Why Nobody Knows Anything

Or, how the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applies to your life. Not mine, actually, just yours. I may explain that one shortly, but to wit, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, or HUP, as it’s referred to in the trade, the trade being quantum mechanics, or physics, states simply that by observing a phenomenon, you’ve changed the result.

Now, I promise a minimal amount of actual math in this discussion, e.g. There won’t be any. Simply because nobody said there’d be any math. Honest. Or, if someone did say there would be some, it wasn’t me.

To continue, how many times have you heard someone somewhere in your life say, “Had I been watching the game, they would’ve won?” Well, this phenomenon goes to that. People honestly believe that by rooting for a particular team, they can make the team win. I’m an ‘SC fan, and the Trojans manage to beat up most of the other college teams out there, with or without my ethereal help. Sure, fans are nice, I even have some myself, but does that make me funnier? If you tell a joke in the forest, and no one hears it, is it funny?

You’re reading this column now, and I’ve typed it before. This raises the question, Oh yeah? What does it matter that you’re reading it? Well, the answer my friend, is blowing in the cyber wind. Will the content change the next time you come back, and read it again? Will you even do that? Probably not. However, it’s in a fixed form, whether or not you’re reading this very sentence. I’ll give you a hint: It won’t change. So, when you go away to look at that flashing advertisement on the right, you can come back, and continue reading this missive.

So, as previously discussed, I write this at a time before you read it. There’s no good way for this relationship to change. Because if you could read it before I wrote it, why would I write it in the first place? Back to what we were talking about, which is certainly, uncertainty. Ever read witness accounts of traffic accidents? Three different witnesses will report three different things about the same event. Not to mention all the people that weren’t there, that will report that it wouldn’t have happened at all, had they been.

Now, let me assure my three readers, that I hope have been following me from site to site that despite the fact that all this information looks like it came off the top of my head, and I whipped it out in 20 minutes, that in actually, it takes a little longer. Probably about an hour. What were we talking about?

I remember, don’t worry. While the previous paragraph may look like it came out of the blue, it does follow logically that the reality of the situation is that I typed it to pad my word count. And, since you’ve read it, it doesn’t really read that way, even though it is in a fixed form. Had you not read this column, you would never know the contents. In other words, or, another words if you say it fast, nothing is real until it is observed. Or reported about, or posted as a YouTube video.

Do you realize how many YouTube videos are out there? I once heard that 10 hours of video are uploaded every minute. Who has that kind of time, and what kind of bandwidth access does he have, in order to perform at that rate? This means you can’t possibly watch it all, which in turn means, that despite all you know, there are things that you don’t. Which is why you don’t know anything, really.

So, to quote Mel Gibson’s character in The Conspiracy Theory, “I don’t know what I know, but I know that it’s big.” When you find out what you know, let me know, then we’ll both know, but until then, I don’t know that I don’t know what you’re going to tell me….

 Disclaimer: Originally written over three years ago. The current YouTube statistic is 48 hours uploaded every minute, and that will continue to increase over time. This is #5 in The Idea Masters series. More to follow….