Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Gate II

Does anyone out there know whether this summary of Quantum Mechanics is accurate? The concluding phrase, "...thus your belief systems determine the reality you experience...," reads to me like an unscientific rationalization of relativism. Sure, belief systems determine how the world is perceived and interpreted but not how it is. "...determine the reality you experience..." is ambiguous between "...determine how you experience reality..." and "...determine which reality you experience..."

Logic allows for the existence of alternative timelines and of routes/gateways/portals between them. It would be contradictory to claim that World War II both occurred and did not occur in a single timeline but not to claim that it had occurred in timeline A though not in timeline B. Nor is it contradictory to hypothesize that someone born in timeline A could disappear from that timeline and reappear in timeline B.

I understand that one interpretation of quantum mechanics allows for multiple timelines though not for travel between them. Thus, the Gate is like a faster than light drive in a relativistic universe. Hyperdrive gets Nicholas van Rijn to other planetary systems. Alice's rabbit hole gets her to Wonderland. A wardrobe gets four children to Narnia. The Time Traveler's Time Machine gets him to 802, 701 AD and beyond. Cavor's sphere gets him and Bedford to the Moon. SM Stirling's Gate conveniently gets his characters to a North America previously uninvaded by white men. Some of Poul Anderson's characters chance upon less dependable routes between universes.

These are literary not scientific devices. I think that it must remain in the realm of fantasy to imagine a silver screen in a basement giving instant access not only to another universe but even and always to the same point on the surface of the alternative Earth in that universe.

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