Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Nitwit Interpretation Lives!

The Nitwit Interpretation of quantum mechanics—that you can prevent events from having a definite existence by refusing to perceive them—(discussed here and there) turned out not to be a straw-person argument; it's being put forth apparently seriously by alleged scientists:

The good news is: the longer the universe survives, the better the chance that it will mature into a stable state. We are just beyond the crucial switching point, Mr Krauss believed.

The bad news is: the quantum effect, a truly weird aspect of physics that says whenever we observe or measure something, we reset its clock.

Mr Krauss and colleague James Dent pointed to measurements of light from supernovae in 1998 that provided the first evidence of dark energy.

These measurements might have reset the decay clock of the "false vacuum'' back to zero, back before the switching point and to a time when the risk of catastrophic decay was greater than now, said Mr Dent and Mr Krauss.

They have a little bit of a point in that the absorption of photons from an event will have an effect. On the other hand, it doesn't make a difference if those photons are absorbed by human eyes or by dead matter.

Addendum I: Britain is trying to save the universe.

Addendum II: James Lileks has additional comments.

Addendum III: The Nitiwit Interpretation came from an alleged science reporter and not the scientists themselves.


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