Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

The Quantum Theory of Traffic

A Feynman diagram of a car and a bike meeting in traffic. A turd sandwich is created.
Quantum physicists have it rough, man. Did you know that the sub-atomic world is a chaotic bizarre-o party time where nothing makes a scrap of sense? Well it is, and physicists have to spend all day puzzling over it. Try to make sense of Japanese porn clips on the internet sometime and you’ll have an inkling of what they go though.

Dig this: I was watching a show on quantum physics recently, and I learned that photons passing through two slits behave differently depending on whether you detect their state at the slits or at a screen just beyond the slits. What the hell, photons?

I’m reminded of riding a bike in traffic. You see, bikes are slower than cars most of the time. If you ride a bike in the city you are gonna get passed by a ton of cars. Sometimes cars pass you even when it doesn’t make sense.

Let’s say you are on your bike, and you’re approaching an intersection. A car passes you, but then reaches the intersection and has to stop. Car brakes are very powerful. The net effect is that the car passed you only to jump in front and slow you down.

Worse yet, sometimes cars jump ahead of you and then turn abruptly, which means you’re in danger of crashing into them.

I think this is because drivers behave like photons in the double slit experiment. You can’t know what they’re going to do until you see them do it. Similarly, photons don’t know where the hell they are going until they’re observed. They’re aloof like that, photons.

Of course, you also have to consider the relativity of thought. If humans think at a fixed speed, the speed of thought will cover much greater distance in a car than on a bike. If you sit in one place all day, you can think your ass off and never run into anything at all.

That might be nice, depending on where you sit.

2 thoughts on “The Quantum Theory of Traffic”

  1. Tony Bullard

    How perfectly relevant to my day. This morning, on the way tro work, I had a woman pass me, her attention solely on me, and not traffic, and she nearly had a head on collision at 35 mph with another car. Luckily she slowed down and got back behind me rather than just whipping over into me…but damn. As is too often, she was more focused on getting past me than she was on the traffic that would have stopped her anyways. We were even coming up to a red light.


  2. jim

    Dang dude. Glad you’re ok.