April 2, 2014

"The NYT tries to explain the physics of 'Young Professor Heisenberg.'"

"Is there any truth? Apparently it's all mere probabilities...."

From my old time-travel blog, The Time That Blog Forgot, which I wrote back in '08 and thought about today because a commenter on my JFK post suggested that I begin a project pretty much like that.

In the past, I wrote about the past. How passé am I supposed to be? I've spent a lot of time in the past, but I'm here now.

14 comments:

chickenlittle said...

I've spent a lot of time in the pst, but I'm here now.

Got a secret? Do tell.

Thorley Winston said...

Yeah science! B***h!

Ann Althouse said...

@chicken Typo corrected. Thanks.

Ann Althouse said...

@Thorley Thanks.

Ron said...

Ah, yes! I did forget about this...time does indeed move on and leave memories....like the corners of my mind....mystic, water-colored memories...of the blogs we were(?)

Ron said...

[sings] Can it be all so simple then? Or has time rewritten every post?

But it's the laughter, we will remember...on the blogs we were(?)

[Stop him before he blogsings again!]

Ann Althouse said...

It's weird, I feel that people should remember that old blog, but it was 6 years ago.

Ann Althouse said...

And it only was a thing for about a month.

Anonymous said...

Comedy Stage Open Mic Night Comic says:

So Trevor and I were at the bar, and Trevor -- he thinks in Big Thoughts -- he started tripping on the concept of time travel, and all the cool things he would do if he could go back in time. He could study under Leonardo DaVinci, he could ask Michelangelo for pointers -- like I said, he thinks big. Me, I'd go back to my first-grade teacher and explain that I REALLY did have to go to the bathroom, rather than me shitting my pants in class (laughter); obviously, I'm still trying to get over that one (laughter)...

Anyway: time travel. I think there'd be too much pressure involved, too much pressure. Sure, you could stop Hitler, save JFK -- but then, now you'd kinda HAVE to do these things, what kind of loser WOULDN'T do these things, it becomes an obligation, you know? (laughter): I mean, try explaining to someone that you were going to save Martin Luther King, Jr, but today you only wanted to watch some sports and get stoned (laughter; shakes head): I mean, I have a time machine, it's not going anywhere, I'll do it tomorrow (laughter). Or the next day. (laughter). I'll get to it, I'll get to it, cut me some slack (laughter). Yeah: time travel really makes a bigger problem of procrastination, that's what I'm seeing (laughter)...

And the 'To Do' list only gets bigger, you know? For instance: John Lennon -- how could I have forgotten to save John Lennon? (laughter) Pencil that in for Wednesday (laughter) -- between masturbating and stopping Ted Bundy (laughter)...

And then there are the judgment calls: do I really need to save, say, Chris Farley? Does the world really need more Chris Farley movies? (laughter) What if -- now that he's still alive -- he just became a big jerk? I saved your life and I don't even get a Christmas Card? (laughter) Would it be wrong to go back in time again and stop myself from saving him -- is that allowed? (laughter)...

And don't even get me going on about time traveling into the future: I'm afraid that -- twenty years from now -- I'll find myself still in my parent's basement (laughter): really, there are some things we aren't meant to know... (laughter) Thank you, you've been great...

SineWaveII said...

Say My Name!

Peter said...

An anecdote: A decade or so ago, the New York Times published a series on global warming. In that series, it announced that that the average temperature of Alaska could be expected to rise to 7F from 5.4F.

The author then breathlessly explained that this was an increase of ... thirty percent!!!

Now, if we expressed these temperatures in Celsius the increase would be about ten percent. And in Kelvins, a mere 0.54%.

The point being that it makes no sense at all to compare measurements that use a scale with an arbitrary zero. Although 30% does sound impressive, it also illustrates the depth to which the NYT understands neither science nor math.

So now we have the NYT explaining Heisenberg's uncertainty principle? And tomorrow we'll hear how Einstein told us that, truly, "It's all relative"?

Umm, no. It's a rare day when a significant percentage of NYT headlines on science stories don't contain howlers. The NYT is just not a "go to" place when you want science explained.

n.n said...

All mere probabilities are merely estimates of systems which are either incompletely characterized, unwieldy, or inaccessible.

Patrick O said...

Nice! A post about the past posts posted to ponder the past.

I think I may have left one of the last comments over there. But, maybe I'm not remembering the past well.

Brew Master said...

Heisenberg and Schroedinger were travelling in a car. A policeman pulled them over and when he got to the car he asked Heisenberg if he knew how fast he was going.

Heisenberg replied that he was unsure, but he knew exactly where he was.

The policeman said he clocked him going 109.5 MPH. Heisenberg in frustration blurted out, 'Great, now we are lost'.

Suspicious now, the policeman asked if he could search the trunk. After receiving consent, he opened the trunk an exclaimed 'There is a dead cat in here'.

Schroedinger replied, 'Well, it is now.'