I've seen many renowned scientists arguing that the universe is superdeterministic, but superdeterminism is a "hidden variable" theory. Is this compatible with the concept of quantum computation?


As I understand it, a superdeterminist would say that their position is purely a philosophical interpretation of quantum mechanics, and they don't make any different predictions about the outcomes of experiments.

So, yes, I think a superdeterminist would be happy to assume that the "superdeterminer" who set up the state of the Universe originally did so in a way that the results of quantum computations came out the same way that they would under any other interpretation of quantum mechanics.

One could imagine this working since in order for quantum computer to work, you must set up the quantum algorithm so that the most likely outcome (according to quantum mechanics) is that the computer ends the algorithm in a state corresponding to the correct result of the computation. The work needed to get the answer is in designing and implementing algorithm, it's not the case that the "superdeterminer" has to compute the right answer themselves or can make a mistake in what results they give you, so long as they are obeying the laws of quantum mechanics (which they are, by assumption).

That's me trying to be as objective as possible. But to give my 2 cents: I recommend that you don't spend too much time thinking about superdeterminism. It is utterly void of intellectual content.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. Could you expand your two cents a little bit more? $\endgroup$
    – Guilherme
    Mar 1 at 14:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Guilherme I'm not sure if there are any superdeterminists here I will get in trouble with. But superdeterminism, to me, is the ultimate "God of the gaps" position. It is interesting and mysterious that quantum mechanics suggests that the Universe is non-deterministc. Superdeterminism denies this in the most boring possible way, by claiming all outcomes that appear random were previously decided by a hypothetical being we can never know anything about. This point of view explains nothing, raises unscientific questions and can never be falsified. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Mar 1 at 16:56

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