Sum Over Futures

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Sum Over Futures (SOF) is the CTMU interpretation of quantum mechanics. In SOF, quantum phenomena are not random (acausal), but obey higher-order causal invariants. These invariants tend to maximize generalized utility as the universe evolves. Langan observes that due to quantum uncertainty,

[T]he last states of a pair of interacting particles are generally insufficient to fully determine their next states. This, of course, raises a question: how are their next states actually determined? What is the source of the extra tie-breaking measure of determinacy required to select their next events ("collapse their wave functions")?[1]

The answer, he writes, is neither "randomness" nor distributed laws of causality, but rather higher-order causation, involving nonrandom temporally-extensive relationships not wholly attributable to distributed laws. In this picture, the universe sums over timelines to extract the utility of possible futures and selects the most utile configurations for actualization. This "sum over futures" is enabled by the Extended Superposition Principle (ESP) under the guidance of the Telic Principle.

Sum over futures involves an atemporal (existing or considered without relation to time) generalization of “process” (from past participle stem of procedure "go forward"), telic recursion (before determining the next state, Reality takes all of the past and future into account and then chooses a particular state on the basis of its own values), through which the universe effects on-the-fly (as time passes) maximization of a global (over all of Reality) self-selection parameter (measurement), generalized utility (what the universal Desire hopes to achieve).


  1. Langan 2002, p. 31.