[Today’s note is a bit of humorous whimsy, completely unrelated to anything I usually blog about.]

I’ve been thinking about the two-part Get-it-Done Guy episode on visualization, and it’s given me an idea. There’s a long history of people misunderstanding physics and using the misunderstanding to promote whatever their belief system of the moment is. Physics brings legitimacy, and the belief system of the moment brings wish fulfillment and the bonus of not having to think too hard. (After all, the math you need to understand real physics… Oy! So complicated!)

Quantum mechanics is where this happen the most. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics—that the universe is simultaneously many different states until an observer measures it—become the New Age justification for the belief “You can wish for what you want and it will happen magically and without any effort on your part.”

Last night I was watching a physics documentary and realized that no one’s built a cult around Dark Matter, yet. Let’s start now1:

There’s a universe full of dark matter that we can’t see or interact with. In fact, the vast majority of the universe is dark matter. Though it’s called “dark,” it’s actually where God, angels and heaven, are. Think of it as just another dimension, as proven by the quantum mechanics “multiple universe” hypothesis. Send me $19.97 and I’ll send you an official Dark Matter Contact Certificate that is guaranteed to attract your angels from the nearest dark matter hub. With your angels at your back, you can do anything! Bake a perfect upside-down cake! Become rich and famous! Live in mansions and drive Bentleys! Drive the wrong way down one-way streets! Jump out of airplanes without a parachute! Even go scuba diving without the tank!!!2

Quantum mechanics is USEFUL! Physics is FUN! And potentially profitable!

1 It worked for L. Ron Hubbard, it can work for us!

2 Any actions undertaken by you are entirely your responsibility. We make no claims of any sort as to the safety of taking dark-matter-inspired action. After all, if your angels don’t like you, or decide that they want you to join them, that sky-diving expedition could end badly. That would be the angels’ fault, and yours, for trusting your angels in the first place.

Physics used to justify wishful thinking

read time: 2 min