August 30, 2022 – BLOG ENTRY 3
The experience of someone watching a movie seems to be, at the least, a vital component of whether you can say that the “film” has played. As an aside, the movie question makes me wonder exactly how many elements need to be there for us to declare that it is a movie at all. Movies, now, are digitized data fed into a processor and converted into photons of light projected onto a movie screen. What does it take to say that the latest installment of Top Gun has been “shown” on the big screen? Do we have to be there? If I walk from the theater, does Top Gun continue to play? At the very least, we can agree that the essential elements remain: data transfer, conversion to photons, and projection onto the wall. The movie is still happening even if I’m not in the room. But what if everyone else walks out, too?
Question: Could you say that the movie has played if you transfer it from a flash memory stick and use photons of light to burn it onto a DVD since almost all the same energy transfer components are still there?
My rational mind would say no, but it brings the human experience back into the equation. The problem with assuming that an event occurs, even if there is no one around to watch it, is that there is evidence from quantum physics that infers that an event cannot happen in the physical world unless there is a human to observe that event. Spooky! I’ll talk more about this in my next entry. In the meantime, you should look up the Copenhagen Interpretation.