Is Space Real, or Just Something We Misunderstand?
What does it mean for spooky action at a distance if distances aren’t real, but just the way they look to us?
Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space. — Douglas Adams
It’s not as if Albert Einstein ever read the infamous quote above from Adams’ beloved Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy — its first volume was published 23 years after Einstein died. But the physicist must’ve been thinking something similar when he called an odd, undetectable link between two particles in two different places in the universe spukhafte fernwirkung, which translates from the German to “spooky action at a distance.” Physicists have expended a great deal of effort trying to figure out how “quantum entanglement” or “non-locality” could possibly work.
Writer George Musser has an interesting suggestion for how two points that to all appearances are distant can still be connected: Maybe that distance isn’t actually there, since these particles exist in a “place” where space and time don’t exist.
If this is true, we’re seeing it all wrong, being creatures of space and time as we are. The universe may not even be a construction formed from an uncountable number of small building blocks. Why not something made up of huge things we just can’t perceive? Maybe they’re not really separated or far apart at all, since “far” has no meaning where they “are.”
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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