Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is there "objectivity"?

When I produced the Michael Frayn play Copenhagen at Laguna Playhouse in 2002 (and then on a national tour), some audiences were mystified by it. I saw it really as a contemporary version of Rashomon, the classic play in which an event is related differently by the three people who witnessed it. Of course, Copenhagen throws in a lot of physics, too, for pseudo-intellectuals like myself who like to say they understood it while others scratch their heads. (:-)

According to the Slate review of a new book, Quantum:

Much of the debate between Einstein and Bohr revolved around Einstein's
intuitive rejection of the implication of the Copenhagen interpretation -- which
is that objective reality, independent of any observer, doesn't really exist.
Bohr, by contrast (and sounding a lot like Wittgenstein), insisted that physics
isn't concerned with what is but solely with what we can say about it.

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody's there to hear it, does it make a sound?

No comments: