Monday, 13 February 2006

Rugby, Physics, Philosophy & Beer

If you're in or around Auckland and your eyes lit up at that headline above, then this is going to be right up your alley. A few friends and I are proposing to rerun a provocative series of taped lectures on the philosophic corruption of physics -- and just as physicist/philosopher David Harriman integrates physics and philosophy with his lectures (while answering all those absurdities that many people claim that quantum physics 'proves'), we plan to integrate BBQ, beer-drinking, physics and rugby.

What could be better, eh? Schrodinger's Cat? Strange particles? The interconnectedness of everything? Beer! In a series of taped lectures, informal discussions, and fully loaded BBQs we'll peel back the philosophical base behind modern physics, and examine why and how it became corrupted -- and no prior knowledge of either physics or philosophy is needed. Knowledge of beer and how to open it might however prove useful.

As to details, my co-conspirator-in-chief suggests we run this every second Saturday while the Super 14 is on, starting discussion of the Harriman tapes about 5pm, lighting the BBQ at 6:30pm, and then watching Super 14 on the Drinking Room's big screen at 7:30. Saturday is better than Friday, says my co-conspirator, since we can gather earlier and talk later. My problem is that my next few Saturdays are already booked up -- but who needs me all the time, right?

If you're interested or know somone who should be, then let them know and drop me a line at organon at ihug dot co dot nz to let me know your preferred evening(s). Come and join us for an informal lecture and discussion on this provocative topic.

WHAT: 'Philosophic Corruption of Physics' lectures, BBQ, beer, and Super 14
WHERE: View Road, Mt Eden. Details on application.
WHEN: Your choice. Let me know by email at organon at ihug dot co dot nz.
Cartoon by Nick Kim.


  1. Damn - I live in Wellington, so won't be able to make it. I'm a staunch supporter of Many Worlds, so it would have been interesting to be there.

    Have you read The Fabric of Reality by the physicist David Deutsch?

    That cartoon is pretty accurate, except that universes do not occur in equal measure. So the measure of universes in which Bush won the election is probably more than the measure of universes in which Kerry won and certainly much much higher than the measure of universe in which I won!

    I don't have a problem with Many Worlds because - as the Fabric of Reality makes clear - it is a consequence of taking our best physical theories seriously as a description of objective reality.

  2. BTW - have a beer for me whenever someone objects to Many Worlds on the basis of Occam's razor or that it is not testable or falsifiable!

  3. Yeah, it's a pity it's not happening in Wellington.

    As for the Many Worlds Theory, there's an easy way around all that. Just take Feynman's QED theory and pretend that what we observe is merely the sum of all possible histories.

    God doesn't play dice. God is the dice.

  4. I am in town Feb 25th for my brother's stag night (that night, unfortunately) through to Monday March 6th for his wedding (the previous day). I can make March 4th if it's on then. Let me know PC.


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