Debate Magazine

"Brian Cox: Multiple Brian Coxes Makes Sense"

Posted on the 24 September 2014 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the BBC:
The presenter and physicist Brian Cox says he supports the idea that many Brian Coxes can exist at the same time.
The idea may sound far-fetched but the "many Brian Coxes" concept is the subject of serious debate among ex-members of D:Ream, physicists and television presenters. It is a particular interpretation of quantum talentedness - which describes the often counter-intuitive behavior of one person at small scales.
In a famous thought experiment devised by the Manchester physicist, a Brian Cox appearing on television which you are not currently watching could be an ex-D:Ream member, a physicist and a television presenter at the same time. Or any combination of different probabilities of those careers.
This is at odds with most common perceptions of the way normal people are. Cox' experiment was designed to illustrate the problems presented by one human being blessed with a multitude of talents, better known as the "Things can only get better" interpretation.
This proposes that when we tune in to a television programme, we force it to make a choice. So, for example, when you turn on your television to watch a programme featuring Brian Cox, he is either appearing in a 1990s music video, giving a physics lecture, chatting with fellow musician-turned-stargazer Brian May, or fronting a travel show thinly disguised as a science programme, but not all four simultaneously..
Prof Cox says the many Brian Coxes idea offers a sensible alternative.
"That there's an infinite number of Brian Coxes sounds more complicated than there being one," Prof Cox told the programme. "But actually, it's a simpler version of quantum talentedness."

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