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Posts Tagged ‘Mandelbrot’

Flames of the unknown

In Philosophy, Science on July 27, 2009 at 9:14 pm

It is said that there are two realms: that which we can observe, and that which we cannot.  These realms are constantly in flux around us as we turn corners, open drawers, discover new methods of self-annihilation, etc.  Much like the edge of the Mandelbrot set, the border between that which is known and that which is unknown is the most turbulent.  It is a beach packed with tide pools where lies vast kinetic energy, as the waves of the Unknown continually and dynamically wash over us.  It is in these zones that we both obsess and fear, for they are infinitely complex and tangled.

One such tide pool is the paradox of Schrödinger’s Cat.  It is both alive and dead at once, inside its box, existing between both quantum states.  It exists; and it surely knows if it is alive–yet we, as outside observers, do not know.  We cannot know until we look into the box.  Until then, the cat is a ghost–neither alive nor dead.  And having put the cat there in the first place, we have created the paradox.  And the cat is surely conscious up until its demise.  Does it know that it has become a ghost?  Does it know when it had become a ghost?  Surely it does not, for it is intrinsically observing its own closed system.  But what of its dreams? Read the rest of this entry »