The universe is more unpredictable than I had imagined.
As I discussed here, I was certain I had been blacklisted from the arXiv. I have submitted ten papers to it, five of which question the assumption of U (the assumption that quantum wave states universally evolve linearly/reversibly). Exactly five of those ten papers were rejected… can you guess which ones?
Two days ago, I submitted my new paper (“Wigner’s Friend Depends on Self-Contradictory Quantum Amplification”) to several preprint archives, as well as the arXiv just for the hell of it. As with most of my submissions to arXiv, it immediately went “on hold” and I fully expected it to be rejected. Amazingly, it was published last night and can be accessed here.
I don’t get it. This new paper is not all that different from several others I’ve submitted. The argument is somewhat different, and it’s shorter and clearer. It also directly responds to an article that was published last year in Physical Review Letters that essentially shows that reversible measurements are a logical contradiction. But, like my other articles that have been rejected by arXiv on the indefensible basis that they were “unrefereeable,” this article bluntly rejects U – and the physical possibilities of Schrodinger’s Cat and Wigner’s Friend – on a purely logical basis.
What’s even more amazing is that I submitted it under the subtopic physics.hist-ph (history and philosophy of physics), but some anonymous arXiv moderator moved it to quant-ph (quantum physics), which makes it my third arXiv publication in that topic.
Here’s why that’s amazing. You can’t submit to arXiv unless someone, who is already regarded as sufficiently competent on a particular topic, endorses you in that topic. This is one way that arXiv tries to keep out the crackpots. (As it turns out, Scott Aaronson was the person who originally endorsed me for the quant-ph topic years ago. He also sent me a snarky email this morning adamantly opposing the argument in this new paper.) So how do you become an arXiv “expert” on a particular topic? By getting three articles on arXiv in that topic. I had already had three articles in the physics.hist-ph topic, but I only had two in quant-ph. Indeed, I submitted the current article to the physics.hist-ph topic.
But not only was my article published on arXiv, someone intentionally reclassified it as quant-ph, which makes it my third article in that topic. I am now “qualified to endorse” in the quant-ph topic on arXiv. In other words, by arXiv’s own standards, I am now, due to the reclassifying and publishing of an article that rejects the assumption of U, sufficiently competent in quantum physics to help screen out other crackpots.
WTF. Seriously, WTF. Either I'm finally getting heard, or someone at arXiv made a huge mistake. Smart money's on the latter.