An Apology

I’m afraid I made a serious mistake in this previous posting discussing Sean Carroll’s new book. Since the book was relatively reasonable, while the jacket and promotional material that came with it were nonsense, I assumed that Carroll was just being ill-served by his publisher. It’s now clear I was very wrong. He’s on a book tour, and the nonsense is exactly what he is putting front and center as a revelation to the public about how to understand quantum mechanics. For a couple examples, here’s what was on the PBS News Hour

The “many worlds” theory in quantum mechanics suggests that with every decision you make, a new universe springs into existence containing what amounts to a new version of you. Bestselling author and theoretical physicist Sean Carroll discusses the concept and his new book, “Something Deeply Hidden,” with NewsHour Weekend’s Tom Casciato.

and here’s something from his talk down the street from me.

Using your public platform to tell people that the way to understand quantum mechanics is that the world splits depending on what you decide to do is simply What the Bleep? level stupidity. Those in the physics and science communication communities who care about the public understanding of quantum mechanics should think hard about what they can do to deal with this situation. They may however come to the same conclusion I’ve just reached: best to ignore him, which I’ll try to do from now on.

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