Wednesday, 24 September 2014

"Brian Cox: Multiple Brian Coxes makes sense"

From the BBC:

The presenter and physicist Brian Cox says he supports the idea that many Brian Coxes can exist at the same time.

The idea may sound far-fetched but the "many Brian Coxes" concept is the subject of serious debate among ex-members of D:Ream, physicists and television presenters. It is a particular interpretation of quantum talentedness - which describes the often counter-intuitive behaviour of one person at small scales.

In a famous thought experiment devised by the Manchester physicist, you cannot know whether the Brian Cox appearing in a television programme which you are not currently watching is an ex-D:Ream member, a physicist or a television presenter. Or any combination of different probabilities of those careers.

This is at odds with most common perceptions of the way normal people are. Cox' experiment was designed to illustrate the problems presented by one human being blessed with a multitude of talents, better known as the "Things can only get better" interpretation.

This proposes that when we tune in to the television programme, we force it to make a choice. So, for example, when you turn on your television Brian Cox will be either appearing in a 1990s music video, giving a physics lecture, chatting with fellow musician-turned-stargazer Brian May, or fronting a travel show thinly disguised as a science programme, but not all four simultaneously..

Prof Cox says the "many Brian Coxes" idea offers a sensible alternative.

"That there's an infinite number of Brian Coxes sounds more complicated than there being one," Prof Cox told the programme. "But actually, it's a simpler version of quantum talentedness."


A K Haart said...

Ha ha - very good. Presumably there must be at least one universe where Cox is a plonker.

Mark Wadsworth said...

AKH, nope, I can not imagine such a universe.

He even called the recent meteor strike a few days in advance, so fair play to him.

Sackerson said...

But there are definitely multiple Brian Coxes. The one I have time for is the one who gave a titanic performance in Titus Andronicus at Stratford in 1987; we were privileged to be there.

Brian "tw*t" Cox, on the other hand, has a very irritating grinning arrogance. I think we're supposed to make much of him because he is young-ish and used to twang a guitar. Cool Britannia, to coin a phrase.

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, the internet never forgets.

Sackerson said...

Thanks for the link, Mark. It's entirely because of Cox's performance that I applied to do a postgraduate degree in Shakespeare studies.

Coleridge said "Seeing him [Edmund Kean] act was like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning." I now know how Coleridge felt.

Pablo said...

Those effin' commie meteors 'r' always goin' on strike.

Ed P said...

CAn the present B Cox please be replaced by one who is still a scientist? Unlike the AGW nitwit spouting nonsense about CO2.

DP said...

Dear Mr Wadsworth

Any idea how much his home is worth?

Or, indeed, all of their homes ...


Mark Wadsworth said...

EP, yes, there's the AGW waffling Brian Cox as well.

DP, we'll have to wait until he does something which gets him into the Daily Mail and they'll find out.