Next Week I Turn … Really OLD!

Lookout.jpg Something called the World Science Festival is going on in New York. It started last night and I went to one of their events. This one began with a screening of a movie that was made by indie musician Mark Oliver Everett about his father, physicist Hugh Everett, who came up with the theory of parallel worlds. The film was titled Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives. Afterwards there was a talk with Mark and physicists Michio Kaku, Max Tegmark, and another physicist who acted as moderator, Brian Cox.

Before I forget, this movie is going to be on PBS in the Fall. See it. It’s funny, I mean really funny, and sweet, and you will learn about physics in a completely painless way. I finally got one thing I have been trying to get for years.

Anyway, I’m so excited now. Loved this subject. The main room filled up and so they put some of us (me, alas) in a room upstairs and we watched via closed circuit TV. I didn’t get a chance to ask a question and I was DYING to. I’m going to try emailing Max Tegmark and hope that he doesn’t ignore me. I know he won’t be thrilled by my question, but I’m going to give it a shot. I want to ask if parallel worlds could explain the effects the Duke guys found. The answers Tegmark and Kaku gave to other questions seemed to indicate it was possible. “No matter how big something is it can be in two places,” is something Tegmark said. He seems to be saying that what they were talking about doesn’t only occur sub-atomically. When asked about communication between universes the answer from Kaku gave seemed to be: maybe someday, by very advanced civilizations.

I just worry that Tegmark will put me in the same category as this woman who asked about talking to dead people. She may have been a very nice person, and maybe she was just nervous, but she asked an ill-formed, not at all thought-out question in a crazy person way and no one wanted to respond to her. Kaku actually gave her a great answer. He seems like a nice man. He answered her using an example from the beginning of the Q&A, where he had said in another universe Elvis is alive. (Meaning, in another universe, Elvis made healthier choices with his life, didn’t OD, etc.) If it were possible to communicate with the Elvis in another universe, he pointed out, you wouldn’t be talking to the ghost of Elvis, you’d be talking to a live Elvis. In other words, forget about communicating with your dead mother, see if you can find your live mother in a parallel world. (Except you may not exist in that parallel world so she wouldn’t know you!) Not that he was encouraging her. Except, as crazy as that sounds, based on their previous answers, it could be possible.

So next week is my birthday!

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “Next Week I Turn … Really OLD!

  1. I am convinced that because of your new book you will never have to worry about Alzheimers. Unbelievable and all these cool but complicated ideas are surely worth three lifetimes of crossword puzzles!

  2. Nobody is going to believe you are turning “Really OLD!” when you look so great in your pictures.

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