A vision of 2000, drawn by Jean-Marc Côté and other French artists to be used on cigar boxes and postcards, for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. It’s actually kind of sad how little of this we have. Who wouldn’t want to travel by whale?
June 27, 2014
No joke, I remember see these dudes all the time in Madrid, they’re semi-famous, everyone knows them.
Quantum state may be a real thing
Physicists summon up their courage and go after the nature of reality.
At the very heart of quantum mechanics lies a monster waiting to consume unwary minds. This monster goes by the name The Nature of Reality™. The greatest of physicists have taken one look into its mouth, saw the size of its teeth, and were consumed. Niels Bohr denied the existence of the monster after he nonchalantly (and very quietly) exited the monster’s lair muttering “shut up and calculate.” Einstein caught a glimpse of the teeth and fainted. He was reportedly rescued by Erwin Schrödinger at great personal risk, but neither really recovered from their encounter with the beast. The upshot is that we had a group of physicists and philosophers who didn’t believe that quantum mechanics represents reality but that it was all we could see of some deeper, more fundamental theory. A subclass of these scientists believed that the randomness of quantum mechanics would eventually be explained by some non-random, deterministic property that we simply couldn’t directly observe (otherwise known as a hidden variable). Another group ended up believing that quantum mechanics did represent reality, and that, yes, reality was non-local, and possibly not very real either. To one extent or another, these two groups are still around and still generate a fair amount of heat when they are in proximity to each other. Over the years, you would have to say that the scales have been slowly tipping in favor of the latter group. Experiments and theory have largely eliminated hidden variables. Bohm’s pilot wave, a type of hidden variable, has to be pretty extraordinary to be real.
This has left us with more refined arguments to settle. One of these is about whether the wave function represents reality or just an observer’s view of reality. (via Quantum state may be a real thing | Ars Technica)
Great commentary on social media, and pretty goddamn funny.
Carl Sagan - the Pale Blue Dot
Yeah I’ll be honest this made me cry a little.
“I’m 87 years old…I only eat so I can smoke and stay alive.. The only fear I have is how long consciousness is gonna hang on after my body goes. I just hope there’s nothing. Like there was before I was born. I’m not really into religion, they’re all macrocosms of the ego. When man began to think he was a separate person with a separate soul, it created a violent situation.
The void, the concept of nothingness, is terrifying to most people on the planet. And I get anxiety attacks myself. I know the fear of that void. You have to learn to die before you die. You give up, surrender to the void, to nothingness.
Anybody else you’ve interviewed bring these things up? Hang on, I gotta take this call….. Hey, brother. That’s great, man. Yeah, I’m being interviewed… We’re talking about nothing. I’ve got him well-steeped in nothing right now. He’s stopped asking questions.”
— HARRY DEAN STANTON
Master of existentialism.
Over the past week, I got asked by Sense About Science, a UK-based charitable organisation dedicated to preventing scientific misinformation, to make some graphics for their new, free guide, “Making Sense of Chemical Stories”. In it, they attempt to dispel some of the common misconceptions about chemicals. These are the two graphics I made to support the guide’s content.
You can read more about the graphics here.
You can view & download Sense About Science’s excellent guide right here.