Re: Romeo and Juliet and QS

From: George Levy <>
Date: Sun, 06 Oct 2002 23:14:06 -0700

Wei Dai wrote:

>On Fri, Sep 27, 2002 at 11:53:10PM -0700, George Levy wrote:
>>After discussing the idea of QS with their dear friend Mercutio, Romeo
>>and Juliet decide to go ahead with the project. Mercutio design the
>>machine and under his instruction, Balthasar, Romeo's loyal servant,
>>builds a QS contraption capable of operating on two persons
>>simultaneously. The QS machine is specifically designed not to operate
>>if the feud between the Montague and Capulet families comes to an end.
>>Otherwise the machine terminates itself with both persons inside it in a
>>microsecond. Anyone within a radius of 20 feet of the machine is also
>What if the kill radius is equal to the diameter of the Earth? Would
>your Romeo and Juliet still go through with it? If they do and gets
>caught by the police before the machine is activated, should they be

The reason for the 20 foot radius was to get Mercutio correlated with
Romeo and Juliet, to show that an "objective" framework can exist
between two people ie, between Mercutio and Romeo, and to isolate
Bathasar from this framework.In other words, I wanted Romeo and Mercutio
to appear to be in a "normal" world and Balthasar to be in the abnormal

Your question revolves around whether QS is "Good" or "Evil." If we
assume that Good is synonymous with increasing measure and Evil with
decreasing measure, then we must look at the measure of the characters
and of the earth's inabitants as the story unfolds. More specifically,
we must look at measure as it is "measured" (if this can ever be done)
by each participant, since each one may come up with a different

There are two periods of interest:
1) Before the QS event
2) After the QS event

1) Before the QS event, no crime has been committed. Any prosecutor
would have to prove that the QS event would decrease measure. Without
evidence he has no proof.

2) After the QS event. Here, we face a difficulty because, with your
given assumption, that the whole earth is correlated to the QS event, we
lose the availability of an outside observer. To keep an observer, let's
say that an astronaut is in orbit around the earth and is left
unaffected by the QS event.

We have now two points of views:
a) the point of view of the astronaut
b) the point of view of the criminal prosecutor who must decide whether
to open criminal proceedings against Romeo and Juliet.

a) The point of view of the astronaut.
He sees the destruction of the earth, of his family and country. From
his point of view there was a loss. But the criminals are dead. Had the
radius of operation of the QS machine been larger, or even encompassed
the whole universe, there would not have been any witness to mourn the
loss, and the only point of view left is the next one. So let's say
that, not just the earth, but the whole universe has been destroyed
which brings us to the only point of view left.

b) The point of view of Romeo, Juliet and the criminal prosecutor
The criminal prosecutor shares his frame of reference everybody else on
earth. From his point of view nothing has happened, no crime has been
committed. Let's say that the prosecutor performs a forensic analysis
and attempts to measure measure. He gets his hands on a Measurator.

Let me explain what a measurator is. It's a machine that measures the
entropy of any system that it is hooked up to. If the system is closed,
the machine gives a continuously increasing reading. If the system is
open, the reading of the Measurator can go up or down depending on the
inputs and outputs.

The prosecutor finds that at the time of the QS event, there was a sharp
down spike in the entropy curve, of the earth system against the general
noise background partially due to inputs and outputs. This sharp spike
is of course related to the end of the feud between the Montague and
Capulet families. And this is the information that he presents to the
judge, explaining that there was a drop in measure due to the drop in

The defense however, replies that the end of the feud BEARS NO CAUSAL
RELATIONSHIP with the NON-OPERATION of the QS machine and that Romeo and
Juliet DID nothing wrong.

The defense then tackle the issue of the entropy spike. It argues that
this sudden lowering of the entropy curve may just be a coincidence and
that, in any case, it is infinitesimal compared with the influence of
our common quantum physical laws which are much more significantly
responsible for holding entropy down.

Without our quantum laws, for example, if we lived in a mechanistic
universe, electrons, unfettered by their quantum levels would fall into
their nucleii resulting in the almost immediate annihilation of all
matter in the universe and a huge increase in entropy. Even though
entropy of the universe is continuoulsy increasing, the universe is
still in an incredible state of low entropy. In any case, the defense
argues, if a low entropy spike is an indicator of criminal activity,
then even God, himself, is not be immune from prosecution, since entropy
was at its lowest at creation.

The defense concludes that nature itself is a huge QS machine that
filters only those worlds capable of sustaining consciousness. In
comparison with the effects of quantum laws, the effect of the spike is
infinitesimal and is equivalent to going back less than a picosecond in
entropic time. What Romeo and Juliet did, if they did anything, is only
a drop in the bucket compared with (infinitely) large natural influences
the spike is close to or equal to zero. They should not be found guilty.

Received on Mon Oct 07 2002 - 02:14:37 PDT

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