OK I posted this comment on the Atlantic blog
I agree that consciousness is not mysterious, but not at all for the reasons the author gives. I am a PhD theoretical physicist (University of California degree) cited over 600 times in MIT physics professor David Kaiser's award-winning "How the Hippies Saved Physics." Werner Erhard and others tasked me to work on the "hard problem" (David Chalmers) in 1975 and now forty years or so later I am pleased to announce a fundamental solution to the problem. See my London Savile Club talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?... for a popular introduction to the new post-quantum physics of mind-matter-consciousness beyond orthodox quantum theory. More technical details are here:
Clearly, classical physics cannot describe living systems completely. Quantum physics, we all agree, is necessary. However, in my opinion it is not sufficient. Quantum theory violates Einstein's organizing idea of action-reaction that he used successfully to get to general relativity from special relativity - matter back-reacts on the space-time geometrodynamic field. Similarly, it is known to Bohmian pilot wave theorists, though not apparently to enough Bohr's followers including many-worlders, that the reason entanglement cannot be used as a direct messaging channel between subsystems of an entangled complex quantum system, is the lack of direct back-reaction of the classical particles and classical local gauge fields on their shared entangled Bohmian quantum information pilot wave. Roderick. I. Sutherland of the University in Sydney, Australia, in a series of papers 2006 to 2015 had clarified this issue mathematically. Using Yakir Aharonov's retrocausal two-vector weak measurement theory, Sutherland using Lagrangian field theory, shows how to make the original 1952 Bohm pilot-wave theory completely relativistic, and how to avoid the need for configuration space for many-particle entanglement. The trick is that final boundary conditions on the action as well as initial boundary conditions influence what happens in the present. The general theory is "post-quantum" beyond orthodox quantum theory, and it is non-statistical consistent with Einstein's intuition that God does not play dice with the universe. There is complete two-way action-reaction between quantum pilot waves and the classical particles and classical local gauge fields including Einstein's geometrodynamical field.
Sutherland, then derives orthodox statistical quantum theory, with no-signaling, in two steps, first arbitrarily set the back-reaction (of particles and classical gauge field on their pilot waves) to zero. This is analogous to setting the curvature equal to zero in general relativity, or more precisely in setting G to zero. Second, integrate out the final boundary information, thereby adding the statistical Born rule to the mix. Interestingly enough, is that the mathematical condition for zero post-quantum back-reaction of particles and classical fields (aka "beables" J.S. Bell's term) is exactly de Broglie's guidance constraint. That is, in the simplest case, the classical particle velocity is proportional to the gradient of the phase of the quantum pilot wave. It is for this reason, that the independent existence of the classical beables can be ignored in most quantum calculations. However, orthodox quantum theory assumes that the quantum system is thermodynamically closed between strong von Neumann projection measurements that obey the Born probability rule. The new post-quantum theory in the equations of Sutherland, prior to taking the limit of orthodox quantum theory, should apply to pumped open dissipative structures. Living matter is the prime example. This is a clue that should not be ignored.
Lagrangian Description for Particle Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics -- Entangled Many-Particle Case
(Submitted on 5 Sep 2015 (v1), last revised 4 Oct 2015 (this version, v2))
"A Lagrangian formulation is constructed for particle interpretations of quantum mechanics, a well-known example of such an interpretation being the Bohm model. The advantages of such a description are that the equations for particle motion, field evolution and conservation laws can all be deduced from a single Lagrangian density expression. The formalism presented is Lorentz invariant. This paper follows on from a previous one which was limited to the single-particle case. The present paper treats the more general case of many particles in an entangled state. It is found that describing more than one particle while maintaining a relativistic description requires the introduction of final boundary conditions as well as initial, thereby entailing retrocausality.
This paper focuses on interpretations of QM in which the underlying reality is taken to consist of particles have definite trajectories at all times1. It then enriches the associated formalism of such interpretations by providing a Lagrangian description of the unfolding events. The convenience and utility of a Lagrangian formulation is well-known from classical mechanics. The particle equation of motion, the field equation, the conserved current, action-reaction, the energy-momentum tensor, , etc., are all easily derivable in a self-consistent way from a single expression. These advantages continue in the present context. Since a Lagrangian description is available in all other areas of physics and continues to be useful in modern domains such as quantum field theory and the standard model, it is appropriate to expect such a description to be relevant and applicable here as well2.