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Courtney, don't read this.

Richard Feynman hurts my brain. He always has. I learned the hard way that listening to his lectures while driving is dangerous, as it's almost impossible to maintain control of a motor vehicle while listening to your entire concept of how the universe works get turned inside out. Seriously, it's downright Lovecraftian at times. For that I love him dearly.

I also love zombies. I never would've expected these two interests to overlap, but then I read today's xkcd:

Zombie Feynman!

This is beyond awesome, but it also raises a deep philosophical question: Would I allow the Zombie Feynman to eat my brains? On one hand, zombies are a terrible scourge and possibly the greatest threat to the long term survival of intelligent life (creationists notwithstanding). On the other hand, Feynman was a scientific renaissance man, and well deserving of the high regard in which he is generally held by the physics community.

In the end I have to admit that I probably would. After all, even as a shambling corpse I have little doubt that he'd do more to advance quantum mechanics than I could ever dream of doing. Wouldn't it be selfish of me to not offer up my own brains to assist in his work?

Just something to consider the next time your home is besieged by physicists from beyond the grave.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
slouchinphysics
Mar. 17th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
A few things helpfully arranged as a bulleted list

1. As an actual working scientist I can say there are quite a few papers I read where folks are less rigorous than the folks on mythbusters due to the difficulties of the experiments in question. Those guys really are doing good things for us.

2. I will happily swear an oath to whatever deranged philandering sky god you like to how much I love to see people bash string theorists. As an experimental physicist I'm really tired of how every time one of my hard working, cave dwelling, particle accelerating colleges gets his or hers particle pachinko machine up to an even more absurd power level. The damn string theorists move all of the energies their respective theories can be tested at up to a yet more absurd energy level. Look if you've spent 25 years saying just a few more Mega, Giga, or now Tera volts and we can test your theory without their ever at any time being an actual testable theory maybe you aren't doing science. When folks make untestable theories thats a different field....

3. Zombie Feynman can taste my double ought but I'll be keeping my brain thank you! He was one of the great geniuses of the 20th century no doubt but he was also one of the great douches. He took poor care of his graduate students to say the least. Freeman Dyson never did get his PhD due to Feynman and thats an act of high douchery to say the least. Damn could Feynman write though. Strangely Teller, the primary inspiration for Dr. Strangelove, who was the mad scientist of the 20th century was also an amazing writer too. One of his papers actually made QCD understandable for me for 5 or even six minutes. Okay I'm babbling so I'm gonna go back to playing with a blowtorch.
zandperl
Mar. 18th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
I wonder, do zombies fit the definition of life that biologists currently use? I mean they have some of the main accepted bodily functions, such as taking in energy (in the form of brains), putting out waste products (limbs falling off, ooze), and they even reproduce (via bites). They fit more criteria than some things astrobiologists are pondering.

So if zombies are alive, the question is then, are they or creationists less intelligent?
slouchinphysics
Mar. 18th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)
Hmm good question. We should do a test. We can infect a school board in rural Texas and see if the curriculum in the local schools improve.
zandperl
Mar. 18th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
I doubt that zombies know how to run an effective meeting (their "ayes" sound an awful lot like their "nos"), so my guess is that they would maintain status quo. The curriculum certainly couldn't get much worse.
scrappygeek
Apr. 2nd, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
I have his series "Lectures on Physics" ... if you ever need them. :)
datan0de
Apr. 2nd, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
I've got 'em, but thanks!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )