Oops, I said my last post on the recent Foundational Questions Institute conference would be my final one, but I can’t resist just one more. At the conference, Gavin Crooks at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, who studies molecular machines and gave a great talk on how life balances time asymmetry with thermodynamic efficiency, showed this brilliant short film by Rocketboom. In it, a woman (Joanne Colan) walks, skips, and jump-ropes through the streets of New York while everyone else moves backwards. Of course, she’s the one moving backwards—a vivid illustration of the time-reversibility of the laws of physics.
As Crooks noted, the most remarkable thing is how the passers-by seem not to notice. A New York minute, it seems, is not just sped up, but time-reversal invariant.