## Thursday, September 21, 2006

### Has Fritzi Reincarnated in Me?

Karinthy Frigyes (Fritzi) was a Hungarian Jew who in the twenties discovered a method to foresee future happenings. He published a paper on the idea but I will not develope its complicated mathematical formulation here. Simply put, if A causes B, then B will cause C, so A already is contained C. (The idea is less preposterous than its seems at first look. See footnote). He was a coffeetable friend of Einstein and his Judeo-Hungarian physicist-bohemian circle.

Fritzi is better known for his sketch "I want back my tuition", where a famelic writer (those were the hungry twenties in Hungary) demands from his school the tuition, argueing that they did not teach him anything. An exam is organized and effectively, his answers show he has learned nothing - no history, no geography, no mathematics. In the end, the schoolmaster gives up and he has only one final question: how much they owe him. The writer, in a brilliant feat of mental calculation, gives the correct answer, passing the exam.

Karinthy also developed a complete language called halandzsa, which is still spoken in Budapest's Jewish Quarter. It goes like this: two persons are discussing a subject when an uninvited kibbitzer tries to engage and contribute his unsolicited opinion. The original two immediately pass to talk halandzsa, cutting out the astonished intruder. Halandzsa sounds exactly like Hungarian, uses words that seem to be legitimate Hungarian, but are undesciferable and ununderstandable. The kibbitzer cannot comprehend what is happening, he catches a few words but cannot make sense of the conversation. Earnestness and seriousness are the key to the effective application of halandzsa.

A refinement of the above is the following: two persons are discussing a subject, each sustaining contrary positions. Comes the kibbitzer and tries to argue in support of one of the positions. In a split second, the original pair (or group) adopts the opposite position and attack concertedly the intruder applying the reductio ad absurdum method, to the point of putting in doubt the sanity of the astonished victim.

You never knew when he was talking seriously and when he was making fun of you. In fact, he always was making fun of everybody including himself, and this secretly superior, satirical, intelligent way of talking is typically inner Pester, the style of inner Budapest. As a child, he was my hero. My blogging style is Fritzi reincarnated. Please dont feel insulted if you dont know if I am serious or not, it is a culture thing. Fritzi Karinthy was like that. He makes me do it. Possibly, he is doing it.

Footnote:Backward Evolving Quantum States (Tel-Aviv University). In quant-ph 0606208, Vaidman outlines the theoretical limitations on possible manipulations of a backward-evolving quantum state. "The basic concept of the two-state vector formalism, which is the time symmetric approach to quantum mechanics, is the backward evolving quantum state. However, due to the asymmetry of the memory's arrow of time, the possible ways to manipulate a backward evolving quantum state differ from those for a standard, forward evolving quantum state. The similarities and the differences between forward and backward evolving quantum states regarding the no-cloning theorem, nonlocal measurements, and teleportation are discussed. The results are relevant not only in the framework of the two-state vector formalism, but also in the framework of retrodictive quantum theory."Retrocausation: Experiment and Theory AAAS Causality – the notion that earlier events can affect later events but not vice-versa – undergirds our experience of reality and physical law. Causality is predicated on the forward unidirectionality of time. However, most physical laws are time symmetric; that is, they formally and equally admit both time-forward and time-reverse solutions. Time-reverse solutions are distressing because they would allow the future to influence the past, i.e., reverse causation. Why time-forward solutions are preferentially observed in nature remains an unresolved problem in physics. While the most convincing explanations invoke the second law of thermodynamics, wavefunction collapse or the expansion of the universe, in the end, purely forward causation is an ad-hoc physical assumption."In this framework, amplitudes for alternative histories for the universe are calculated with final boundary conditions only. This leads to a top-down approach to cosmology, in which the histories of the universe depend on the precise question asked.