Friday, July 23, 2010


OK, I will now resume the standard practice of reporting my dreams and random thoughts so that no one has to worry that I am trying to cross the line into social significance.

So I remember that right before I woke up, I had a dream about a new reality show. Apparently, it is called "Chefmurder" and in it, a group of fancy chefs try to take spoiled food and prepare it in such a way that the eater is willing to scarf down the whole thing and die. The point is to take the unpalatable and make it delicious -- so much so that the competing chefs can't help but eat the whole thing. So food is left for a long time to rot and develop various toxins and yet be presentable in a dish. And the whole dead chefs thing is just so much spoiled icing on stale cake.

Then, as I lay awake wondering why I was so obsessed with a reality show about killing chefs, I got to thinking about Sliders. I'm not talking about the little sammiches (though they are SO yummy, and that's how, I guess, I got onto the topic from cooking shows) but about the beloved Science Fiction TV show. In it, characters moved from parallel universe to parallel universe, and each was different. They had to negotiate the differences and survive so that they could go through the next opening and hope that they ended up in their home universe (their gadget having been damaged in the first episode).

So I started considering parallel universes. Maybe, every decision we make spawns a new universe where all else is equal except for that single choice. If so, and knowing the millions of small choices that each person makes every day and billions of people making all these choices throughout history, there must be an ever expanding and infinitely limitless supply of universes parallel to this one (including one where I didn't correct the misspelling of "parallel"). If there are infinite universes, then this group of travellers could never have a chance of finding their home again! Except that most small decision make no discernible difference in the universe. If I have a universe where everything is the same except that I check my email 2 seconds later, then how could anyone else ever be impacted by that? There must then be a similarly limitless number of universes which are effectively identical to our own and on their travels, these characters should have popped into some number of universes which they would not have been able to distinguish from their "original" universe and they could have settled down. In one episode, they did find a similar universe (everything was the same except the Golden Gate Bridge was painted blue), and in one, they came back to their own but decided it wasn't their own because the real life news seemed wacky and a gate which had squeaked no longer did (joke's on them...the news was accurate and a character's mom had oiled the gate). But the point is, the odds of finding a universe which looked like their own would be higher than popping into one which was recognizably different because there are more insignificant decisions made everyday than significant ones so more near-identical universes come into existence than different ones.

Now that I have driven a whole in the logic of a show from the 90's, I'll move forward. Next I'll tell you why the Space: Above and beyond couldn't happen in real life...

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