blackruzsa: (Default)
[personal profile] blackruzsa posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Just a bit of Before Watchmen for your.... well, whatever you'll feel about this.

Date: 2012-08-22 07:52 am (UTC)
eyz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eyz
I preferred Animal Man's "Schrödinger's Pizza" :P
(anyone got the reference? XD)

Date: 2012-08-23 12:26 pm (UTC)
eyz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eyz
Nothing "ew"-esque, really.
It was back in Peter Milligan's Animal Man run, in-between Grant Morrison's and Tom Veitch's.
Pretty crazy non-sensical stories.

A-Man was trapped in this strange all-altered universe. And he explained via Schrödinger's theory how he ended up there. Making an example with a Pizza box. (is it cold/still warm and did they forgot the pepperoni? that makes 4 possibilities were all juxtaposed inside that box until you open it and get either a warm/cold pizza with/without pepperoni...but in his case, all possibilities were inside that box, that's how messed up things were in that dimension!)

/end explanation

Date: 2012-08-22 07:54 am (UTC)
arbre_rieur: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arbre_rieur
"Quantum physics says as long as the box is closed, it could contain anything, in any state of existence."


*I'm not a physicist, quantum or otherwise, so maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

Date: 2012-08-22 08:12 am (UTC)
captainbellman: It Was A Boojum... (Default)
From: [personal profile] captainbellman
Correct. Schrodinger's Cat-In-The-Box analogy doesn't state that ANYTHING could be in the box, just that the cat simultaneously exists in a state of life and death until you ascertain which it's in. It only really works as an analogy, as it relies on the idea that you can't hear the cat, see the box shaking from its movements, or smell it rotting away. Also, unlike the above, it relies on the experimenter having put the cat in the box themselves and therefore knowing it's in there.

Schrodinger was the first personto use a cat and a piece of radium to cleverly demonstrate quantum uncertainty, not the first person to point at a closed box and say "ANYTHING could be in there! WE WON'T KNOW UNTIL IT'S OPENED!". That discovery probably befell a caveman, centuries previous.

I'm not a physicist either, but I recall Niels Bohr once said "Anyone who claims that quantum theory is clear doesn't really understand it at all".
Edited Date: 2012-08-22 08:15 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-08-22 12:40 pm (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
You're not wrong. "Schrödinger's cat" is a thought experiment that is all about the paradox of observation in terms of quantum theory. It also has multiple solutions, depending on which theory of QT that you subscribe to.

The original idea was: a cat's in a steel box with a a radioactive isotope that has an atom that, if it decays will trigger a release of poison gas. So if the atom decays, the cat dies and if it doesn't, the cat lives. It's a paradox based on the concept of 'superposition'....namely that some things on the atomic level exist in multiple states until actually measured and observed, at which time they take an actual state. Schrodinger's cat takes that idea to the macro level: according to quantum theory, the cat could be both alive and dead, because the state of the atom is not determined until observed...but that runs counter to our reality, since the cat CAN'T be both alive and dead at the same time in our experience. That's why it's both a paradox and a thought experiment, because it's mostly about how to resolve these two conflicting ideas.

Now, to make it more complicated: depending on which theory of QT you subscribe to, the answer to this experiment changes. Neils Bohr, for example, believed that the simple act of measurement would determine the result...the cat would be dead or alive before any observation would take place. The 'many-worlds' theory of QT states that at that decision point, two universes spawn from one, with the cat dying in one and living in another. Another QT theory supposes that any change in the environment (temperature, gravity, air movement) would force the state to be determined...and so on.

What QT theory does NOT state from this idea is that something other what was put in the box is in the box. Now, you COULD extrapolate that the universe diverged when whoever bought the present made a choice of what to buy...but that's at a different point in time. Making that work in a story context would be harder, so I see why he went with this device here.

Date: 2012-08-22 08:29 am (UTC)
captainbellman: It Was A Boojum... (Default)
From: [personal profile] captainbellman
The other reason this is bullshit is that it discounts the human character, which Dr. Manhattan showed himself to be constantly and acutely aware of throughout Moore's "Watchmen".

I'll explain: the above conjecture by this version of Dr. Manhattan apparently believes that literally anything could be in the box, and hence assumes that probabilities caused by human decisions are as infinite (and hence, unpredictable) as those caused by chance. But this is inaccurate, as human decisions are informed by character and/or experience, and having an intimate knowledge of them means that the probabilities they cause can be somewhat predictable. As shown in the original "Watchmen", Dr. Manhattan - like Sherlock Holmes before him, and Abed of "Community" after - is able to acutely observe and understand human character from an outsider's perspective much more precisely than a relatively normal person, and use the knowledge he gains from that perspective to predict their probable behaviour.

Thus: knowing his father as he does (as shown in the flashbacks in "Watchmen"), the above recollection by Dr. Manhattan should NOT state that the box could contain anything, because his intimate knowledge of his father, even before he became Dr. Manhattan, would be able to inform him of what sort of gift to expect: say, a watch, a physics textbook, a selection of papers by Einstein, etc. Probability might be infinite, but it can also be predictable when the observer knows what is probable and improbable.




Edited Date: 2012-08-22 08:30 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-08-22 02:42 pm (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
Dr. Manhattan can't understand people at all, he was growing increasingly detached from humanity. What he could do is view all time simultaneously, past, present and future. He only knew what people would do because he could see them doing it in the future.

Date: 2012-08-22 07:16 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
exactly, as time went on Dr Manhattan was comepletely DIVORCED from his humanity. it Laurie to get him back intouch with his humanity, even for a little while.

Date: 2012-08-23 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
I kind-of looked at it as Jon was using a metaphor of what he knows now to describe what he felt as a child when he was opening the present.

Date: 2012-08-22 08:33 am (UTC)
captainbellman: It Was A Boojum... (Default)
From: [personal profile] captainbellman
Also: the blue wrapper is unnecessary. Trying to imply that Jon was 'predestined' to become the Doc is foolish, and typical of JMS' "Everything Is Connected" approach to storytelling. A nuclear reactor and an unfortunate chance made Dr. Manhattan, not the colour blue.

Date: 2012-08-22 07:18 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
but even Doctor Manhattan would most likely say he WAS predestined. we actually discussed this in length in class.

infact Doctor Manhattan would constantly say "This happend, because it it happened." in other words "This happened this because it was always going to happen this way"

Date: 2012-08-22 08:10 pm (UTC)
captainbellman: It Was A Boojum... (Default)
From: [personal profile] captainbellman
But that makes no sense in context of everything that happens in the story. Jon actively acknowledges that everything is happening by chance, and that he can only predict what happens thanks to his ability to see the future. Jon's weakness is that he observes chance occurrences but doesn't act to prevent them (as Comedian helpfully points out after Jon reprimands him for shooting a pregnant woman), because has all this power but is still, ultimately (and not unlike Moore's Joker), a normal man who was very unlucky this one time.

In fact, his profound realisation that there is no God or higher consciousness running everything is what prompts him to escape our own reality and create one in which he IS the higher consciousness.

He acknowledges the Douglas Adams truth that "Anything That Happens, Happens", but that does not at all mean it always was going to happen. Anyone could have been locked in that reactor core, it just happened to be him. Same as the cat in the box (which Moore cleverly references with Bubastis when Ozymandias attempts to kill Dr. Manhattan); just because you observe that the cat is dead doesn't mean it was always dead, or that it was predestined to die in this box, at this time.

Predestination is one of the most pessimistic concepts ever, and Jon ends the story with a very optimistic viewpoint.

Date: 2012-08-22 08:14 pm (UTC)
captainbellman: It Was A Boojum... (Default)
From: [personal profile] captainbellman
In fact, one of the most significant moments in "Watchmen" comes from Jon realising that things aren't always predictable: he could never have seen Sally Juspeczyk and the Comedian being in love, and through that miracle he finds faith in humanity again. It's proof that things AREN'T predestined that ultimately saves him.

Date: 2012-08-22 08:26 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: (ask the questions)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
see below.

again though this only happens AFTER. the truth is, i was more curious to see how Manhattan dealt with this realization. Would he have TRIED to change the past, realizing that maybe this human factor, this un predicatle un knowable, might inable him to do so? or would he be unable to because, he was never able to?

Date: 2012-08-22 08:23 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
But that is how he ENDS the story.

One of the discussions we had in class was that if time travel was/is possible why doesn't somebody go back in time and Kill hitler? the answer is: because Nobody went back in time and killed Hitler.

Manhattan knew that Comedian would kill that woman and nothing to stop it because, he did nothing to stop it. He can't change what has already happend and to him IT HAS already happened. Same thing with Laurie, he makes the clones of himself for her during sex and then tells her "This is when you leave me". This how ever does not discount the idea of choice.

one of the things i have always found interesting about Manhattan is the idea of the struggle between predestination and choice. Manhattan kind of inhabits both, or maybe is trapped between both.

It is funny that it is Science that kinda proves to Manhattan (and only science COULD prove it to him) that miracles CAN happen. That even though many things "Will happen as they are meant to" small chances (like him getting stuck in the reactor) or thermodynamic miracles (such as laurie). it's all very poetic. Laurie would not have happened if her mother had not made a choice a choice that was surprising in and of itself, even making that choice the chance that through that one choice Laurie would be concieved is the thermodynamic miracle.

It is only when he realizes, and reconnects with his humanity that he acknowledges the HUMAN factor. because through out the book he has almost completely lost touch with his humanity.

Date: 2012-08-22 11:42 pm (UTC)
philippos42: "Dark Vengeance!" (future)
From: [personal profile] philippos42
You had a time travel class?

Date: 2012-08-22 11:55 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
All students at Gallifrey University are required to take Time Travel.101 :)

But no, I took a graphic novel class at csuf. we talked about time travel when we read watchmen

Date: 2012-08-23 06:19 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Have you read the actual issue, may I ask? Because it's funny that you say that, when it seems like the idea of this book is going to be Jon trying to figure out if if he CAN change his destiny, and at the end it seems like he actually finds a way to go back in time to before his "creation" and gets "himself" out of the chamber that transforms him into Doctor Manhattan.

Date: 2012-08-22 08:57 am (UTC)
skemono: I read dead racists (Default)
From: [personal profile] skemono
As Deepak Chopra taught us, quantum physics means anything can happen at any time for no reason. Also, eat plenty of oatmeal and animals never had a war. Who’s the real animals?

Date: 2012-08-22 10:22 am (UTC)
abates: Tetrap from Doctor Who story "Time and the Rani" (Default)
From: [personal profile] abates
"But no, it was another sodding pair of socks."

Been a while since I read it but...

Date: 2012-08-22 11:39 am (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
Hrrm, reminds me of what Albert tried to explain the concept of the cat in the box to Death in... the Last Hero I think it was. Considering it was Death he was trying to explain it too, who points out that if he didn't know if something was alive or dead he'd be kind of bad at his job, it just results in the anthropomorphic personification giving Albert a cool look, removing the cat from the box and firmly stating "I can't abide cruelty to cats".

Re: Been a while since I read it but...

Date: 2012-08-22 04:39 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Discworld Death's fondness for cats has been shown many times, from his various discussions with The Amazing Maurice, to his granddaughter Susan referring to it when she saw a museum display of Anthropomorphic taxidermy which included come kittens and noting that her grandfather would have had a few choice words to say to whoever came up with THAT concept.

And as Pratchett has said in another of his books which uses the Schrodinger analogy, any experiment where there's an evens chance that when you open the box you'll find a pissed off, mildly radioactive, cat leaping out at you, is probably not one you want to perform.

Re: Been a while since I read it but...

Date: 2012-08-23 03:49 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Reminds me when the cops in Futurama pulled Schrödinger over.

Date: 2012-08-22 02:26 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
Somewhere Niels Bohr walks among us, Unobserved and IMMORTAL.

Date: 2012-08-23 02:10 am (UTC)
glprime: (Default)
From: [personal profile] glprime
"I will do science to it."

Date: 2012-08-22 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] blueprintstyles
I don't think he's going off Schrödinger's cat, there are other theories that support this.

Date: 2012-08-22 03:03 pm (UTC)
liara_shadowsong: (Default)
From: [personal profile] liara_shadowsong
...That's not how quantum physics works. Also, was it really necessary to make both his shirt and the wrapping paper blue? There's foreshadowing, and then there's implications of predestination. XP

Date: 2012-08-23 06:21 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Well, from my reading of Watchmen, to his mind, he was predestined to become Doctor Manhattan.

Date: 2012-08-23 12:12 pm (UTC)
liara_shadowsong: (Default)
From: [personal profile] liara_shadowsong
And that is a perfectly legitimate interpretation. It just seems to me that the blue associated with his person/gift/speechbubbles but literally nowhere else on the page, not even as part of any green or purple, seems a little bit overly pointed in this scene. It might have been more subtle, but still open to the view that he believed himself predestined, if the gift was a little further from the shade of the speechbubble, and some of the shirt stripes were a different color (perhaps if the lighter stripes were white?). Sorry I wasn't more precise the first time around.

Date: 2012-08-22 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] md84
He's probably just taking comfort in the idea that in some parallel reality, he actually got a gift he wanted.

Date: 2012-08-22 04:40 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
That was my thought, the Schrodinger reference doesn't work, but the notion that until the box was opened, there was, in his anticipation, the possibility that it could be anything (rather than LITERALLY anything) works for me.

Date: 2012-08-22 04:44 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
IIRC in JMS's Squadron Supreme, their Zatanna analogue Arcanna had the ability to manipulate parallel quantum dimensions to achieve the result that she wanted. She also used Schrodinger's Cat as the example of how her power worked.
Edited Date: 2012-08-22 04:45 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-08-22 07:55 pm (UTC)
terabient: A girl looks up at a glowing machine (Default)
From: [personal profile] terabient
He used it during his run on Thor, too. Guess it's an idea that really stuck with him, although given the way in which he utilizes it, I'm not sure he understands it. x_x

Date: 2012-08-22 09:12 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
aha! Bleedingcool puts it perfectly why I don't like this new interpretation of Manhattan!

I need a VINDICATED icon....

Date: 2012-08-22 11:38 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Sonny Strait Nightcrawler)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Is this close enough?


Date: 2012-08-22 11:40 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
Heh cute, never been an alpha flight fan though

Date: 2012-08-22 11:56 pm (UTC)
philippos42: heather (heather)
From: [personal profile] philippos42
Hm, it's been a while since I changed my icons.

OK if I use this?

Date: 2012-08-23 08:15 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Not in the slightest, enjoy! :)

Date: 2012-08-23 02:02 am (UTC)
terabient: A girl looks up at a glowing machine (Marvel: Thor - Bored)
From: [personal profile] terabient
Maaaaan, this is totally going to end with Dr. Manhattan orchestrating his own creation, isn't it?

Weaksauce :|

Date: 2012-08-23 06:23 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Well, to be fair, it definitely sets itself up to be different from any of the other books, since it will probably be about seeing how things become even worse if he doesn't become Doctor Manhattan. It makes this story have something more interesting happen, since his actual history is something we are very intimate with in the original story.

Date: 2012-08-23 05:35 pm (UTC)
terabient: A girl looks up at a glowing machine (Marvel: Thor - Bored)
From: [personal profile] terabient
Yeah, my biggest problem with Before Watchmen as a whole is that every book so far has been predictably reverent, and mostly boring--they're well written for the most part, the artwork is fantastic, but the stories themselves are, well, exactly what you'd expect from a prequel series.

I'd hesitate to say that Dr. Manhattan will be much different when all signs point to predestination, but I think it has more potential to actually comment on the nature of Dr. Manhattan's original role in Watchmen whereas the other books just feel like supplementary material. I'm more concerned with the fact that this kind of stuff--the many worlds theory, the future self influencing past events paradox, predestination--JMS has used it before, and each time he trots these plot points out its to diminishing returns. It's fitting subject matter for a character like Dr. Manhattan, but I'm not sure Straczynski is the best person to be writing it...because he's done it before. (Which is a weird thing to worry about, I suppose.)

I'm super conflicted about keeping up with this--it's the only book out of the Before Watchmen series that has interested me, but not so much that I'm entirely on board with reading more.

Date: 2012-08-23 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
There have been some interesting/surprising stuff for me in these stories, like the truth about Comedian and the Kennedy assassination, Nite Owl II's history with the Phantom Lady and how it juxtaposes with both his history and Rorschach's history, and hell, The Silhouette in Minutemen is steadily becoming my favorite character of the ENTIRE Watchmen universe.


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