anhinga_anhinga (anhinga_anhinga) wrote,


The strangest impression from my October trip to Moscow was mainstreaming of Pelevin. The ads for his new novel, "t", were on subway escalators, the book itself was featured prominently in airport book kiosks. I always thought that his attempts to popularize some rather difficult concepts from non-Western philosophy would automatically limit his audience, so this was a great surprise.

The book itself seemed to be structured into dozens of quite different realities. I liked it a lot, but then I usually like his books.

Another impression was that air quality in Moscow was much better than 11 months ago. I did not know what combination of recession, emission enforcement, or simply luck was responsible for that, but the improvement was dramatic.

On a more personal level, I now often recognize/hallucinate various Moscow smells here in Boston.

Since I started to talk about "t", I want to write a bit about treatment of time in the "Quantum Gravity" book I mentioned in the previous post. The most interesting is his "Thermal time hypothesis", a conjecture that time is on its fundamental level induced by the thermodynamic considerations. This starts on page 117 of the PDF file, page 99 of the book. This conjecture is an interesting, "dual" answer to questions about nature of the time arrow and its possible relation to thermodynamics people like Penrose and Prigogine were asking. Rovelli suggests that there might be no notion of time on more fundamental levels than the level of thermodynamics.

I also recommend the review of various meanings of time starting from page 76 of the PDF file, page 58 of the book, and up to the table of all meanings of time he discusses on page 79 of the PDF file, page 61 of the book.

Of interest is also his proposed relational interpretation of quantum theory, starting from page 168 of the PDF file, page 150 of the book. All fragments I mention here are written so that they can be understood by non-physicists.

And it is great to use a netbook with battery life sufficient to last for 8 or 9 hour in flight to read a book like this. United Airlines sucks, however, -- flight cancellation, 24 hour delay of travel.
Tags: literature, philosophy, physics

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