Surfing the Multiverse
Dr Amanda Henderson closed her eyes, took
three deep breaths and reopened them. The crowd before her parted
as she approached the tape that separated the public from the
stars leaving the Academy Awards ceremony. Tom Cruise was moving
The existence of an infinite number of
parallel universes had been accepted by theoreticians since the
mid 90s. It was even known that crossover between universes
occurred at sub-atomic level. Physicists remained confounded,
however, by the mind-boggling consequence of an infinite number
of copies of ourselves living in those other universes. It was on
this point that Amanda made her first breakthrough.
She realised that, far from existing in one
universe, we were all perpetually surfing from one to the next.
Only our consciousness was continuous. Like channel hopping on TV
- other channels continued, but without our awareness.
Her second breakthrough followed from
wondering why some people always got to empty checkouts at
supermarkets or frequently won money - why some people were so
much luckier than others. Amanda hypothesised that
they were unconsciously surfing the multiverse to their own
advantage - frequently switching to a universe in which they had
the edge. Feeling lucky or Being on a roll
were just two expressions used to described that sense of riding
the maximum gain wave.
Together with her research into parallel
universes, Amanda began intensive mind training, using
biofeedback techniques, to enhance her awareness of the wave. She
made rapid progress.
Her computer modelling of the multiverse
led to her third breakthrough. The algorithm to program a quantum
computer to calculate the number of universes in which a given
favourable event would occur.
The results of this at first surprised and
disappointed her as they showed some events would never occur in
any universe, despite there being an infinite number. Amanda
sleeping with Bruce Willis being one such example.
There was also an annoying lack of
precision in her ability to surf to a favourable universe. If ten
thousand universes contained the favourable outcome, then she
could succeed nearly every time. With a number below one
thousand, it became nearly impossible. Her mind training was
helpful in getting served in restaurants, winning money and not
having Jehovahs Witnesses call on Sunday mornings, but for
some events the number of favourable universes was just too low.
Sleeping with Tom Cruise after the Academy
Awards occurred only in twenty-four universes and, as he walked
past her without a glance, she concluded this was not one of them.
Pearce Brosnan approached. She glanced at her hand-held computer
- one hundred and twenty-six universes. She closed her eyes and
focused her mind. She opened them again to see Pearce stepping
into his limousine. A well-known actress descended the steps. The
alarm on her hand-held beeped. The number twenty-two
Amanda rapidly decided to abandon the
experiment for the evening, moved quickly through the parting
crowd, and climbed into the empty taxi that just happened to stop
where she stood.