Monday, January 3, 2011

On quantum physics, ethnography, and how my mind works

I came across the descriptions of this double slit experiment many times in articles and I was amazed by it but it is much better to see it visually as in this video.  I want to tell you a story about the video. I'm telling you this with a very altruistic reason--that is, to shed light on the weird workings of our minds when a person is exposed to two completely unrelated topics (in my case quantum physics and ethnography) one after the other how our minds combine them in a nice little story. Hmm, of course there is this possibility that there is something really weird about how my mind works.  In either case, I think that my example will serve the greater good and help scientists somehow in understanding how our minds work ^_^. Since I have been reading on qualitative and ethnographic research recently here is how this video on quantum physics plays in my mind.
Actually the video is part of the data collected for an ethnographic study of a tribe called Nortcele. This tribe lives in the emerald forests of Quantumia, which is located in North West Asia. According to the researchers they are very friendly people by the way. Apparently in this tribe when the participants are asked to decide between two things, for example two different desserts, something really weird happens and no one can explain this. If the researcher has two desserts, let's say apple pie and strawberry short cake, and asks the participant to choose the participant chooses and eats one of them. But if the researcher isn't in the room and the participant is left with the desserts alone she eats both desserts but one of the desserts remains untouched. According to the researchers, all interview attempts with the participants to illuminate this conundrum have utterly failed because of the severity of the stage fright very common among tribe members. Now the question is is this an illusion or magic ^_^?
Joking aside, this animated video shows the end of positivism right there.


  1. Very interesting experiment. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Glad you like it. Personally I'm quite amazed by it.