I'd call it stinkin' thinkin' except for the fact that I'm not entirely sure there's much real thinking happening.
But I get way ahead of myself. A friend who's still working where I retired from in December forwarded me a video on a thing called the Mandela Effect. It's quite possibly the weakest, most illogical and most egotistical argument I've ever heard of, let alone wasted 20 minutes watching. (Here if you must, but I advise against it). He's somewhat of the kind of person who sees conspiracy theories everywhere; he'll tell you it's only for entertainment, but he seems to hold on to them a bit too tightly for that.
The idea of this effect turns out to be widespread. There are many online groups where people gather to describe their "native timeline" (Reddit or BuzzFeed). It's hard to explain this group of people, but the name "Mandela effect" itself denotes people who are sure Nelson Mandela died in prison in the 1980s. Since every reference one can find shows he died in 2013, long after getting out of prison and living a full life, these people conclude not that they don't have perfect memory, but that they are living on an alternate timeline or parallel universe that somehow switched them to this one.
It's hard for me to convey just how bizarre this all comes across to me. The narrator of that video, for example, say that he recalls the name of an iconic breakfast cereal being "Fruit Loops" and that the name he sees now, "Froot Loops" indicates that he has moved between parallel universes. He does many examples of similar, improperly remembered things. It takes a special kind of ego to believe that if you never noticed the proper spelling of Charles Shulz, for example, that the universe has changed the spelling of his name. Or, I suppose, moved you onto a different parallel universe where his name is spelled differently.
I did a little reading on this yesterday and was astounded to find people who will swear to you the Challenger disaster was not in 1986. They will swear they recall being in some class or other specific place and it was 1984 or some other year. There are people who will swear that Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans not in September, but in April - a full two months before hurricane system, which would rate it as the biggest freak storm of all time. There are large groups of people who will swear they watched the Chinese tanks roll over the solitary protester in Tienanmen square and kill him (rather gruesomely).
Look, not remembering things correctly ain't exactly news. It's a human experience. We all find we remembered things incorrectly. There isn't a court in the country, probably not in the world, that would rate an eyewitness' memory of something as more credible than photographs, recordings or other hard data. Everyone knows memories are fallible (and I gotta echo the idea that the older you get, the more fallible memory might be).
What's odd here is the implied thought that "since I remember it as X, and everything I can find today says it's Y, everything in the universe is wrong and I'm right". That's a special level of ego. While I never took those graduate quantum physics classes, I understand that parallel universes are a feature of quantum mechanics. One of the implications of the Many Worlds interpretation is that every decision splits off new parallel universes where each possible outcome has occurred (a bit of an explanation), meaning that there's an incomprehensibly huge number of parallel universes in existence. These universes are isolated from each other. Which means people can't hop between parallel universes and bring their memories of Charles Schultz eating Fruit Loops.
An illustration of the splitting of parallel universes. The guy suggests getting a drink to the girl. At that decision, two universes come into existence: one in which she agrees and the couple eventually marries and has children (after another few hundred universes form and split off); along the other pathway, she declines the drink and they never get any closer.
There was a young lady named Miss BrightReplyDelete
Who could travel much faster than light;
She set out one day,
In a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
I guess they came from a universe in which Steve Biko served his time and eventually became a revered civil-rights figure.ReplyDelete
What happens when six or eight of you remember the same, different, history? Without previously communicating with each other?ReplyDelete
Perhaps the group of you have seen the same incorrect source? The same movie or TV show or article somewhere?Delete
That's the origin of the name. The originator said she remembered Mandela dying in prison and other people she spoke with did as well.
Seems to me a split would have to happen whenever one particle interacted with another particle, and a new universe appeared holding each possible QM dice roll result. That's a lot of universes.ReplyDelete
I'm really not the guy to be talking with about this, but I think an observer is required to observe the particles. Like Schrodinger's cat who is simultaneously alive and dead until the experimenter looks and collapses the quantum wave function ("pops the qwif"). Until the observer looks to determine to see if the cat is dead or not, it's simultaneously in both states.Delete
So if you're going somewhere in the car in a hurry and decide to go through that yellow light even if it turns red, two universes just popped into existence: in one you made that decision and in the other, you decided to stop.
And, yeah, that's a lot of universes.
As Bohr said, "Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."
Well from a strictly medical perspective "The Mandela Effect" is a symptom of something called "stress paranoia". It is not so much an ego driven syndrome as it is a stressor driven one. The condition usually stops when the stressor is relived. If it doesn't there are often MUCH bigger "issues" with the sufferer. Quantum "jumping" might be possible. But I have never seen evidence of it. I have however seen ample evidence of batshit crazy in humans.---RayReplyDelete
"I have however seen ample evidence of batshit crazy in humans" - Quote of the Day material right there, Ray!Delete
To see spirited discussions of what happened, when and who was there, go to a Marine RVN battalion reunion. Everyone knows exactly what they know and generally is in direct conflict with what others know. It even happened to me when I found my letters to my parents from the RVN. Things written in my own hand in 1969 proved absolutely, rock-solid facts in my head were wrong. It's caused me to look at everything with a "hmm, maybe that happened, maybe not".ReplyDelete
Some conspiracy theories are simply crazy. However... I don't believe that Oswald killed JFK or that one man did. I don't believe flight 800 blew itself up. I don't believe Tim McVeigh could mix the AMFO by himself OR that AMFO would severe a 5' thick reinforced concrete support pillar when exploded in the street many feet from the building (in other words our government lied to us about the OK city bombing).ReplyDelete
Just these three conspiracies alone make me mistrust our government. Add in to this the director of the FBI telling us Hillary was innocent and I really don't trust our government any more.
Just a comment to note that this is not about conspiracy theories. A more relevant example would be if you swore up and down you vividly recall the day Kennedy was assassinated and it was just before the 1964 elections, but now everyone tells you a different date 11 months earlier.Delete
How much do you REALLY believe? (Not the Nine O' Clock News from around 1980 - a British comedy programme)Delete
I remember clearly the day Kennedy was shot. The big boos came up to where my boss and I were and told my boss what happened. But the real thing is my mother's childhood friend/neighbor was a Mafia guy. Nice guy to us but heartless and conscience free. Anyway he was sitting in our living room with my dad that evening when the news was on about the assassination and my mother said "who would do that?". Without missing a beat Mafia guy says "the mob did it". My mother asks who and he says Giancana did it because the deal was he fixed the election for Joe Kennedy and in exchange they would leave the Mafia alone. But Bobbie Kennedy double crossed them and JFK backed him up so they killed him.Delete