Albert
Albert has no trouble sleeping. He just closes his eyes and works on the math until he drifts off and finds himself awake the next morning. He works on the math because it needs to be right; just right.
There are two major contradictory views of evil. One that evil exists outside of human beings, just waiting to push us over the edge, (the snake made me do it, Mom, honest), and the other that evil is really just sick human beings and we all have the capacity for evil, if pushed far enough (I coulda been good if I just had a chance). More seriously, the endless self perpetuating cycle of abused children growing up to become abusers illustrates the second and, although our modern conveniences cover the chasm over, the deep disturbance rustling at 2 am in the most secure of us intimates the primitive power of the first. Like particle and wave, both of these views are right and neither fits all the available data. The third, uncaring, alternative is seldom mentioned. Sometimes bad things just happen. Calling this evil is a little strong, but it sure violates any human sense of justice or fairness. Albert is trying to prove the many worlds hypothesis of quantum mechanics using quantum computing. The basic idea is simple, he tells anyone who will listen, quantum computing achieves its power by borrowing the computing power from all the infinite other quantum worlds. Most people walk away long before he gets to the words quantum computing, and nobody ever listens to him all the way to the end. Ranking infinity is strange, but it can be done. The infinity of curves is the largest we can imagine. It is larger than the infinity of the reals, which is larger than the infinity of integers. Albert would tell you, if you stayed long enough to listen, that we have no idea how large is the infinity of the multiverse, the many quantum worlds, those incomprehensibly branching alternate realities that fork off at every possible decision point, not only the big decisions - getting married, turning off the machinery that is keeping Auntie May alive, do we want another child - but also the small ones, down to the photon trying to decide which slit to go through. Albert has no friends and doesn't want any, really. He isn't the lightning summoning mad scientist you see in the comic book evil movies. He is comfortable and happy twiddling with his computers and quantum qubits. Some large corporation found him useful for his ideas and otherwise left him alone. Albert has decided to prove the many worlds hypothesis, by stopping the world. All the problems we have set computers, even the insoluble ones, are finite. Albert has built a quantum computer and he has a problem that is infinite, potentially larger than the infinity of curves, potentially larger than the infinity of the multiverse. If it works, it will use up all the computing power of the many worlds and the world will stop, because that computing power is the raw machinery of the multiverse. He calls his quantum computer Hubert. He has programmed Hubert with a brute force approach to the infinity problem. If the multiverse continues after he clicks start, then either his problem isn't as big as he thought, there is something wrong with his program, or the many worlds hypothesis is wrong. He clicks.
If the multiverse stops, it is because 13 Nov 2014; 6 Nov 2012; 22 Sep 2012
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