I've had this idea stuck in my head ever since I read up on the Feynman-Wheeler formulation of classical E&M (absorber theory), and I was wondering if anyone here had any comments on it. For those who aren't familiar with it, it is a slight modification of the well-known E&M theory that makes identical experimental predictions, but includes some very interesting features. The usual approach to E&M is to ignore all advanced solutions to Maxwell's equations under the premise that they are unphysical. This embeds a time-asymmetry into the fundamental theory that does not appear in the equations describing the theory. The radiation reaction is explained by self-interactions which cause unphysical divergences of point particles (fixed by renormalization). The original absorber theory, on the other hand, makes three basic assumptions: 1) Self-interactions can not occur 2) Not only Maxwell's equations, but also their solutions, are time-symmetric 3) The universe is a perfect absorber This makes use of advanced waves to explain the radiation reaction usually attributed to self-interaction, and the observed time-asymmetry of our universe is treated as a consequence of the boundary conditions (perfect absorption of retarded waves) rather than a fundamental postulate of the theory. As long as the universe is a perfect absorber, no acausal effects will ever be observed and the two theories are equivalent! Now, the idea I had was what if the universe was just a nearly perfect absorber? At certain scales retrocausal effects would "bleed" through due to imperfect absorption of the retarded radiation. It is well known that Bell's inequality leads one to conclude that the universe is either: nondeterministic, nonlocal, or acausal (the acausal interpretation is not quite as well-known). Is it possible that the retrocausal effects caused by a nearly perfectly absorbing universe could mimic the retrocausal interpretation of QM? I find it fascinating that it might be possible to obtain quantum phenomenon from a classical theory, and so far I've only been able to come up with 2 problems with this idea: 1) Lamb-shift: the phenomenon that led Feynman to abandon absorber theory, after he concluded it was impossible to get this shift without self-interactions. However, even if he was right this doesn't quite kill the theory. The original motivation for it may have been to remove self-interactions, but that in no way means that self-interactions are forbidden by the theory! Adding self-interactions back in leaves the theory intact, it just removes one of the nicer features of it. Also, I may not be looking at this the right way but I can't understand how two theories that are identical classically can diverge so drastically after quantization??? Absorber theory can reproduce all the effects of self-interaction classically, so why would quantization change this? 2) Planck's constant: the effective "strength" of quantum effects. If quantum mechanics is simply a consequence of a non-perfectly absorbing universe, the "strength" of the retrocausal effects would vary with position (certain locations would be better suited to absorb radiation). This means that Planck's constant would actually be a dynamic function over space-time, and the "constant" we observe would merely be some local/averaged value. The fact that distant electromagnetic radiation is quantized into units of the same constant we observe on Earth seems to be at odds with this idea. However, the absorption capability of the universe as far as retrocausal effects is concerned is independent of distance or time. If the retarded radiation of a system is ever absorbed fully, the advanced signal is destroyed! So it could just be that any "distant" radiation we observe is still too close to effect the absorption coefficient of the universe significantly?