Thursday, February 2, 2023

Wigner and the infinite quarter

The Mandela Effect is one of the things I like to keep tabs on in a back-burner sort of way, so I subscribe to a YouTube channel called "All Time" which is supposed to be "a channel dedicated to the strange, scary and unbelievable!" but in practice is mostly just about the Mandela Effect. This evening, I was notified that they had a new video up, and I watched it.

It's a proposed explanation for the Mandela Effect drawn from quantum physics (what I believe is uncharitably known as "quantum woo"), and it particularly focuses on the Wigner's Friend thought experiment. I didn't know anything about Wigner, so I looked him up and was surprised to find that he was a Hungarian Jew who immigrated to the U.S. In my recent post "'The Open Doors' syncs," I mentioned that John von Neumann was one of a group of scientists of that description who were known as The Martians. Quick, who were the other "Martians"? Well, there's Teller and Szilard and -- that's all I've got. Jewish Hungarian-American Scientists was never my strongest Jeopardy category. So I checked Wikipedia, and sure enough:

Paul Erdős, Paul Halmos, Theodore von Kármán, John G. Kemeny, John von Neumann, George Pólya, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller, and Eugene Wigner are included in The Martians group.

And I guess most of the others could be called Wigner's friends.

For some reason, part of the "All Time" video was illustrated with this picture of a U.S. quarter stretched and twisted into a lemniscate shape.

I have no idea why this particular image was chosen -- its relevance to the content of the video is obscure -- but there's that lemniscate again! (See "The Doors.") Perhaps a subtle nod to this old sync theme, too.


Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

“Two bits” is dated slang for a quarter (originally with reference to pieces-of-eight, I assume). I’ve connected the lemniscate with 00, which is literally “two bits” — two binary digits.

ben said...

Was watching clips from an apocalyptic film called Greenland, 'Green'land about comets ending the world. A scene with the main character watching the news includes a lemniscate on the TV:

Above Majestic (with an excursus on turban jokes)

Last Halloween, I posted " Francis Bacon, papal keys, triple tiara, Denver Airport ," which included a meme referencing that airpo...