“Physicists achieve first ever quantum teleportation between computer chips” read the headline. https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-manage-quantum-teleportation-between-computer-chips-for-the-first-time
Kevin was awestruck. The implications were stunning – to think that they had actually transmitted information via quantum entanglement. Wow… He knew of course that most people would have no idea what that meant, much less care to find out. The words would just be a bunch of mumbo jumbo and they would go about their day, living as if it was just any other day. And maybe it was. But it wasn’t going to stay that way for long – at least that’s not what Kevin thought.
How in the world does a person even get into quantum physics? What made him so interested in that headline? It wasn’t as if he was a physicist himself. He’d been a developer for 12 years and gotten burnt out on coding, so he had transitioned into a business analyst role. And while he liked his job, he certainly wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it. No, his dreams, his passions, were centered around his three favorite topics: quantum physics, AI, and metaphysics – not necessarily in that order. I mean, the same things most people are interested in, right? AI, he read about all the time, and even had a Google alert set up to notify him any time an interesting new article or blog post was published. And metaphysics – Kevin was an old “New Ager.” He had come to learn about the many different aspects of new thought and spirituality in his late teens, and much of what he learned resonated deeply with him. The fact that young people were starting to get into crystals, astrology, etc was very uplifting indeed.
But what about Quantum Physics? In 2005, a friend had recommended a movie called “What the Bleep Do We Know?” to him. It was playing at a small cinema in town that played a lot of independent films. Watching the movie was a revelation – the way it explained quantum physics and interwove it with spiritual ideas and principles was breathtaking. But the properties they described in the movie – superposition, entanglement, wave particle duality – all sounded like just a bit too much. There was NO way those phenomena could all be real – was there? He knew he had to find out for himself, so he set out to read every book on quantum physics (all that were written for general readers anyway) that he could get his hands on, fully expecting to find out that what the movie suggested was a bunch of BS.
But that isn’t what he found. Not at all. At least regarding the quantum physics stuff. As far as some of the correlations that were made in the movie, those could be dismissed easily enough. But the actual properties of particles at the quantum scale – the world of the tiniest particles imaginable, electrons, protons, etc – those were real. Particles really do exist as both a a particle and a wave simultaneously until someone observes one; particles really can be “entangled” such that doing something to one of them will immediately affect the other one, in the same exact way, even if it is millions of miles away; particles really do seem to “know the future,” somehow ‘knowing’ whether or not someone is going to look at them, changing the way they behave BEFORE the person makes the decision whether to look at them or not. This is all true – it’s all real, and all scientifically verified. And with that knowledge came the realization that maybe it wasn’t quite so easy to dismiss some of the correlations the people in the movie made regarding metaphysical phenomena.
“Dude, are you ever going to do any actual work today?”
“Not if I can help it,” Kevin replied.
Jason was the closest thing to work BFF Kevin had, and he was grateful for it. He’d worked with quite a few different people in his career as a developer, having switched jobs numerous times, so he knew how rare it was to have someone to work with who was easy going, shared the same political views (golden, in an age of vitriol and ultra partisanship) and was a brilliant developer to boot. Jason was a great lunch companion – and made him look good, translating the requirements he gathered into awesome applications.
“I’m surprised you haven’t sent out any memes yet.”
“Yeah, I got hung up reading this article about quantum teleportation. But yes, I suppose it’s time to do my REAL job.”
It was the thing that Kevin was known for at his current company, and pretty much every one he had ever worked for: he was the “meme master,” and had collected images to cover pretty much any topic or emotion imaginable. Whenever possible when replying to emails, instead of sending actual verbiage, he would send an image of some kind – often times, ones that he had created himself using image editing software. Some of his favorites were ones with the faces of a particular group of friends he had made working at a healthcare company years past edited into funny pictures. In fact, they had a tradition of sending out “Happy (Monday, Tuesday, etc)” every day, and it always provided a bright spot on those days when work was just too much – well, work lol.
“Happy Friday – TGIF” the email subject said. It was one of his – and the entire gang’s – very favorites: a picture of The Village People with the faces of everyone in the group (there just happened to be 5 of them, 6 including Kevin) superimposed on each of the members. He had taken the time to scan the Facebook profiles of each of them to snag pictures that matched the pose of each person – Jamie was on the guy who played the Native American, a giant head dress crowning him, crouched in front; to the left, crouched on the other side was DV, as the “guerrila warrior; behind him from left to right, were Mac, sporting a giant cheesy grin as the cowboy; Chuck looking smug as the construction worker; and Tex, with a sly, cool look as the gay biker guy. It was simply brilliant, and with the text “Just Another Friday for Us Freaky People!” emblazoned in the classic meme font on it. He clicked send with a sense of joy and satisfaction that no other job, to this point, could give.