The World is as You Observe it

December 22, 2013

I recently came across this YouTube video:

The cartoon is a bit cheesy but the content is mind blowing, I’ve never truly understood Schroedinger’s cat but it makes a lot more sense when explained in these terms.  I’m unable to understand the ramifications of accepting that matter can behave differently when it’s observed vs unobserved.  It’s unintuitive and flies in the face of how I perceive the world around me.   Unfortunately I’m completely unequipped to take the consequences of this paradigm from the micro to the macro.  If we accept this quantum phenomenon, what does this mean for us at an observable human level?

The World is as You Dream it

It reminds me of a book I once read called “The World is as You Dream it”.  The idea here is thought itself affects the physical world.  I find this concept obvious; ideas have a life of their own and can manifest as rapid spreading meme’s.  The physical implications of a successful meme are inevitable.  Just as observation can affect quantum reality, thought can affect macro reality.  For some reason I’ve created a connection between the two, but I don’t know why!

I think it has to do with how I perceive my own reality.  I’m an atheist and I believe the scientific method is the best tool we have to understand our own environment.  So what do we know about the external environment that our thoughts observe and process?

Assumptions:

  1. The universe in infinite
  2. Time is infinite
  3. The laws of nature are universal

Configurations of Sound

An MP3 file is a series of 0 and 1’s.  So a 3 minute conversation with my family is a specific arrangement of 0 and 1’s.  A different MP3 containing a Black Sabbath song is another arrangement of 0’s and 1’s.  If we were to rearrange those bits (0’s and 1’s) we could transform the audio output to a conversation you had with your mother when you were 3 or indeed a conversation you never had with your mother when you were 3.  The audio output is a result of the order of the bits in that file.  The number of variations of those bits is astronomical if we were to permeate through every single possible combination we would have every speech ever made and not made and yet to be made.  We would have every conversation, every song, every sound, including a large amount of unrecognisable noise.  When you think about it in o’s and 1’s every 3 minute MP3 if a miracle.

Configurations of Mass/Energy

If we apply the same rules of permeation as we did for the MP3, within the confines of the assumptions outlined above, then we have to accept infinite physical possibilities.  Because space and time are infinite eventually every permutation of space/matter/energy will come to pass; as long as this configuration of space is within the laws of nature.

So, as we exist our very being is proof positive that we are within the laws of nature.  This specific configuration of space, it’s a one off.  Because space and time are infinite it will happen again an infinite amount of times as will variations of your life for both good and bad.  It has to it’s the inevitable consequence of infinity.

Mutable Existence

What has this to do with the video I watched?  Schrodinger’s cats teaches us that the cat is both alive and dead until observed.  Perhaps everything that can be, and has been is also currently happening.  It only coalesces because it is observed/perceived by me/us.  This would make time as wide as it is long.  Where thought and observation are one and the same thing.  So maybe we do control our own destinies purely by thinking our own realities.  Is the world really as we dream it?

That’s sounds too spiritual for me to be comfortable with, but day by day we learn more about how the universe works in the meantime we should use the time to think. :)

Franken’balls

January 17, 2007

I love my children but I don’t want any more!
Surely this is an oxymoron? Through the experience of raising children, I’ve come to the decision that I don’t want to do it again. How can my children be the apple of my eye, yet their existence lead me to the decision – NO MORE!

Will I really be 1/2 a man if I can’t have any more children?
These are the type of questions I found myself asking when deliberating having a vasectomy.

The Snip!

I sit here with shaved, swollen, bruised, franken’balls (the stitches and size give my scrotum a monster movie look), feeling a little sorry for myself. So I’ve decided to write up my experience, in the hope that it may help others considering “The Snip”. I’ve got two beautiful, healthy children, one girl, one boy. What sane person would ask for more, one for each adult. It makes perfect sense, the logic is infallible. Yes – you can use condoms, pills, caps, coils or menstruation cycle windows but each has a downside. They’re un-sexy – spoil the mood, inconvenient, cause allergic reactions, etc, etc. So I came to the conclusion, if I want unprepared, unshielded sex I have to grasp the bull by the horn and raise to the challenge (excuse the puns). What’s the big deal!
The first obstacle for me when considering having a vasectomy was “are you absolutely sure?”. I love children so how could I be so positive that I didn’t want any more. Perhaps its terrible for me to say, but I’m not really a ‘baby person’. This attitude may stem from how unprepared I was for coping with looking after a baby. Until I fathered my first child id never even held a baby! I was totally unprepared for the test of endurance that was to follow. We didn’t receive much family support , maybe that’s because there’s only eighteen months between my children. Maybe I’m not the only one that’s not a baby person! Today things have moved on, the children can communicate, their fun to be with, we can find babysitters if we require a break from the routine. So I’ve come to the conclusion that life is a series of phases and my baby phase is over. So if I’m happy with my decision not to have any more children why is it such a big issue for others?

If you “shoot blanks”, a “Jaffa” (seedless) then your not a full man. I can see where this attitude derives from. Having a vasectomy removes your fertility! Although fertility is culturally perceived as a feminine issue, its obviously also a big concern for men. So this attitude derives from a man’s desire for fertility. Fair enough! I remember before I had children this was some thing that used to be at the back of my mind, “is my sperm fruitfull”, “does the cream horn overflow with goodness”. Fortunately the answer was yes, I have children now, so its no longer an issue. I get the feeling the’1/2 a man’ excuse is something to hide behind, while the real real issue is the perception of what gender is responsible for family planning.
While I has in the operating theatre one of the scrubs joked that he has avoided having the snip by persuading his wife to be sterilised. This highlights an attitude: Women get pregnant not Men, Women have to go through labour not Men, Women are emancipated by contraceptive technologies like the pill. If they want to be free they should take responsibility not Men. How much “cream horn overfloweth” bravado is the consequence of men hiding from their responsibility for contraception? Cometh the time cometh the man (sorry another pun). Is it not a real man who stands up to his responsibility and ½ men hide behind their wives?

I often here it said that, marriage today doesn’t have the same level of commitment for couples as it used to. Perhaps this is how it should be, nobody should waste their lives in loveless relationships. Shit happens, you can’t tell what the future brings. I love my wife, I hope that we will grow old together, I can’t imaging a life without her. This said I’ve always believed that if my marriage didn’t work out that both my wife and I could be friends, have separate relationships and be the best parents we could for our children. I know many people who have been divorced and gone on to build a second family. Having the snip removes this option. Perhaps what’s really frightening is the permanency! We live in a society where we believe there is always a second chance; option are kept open, nothing is for ever. No wonder permanent responsibility scares us.
So I’ve had it done; No, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. With two great big spot lights illuminating my crotch, and a room full of people gathering around, my penis ran for cover. “Ladies and gentlemen live on stage tonight, the star of the show, Courtenay’s genitals!”, “We’re just going to inject this huge needle into you scrotum Mr Probert”. Then it was out with the scalpel; at this point I was regretting my decision to have the operation under local anaesthetic. So I sit here with purple inflatable balls (about three times bigger), with a smile on my face. Despite the stigma and doubt I’ve battled with, I’m now free. Free to enjoy the next phase of my life – copious amounts of worry free sex (well until my good-deed credit has expired with the wife ;-)


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