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  • Richard Farr

"Elitism"?


Reading an essay in Aeon magazine on the idea of multiple worlds, I find:

Born out of a need to interpret the behaviour of the smallest building blocks of our Universe, quantum physics has powered a cultural conversation from the depths of academic philosophy and science, to the pinnacle of Hollywood’s elite.

This is such a funny thing to say that it's worth pausing over. It was philosophically engaged academic physicists who gave us quantum mechanics and its many interpretations. Planck. Einstein. Bohr. De Broglie. Heisenberg. Dirac. Schrödinger. (Hugh Everett, above, was the father of the Many Worlds interpretation.) So perhaps, if it were not for certain Alice Through the Looking Glass aspects of our cultural values, we would more naturally and more accurately say:

Born out of a need to interpret the behaviour of the smallest building blocks of our Universe, quantum physics has powered a cultural conversation from the depths of Hollywood to the pinnacle of academic philosophy and science.

As Everett would no doubt have remarked, in some possible world those scientists seem more glamorous and more elite by far than anyone in Tinseltown.

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