Schrödinger’s Social Network
Maybe my last post was a little bit harsher than may have been strictly necessary. Facebook is, I’m sure, a website that has had a massively beneficial effect upon the lives of the teenagers that use it. I salute all involved in creating and running it.
I also hand out blessings to those who tell me I should sign up to Facebook. If these people want me to have a new medium through which I can make My Bold Pronouncements to them then this is something that my messiah complex and I find difficult to resist, but resist we must.
Y’see, at first I thought that I didn’t need to sign up to any more webcrap that I didn’t actually need to begin with. I also initially viewed “A website that expects me to register with it without showing me what it does” as a laughably stupid idea. Now I know better. Facebook, my friends, is a living model of a quantum superposition.
Look at it this way – I can’t view Facebook profiles without having already registered with the site. I have no idea if this registry will lead to a whole pile o’fun’n’frolics (I doubt it, but don’t know for sure), or yet another waste of my time. The wavefunction of the system is both “fun” and “crapola” smeared into one – a superposition of states. Only when I observe it (by signing up) will the wave collapse and become a definite state.
There is such a thing as ‘Objective Collapse Theory’ (I think. There’s a certain extent to which I’m winging this, not that you’d have guessed) which states that there’s nothing definite to say that the superposition won’t already have been collapsed by the time I get to it; ambient conditions directly applicable to it will (in effect) already have observed it. Not sure about that, in this case. I’m not willing to accept as credible the reports of all but a very small number of people who have taken it upon themselves to use Facebook (but bless that very small number. Bless ‘em to heaven).
Ultimately, I think I’m happier viewing this particular website in quantum terms than I am signing up to it.
On a related note, here is the first lolcat image I have ever created.