Many Small Worlds

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Many Small Worlds

I’ve liked the band Eels ever since I listened to their Beautiful Freak album ten years or so ago. I’ve never seen them live, but they’re touring now so I might try to catch them.

The reason why I mention this somewhat tedious factoid is that I just saw a trailer on BBC4 for a forthcoming doc about Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett. It turns out that his father was Hugh Everett – he of the Everett-Wheeler-Graham school of quantum physics.

Robert Anton Wilson’s bloody marvellous Schrödinger’s Cat Trilogy is what first got me interested in quantum physics. Here’s how he described the Everett-Wheeler-Graham model in the appendix:

An alternative to Bell’s Theorem and the Copenhagen Interpretation. According to Everett, Wheeler & Graham, everything that can happen to the state vector does happen to it.

To put it another way, then, the father of the frontman of the Eels’ was the brains behind the Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics. That’s mad, that is. It’s positively buggier than batshit.

Incidentally, I first read RAW’s Schrödingers Cat Trilogy at about the same time as I was first listening to Eels’ Beautiful Freaks album.

Typical, huh?


About the Author:

My name is Tom Lennon and I'm a freelance writer who specialises in humour at the geekier end of the pop culture spectrum. I'm based in Birmingham, UK, and my work has recently appeared in BuzzFeed and Time Out.


  1. Rol Hirst November 20, 2007 at 11:29 am

    If Eels (no the!) were playing in a sealed room with a radioactive isotope inside… would they be dead before you opened the door and observed them?

  2. Tom Lennon November 20, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    They’d be in an indeterminate state, neither dead or alive or performing.

    Sorry about the ‘The’ [not The The] – I have weakness for the definite article and wish people would use it more often. I blame it on James Cameron’s Titanic. Before 1997, it was always called The Titanic, post-Cameron it’s just Titanic.

    And don’t get me started on ‘Enterprise’…

  3. Tom Lennon November 22, 2007 at 6:46 am

    Oh, and Rol – in the interests of accuracy, I’ve deleted all references to the word ‘The’ in the above post.

    [ or at least those in close proximity to the word ‘Eels’]

  4. Rol Hirst November 27, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Excellent. My work here is done.

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