Friday, September 28, 2012

So how many of me are there?

One thing bothers me about my situation....

OK there are a lot of things that bother me about my situation, like for example I don't have a life and my alter ego does. But another thing that bothers me is that if there are two of me here, there must be one of me missing somewhere else. I may be flattering myself, but I think that's going to suck.

It seems like whenever the time machine is used, you end up in a slightly different universe than the one you left. The goats probably didn't notice. They are happy as long as they have something tasty to eat, like grass, moss or cardboard boxes. But, unlike the goats, I can see I am in a different universe. One obvious difference: this universe is inhabited by a rather unreasonable version of me that refuses to go in the time machine, whereas the universe I came from was inhabited by a better version of me (me, in fact) who didn't have a problem with time machines.

But up to the point where I arrived back in time it really seems like the universes were the same. In fact they may well have been one universe. So an alternative theory is that the universe bifurcated into two when I arrived back. That I actually created this universe by my arrival. That makes me the creator of this universe, which I think is a pretty important role. I should totally get some credit for creating the universe.

But what about the universe I left? They assured me that I had arrived the day before from the future, so if that is true, that's not the universe that is missing a me. Is it the universe that he came from, or did they get an Erik from a fourth universe? Perhaps there isn't a universe that is missing a me, there's just an endless chain of universes, each of which provided an Erik to a previous one. Perhaps there are even some where the Eriks are piling up and they don't know what to do with them.

I am strangely comforted by the thought that there might be an infinite chain of universes, each with at least one Erik in it. Others may find it less comforting, perhaps even a little spooky.

Another comforting thing about multiple universes is that there might be one where GOTO is still called JAOO.

I am really looking forward to building my new life at JAOO GOTO. After the party I expect to be a bit hung over. Not sure I'll make it to the keynote about Microsoft and Open Source. Some early bird will be able to tell me whether it was about how they are trying to crush Open Source with patent trolling, or whether they explained why they prohibit some Open Source licenses on their source hosting site.

Then there's the talk about Perl 6. The way I imagine the Perl 6 project is as a distributed version of the artist from Spaced. But it's probably more complicated than that.

In fact I think I'll just camp out in the programming languages track. I love programming languages. There are talks about 'R' and 'D'. If I ever invent a language all the good letters will be already taken.

And Tuesday at 5 there is more programming language goodness in the form of the Dart user group for Dart users or those who want to try being Dart users. You have to register, but it's free even for those that don't have a GOTO ticket!

On Wednesday I am definitely going to the Personal Productivity track. Last year it was a blast - a series of great mini-talks with tips on how to do more with less effort. I wonder if it's too late for me to do a talk on techniques for using vim with only 9 fingers.

In the afternoon there is The browser is dead (Dan, you tease, I know you don't really mean it!) and probably yet another language talk before the big Hejlsberg closing keynote which is also free to people who register even if they don't have a ticket. What's with all the freeness this year? Crazy stuff. But if you want a ticket ping me for a discount code.

2 Comments:

At 00:37, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess as long as you believe in your ability to make a decision, you create a new universe with every conscient decision. If there is a creator he has given us the ability to come as close as it is possible to a state of mind which at least represents the idea of different universes. This fact alone is stunning. But don't forget: Thinking about all those universes will not give you the ability to decide. Don't get trapped in the virtual reality bubble ...

 
At 17:38, Blogger Nik Barnes said...

Erik in this universe you did write a language. RCTL (which incidentally my predictive text writes as EVIL). In the next universe the language catapults 3 teenage boys to Mega stardom and becomes the language the first true AI is written in. Can I borrow your the machine please. ASWS

 

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