Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics


I recently read and enjoyed David Deutsch’s book The Beginning of Infinity, a tour d’horizon of quantum physics and philosophy of science, brewed up with a remarkably persuasive idiosyncratic worldview, even if it does descend into a slightly cranky and increasingly ignorant rant on politics and economics by the end. This was my first introduction to the “multiverse”, which seems to be the modern version of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. I was impressed at how cogent this picture has become since I last interested myself for quantum mechanics and its philosophical interpretations in my teens.

It might not be right, but it does lay down a marker against the Copenhagen interpretation — position and path don’t exist except when measured,  wave-particle “duality”, etc. — which in comparison seems more like a counsel of despair than a physical theory in any meaningful sense.

In thinking about it, I realised that I’ve long had the feeling that the Copenhagen interpretation was more than anything the physics educator’s version of chastity education: not a real solution, but mainly a way to avoid dealing with parents yelling “Your teacher told you what?!”

Comments on: "Sex education and the multiverse" (1)

  1. […] a programmatic refusal to interpret. For more comments on the pedagogical function, see here.) The fact that this approach went from strength to strength as a calculating tool does not mean […]

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