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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Misunderstanding Quantum Physics Is Good

Have you ever thought that misunderstanding something can have a positive effect on world history? I think that people who understand that history is a fiction and there are many histories that will always contradict with each other, are doing good to the world. The more we have such people, the less we have stupid wars. Hopefully there will be enough of them to oppose nationalism and fight everyone who pretends to possess some final truth.

I believe (but can not prove) that reading easy and popular scientific literature about quantum physics will open people's minds to the multitude of histories, since it introduces the concept of multitude and relativity. Actually a similar thing was mentioned about parallel universes by Marie-Laure Ryan in her essay "From Parallel Universes to Possible Worlds: Ontological Pluralism in Physics, Narratology, and Narrative":

"The postulation of parallel universes is not only one of several ways to deal with apparent contradictions in the behavior of subatomic particles, it is also one of several possible modes of rationalization for texts that report contradictory versions of events."

Ok, but why is misunderstanding good? Why is understanding bad? That is because quantum physics can be really understood by people who are into real sciences. And they again may have a problem with the multitude of histories, because they are used to prove things by formulas, traces of carbon and so on. This may make them blind to the real nature of history.

Of course, one could argue that misunderstanding quantum physics can lead to relativism and loss of morals. Yes, it can, but at the same time I do not think it outweighs the effect of tolerating of plural realities, viewpoints and relativism.

The graph. Not so bright in real sciences, but potentially good for world peace :)