Quantum mechanics argues that the act of seeing effects what we see (you may need to read that last sentence twice). And if we are not looking, anything could happen. It’s all to do with particles behaving like waves. If we observe a particle travelling through one hole in a screen, and we are therefore convinced it can’t have gone through the other hole… well, we are wrong. In fact, this one particle has gone through both holes at the same time. Yep. It has.
I’ve read a lot about quantum physics over Easter. It’s mind-bending and – blowing stuff. A brilliant exercise for the imagination. But not very relevant to our mundane reality here on earth.
That’s what I thought. But I was wrong. Oh, so wrong.
By the time I send a book to the printers, I usually switch my attention from the text and start concentration on the marketing. Experience has taught me that the book will come from the printers looking beautiful, that Royal Mail will pick up the sacks with the envelopes to our subscribers and that the distributor will release the book on its due date.
Well…not so for The Blue Room.
The book arrived from the printers with a creased spine. I sent back all copies, the entire print run was pulped and reprinted. We then stuffed the envelopes with subscriber copies ready for collection last Wednesday. Wednesday came and went. The Royal Mail had forgotten to log our request. And on Friday I looked on amazon only to see that they were already selling The Blue Room. I am sure my heart missed a beat. Publication date is not until mid June. I called our distributors. They had made a mistake and are now recalling the copies.
Furthermore, amazon has misspelled the author’s name and the book title. The meta data I uploaded last autumn is correct. The mistake occurs on the amazon site itself. For weeks I’ve been trying to get hold of the right person. So far in vain.
And to top it all: There is an ‘Edvard’ in The Blue Room. Twice he has now mutated into ‘Edward.’ I had asked the proofreader to check all ‘Edvards’ as I was aware that this would be an easy mistake to make. It’s a true conundrum how these two w’s sneaked in.
So, what can I say? I can now vouch for the validity of quantum mechanics. We have no clue of what is happening when we are not looking. Everything is possible. Everything is real. Or nothing is real until we see it. Depends how you look at it.
‘Are you ok?’ The Nymph places a cup of coffee on my desk. ‘The last week has been quite a challenge, hasn’t it?’ she says in a tender tone and squeezes my shoulder sympathetically. A sudden worry grips me. I’m not used to so much loving care from my Nymph. This might not be the real Peirene. Then I look up and I see her. And let me tell you: she is real. Yes. She is.
Image by Jim Kravitz.