My God, it's full of squeaky toys
May 14, 2007 6:14 AM   Subscribe

Two nice conversations between a man and his dog on the subject of quantum physics.
[many worlds interpretation, uncertainty principle]
posted by moonbird (21 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Holy fuck. A quantum singularity just swallowed two comments.

*backs away slowly*
posted by dreamsign at 6:35 AM on May 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Cool links! I love this sort of thing; it makes my widdwe bwain huwt.

The first link reminds me of a short story I read once, but cannot recall its title / author.

A detective is investigating a string of odd suicides by famous/successful people. During the exposition it becomes clear that a recent invention allows wealthy people to explore parallel realities that are created by our 'negative decisions.'

[Ex: if I decided not to come to work today, a different reality would be created wherein I stayed home]

The detective tries the machine (I think), and realises that there is a more desirable universe waiting for him elsewhere...

Ring any bells?
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:51 AM on May 14, 2007


I would buy a book of this.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:09 AM on May 14, 2007

That dog reads books when alone? My dog writes books when alone, which at least has a profit potential.
posted by dobbs at 7:21 AM on May 14, 2007

chuckdarwin: 'Of Missing Persons', Jack Finney?
posted by edd at 7:25 AM on May 14, 2007

My dog and I have these conversations all the time. Really. ; )
posted by SisterHavana at 7:40 AM on May 14, 2007

"Maybe you can only perceive one branch. I have a very good nose. I can sniff into extra dimensions."
posted by caddis at 7:46 AM on May 14, 2007

This is great.

Personally, at least, this is twice as great because these dialogues are mentally performed by the voices of Jake the Dog and Ben the Human.
posted by duende at 8:15 AM on May 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

aww, those were both charming blog entries. Loved the pic of the dog on the guy's lap. A wuvvable face, those eyes and that big doggie schnozz.

Nice post and fun thread too. I just read this Of Missing Persons by Jack Finney [pdf] but I don't think that's the story chuckdarwin's referring to. Hope somebody comes up with the name of that story, my curiosity is piqued.

It is interesting how human beings project their own inner lives onto dogs' wagginess, part of the mirror neuron experience and the tenderness of empathy, which dogs' limpid-pools-for-eyes trigger so well.

This site uses the term "empathy neurons" and then deliciously misspells an alternate name for these as "Dalai Llama" neurons. Somebody did make a Dalai Llama site.

This quantum theory discussing blog dog reminded me of the super-intelligent dog, Einstein, in Dean Koontz' very readable book, Watchers.
posted by nickyskye at 8:19 AM on May 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that's not the one chuckdarwin's thinking of - I do recall one more like chuck's description. I'll have to do more digging.
posted by edd at 8:25 AM on May 14, 2007

You're thinking of "All the Myriad Ways," by Larry Niven. At least, that's the title of the story in my dimension.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:47 AM on May 14, 2007

My dog sticks rigidly to the Copenhagen interpretation, but I suspect it's because Bohr is the only physicist whose name he can pronounce.
posted by Phanx at 8:54 AM on May 14, 2007 [4 favorites]

Thanks for the feeback, edd... it's definitely more of a 'cop' story.
posted by chuckdarwin at 9:03 AM on May 14, 2007

Regardless of whether or not the dog could sniff extraneous smelly steak particles that may have zigged into that reality when they should have zagged, this would not have helped the dog get to the steak unless she could go back to a point before the steak fell on the floor and then navigate through the timestream to the tributary that contained the fallen bite of steak. It'd be a lot easier on the dog if she just ankle bites her master until he gives her a steak in the future.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:30 AM on May 14, 2007

Oh. And then even IF she could get to that alternate reality, she'd probably have to contend with the dog in that reality which may have already eaten the fallen steak almost as soon as it hit the floor.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:39 AM on May 14, 2007

Hugh Everett, of the Many Worlds Interpretation fame, is the grandfather of Mark Oliver Everett, who is better known as E from Eels.

Of course, in some other universes, Eels never hit it big, so you'dve never heard of him.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:16 PM on May 14, 2007

Faint of Butt is correct. All The Myriad Ways is it. It's essentially an exploration of the social and personal effect of an interpretation of many-worlds in which all of them are proven to actually exist. Just remembering the last paragraphs of that story sends a shiver down my back.
posted by pemungkah at 1:23 PM on May 14, 2007

What entertaining science blog entries! I bookmarked the list of blogs on the network, as it looks to be very useful. Thanks!
posted by Tehanu at 2:28 PM on May 14, 2007

'All The Myriad Ways' isn't the (other) story I was thinking of. I think I must be in a different universe to the rest of you and my comments are only appearing thanks to some quantum variant on a ColdFusion error.
posted by edd at 4:40 PM on May 14, 2007

With thanks to Phil Jones on rec.arts.sf.written for the story ID - 'The Store of the Worlds', aka 'The World of Heart's Desire' by Robert Sheckley, although I've not been able to find it to confirm it.
posted by edd at 6:07 AM on May 15, 2007

Thanks, edd! You rock! I'll post a link if I find it...
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:12 AM on May 15, 2007

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