What's in a Name?

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Done!  I’d signed the contract.  Never really doubted that I would.  The signature on the dotted line I recognized as mine yet not mine.  Sandra would not have been be fooled. The angular compressed letters, upright to the point of pedantry Indicative of a repressed personality, she said.  Does our signature really give much away?  I doubt it.  Or rather hoped it did not.  Too late now.  I should have tried to disguise my handwriting but then my alias only needed to hold until the morrow. 

The morning was hard and bright as I left the headquarters of our nation’s secret service.  It had been some time since I last walked this broad once gracious avenue. Those stately buildings of stone imitating those of the grand cities of the old world had been replaced with gleaming towers.  Cold and unforgiving, no vines could ever take hold on their smooth surfaces.  Having grown accustomed to the softer more diffuse light in the cooler climes of my exile, I had to shade my eyes with my hand from the piercing shafts of sunlight.  I flinched as I imagined the accusation of treachery levelled at me by my former comrades in the diaspora.  My appointment with the leader of the small remaining band of dissidents was scheduled for 900 hours.  The hour of his death and my, or rather my alias’s, reconciliation with the new authority.  To begin life anew under another guise that was the promised reward for my subterfuge.  Infiltrate those with whom I had once shared a common goal-ideal?  No, goal.  Ideal suggests something noble.  Since Sandra’s death however, I had begun to question our ideals.  For what had we sought other than to protect the once decadent and luxurious life afforded to those of us among the elite of this former colony?

Only an hour ago, the task seemed simple enough.  The murder, the collection of relevant information, I was still confident I could accomplish these tasks.  But once the deed was done, to find a place for me in this new order no longer seemed so straightforward.  Who would I be?  How could I find a home in this city without qualities?  The mirrored facades of the new buildings on both sides of the avenue reflected each other in an infinite regress.  The city had become a labyrinth of mirages, endlessly repeating themselves with increasing distortions due to the refraction of light bouncing off curved surfaces, some convex others concave.  Could there be any reality in which to root oneself where all was just image? 

Reality?  I remembered those languid afternoons when we, the luxurious ones, sipped our cocktails and philosophized under vine-covered arched colonnades.  

     “Information is more fundamental, perhaps more real than matter or even energy.  Although, of course, the last two are interchangeable.”

      “It’s all up/down quarks and electrons, my body, your body, the body of a tiger.”

      “The organizing principle of information is what distinguishes us?”

      “So reality is at a fundamental level abstract?  I cannot accept that.”

      “Not so.  Rather it is substrata independent.”

      “Meaning?”

      “Information can remain unchanged through successive or multiple instantiations in physical objects.”

      “But must it be physically embodied?  Does it not exist in some Platonic realm?”

      “Not as some mathematicians might have it.  Physics has yet to fully account for this substrata independence.  It will need a deeper more fundamental explanation than currently exists.”

 After an hour of walking, I approached the junction where the avenue forked into two narrower roads.  Reflected in the facade of one of the buildings set at an oblique angle to the road, I recognised the familiar arched colonnades.  My handler had foreseen, as I suspected he might have done, that I should find the place I was seeking.  The original must be nearby and those whom I sought must be hiding there.   A foolish choice and I pitied them for making my task so easy. 

However, as I came to the junction where the roads converged, I realized that I was trapped, encircled by the same glass towers as before, each angled in such a way to produce multiple reflections of a building that no longer existed.  No longer existed?  I approached the facade which most faithfully reflected my old haunt.  The shadowy depths underneath the arched colonnades may only be illusory; yet they still held the memory of our intrigues.  All the information of who we had been, of what we had thought and who we had loved was encoded on the glazed membrane of the building ahead.  My alias had not held.  And even under another name, I had no place in this new society.  I was a condemned man as were those others who may still be alive to preserve in memory what may have been left of our civilisation.  Unless.  I took aim at my reflection and pulled the trigger.  The glass shattered and in the flying shards that whizzed past I saw fractured the images of all our memories, all the information that would have condemned my former comrades not destroyed exactly but sufficiently disordered to be unrecoverable.  I knew I was soon to die but at the very last I also knew, I had been no traitor.

 

 

 

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Quantum Theories

I is for ... Interferometer

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U is for ... Universe

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H is for ... Hawking Radiation

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R is for ... Reality

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L is for ... Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

At CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, this machine is smashing apart particles in order to discover their constituent parts and the quantum laws that govern their behaviour.

A is for ... Alice and Bob

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A is for ... Atom

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K is for ... Kaon

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L is for ... Light

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A is for ... Act of observation

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O is for ... Objective reality

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Q is for ... Qubit

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J is for ... Josephson Junction

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B is for ... Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

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M is for ... Multiverse

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G is for ... Gluon

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B is for ... Bell's Theorem

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V is for ... Virtual particles

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C is for ... Cryptography

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U is for ... Uncertainty Principle

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S is for ... Schrödinger’s Cat

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C is for ... Computing

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Y is for ... Young's Double Slit Experiment

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Q is for ... Quantum biology

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Z is for ... Zero-point energy

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W is for ... Wave-particle duality

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M is for ... Many Worlds Theory

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G is for ... Gravity

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D is for ... Decoherence

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T is for ... Teleportation

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T is for ... Tunnelling

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F is for ... Free Will

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E is for ... Entanglement

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P is for ... Probability

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P is for ... Planck's Constant

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I is for ... Information

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W is for ... Wavefunction

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R is for ... Randomness

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H is for ... Hidden Variables

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S is for ... Superposition

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N is for ... Nonlocality

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S is for ... Schrödinger Equation

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D is for ... Dice

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R is for ... Radioactivity

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X is for ... X-ray

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