You’ll perhaps recall that a few days ago I mentioned some upcoming science shows in which I talk about various science ideas. I said, among other things:
[...] one is called Parallel Universes and the other is called (I think) Light Speed, both doing more or less what it says on the packet. I’ve not seen the final cut of either show this time, so I’ll be curious to see how they put the material together. They’ll air in the upcoming new season of the series, on the 18th November and the 25th November, respectively. I think – not 100% sure – that is all that is coming up from me on that series for the rest of this year (there is another thing due on that channel in December, and then that’s certainly enough of me showing up in your living rooms for a while), not counting the reruns [...]
Well, I was wrong about the latter. It is on Monday, I was recently informed! This is, I think, going to be a really very good documentary on Einstein and his work, from a somewhat different angle than maybe you’ve seen before. It’ll focus quite a bit on the ideas and concepts and, importantly, the process by which Einstein developed his Continue reading ‘Einstein on Monday’
Tomorrow I’m shooting all day for a TV show that is going to focus on the idea of alternative universes (or parallel universes, if you prefer). Should be fun. The setting at least will be interesting (more on that later) and it ought to be interesting to see how the writer puts all the material together into a coherent narrative. Part of my job will be to try to emphasize that while parallel/alternative universes show up a lot in actual scientific discussions (and have done for a long time), we have not yet had anything like a good observational or experimental reason to believe in their existence anywhere other than in our imaginations. It’s vital to get this across (I hope they don’t just edit it out) because people are so willing to believe in many half-baked fanciful ideas – and this is one of them – and when they show up in a science documentary (this is (again) for the History Channel’s “The Universe” series, which has been very good) with actual scientists being quoted, one should be especially careful (as we were on the “Cosmic Holes” episode (with different filmmakers), which has proven to be rather popular, and is full of speculative ideas like travel using wormholes and time machines right alongside equally fantastic-sounding things, like black holes, which are in fact a scientific reality). The rest of my job will be to talk about some of the places where the idea shows up in modern thought, some of the reasons why, and some of the opportunities for solving various challenging problems (and maybe creating a host of others!!) can be afforded by such ideas.
All that aside, this reminds me of something else entirely – Do you ever have those days when you feel like you’ve accidentally stepped sideways into an alternative universe? I do. Recently, I had a huge dose of it. Sit back and I’ll tell you the story…
Continue reading ‘Consider the Alternatives’