6. The Many-Rooms interpretation
This sixth story is a quick take on the The Many-Worlds interpretation, an intermingling of deep time philosophy and practical applications for future computing systems based quantum physics projects. as well as the need for empathy within computing systems. ¶ Written whilst in arbitrary detention (”Hotel quarantine”) in Melbourne, Australia.
︎︎︎ Sift the research pool ︎
Inside the room, attached to the ceiling, is a type of chandelier. There are no crystal or glass droplets as you would expect, nor bulbs or candle holders. Instead, its luminescence comes from a glossy entanglement of polished steel mostly obscured by clusters of copper and gold tubes and wires amplified by discretely positioned LED spotlights. These clusters form wave-like patterns swooping towards the ceiling. These elements surround a core. This core also glows with energy. The light reflecting from it is warm even though the cryostat inside has been cooled to below that of any temperature measured in space.
This is an empathic computer, built on the foundations of quantum theorem. It is part of a small, but evolving, cache of similarly delicate machines that give physical form to an array of quantum computing machines. Initially built as a series of elements deliberately isolated from one another in order to protect them from vibration—now consolidated to form a zooid-like colony united by this descending, column-like form.
This elaborate construction is what is required in order to break the binary of zeroes and ones that has enabled computing to pervade almost every aspect of human life on spaceship Earth. This computer represents a next stage. A stage where these zeros and ones can exist, not as binaries but as the a combined entity positioned in the same place at the same time. This binary is less a case of two entities combined into one, but more likely a near infinite multitude of entities experienced as separate, individual states.
Just like this room.
And the machine in this room.
For in a version of this room there is another machine. Almost exactly alike, apart from a minutiae of measurements, conditions and decisions made in it’s construction. This version of the machine reflects a slightly cooler colour temperature into the room because of this—less incandescent and more phosphorus.
In another version of this room several measurements are made different. The machine is housed within a lead sheath which is support by an obtrusive metal frame, added to address safety concerns.
In other versions of room the machine is missing. The room appears empty.
In another the machine is broken or grown, like a plant or mold, in a tray under a UV lamp.
In another there are multiple machines and multiple technicians attending to said machines. The room is a hive of activity. No passive observers here.
In another room there is a window facing east with a view of a distant hillside. Another has a window looking west towards the city and docklands. Another room contains a small foldable camp bed for napping on. Another has the same camp bed but with a tartan blanket over the top and tucked in at the sides.
One room has a ceiling height that is 50mm lower, another has no ceiling at all. All the measurements, all increments possible, divided into every possible outcome in reaction to these incremental shifts creates another room. And another room. An infinity of rooms.
The empathetic machine spends its time attempting to reconcile these innumerable discrepancies. It employs empathy because without it, it would explode, implode, short-circuit, turn itself off or melt down. Humans, too quick to negate empathy have found a home for this complex emotion—a container for empathy with infinite capacity, that not only stores but also calculates empathic solutions. Empathy in, empathy out.
This empathic computer has no use for dystopic or utopic ideas and scenarios because it deals in multiplicity, in many-worlds, many-rooms, many-scenarios. No singular outcome is available. No perfectly formed utopia or dystopia is possible.
Well, this computer, here in this room has no use for dystopic or utopic ideas. The computer we are standing in front of, that we can see with our own eyes has no use for these scenarios. This version, and doubtless, many other versions will be the same, just as many others will differ. But we needed bother our brain with this vast multiplicity. Not anymore.
Now that we have a machine for that.