jonkc at bellsouth.net
Mon Aug 15 15:24:24 UTC 2011
On Mon, 8/15/11, Will Steinberg <steinberg.will at gmail.com> wrote:
"Your electron X will never effect Y because to effect is "to bring about" and that sort of thing does not happen. "
BULLSHIT. Effect means a change brought about by an action. Electron X brings about a change to the Schrodinger wave function of electron Y, and that brings about a change in the probability distribution of electron Y, and probability can be detected by experiment.
"I can guarantee that your electron has *affected* the other because that means "to cause a change." "
If it's guaranteed then I want my money back. My dictionary says "affected" means touched by (and the two electrons never touch) or influenced by external factors. So how can I change something without influencing it, or influence something without changing it? An experiment that can discriminate between those two things would be most interesting, so tell me all about it! And then you'd get to tell physicists that they've been misusing the word "effect" for centuries; in fact if one electron can't effect another electron then the word "effect" should NEVER be used for anything. Ever. And then we would just have one word for the same thing, "affect"; and that would be fine with me because that would just be equivalent to changing the spelling of the word "effect" to "affect". I'd get used to it eventually.
"The verb "affect" means [...]"
As I said before, both effect and affect can be either a noun or a verb. And before you engage in more logical contortions to try to justify the need for both these words ask yourself one question, do you honestly think that this mythical effect-affect distinction is needed for clarity of language? Suppose Everett's quantum interpretation turns out to be true and in one universe a cocoanut falls on your head and it effects you, and in the other universe a cocoanut falls on your head and it affects you, how are these two universes different?
John K Clark
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