You, me, us, we are one…

I am you, you are me.
X, Y, Zee to A, B, Cee.
You, me, us, we are one…

When I first listened to Pop Will Eat Itself (aka PWEI) back in the 90’s, one of my favourite tunes of theirs for no apparent reason at the time was X, Y, Zee. I kind of liked the music and the lyrics were a bit cool and nutty. At the height of my web design days (when I was a lowly paid and under-valued civil servant), I had ideas to create my own web design company. I had quite some experience under my belt and if truth be known quite a bit of flair and talent too. Thinking of a name for the venture, I came up with XYZeee, in part due to the song of the same name, and the fact that on every corporate bullshit bingo card, XYZ always comes up.

Sadly my flair in web design was measured in equal parts by my “unflair” in business acumen and engagement, and my first date with design destiny (a flash-based website for a London comedian) crashed and burned and XYZeee was no more.

Something rather “far out” happened today. I drove my daughter to school as I had to run an errand in the car before work, so my wife got her out of her car seat and escorted her up the hill, as I waited in the car for her to return. To the right of me a beautiful grey and white cat (similar to a snow leopard but thankfully not one) popped out from beneath a fence. Again for no apparent reason I decided to “connect” with the cat. I sat in the driver’s seat and meditated, using my reiki charged mudra to try to get the cat to turn around and look directly at me.

It didn’t. Instead it walked down the pavement alongside a bush which by the look and sound of it had some small birds in. The cat carried on down the pavement stopping every now and again to peer into the bush, but again ignoring my psychic current. As it got to the end of the bush and just before it disappeared out of my line of vision I sent a super charged bolt towards it, and then it stopped dead and turned around and looked directly into my eyes for what seemed to be a lifetime, my Arnold J Rimmer “mesma-stare” in full flow. Whether it was pure coincidence, a glitch in the matrix or an indication that we are all linked who can truly say. All I can say is that whenever I see the cat again I will call him by his new name, Schrödinger.

As it wandered off, it got me thinking about “Year Zero” and the beginning of the Universe (quite deep for a Thursday morning) and the fact that if one believes in the singularity theory and the Big Bang, then “you, me, us, we are one”, or more to the point “you, me, us, were one”. If at some point 13.7 billion years ago we were one, then doesn’t it carry forward that we are all still intrinsically linked to every other thing in the Universe, if not materialistically (matter) then perhaps at the mystical quantum level?

If we are all still intrinsically linked, then maybe we can resonate such invisible Universal energies or communicate at the quantum level in a dimension we cannot yet measure with our existing senses or gadgets.So maybe I did commune with Schrödinger after all.

With the phrase “you, me, us, we are one” reverberating around in my noggin, I decided to dig out my old PWEI playlists and listen to the aforementioned song. Some of the lyrics are very interesting too, they even reference a cat…

I am he who is X, Y and Zee, I carry no card, my life is cheap.
Have no worries, I do not fret, some may have what I’m yet to get.

And you may wonder, “Is it how?” a kitten may turn into a cow.
With bells and horns and tinned corned beef.
Forests, profits, plastic High Streets.

I am he who is A, B and Cee,
An easy option, like twentieth century satisfaction guaranteed.
It’s easy…

Let’s steal a spaceship and head for the sun.
And shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.
Make a movie and a TV show.
You be Jane, I’m George Jetson.

I am you, you are me, X, Y, Zee to A, B, Cee.
You, me, us, we are one.

From out our window we can see.
Electric sunshine, oxygen factories.
Clockwork tides, synthetic trees.
Just like the real ones on Vee Tee.

Mother Nature and Father Time, used to be good friends of mine.
But now we’ve put them in a home, filed them under, “Uses unknown”.

“No pop, no style”, is a phrase out of phase.
To praise what’s worthwhile, this is as good as it gets.
This is the best…

Let’s catch the last rays of civilization and tune-in to a sub-space station.
Turn up the DJ, let’s get lost in intergalactic punk-rock, hip-hop.

I am you, you are me, X, Y, Zee to A, B, Cee.
You, me, us, we are one.

This is the time, the time of our lives.
Escaping time for the all-time highs.
Of love, lust, laughter that make us sweat.

Let’s stimulate sensory amplification, this is PWEI-zation.
This is this, it’s the living end: “Je t’aime, encore, je t’aime”.

I am you, you are me X, Y, Zee to A, B, Cee.
You, me, us, we are one…

ADDENDUM:

Imagine my surprise when my daughter came home from school this afternoon with a WWF leaflet alerting her to the cats she can help to save. Imagine my further surprise when she said she would chose to adopt a Snow Leopard…

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The Arrow of Time and Reality…

A good friend of mine posted an interesting thread on Facebook last week. The central tenet regarded his interpretation of interpretations, namely of MWI (Many World Interpretation) and CI (Copenhagen Interpretation). The night before we discussed the concept of “Quantum Suicide and Quantum Immortality”, a thought experiment developed (further) by Max Tegmark, and all of which now flooded into his noggin at 6am as he watched CBeebies with his sleepless daughter of one year.

To understand this, he first needed to describe in detail the definitions of MWI and CI to his little girl, whose attention was currently being taken by Tinky Winky, Dipsy, La-La and Po.

MWI (Many-Worlds Interpretation):
The Many-Worlds Interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts the objective reality of the universal wave function and denies the actuality of wave function collapse. Many-Worlds Interpretation implies that all possible alternative histories and futures are real, each representing an actual “world” (or “universe”). In lay terms, the hypothesis states there is a very large (perhaps infinite) number of universes, and everything that could possibly have happened in our past, but did not, has occurred in the past of some other Universe or Universes.

Copenhagen Interpretation:
The Copenhagen Interpretation holds that quantum mechanics does not yield a description of an objective reality, but deals only with probabilities of observing, or measuring, various aspects of energy quanta, entities that fit neither the classical idea of particles nor the classical idea of waves. The act of measurement causes the set of probabilities to immediately and randomly assume only one of the possible values, in essence once something is observed, it turns from a wave into a particle, definitive duality, is or is not.

And if that wasn’t clear enough for her, he went on to give her some examples relating to CI and Quantum Suicide / Quantum Immortality:

Schrödinger’s Cat:
A cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.

The Deer Hunter:
A US Soldier and a 2-barrelled gun with a single bullet loaded into one of the chambers are placed in a sealed Vietnamese gambling den. Christopher Walken spins the barrel every minute and pulls the trigger. The gun either deploys the bullet killing him, or it makes an audible “click” and the erstwhile Mr Walken lives on to take part in a Fat Boy Slim video (ironically titled “Weapon of Choice”).

Quantum Suicide and Quantum Immortality are distinctive from the point of view of the partaker only, the deer (hunter); their predictions are otherwise identical. Quantum Suicide attempts to distinguish between the MWI and the CI by means of a variation of the Schrödinger’s Cat experiment, Quantum Suicide is taken from the deer (hunter) point of view and not the external observer. Quantum Immortality refers to the subjective experience of surviving Quantum Suicide regardless of the odds, in our example 100 trigger pulls to the head of Mr Walken.

The probability of surviving the first iteration of the experiment is 50%, under both interpretations, as given by the squared norm of the wave function. At the start of the second iteration, if the CI is true, the wave function has already collapsed, so if the cat or the deer (hunter) is already dead, and there’s a 0% chance of survival. However, if the MWI is true, a superposition of the cat/deer (hunter) necessarily exists, regardless of how many iterations or how improbable the outcome. Barring life after death, it is not possible for the cat/deer (hunter) to experience having been killed, thus the only possible experience is one of having survived every iteration.

Max Tegmark on Quantum Suicide:
Tegmark acknowledged the argument that “everyone will be immortal” should follow if a survivor outcome is possible for all life-threatening events. The flaw in that argument, he suggests, is that dying is rarely a binary event; it is a progressive process. The Quantum Suicide thought experiment attempts to isolate all possible outcomes for the duration of the thought experiment. That isolation delays de-coherence in such a way that the subjective experience of the superposition is illustrated. It is only within the confines of such an abstract quantum scenario that an observer finds they defy all odds. Another possibility is that although an observer does not die, they nevertheless continue to suffer the effects of aging.

Hugh Everett on Many-World Interpretation:
Everett firmly believed that MWI guaranteed him immortality: His consciousness, he argued, is bound at each branching to follow whatever path does not lead to death. Not unlike the general plot of Source Code with Jake Gyllenhall, Captain Stevens repeatedly experiences “death” as he investigates the bombing of a train. Ultimately, he survives in the universe where the train was not bombed and no one died. Lucky sod…

So it was at this point that I chipped in. My interpretation of interpretations was much easier for me to understand. I told my friend that I had a notion for a simple brain, in that I believed there is only one arrow of time, ergo one reality. As one approached a point in space-time where a decision and consequence (causality) needed to be taken, many waves (options) presented themselves for us to choose from. Once we had chosen wisely (or otherwise), all other ‘opportunity waves’ collapsed and became thus, became particles, became history, became reality, became of the arrow of time.

In my opinion, I didn’t think that there were infinitesimal invisible universes out there each with their own arrows of time based on the different waves or paths we could have chosen. It’s easier for me to follow my arrow of time, and let the rest of the other me’s worry about quantum mechanics…