientific case for quantum retrocausality

Quantum physics gets real weird real fast, and one idea gaining more currency of late is the concept of quantum retrocausality, where a decision made in our experience of the present may influence what we experience as the past.

These aren't a bunch of Time Cube type cranks, either. From a helpful overview by Lisa Zyga:

First, to clarify what retrocausality is and isn't: It does not mean that signals can be communicated from the future to the past—such signaling would be forbidden even in a retrocausal theory due to thermodynamic reasons. Instead, retrocausality means that, when an experimenter chooses the measurement setting with which to measure a particle, that decision can influence the properties of that particle (or another particle) in the past, even before the experimenter made their choice. In other words, a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.

Huw Price has done some great introductory lectures like this on the concept:

WTF is Quantum Retrocausality? (YouTube / Seeker) Read the rest

Spacefaring and contractual obligations: who's with me?

I keep having to sign contracts where I waive all rights "throughout the universe." Lately, I've been crossing out "universe" and writing in "solar system." Read the rest

Insurer: music-festival tragedy caused by illegal downloading

Ernesto sez, "In August, after an unexpected summer storm, 4 people died when one of the festival tents at pukkelpop collapsed, leaving 10s of other people injured. The festival's insurance companies now claim this drama was caused by illegal downloading. The reasoning being that fewer CD sales have led to an emphazise on live-acts and festivals. Pukkelpop is a yearly music festival in Belgium (since 1985) attracting up to 180.000 visitors and has sold out every year since I can remember." (Thanks, Ernesto!) Read the rest