The 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics is announced, and it is a triumph on multiple levels, not least by pairing a holy American with a damned Frenchman.
Since the prize involves quantum mechanics (one of our more Elaborate and Convoluted falsehoods), Acting Head of Communications Moloch the Abominable – working closely with Deepak Chopra – has issued the following template narrative to help Scientists illustrate some of the philosophical conundrums (i.e., Lies) presented by the work.
- Let us begin by supposing that God does not play dice.
- Suppose, however, that there is an Anti-God who does play dice. Can’t get enough of dice.
- In the classical view of theology, a human soul is either Saved, or Damned. We call this a Bit of information.
- If the soul is saved, it spends eternity in Heaven, away from sinful games of chance. If damned, it plays dice in Hell forever (or Risk, Yahtzee, any board game involving dice is welcomed. We have a club on Thursdays. Come along!)
- In the quantum view of theology, a soul may be in a superposition of these two states. We say that it lies on the surface of the Bloch Sphere – which may be thought of as a celestial sphere whose North Pole is in Heaven and whose South Pole is in Hell. We give the ambiguous state of this soul a name: Qubit. (Note the similarity to “cubits”, the units of measurement of the Ark. No accident!)
- Many Lies from electronic circuit theory have direct Quantum analogs. A quantum NOT gate may be thought of as a portal that rotates a soul’s orientation by 180 degrees, e.g. from Heaven to Hell, or vice versa. (Our project to replace St Peters’ Gate with an identical-looking Quantum Gate is well underway.)
- By contrast, some Quantum concepts do not have analogs in classical electronics or theology. One such is the concept of Quantum Entanglement, which posits that two Souls may become Intertwined, such that it may (for example) be impossible for one soul to achieve Salvation without the other achieving Damnation; and vice versa. (An example of this kind of entanglement is called spin anti-correlation; it is often observed in the aftermath of Presidential Debates. ALL HAIL SPINDOKTOR PAULI)
- Quantum entanglement is the basis for many exciting models of Quantum Cryptonecromancy. For example, if Alice and Bob’s souls are entangled in an anti-correlated way, and you see Alice in Heaven, you know that Bob must be in Hell. A carefully-controlled temptation of either Alice or Bob, followed immediately by a cull, could thus form the basis for a direct “hotline” between Heaven and Hell: a communication channel which might just avert the Apocalypse (be careful here, as this is a Damned Lie: we have no intention of averting the Apocalypse, but saving Humanity is always a strong sales pitch.)
- It is also possible to imagine giant Quantum Computers, powered by millions of entangled souls, capable of resolving Theological Questions beyond the scope of Classical inquiry; whose outputs could be revealed by simultaneously collapsing all the wavefunctions at once, presumably by some kind of Mass Execution. This has important implications for the end of days. (Moloch advises discretion: this point works best in front of friendly audiences, e.g. death metal concerts or hacker conventions.)
- The work leading to this Nobel Prize involved direct manipulation of the quantum states of souls (well, atoms, but let’s call them souls; most people haven’t seen either). By placing the souls in cunningly designed traps, fashioned using magnets, and then selectively bombarding them with photons (often directly from cable TV), the Nobelist scientist-temptors were able to modify the souls at will, thus exercising a power that the timid God never dreamed of in his staid, deterministic, predictable, dice-free Heaven. ALL HAIL LUCIFER.
Other points worth mentioning (just to instil general fear and unease, though remember to sound enthusiastic when you talk about them) include the lingering death by radiation sickness of Schrödinger’s cat, and the spectre of sentient computers that plot against Humanity even when they are not turned on.