Or The common ground to be found between Quantum mechanics, and greek Philosophy.
“Alright spleenal mate how you doin?” Zeno smiled broadly as he opened the door.
“Aw you know,” I replied, as I stepped into the hall. “I still keep on keeping on”
“I read your blog the other day.” Zeno said over his shoulder as he walked through into the living room “You’re one funny fucker.”
“Here drink this.” Zeno pressed an ice-cold beer into my hand, where it came from I’ll never know “I’m on gears of war at the mo, you want to drop in?”
“Yeah sure.” I said. I was there for beer and games. That’s what Zeno was for.
Zeno sat in his chair. The lazy boy recliner handed me a controller and pointed at the screen. “Right that’s you there. The most important thing in this thing is cover. If you tap your “A” button when you’re near…”
“I know. I know what I’m doing I got it at home.” I quickly interrupted. It wasn’t often that I was able to say, “I know what I’m doing.” So I’m usually quick off the mark when the opportunity arises.
Zeno threw up his huge hands. “Shit man you should have said we could have gone on line together!”
“I’ve only got a silver account.” I confessed.
“Oh.” Said Zeno, in much the same way people do when you confess to them an embarrassing secret.
“You can get that thing off for a start Zeno. Holby city is on soon!” It was Zeno’s wife Kate, looming large (despite her thin body) in the doorway.
I was on the spot. A pawn in the game they called a marriage. Physically they couldn’t be more different. She was tall, thin, and athletic. Quite the MILF if the truth were known. He was a big man. He ate and drank too much, seldom shaved. His most attractive quality was his arrogance. Mentally though they were both the same. “Er.” I said.
Kate blew “Instead of pissing your life away fighting aliens or whatever the fuck those things are get off your fat ass and get a job!”Zeno was unfazed. “It’s eight at night bitch! Where the hell am I supposed to get a job at eight at night?”
“Duh! Internet dummy,” retorted his wife. “Monster.com. Go on get out of that chair and go get a life”
Zeno sat back in the chair. “Can’t I’ll never make it.”
“Don’t fucking start with your fucked up paradoxes Zeno I’m warning you!” Kate shouted.
If Zeno was afraid of her he hid it well. “How far away is that pc?”
“I’m not playing.” Kate said and folded her arms in that way my wife so often does.
“It’s about six meters isn’t it.” Zeno continued.
“Holby city is on in four minutes.” Said Kate, trying not to be drawn into another one of Zeno’s word games.
Zeno continued as if he’d been asked to. “But before I travel the full six meters I must travel the first three meters. Because any distance can be halved”
“You make me sick you know that don’t you.” The hands went to the hips.
“But to get to three meters I must first travel one point five meters, but before I get there must travel 75cm, but that too can be halved, as can 37.5 cm…”
“Holby is on in 3 and a half minuets.” Kate interrupted.
Zeno continued like a tank might continue through a house “1875mm can also be divided by two. As can any distance. There are an infinite number of distances from here to the pc. And as you know infinite is without end. Which means I’ll never arrive at the pc.” Zeno was triumphant.
Kate was pissed off. “You really are thick aren’t you. Just because a distance is measured by numeric system, it doesn’t automatically follow that whist a number can be halved infinitely the distance it measures can. Thicko!”
Zeno raised an eyebrow. “You are of course referring to Planck length”
“What’s Planck length?” I asked
“Ten to the power of minus 20 times the diameter of a proton” Zeno answered
His Wife then raised her little finger at her husband. “When erect.”
I was still none the wiser “I’m still none the wiser” I said
“It’s the smallest distance. There’s nothing smaller.” Said Kate in language I could understand. “It can’t be divided.”
Zeno wasn’t about give up though. “Right ok, scrub that. Getting to the pc will also take a period of time. That period of time can be divided…”
Kate verbally dived on him. “Don’t even go there, you stupid bastard. What about Planck time?”
It seemed as though she had him. Although where exactly, escaped me. Zeno however had an ace up his sleeve. “Ha, ha, you fell into my trap bitch!” he pointed at his wife. “If space-time is not infinitely divisible, and therefore not perfectly continuous, it must be a series of discrete moments. A string of ”nows” if you will.”
“Oh we’re back on the “nows” again are we?” Kate’s arms went back to being folded. “Yes I’ll buy that time is a series of nows, but they are far from being fully separate and distinct.”
I was lost again. “I’m lost” I said.
Zeno turned to me. “If time is a series of nows. Much like the frames on a reel of film each moment is a frozen moment. There is no movement in the first frame of film or any. Motion is an illusion. That’s why I can’t “move” to the pc.”
“Well yeah that goes without saying.” I rolled my eyes.
“Your film analogy’s shit.” Kate retorted. “Times “nows” are more akin to the molecules in a wave, separate yes, but not as discrete as you would have them.”
“Eh?” I was lost again.
For the first time Kate turned and looked at me. “Picture a sea. The waves coming into the shore. The waves come in towards you, yet those in the sea simply bob up and down. That’s because the water molecules aren’t moving forward.”
“Aren’t they?” I really should have listened more in school.
Zeno continued for his wife. “No they only go up and down. It’s only the energy in the wave that moves forward, passed on to the next water molecule, and the next. My wife is trying to say that time may act like a wave. The energy, for want of a better word, passed from one “now” to the next. And I think she may be right. That would mean that we exist as a string of static selves each passing on what to do, and who to be to the next like the baton in a relay race. That would mean that as we move through time we leave behind us an endless line of static selves frozen in each moment for all eternity” he postulated.
Kate raised an eyebrow. “Or?”
“Or what?” Zeno asked.
“Stay with the wave analogy.” Kate instructed.
“Frozen for eternity, or, or,” he clicked his fingers. “Or static until the next wave! Ha, Ha!” he seemed delighted.
“That’s a good thing is it?” I asked.
“Good? It’s brilliant! It gives you alternative realities running in sequence, not parallel!”
Kate smiled. “So you’re wrong then?”
Zeno smiled. “Yes, and I like it.”
“Why.” I asked.
Zeno didn’t take his eyes off his wife to answer me. “A true died in the wool thinker will be pleased whether his theory is proved or disproved as it all adds it the furtherment of knowledge.”
“All Greek philosophy is, is an exercise in proving that, what is plainly true is in fact false.” Goaded Kate. “That up is down that black is white. It’s meaningless.”
“This coming from a quantum Physicist!” Zeno exclaimed.
“Next you may argue that it is the moon that shines bright and goodly, not the sun.” said Kate.
“Careful.” Grinned Zeno.
My expression asked what was happening. Kate turned to me and said. “He likes the taming of the shrew.”
“One of these days I’ll tame you wife.” Zeno was looking at said wife as a tiger might look upon a goat..
Kate fixed her stare on her husband. “He’s fond of the misogynistic overtones.” She licked her lips. “Then God be bless’d, it is the blessed sun. But sun it is not when you say it is not, And the moon changes even as your mind.” She quoted.
“Come here wench!” Zeno growled. Grabbed his wife and threw her over his shoulder. He span round to face me. And I saw that his wife had no underwear on. “I’m going to take her upstairs for an attitude adjustment.” He said. Span back around and went out the door. Accidentally banging his wife’s head on the doorframe as went out.
“Ow’ you fat fuck, watch my head!” and then they were gone.
“Er, sh-shall I go then? I’ll go then.” I said.