11 December 2007

Fresh Take on an Old Question

I just finished reading David Brin's monumental tome, Earth. It's a near-future book, written in the late '80s with the action taking place in the year 2038. Brin's view of a future that is now 30 years hence is, in spots, far-fetched, but (IMO) he exonerates himself in the end by explaining that he did, indeed, take quite a few liberties with some elements. (It's simply hard to believe Miami will be underwater in the next 30 years. But hey, it could happen...)

Anyway, I just had to share one little gem with the 10*bLog(p²) faithful. A character in the novel having a pensive moment considering quantum theories, Heisenberg, and philosophy had this to share:

"Without observers, not only is a falling tree without sound...it's a concept without meaning."

Anyone in the acoustics biz has no doubt had to face the, "Well, what's your take on the falling tree?" question from inquisitive strangers / friends / family. Next time I get hit with that one, I have a new answer! :^)


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