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PS2 Note #9:Borderlands, Mission, North Beach, Chinatown, Teleportation

I was up in San Francisco with Sylvia this weekend. Here are some pix and notes, with a few more remarks about teleportation mixed in for filler.

I gave a reading at Borderlands Books, always one of my favorite venues. A good crowd, a lot of sales. I forgot to bring along my tape recorder for podcasting purposes, but my old friend Faustin Bray of Sound Photosynthesis was there to videotape the event. When will this video be obtainable? ”Soon come,” as they say in the islands…

Always nice to be on magical Valencia Street.

“How does teleportation work?” Thuy asked Ond.

“Teleportation works by getting mixed up about where you really are,” said Ond. “In quantum computation, we use the word ‘coherent’ to mean mixed up. The usage is opposite of what you might expect. It’s like if you’re sufficiently coherent you can’t talk at all. If you’re sufficiently coherent your whole body folds up into a single wave function. As if you were this one exceedingly complex electron.”

“I’m not an electron,” said Chu. “I’m a Higgs particle.” He giggled and made pig noises. “Oink, squeal, wheenk.”

“Alright,” said Ond. “And I’m a quark. Thuy can be the electron.”

“I’m dark matter,” said Thuy, getting into the silly jabberwocky game. “So what’s that ocean we see in between the worlds?”

“The Planck frontier. Fall through it and the subbies eat you.”

The colors in the Mission are so great. Especially in the rain. Viva Mexico! I’m thinking for my two alien races in Hylozoic, the Rull and the Kang might in some ways resemble the Mexicans and the Chinese. Note that we do use that same word “alien” for immigrant…

The murals covering the Women’s Building on18th between Valencia and Guerrero are mind-boggling. I love this image of the woman artist. Note that she’s reaching down through a layer of reality to paint. She’s reaching into the subdimensional world. It’s great that this image is also reflected onto the sidewalk.

Might teleporting bodies ever collide with each other? Or get merged, like the scientist and the fly in The Fly? I don’t quite see that happening here as it’s all about a single coherent wave function’s behavior, and not about a signal through space.

Generally, quantum mechanical state-function waves behave linearly and don’t interact with each other. But I might suppose that in some situation we get a nonlinear interaction, a coupling, and we get The Fly. The character is all, “Buzz, slobber, hi guys!” Maybe do this to a bad character. Dick Too Dibbs.

We were staying at Hotel Boheme , a little place I like in North Beach, right by the Stella Caffe and Bakery, with their cozy (non-blinking) neon sign near our window. The pastries in North Beach…ah.

I had my scrap of paper with me, working on the first chapter of Hylozoic — I like to print out what I have, carry it folded in four in my butt pocket, then get it out and mark it up in cafes. Always more interesting for me than the newspapers.

Nice to be doing the writer thing in an actual beatnik cafe, the Caffe Trieste, with guys even wearing berets. I missed a trick and left my own beret at home. But I got in some good scribbling.

There’s this funny tradition about brass bands for Chinese funerals. When Hong Kong was a British colony, the Chinese saw the British marching bands and decided this was just the thing for a fancy cortege. So the Green Street Funeral Home has a marching band, and just about every Saturday and Sunday morning, they’re out there playing these great old hymns and then leading a hearse down Stockton Street.

The procession goes right past the Tang Fat Hotel, which I spotted about two years ago, and ended up working into Mathematicians in Love, as I like the name of it so much, also it’s handy to the Vallejo Street Garage where my characters have their getaway car.

As it happened, this weekend they had a Chinese New Years fair on Grant Street, which was cool. I like the line of the tents’ tops, it reminded me of Bruegel’s painting of the two dancers at the fair.

Using Occam’s Razor, I’d do best to suppose that the aliens—the Kang and the Rull—use a telepathic teleportation method for their intergalactic travel. A catch is that they need to be able to visualize the target. But aha, it’s precisely due to the awakened Earth’s telepathic emanations that the Kang can come to us! Like if you light a cigarette, the sniper can aim at your flame. They couldn’t teleport here until we became telepathic.

[DJs doing a live broadcast for of a Chinese radio station. ]

Perhaps an individual needs help from his or her peers in order to teleport a long distance. We might suppose that a single unaided person only has the power to teleport themselves from one side of the planet to the other, and that they need to get others to help push them for the longer jumps. However I wouldn’t want the requirement to be linear, as then I’d need so very many people to help me jump a distance of many light years. Maybe it only take about seven helpers to get you up into the light-year-jump zone, and when you’re in that zone you can jump as far as you like in our space.

I think I’d like to allow third party teleportation. So our psychic power of teleportation can be used not only as a point-to-point travel method, but also as a kind of aethereal hand by which we can reach out and move distant objects around.

How would third party teleportation work? Suppose that, sitting in my living-room, I want to teleport an apple from my fridge to the top of the table at my side. How do I proceed? I visualize the source and target locations as when doing personal teleportation, that is, I visualize the fridge drawer and the tabletop in the living room. But now, rather than doing a cohere/collapse number on my body, I need to do it on the apple. I teep into the apple and coax the apple’s state function into doing the cohere/collapse. I become the apple for a moment, I merge with it, I cohere it’s state function to produce locational uncertainty, and then I collapse the apple’s wave function into the apple-on-table eigenstate.

We saw some boys doing a lion dance; two of them per lion. It was great.

Always good to be in San Francisco, with so much to see.

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