It is early in the morning. The last time we met was a couple days ago when every one was burned out. Now everyone looked better, sharper. Except Theo, who was looking at us all affably though his large screen presence, just about the same way he was the other day. He hadn’t been burned out like us though.
“Good morning all, and I am glad to see everyone looks more rested than they did only a few days ago.”
Murmurs of agreement.
“I have a few thoughts on this matter, I began, but before I get there, I want to open the floor up to everyone in the event we should change our way of thinking about the issue.”
“I have something Mark,” said Terence Moore, a microbiologist who was probably the third or fourth smartest person in the room, “I was thinking through the procedure and I kept getting stuck on one point, which to my mind seems fatal to the entanglement analysis – with all due respect to you and Theo” and Terence turned his chair and bowed his upper body slightly to Theo in respect; Theo nodding at the gesture. “From what I heard about entanglement the other day, and the little research I could do on it, and it is NOT my area, isn’t entanglement between two particles? How could there be entanglement here There was three way copying – between original Mark – sorry Mark – the mold – and Nano mark – sorry Mark again.”
I hadn’t thought about that. I went through everything in mind. Could Terence be right?
Theo picked up the conversation immediately. “well, that is very very good thought. And although very basic, it is right --- from what we have seen entanglement won’t work in threes but in twos and possibly n multiples of two, four, eight, etc. And it is something I went through myself yesterday and almost called you all then to bring it to your attention.”
And he paused. Shit I thought. Could I really have missed something that simple?
“But,” he said, and I realized as soon as he said it that Terence’s assumption was in error because the copying process wasn’t that simple. Theo went there too…
“The copying process isn’t that simple; there isn’t a one-for one correspondence between the mold and the original, or the mold and the copy. Think of a scaffolding, which Mark explained to me the other day is really the mold – more than one piece of scaffolding may be used to surround a building – four straight places for example maybe used to surround a single thing like a chimney – assuming for the moment a chimney s a single thing. There is no one to one correspondence.
Similarly, a number of nano may surround a single nerve cell, or deeper a single nerve axon, or even deeper a single molecule of neurotransmitter contained within the axon, or even deeper a single proton contained within the single molecule, etc. etc. There is no link formed there. Where the link is formed is in the transmission to the next piece, because, believe it or not, entanglement can occur in an indirect fashion – through other arts, known as entanglement swapping. And I am willing to get into that in detail including the projective measurement I Think that occurs ….”
“No no no,” I said quickly, “I am not sure that is necessary. In other words, Terence has a real question, you considered it, but you think it isn’t really a problem, although it is a reasonable question.”
Theo nodded. “Yes, that is right, and” turning to Terence, “the answer to the problem you raise was only discovered very recently so congratulations…did you say you are not a particle physicist?”
And Terence turned slightly red, and smiled weakly while the rest of the room laughed. Despite his obvious intelligence, Terence’s math ability was pretty limited – legendarily so in an incident involving his interpretation of certain test results a few months ago. But I saw no reason to go there now.
“No Theo he isn’t, but he is very very smart.” Looking around. “Does anyone have anything else on this? Any other questions?”
“Okay, then here are some thoughts I have. “
The room quieted.
“After we left the other day I was thinking about options. And some of them you will read about in my diary entries, because even though Mark isn’t here to keep a comparative one it is still helpful for your review. And I thought about making a mold of me, and making another me out is mark’s mold, and other things but each of those have potential problems and could add more variables – not to mention more people -- and we seem to have enough of both right now. So then I lay down for a few minutes, cause I am still not sleeping but I do find the need for some rest.” I saw Karen nodding out of the corner of my eye. “You probably caught a spike in mark’s brain activity right about then? And she nodded. “Yes, that would make sense, said Theo.
I saw a few puzzled looks. :that is because Mark and I are opposites remember and if I am resting he will be active…but unfortunately I can’t sleep totally – it goes the other way too. In any event,” I went on not concerned right now with explaining that, “as I lay there thinking about not much, except how odd it was that I was observing myself though my diary, and of course how observation is very important o the quantum method…”
I stopped, and Theo said “of course!”
“Umm what?” this time it was Jim doing the asking.
“The only reason particles collapse, like those here, is because we are all looking at them. It doesn’t matter if we are looking at ourselves…”
Everyone was looking blankly at me. Expect Theo, who was lost in contemplation, “yes, yes” he was saying. “It might just work.”
“Mark, I am sorry I really don’t know what you are talking about,” Jim said.
“Meow,” I said.
Jim just stared.
Have you even heard of Schrodinger’s cat?
And Jim quieted down now.
I turned to the rest of the room. “Schroedinger was a particle physicist, like Theo up there, who helped establish the now standard model of particle physics. Particle Physics is weird –- another scientist Richard Feynman said if you understand it you don’t understand it (or some such; Theo correct?) One of the aspects tight is weirdest is a thought experiment called Schrodinger’s cat:
The most commonly held interpretation of quantum mechanics is the Copenhagen interpretation. In the Copenhagen interpretation, a system stops being a superposition of states and becomes either one or the other when an observation takes place. This experiment makes apparent the fact that the nature of measurement, or observation, is not well-defined in this interpretation. The experiment can be interpreted to mean that while the box is closed, the system simultaneously exists in a superposition of the states "decayed nucleus/dead cat" and "undecayed nucleus/living cat," and that only when the box is opened and an observation performed does the wave function collapse into one of the two states.”
[note from me: since some of this material is even more technical but true her are some links]
“Now, the entire reason we are having issues now is because the particles in my brain are the opposite of those in Mark’s brain – the entanglement we talked about the other day. Well, entanglement comes about in the first instance because the entire range of positions subatomic particles can be in – or superposition – are collapsed by the link – or something like that, and Theo I know I am simplifying but that is okay for right now.”
Theo who was leaning forward about to interrupt me, nodded and sat back.
“Now, the solution to our problem is this. Put Mark and me in Schrodinger’s boxes, where we can’t be observed, we can’t communicate, we are totally and completely isolated. That state, where no one can perceive us, will allow to superposition to reform, and Mark to regain consciousness – lifting the positions imposed by observation. Total, Complete. Isolation.”
“But wait,” Jim objected, and then fell silent. Theo was nodding rapidly now, following me, so rapidly that his glasses almost feel off.
“Ok, Theo, your turn,” and I sat down.
“This, this, is quite remarkable,” he stammered. “I don’t think Schrodinger’s box has even been proposed as a method of breaking the effects of entanglement. And it really couldn’t be,” he said faster now, warming to the topic, “because there was no way of determining what was going on inside a Schrodinger box We could put someone in a box sure but since they weren’t entangled it really didn’t matter. In other words, the non entangled consciousness state really is the norm. And with a cat, of course, we had no idea what happened. And of course we couldn’t try the same experiment on a person – to determine if he or she is dead or alive. Since this sis the first entanglement of consciousness we are aware of, it is really quite a ground breaking proposal – and solution.”
“I knew you’d like it,” I said.
The rest of the meeting was devoted to planning the isolation boxes.