(a Tsirelson's hobby)
Impossible facts?? What a nonsense! A fact is real, actual, which resolves all doubts about its possibility.
However, the life is more complicated than the formal logic. Sometimes I am unable to dispel an illusion that I face an impossible fact.
Do you really want to share with me the frustration? Joking apart: it can make you unhappy! Do not worry, be happy: go out now.
Well, at least, you may postpone it. After all, you are so busy. For now, go out, and take counsel with your pillow.
I am bothered by two "impossible facts":
Two typical reactions follow.
Gentle reader! Are you able to classify yourself according to the following table?
|Not impossible||Not a fact|
|Torah Puzzle||Not impossible||?||?|
|Not a fact||?||?|
Anyway, you may read more.
As usual, nature's imagination far surpasses our own, as we have seen from the other theories which are subtle and deep. [Feynman, p. 162]
... what is proved by impossibility proofs is lack of imagination. [Bell 82, p. 997]
What we need is imagination, but imagination in a terrible strait-jacket. [Feynman, p. 171], also quoted in [Gribbin, p. 275].
..."Bell's Theorem" ... is widely known not only among physicists, but also to philosophers, journalists, mystics, novelists, and poets. ... assumptions that not only can be stated in entirely nontechnical terms but are so compelling that the establishment of their falsity has been called, not frivolously, "the most profound discovery of science" (Stapp 1977). [Mermin 93, p. 804]
Don't look here for any "eastern mysticism", spoon bending or ESP. Do look here for the true story of quantum mechanics, a truth far stranger than any fiction. ... The question this book addresses is "What is reality?" The answer(s) may surprise you; you may not believe them. [Gribbin, p. xvi]
I recall that during one walk Einstein suddenly stopped, turned to me and asked whether I really believed that the moon exists only when I look at it. The rest of this walk was devoted to a discussion of what a physicist should mean by the term "to exist." [Pais 79, p. 907], quoted also in [Mermin 85, p. 38].
... we have learned from much experience that all philosophical intuitions about what nature is going to do fail. [Feynman, p. 53]
...experiments have now shown that what bothered Einstein is not a debatable point but the observed behavior of the real world. [Mermin 85, the abstract]
I don't like it, and I'm sorry I ever had anything to do with it. (Schrodinger), quoted in [Gribbin, p. v].
Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it. (Niels Bohr), quoted in [Gribbin, p. 5].
Anybody who's not bothered by Bell's theorem has to have rocks in his head. (A distinguished Princeton physicist); quoted in: [Mermin 85, p. 41].
Each one of us thus behaves unpredictably, as if endowed with free will. This is why words such us "each one" can legitimately be used when we describe the behavior of people. ... Lawyers who prepare contracts can consider the various signatories as distinct entities. ... We know that actually they are only parts of an interconnected universe, but in our approximate description, they appear to be distinct and isolated. ... One may only speculate whether, in a complete description of the whole Universe, including our brains, determinism would be restored. ... Only God can know that, if He or She exists. [Peres 86, p. 580]
Apparently separate parts of the world would be deeply and conspiratorially entangled, and our apparent free will would be entangled with them. [Bell 80, p. 57]; quoted also in [Peres 86, p. 578].
It is only through refined measurements and careful experimentation that we can have a wider vision. And then we see unexpected things: we see things that are far from what we would guess - far from what we could have imagined. Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there. [Feynman, p. 127-128]
One of the ways of stopping science would be only to do experiments in the region where you know the law. ... In other words we are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress. [Feynman, p.158], also quoted in [Gribbin p. 275]
The repercussions of our discovery touch on the very nature of human existence. It can be looked at as the same feeling Robinson Crusoe had when he first discovered the tracks in the sand, that he wasn't alone on the island. [Witztum]
... 'Listen, I mean that from my knowledge of the world that I see around me, I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestial intelligence than of the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestial intelligence'. It is just more likely, that is all. It is a good guess. And we always try to guess the most likely explanation, keeping in the back of the mind the fact that if it does not work we must discuss the other possibilities. [Feynman, p. 166]
If science is to progress, what we need is the ability to experiment, honesty in reporting results - the results must be reported without somebody saying what they would like the results to have been - and finally - an important thing - the intelligence to interpret the results. [Feynman, p. 148]
I would like to be rather more special, and I would like to be understood in an honest way rather than in a vague way. [Feynman, p. 13]