PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode September 15, 2019


>>Sreenivasan: ON THIS EDITION FOR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15: A LOOK AHEAD TO THE UPCOMING ELECTION IN ISRAEL.>>THIS IS AN ARGUMENT I THINK YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR OVER AND OVER AGAIN AS THE CAMPAIGN MOVES ON.>>Sreenivasan: POLITICS WITH JEFF GREENFIELD. AND IN OUR SIGNATURE SEGMENT: AUTHOR AND PHYSICIST SEAN CARROLL ON THE EXISTENCE OF PARALLEL LIVES. NEXT ON “PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND.”FROM THE TISCH WNET STUDIOS ATLINCOLN CENTER IN NEW YORK,HARI SREENIVASAN.>>Sreenivasan: GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. IRAN IS DENYING U.S. ALLEGATIONS THAT IT WAS INVOLVED IN DRONE ATTACKS ON SAUDI ARABIA’S TWO OIL FACILITIES YESTERDAY MORNING. HOUTHI REBELS IN YEMEN CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ATTACK AND RELEASED DRONE FOOTAGE. A HOUTHI LEADER SAID THEY WERE ABLE TO “EXPLOIT VULNERABILITIES” OF SAUDI ARABIA’S DEFENSE SYSTEMS. BUT THE U.S. IS PUTTING THE BLAME ON IRAN, WHICH BACKS THE HOUTHI REBELS. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO TWEETED YESTERDAY, “IRAN HAS NOW LAUNCHED AN UNPRECEDENTED ATTACK ON THE WORLD’S ENERGY SUPPLY. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THE ATTACKS CAME FROM YEMEN.” IRAN’S FOREIGN MINISTER JAVAD ZARIF RESPONDED THAT POMPEO WAS “TURNING TO MAX DECEIT” AND SAID THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S “MAXIMUM PRESSURE” SANCTIONS CAMPAIGN HAS “FAILED.” THE ATTACKS CAUSED SAUDI ARABIA TO REDUCE OIL PRODUCTION BY 50%. TODAY SAUDI OFFICIALS SAID THEY MAY BE ABLE TO RESTORE ONE THIRD OF THE LOST CAPACITY BY TOMORROW. THE UNITED AUTO WORKERS SAYS ITS NEGOTIATIONS WITH GENERAL MOTORS HAVE BROKEN DOWN AND THAT ITS NEARLY 50,000 MEMBERS WHO WORK AT G.M. PLANTS IN THE U.S. WILL GO ON STRIKE TONIGHT. U.A.W. OFFICIALS SAID THE UNION AND G.M. WERE FAR APART ON SEVERAL ISSUES, INCLUDING WAGES, HEALTHCARE, AND JOB SECURITY.>>WE DO NOT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY. THIS IS OUR LAST RESORT.>>Sreenivasan: IN A STATEMENT, G.M. SAID IT HAD NEGOTIATED IN GOOD FAITH AND OFFERED IMPROVED WAGES AND ADDITIONAL U.S. JOBS. THE U.A.W.’S FOUR YEAR CONTRACT WITH THE AUTOMAKER ENDED YESTERDAY AND BARRING AN EMERGENCY BREAKTHROUGH, THIS WOULD BE THE FIRST NATIONWIDE STRIKE AT G.M. IN 12 YEARS. ON FRIDAY, THE U.A.W ANNOUNCED THAT CONTRACTS WITH FORD AND FIAT CHRYSLER WOULD BE TEMPORARILY EXTENDED WHILE THE UNION FOCUSES ON G.M. NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO ANNOUNCED EXECUTIVE ACTION TODAY TO BAN FLAVORED E-CIGARETTES. CALLING VAPING A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY, CUOMO SAID ALL FLAVORS OTHER THAN TOBACCO OR MENTHOL WILL BE HALTED IN NEW YORK AS SOON AS EARLY OCTOBER.>>68% OF THE USE ARE FLAVORED PRODUCTS. AND THE FLAVORED PRODUCTS ARE HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE TO YOUNG PEOPLE.>>Sreenivasan: THE MOVE FOLLOWS STATEMENTS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP LAST WEEK THAT THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION IS STUDYING A SIMILAR BAN AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL. THE PROPOSED BAN COMES IN THE WAKE OF SIX DEATHS AND NEARLY 400 HOSPITALIZATIONS NATIONWIDE POSSIBLY LINKED TO VAPING- RELATED LUNG ILLNESSES. AFGHAN OFFICIALS SAID THAT GOVERNMENT SECURITY FORCES BACKED BY U.S. AIRSTRIKES KILLED TWO SENIOR TALIBAN LEADERS AND AT LEAST 85 TALIBAN FIGHTERS LAST NIGHT. A TALIBAN SPOKESMAN REJECTED THE FIGURE AND CLAIMED ONLY SEVEN FIGHTERS WERE KILLED AND 11 WOUNDED. THE TALIBAN ALSO CLAIMED THAT ONE OF THE LEADERS WAS STILL ALIVE AND NOT KILLED BY AFGHAN GOVERNMENT FORCES. FIGHTING BETWEEN AFGHAN FORCES AND THE TALIBAN HAVE INCREASED AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP CALLED OFF U.S.-TALIBAN PEACE TALKS LAST WEEK. IN THE 15th WEEK OF PROTESTS, CLASHES BETWEEN PRO-DEMOCRACY SUPPORTERS AND POLICE ESCALATED AS PROTESTERS MARCHED IN DEFIANCE OF A POLICE BAN IN DOWNTOWN HONG KONG TODAY. A CROWD OF PROTESTERS– SOME WAVING U.S. FLAGS AND OTHERS WAVING HONG KONG FLAGS– MARCHED THROUGH A SHOPPING DISTRICT WHERE MANY MAJOR BUSINESSES CLOSED THEIR DOORS. HUNDREDS OF DEMONSTRATORS STOOD OUTSIDE THE BRITISH CONSULATE AND CALLED ON THE UNITED KINGDOM TO HELP HONG KONG. OUTSIDE A GOVERNMENT OFFICE COMPLEX, SOME PROTESTERS THREW MOLOTOV COCKTAILS OVER A BARRICADE AND POLICE RESPONDED WITH TEAR GAS AND SPRAYED WATER LACED WITH A BLUE CHEMICAL. AT A TRAIN STATION NEARBY, FIREFIGHTERS PUT OUT SMALL FIRES, AND AT ANOTHER STATION, SOME PROTESTERS DEFACED SIGNS AND SECURITY CAMERAS.>>Sreenivasan: TWO DAYS BEFORE NATIONWIDE ELECTIONS, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU IS RALLYING HIS BASE OF FAR-RIGHT SUPPORTERS. NETANYAHU CONVENED A CABINET MEETING IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK TODAY, AN AREA THAT HE SAYS HE WOULD ANNEX IF RE-ELECTED. HIS PLAN INCLUDES BUILDING A NEW SETTLEMENT IN AN AREA WHICH WOULD BE THE CENTER OF ANY FUTURE PALESTINIAN STATE. OFFICIALS IN THE ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION CONDEMNED NETANYAHU’S PLAN AT AN EMERGENCY MEETING IN SAUDI ARABIA. THE SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER CALLED IT A “DANGEROUS ESCALATION THAT ENDANGERS ALL OF THE EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE A JUST AND LASTING PEACE.” WITH MORE ON THE LEAD UP TO TUESDAY’S ELECTION IN ISRAEL, NEWSHOUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT RYAN CHILCOTE JOINS US NOW VIA SKYPE FROM TEL AVIV. RYAN, WE’RE TWO DAYS AWAY, WHAT ARE THE BIG ISSUES THAT ARE DRIVING THIS ELECTION AND WHY ARE YOU SITTING WHERE YOU’RE SITTING?>>WELL, I JUST–(LAUGHS)I AM SITTING IN A TIKI BAR, YES, I KNOW, JUST OUTSIDE OF A BUILDING WHERE THE LEADER OF THE BLUE AND WHITE PARTY HELD A CAMPAIGN RALLY. HE IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGER TO BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, THE PRIME MINISTER, AND THE BIGGEST ISSUE THAT YOU WERE ASKING ABOUT IN THIS CAMPAIGN IS BENJAMIN NETANYAHU HIMSELF. BECAUSE HE IS ISRAEL’S LONGEST SERVING PRIME MINISTER, AND YET THE QUESTION IS WILL HE BE ABLE TO FORM A GOVERNMENT. THERE WAS AN ELECTION IN THIS COUNTRY BACK IN APRIL, JUST FIVE MONTHS AGO AND HE FAILED TO DO THAT. SO HE CALLED THIS ELECTION TO SEE IF HE COULD DO IT THE SECOND TIME AROUND. MEANWHILE, HE’S ALSO FACING A WHOLE HOST OF CORRUPTION CHARGES AND JUST NEXT MONTH, IN JUST A FEW WEEKS TIME, IN FACT, HE IS GOING TO SEE THOSE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS BEGIN AND HE IS FACING THE PROSPECT OF THREE INDICTMENTS FOR TAKING BRIBES AND PEDDLING INFLUENCE. SO THE REAL THING IN THIS ELECTION IS DO THE ISRAELI VOTERS CARE ENOUGH ABOUT THAT TO TOPPLE HIM.>>Sreenivasan: YOU’VE GOT INFORMATION NOW THAT HE JUST HAD A CABINET MEETING INSIDE THE WEST BANK AND HE’S LAYING OUT THIS PLAN THAT’S SAYING, LISTEN, I WANT TO ANNEX THIS TERRITORY IF I’M ELECTED, I WANT TO PUT A SETTLEMENT HERE. THESE ARE PRETTY BOLD STATEMENTS.>>SO, IT IS A BOLD MOVE TO GO OUT THERE AND SAY THAT WE’RE GOING TO DO THIS. THE FACT IS THAT THE BENEFIT THAT THE LIKUD PARTY, THE PRIME MINISTER COULD GET SAYING THIS JUST TWO DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION IS GREATER THAN THE COST OF ANY POTENTIAL INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION. YOU MENTION THAT HE IS SAYING THIS IN THE JORDAN VALLEY, WHICH IS ALSO IN THE WEST BANK, HE JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO WAS TALKING ABOUT ANNEXING THE JORDAN VALLEY. THAT AMOUNTS TO ABOUT A THIRD OF THE WEST BANK. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS VERY POPULAR, IN FACT, IN ISRAEL ITSELF, AND SO IT IS A CAMPAIGN MOVE. IT’S A CAMPAIGN PROMISE THAT NOT EVERYONE HERE TAKES TOO SERIOUSLY BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY IT’S NOT CLEAR THAT HE WOULD ACTUALLY DO IT OR WHETHER THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WOULD ALLOW HIM TO. THOUGH I HAVE TO SAY THAT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN MORE ACCOMMODATING THAN ANY ADMINISTRATION IN RECENT HISTORY WHEN IT COMES TO ISRAEL’S PLANS IN THE WEST BANK AND THE GAZA STRIP.>>Sreenivasan: SPEAKING OF PRESIDENT TRUMP, DOES HIS SUPPORT– IN TWEETS AND OTHERWISE– DOES IT RESONATE, DOES IT MATTER WITH THE ELECTORATE IN ISRAEL?>>I THINK IT DOES. PRESIDENT TRUMP IS VERY POPULAR HERE. PEOPLE LIKE HIM. THEY CONSIDER HIM TO BE THE BEST FRIEND THAT ISRAEL HAS EVER HAD. THEY THOUGHT THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS VERY HARD ON ISRAEL. IN CONTRAST, IN 2017 PRESIDENT TRUMP CAME HERE. AND SO, HE HAS A BIG INFLUENCE ON THINGS. AND, YOU KNOW, CLEARLY BENJAMIN NETANYAHU IN THE RUN-UP TO THIS ELECTION HAS BEEN BANKING ON THAT. YOU DRIVE AROUND TEL AVIV AND JERUSALEM AND THERE ARE BILLBOARDS WITH THE TWO OF THEM EVERYWHERE.>>Sreenivasan: ALRIGHT, ANYTHING WE SHOULD WATCH FOR THIS WEEK?>>YES, WE WANT TO WATCH FOR HOW MANY VOTES BENJAMIN NETANYAHU OR ANY OF THE OTHER PEOPLE RUNNING, THE OTHER PARTIES, GET, HOW MANY SEATS THEY GET IN THE PARLIAMENT. IT’S CALLED THE KNESSET, THERE ARE 120 SEATS IN IT, IN ORDER TO FORM A GOVERNMENT YOU HAVE TO HAVE 61 SEATS. BENJAMIN NETANYAHU WASN’T ABLE TO DO THAT BACK IN APRIL. HE IS HOPING TO DO THAT THIS TIME, BUT THE POLLS SAY THAT IT IS UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN. SO WHAT IS MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN AFTER THAT IS A WHOLE LOT OF HORSE TRADING WHERE EITHER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU OR BENNY GANTZ WHO HAD HIS RALLY TODAY TRY AND BUILD A COALITION TO GET THOSE 61 SEATS SO THEY CAN FORM A GOVERNMENT AND TAKE THIS COUNTRY OUT OF THE POLITICAL IMPASSE IT HAS BEEN IN FOR MONTHS NOW.>>Sreenivasan: ALRIGHT, RYAN CHILCOTE JOINING US VIA SKYPE FROM TEL AVIV TONIGHT, THANKS SO MUCH.>>THANK YOU.>>Sreenivasan: FOR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF ISRAEL’S ELECTION AND THE LATEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, VISIT pbs.org/newshour.>>Sreenivasan: MUCH OF THE ANALYSIS FROM LAST WEEK’S DEMOCRATIC DEBATE FOCUSED ON WHO WON OR LOST OR HAD THE BEST OR WORST MOMENTS, BUT OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, JEFF GREENFIELD, SAYS THE DEBATE ALSO REVEALED A SIGNIFICANT DIVISION AMONG THE CANDIDATES. HE JOINS US NOW FROM SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA. SO IS THIS THE SPLIT BETWEEN THE PROGRESSIVE, FARTHER LEFT WING AND MODERATES OF THE DEMOCRATS?>>YEAH, I THINK THAT IS COMING INTO FULL DISPLAY NOW. THERE IS IN SOCIAL MEDIA A SENSE THAT THE LEFT IS ASCENDANT IN DEMOCRATIC PARTY RANKS, AND THEY CLEARLY HAVE MOVED TO SOMEWHAT IN THAT DIRECTION. PUBLIC OPINION POLLS SAY MORE DEMOCRATS WANT TO SEE A MORE CENTER LEFT IN MODERATE POSITION. SO YOU HAD IN THE FIRST PART OF THE DEBATE JOE BIDEN PUSHING BACK VERY HARD ON BERNIE SANDERS AND ELIZABETH WARREN ABOUT HOW ARE YOU GONNA PAY FOR THIS? AMY KLOBUCHAR SAYING “YOU REALLY WANT TO TAKE AWAY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE FROM 140 MILLION PEOPLE, SOME OF WHOM LIKE IT?” AND THERE’S A CONCERN ON THE MODERATE SIDE THAT IF THE DEMOCRATS ARE A PARTY OF NO PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE, REPARATIONS, MORE OR LESS OPEN BORDERS AND IMMIGRATION, THIS IS GONNA TURN OFF THOSE SWING VOTERS, WHEREAS ON THE LEFT THE ARGUMENT IS NO, BOLDLY PROGRESSIVE POSITIONS WILL BRING NEW VOTERS IN FROM THE RANKS OF MINORITIES, FROM THE RANKS OF WOMEN, AND THAT’S HOW WE WIN. AND THIS IS AN ARGUMENT I THINK YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR OVER AND OVER AGAIN AS THE CAMPAIGN MOVES ON.>>Sreenivasan: I WANT TO BRING BACK ALSO ONE OF THE ANSWERS THAT– OR NON-ANSWERS– THAT THE VICE PRESIDENT WAS ASKED A QUESTION ABOUT, THE LEGACY OF SLAVERY, AND IT WAS KIND OF CONVOLUTED, BUT HIS RESPONSE WAS, BUT IT ENDED UP KIND OF HAVING A DIFFERENT EFFECT AFTER THE FACT.>>IT WAS A WORD SALAD, BUT HE SEEMED TO BE SAYING, APART FROM WE NEED MORE HELP IN FEDERAL AID IN EDUCATION, WE NEED TO GET SOCIAL WORKERS TO HELP PARENTS OF BLACK KIDS WHO MAY NOT BE ABLE TO FUNCTION RIGHT. WE, WE WANT TO LEAVE– THIS WAS THE FAMOUS ANSWER– WE WANT TO LEAVE THE RECORD PLAYER AND RADIO ON IN THEIR HOMES BECAUSE BLACK CHILDREN HEAR FEWER WORDS THAN WHITES. THAT’S A STUDY THAT’S BEEN DEBUNKED. AND IT’S IMPORTANT NOT BECAUSE IT CREATED A FIRESTORM. HE SURVIVED THIS IN THE SHORT RUN, BUT I THINK THE KEY HERE IS THAT NO DEMOCRAT CAN WIN THE NOMINATION WITHOUT A SIGNIFICANT SHARE OF THE BLACK VOTE. WALTER MONDALE WON IT THAT WAY. BARACK OBAMA WON IT THAT WAY. HILLARY CLINTON WON IT FOUR YEARS AGO THAT WAY. AND BIDEN HAS A HUGE LEAD 3.5 TO 1 AMONG ANYBODY ELSE IN THE RACE AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS BECAUSE HE DOES HAVE A LONG RECORD. ANYTHING THAT JEOPARDIZES THAT IS A REALLY SERIOUS PROBLEM FOR BIDEN.>>Sreenivasan: YOU ALSO LOVE TO BRING UP THE UNDERCOVERED, THE STORIES THAT KIND OF GOT BURIED THIS WEEK AND USUALLY THE TWEET STORMS THAT END UP MAKING NEWS. SO, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STORIES THIS WEEK THAT CAUGHT YOUR EYE?>>WELL, THERE WAS A HEARING AT THE SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE THAT, THAT’S NOT NECESSARILY THE MOST THRILLING THING I COULD BEGIN WITH. BUT AT THE HEARING, TREASURY DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS AND SOME SENATORS SAID, YOU KNOW WHAT? THESE GIANT MORTGAGE UNDERWRITERS, FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC, ARE SEVERELY UNDERCAPITALIZED. THEY’RE UNDERWRITING OR GUARANTEEING TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN MORTGAGES WITH NOWHERE NEAR THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THEY’D NEED IN CASE THERE WAS AN INCREASE IN DEFAULTS. THAT LEVERAGING IS THE KEY TO WHAT HAPPENED TEN YEARS AGO AND THE ENTIRE WORLD ECONOMY ALMOST WENT UNDER. AND WE HAD THE GREAT RECESSION. AND SO WHAT YOU HOPE IS THAT A YEAR FROM NOW WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE LOOKING AT THIS UNDERCOVERED HEARING I SAW AN ARTICLE ON ONLY IN POLITICAL MAGAZINE ABOUT THIS, AND SAY, “GEE, WHY DIDN’T WE PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT WE SEEM TO BE RUNNING THE SAME KIND OF RISK THAT GOT US IN SUCH HORRIBLE TROUBLE A DECADE AGO?” I’M HOPING THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN TO BE THE CASE, BUT I GOT SOME CONCERNS HERE.>>Sreenivasan: JEFF GREENFIELD JOINING US FROM SANTA BARBARA. THANKS SO MUCH.>>YOU BET.>>Sreenivasan: THE TERM “QUANTUM MECHANICS” DESCRIBES THE STRANGE DOINGS OF THE TINIEST PARTICLES IN THE UNIVERSE. WHERE, FOR EXAMPLE, TWO OBJECTS CAN OCCUPY THE EXACT SAME SPACE AT THE SAME TIME. OR AFFECT EACH OTHER, EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE MILLIONS OF MILES APART. BUT IF THAT SOUNDS OUTLANDISH, HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT. WITHIN THE REALM OF QUANTUM MECHANICS THERE IS A HIGHLY ABSTRACT AND CONTROVERSIAL THEORY KNOWN AS “MANY WORLDS.” IT DESCRIBES THE IDEA THAT WITH EVERY DECISION YOU MAKE AN ENTIRELY NEW UNIVERSE SPRINGS INTO EXISTENCE, CONTAINING A NEW VERSION OF YOURSELF. AS BIZARRE AS IT SOUNDS, SOME THEORETICAL PHYSICISTS BELIEVE THAT MANY WORLDS IS AN EXACT DESCRIPTION OF REALITY. SEAN CARROLL HAS STAKED HIS REPUTATION ON IT. HE’S A BEST-SELLING AUTHOR AND A PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS AT THE CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. NEWSHOUR WEEKEND’S TOM CASCIATO RECENTLY VISITED HIM AT CALTECH TO DISCUSS HIS LATEST BOOK AND ITS IMPLICATIONS NOT JUST FOR PHYSICS, BUT FOR ALL OF US.>>THE SIMPLEST SYSTEM THAT WE CAN IMAGINE IS A SINGLE, SPINNING PARTICLE.>>Reporter: TO SPEAK WITH CALTECH THEORETICAL PHYSICIST SEAN CARROLL ABOUT QUANTUM MECHANICS IS TO CONFRONT A BASIC CONTRADICTION. SEAN, YOU’VE WRITTEN THAT ONE OF THE PREMISES OF SCIENCE IS THAT IT RENDERS THE WORLD INTELLIGIBLE. YOU’VE ALSO WRITTEN THAT QUANTUM MECHANICS TELLS US THAT WHAT WE SEE ISN’T WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING. THAT ALREADY STARTS TO SOUND A LITTLE UNINTELLIGIBLE.>>WELL, IT IS. I THINK THAT QUANTUM MECHANICS HISTORICALLY IS THE GREAT BETRAYAL OF THE GOAL OF SCIENCE, WHICH IS TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE WORLD WORKS, RIGHT?>>Reporter: AND THAT’S THE PROBLEM, SAYS CARROLL. WHILE SCIENTISTS USE QUANTUM MECHANICS ALL THE TIME– IT’S MADE POSSIBLE THE TRANSISTOR, THE PERSONAL COMPUTER, THE LASER AND MUCH MORE– THEY DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND IT. HE LAYS IT ALL OUT IN HIS NEW BOOK, “SOMETHING DEEPLY HIDDEN.”>>THE PROBLEM IS WHAT’S CALLED THE MEASUREMENT PROBLEM, RIGHT? YOU KNOW, WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT AN ELECTRON FOR EXAMPLE, AN ELEMENTARY PARTICLE. WE SAY, WELL, IT HAS A POSITION YOU KNOW, THERE IT IS.>>Reporter: WHEN I WAS A KID IN SCIENCE CLASS, THEY SHOWED THE LITTLE NUCLEUS AND THEN THE ELECTRONS WERE GOING AROUND IT.>>YUP.>>Reporter: THAT’S NOT WHAT’S HAPPENING?>>LIED, YOU WERE LIED TO, RIGHT. IN QUANTUM MECHANICS THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS THE POSITION OF THE ELECTRON. WHAT THERE IS IS WHERE YOU WOULD SEE IT WERE YOU TO LOOK, AND WE REALLY HAVE TROUBLE WRAPPING OUR BRAINS AROUND THAT CONCEPT. SO HERE YOU ARE, AND YOU HAVE NOT YET OBSERVED THE PARTICLE.>>Reporter: IN FACT, THAT CONCEPT LED TO A SPLIT IN THE PHYSICS COMMUNITY. ON ONE SIDE, SAYING THE THEORY THAT THE OBSERVER IS CRITICAL TO THE POSITION OF A PARTICLE WAS THE FAMED DANISH PHYSICIST, NOBEL-PRIZE WINNER NIELS BOHR. IT’S KNOWN AS THE “COPENHAGEN INTERPRETATION.” CARROLL WRITES THAT NO LESS A SCIENTIST THAN ALBERT EINSTEIN WAS UNSATISFIED WITH THE COPENHAGEN INTERPRETATION. BOHR’S AND EINSTEIN’S DISAGREEMENT WAS DRAMATIZED IN THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SERIES, “GENIUS.”>>IT FUNCTIONS. AND IT ALLOWS US TO MAKE USE OF THE QUANTUM WORLD.>>THE GOAL OF SCIENTIFIC PURSUIT SHOULD NOT BE MERELY TO MAKE USE OF THE WORLD AROUND US. IT SHOULD BE TO UNDERSTAND IT FUNDAMENTALLY.>>Reporter: IN THE END NIELS BOHR PREVAILED.>>AND HE DECISIVELY WON THE PUBLIC RELATIONS BATTLE. EINSTEIN SORT OF SAT IN HIS OFFICE IN PRINCETON, WOULD OCCASIONALLY WRITE A PAPER, WROTE A LOT OF LETTERS TO HIS FRIENDS, BUT IN THE PHYSICS COMMUNITY BOHR WAS JUST GIVEN THE VICTORY PRIZE. LIKE, OKAY, WE’RE GOING TO DO WHAT YOU SAY. IT GOT SO BAD THAT, YOU KNOW PEOPLE WERE PUSHED OUT OF THE FIELD IF THEY TRIED TO QUESTION THE QUANTUM DOGMA.>>Reporter: SO THE DOGMA THAT HAD HARDENED UNDER NIELS BOHR WAS THAT THE OBSERVER WAS THE IMPORTANT THING, THAT THERE WAS AN ELEMENT TO QUANTUM MECHANICS THAT INVOLVED OBSERVATION.>>ABSOLUTELY, SO THE DOGMA SAYS THAT THE ACT OF OBSERVATION IS CRUCIAL, BUT THEN YOU SAY WELL OKAY. WHAT COUNTS AS AN OBSERVER. DOES IT HAVE TO BE A HUMAN BEING? COULD IT BE A CAT? WHAT ABOUT A ROCK? WHAT IF I JUST, LIKE, GLANCED AT THE SYSTEM RATHER THAN LOOKING AT IT DIRECTLY, AND THE COPENHAGEN INTERPRETATION SAYS NO, NO, NO. DON’T ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS.>>Reporter: REALLY, DON’T ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS?>>WE HAVE NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT THAT. IT’S OBVIOUS WHAT AN OBSERVER IS. LET’S GET ON WITH OUR LIVES.>>Reporter: SEAN CARROLL IS AMONG A GROUP OF THEORETICAL PHYSICISTS WHO REJECT THE ORTHODOXY, AND REFUSE TO JUST “GET ON WITH THEIR LIVES.” THEY CALL THEMSELVES “EVERETTIANS,” AFTER A LESSER KNOWN 20th CENTURY AMERICAN PHYSICIST WHO CARROLL THINKS SHOULD BE A LOT BETTER KNOWN. HIS NAME WAS HUGH EVERETT.>>HUGH EVERETT WAS A GRADUATE STUDENT AT PRINCETON. AND HUGH EVERETT, CAME ALONG SAYING “WELL, WHAT IF WE STUDIED THE WHOLE UNIVERSE AS A QUANTUM MECHANICAL SYSTEM, THEN WE WOULDN’T HAVE A SYSTEM AND AN OBSERVER, WE ONLY HAVE THE SYSTEM.” SO EVERETT SAID WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND QUANTUM MECHANICS IN AND OF ITSELF. AND HE REALIZED THAT THAT IMPLIED THE EXISTENCE OF MANY WORLDS. AND, YOU KNOW, EVERETT GOT TREATED VERY BADLY. HE GOT RIDICULED. HE WAS TOLD HE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND QUANTUM MECHANICS, AND WE FIGURED THIS OUT 20 YEARS AGO, THE WHOLE BIT. SO HE DIDN’T EVEN APPLY FOR A FACULTY JOB AS A PHYSICIST. HE LEFT AND WORKED IN THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY. BUT WE’VE LEARNED A LOT MORE ABOUT HOW QUANTUM MECHANICS WORKS SINCE THE 1950s. SO IN FACT IN MY MIND EVERYTHING WE’VE LEARNED HAS MADE HIS CASE STRONGER. AND WE LOOK AT AND SAY YES, I SEE THE WORLDS, THERE THEY ARE. I SEE THEM IN MY MATH. I DON’T SEE THEM IN MY TELESCOPES OR MICROSCOPES.>>Reporter: SO WHAT DOES THE MATH TELL YOU ABOUT THE UNIVERSE?>>IT TELLS US THAT THE UNIVERSE IS AN ABSTRACT MATHEMATICAL STRUCTURE THAT EVOLVES IN A VERY CERTAIN WAY AND WITH A VERY REMARKABLE CONSEQUENCE THAT WHEN YOU LOOK AT A QUANTUM SYSTEM, WHEN YOU OBSERVE IT, DIFFERENT COPIES OF YOUR UNIVERSE ARE CREATED. THE UNIVERSE YOU SEE AROUND YOU IS A TINY, TINY SLIVER OF EVERYTHING THAT THERE IS.>>Reporter: HERE’S WHERE IT STARTS TO SOUND REALLY CRAZY. IN THE MANY WORLDS INTERPRETATION, EVERY TIME YOU MAKE AN OBSERVATION, A NEW UNIVERSE SPLITS OFF FROM THE ONE YOU WERE JUST IN. DOES THAT MEAN THERE ARE NOW TWO YOUS?>>THERE’S A DIFFICULT QUESTION IN MANY WORLDS AS TO HOW WE SHOULD DEAL WITH PERSONAL IDENTITY, RIGHT?>>Reporter: IS IT LIKE THAT 90’S MOVIE “SLIDING DOORS,” WHERE GWYNETH PALTROW CATCHES THE TRAIN, BUT SHE ALSO MISSES THE TRAIN? SORT OF.>>THE PEOPLE IN OTHER WORLDS AREN’T ME. THEY MIGHT HAVE COME FROM THE SAME YOUNGSTER AS I DID.>>Reporter: THEY MIGHT HAVE.>>BUT THEY’RE A DIFFERENT PERSON.>>Reporter: SLOW DOWN. WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY MIGHT HAVE COME FROM THE SAME YOUNGSTER THAT YOU WERE?>>SO, IN OTHER WORDS, IN MANY WORLDS THERE WAS A YOUNGSTER. THERE WAS A PERSON WHO I HAVE DESCENDED FROM OVER THE LAST SOME NUMBER OF YEARS, AND THE WORLD HAS BRANCHED MANY, MANY TIMES SINCE THEN, AND SO THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE IN THESE OTHER WORLDS WHO WERE ME BACK THEN BUT NOW THEY’RE DIFFERENT PEOPLE BECAUSE THE WORLD HAS BRANCHED SINCE THEN AND SO WE HAVE TO EXPAND WHAT WE MEAN BY PERSONAL IDENTITY BECAUSE YOUR WORLD LINE IS A TREE, RIGHT? IT’S LIKE YOU’RE AN AMOEBA THAT BRANCHES AND SPLITS.>>Reporter: IS THERE A PERSON WHO USED TO BE ME, WHO IS THE POINT GUARD FOR THE PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS?>>THERE IS. YES.>>Reporter: AT MY HEIGHT?>>AND YOU WON THE N.B.A. CHAMPIONSHIP. YES.>>Reporter: WITH MY LACK OF PHYSICAL ABILITY.>>YOU KNOW, SO, THIS, THIS IS HINTING AT A CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT PROBLEM FOR MANY WORLDS WHICH IS HOW DO YOU WEIGH THE RELATIVE LIKELIHOOD OF DIFFERENT THINGS HAPPENING? NOT EVERY WORLD IS CREATED EQUAL IN SOME SENSE. SO THE WORLDS THAT YOU THINK OF AS CRAZY OR UNLIKELY REALLY ARE. YOU ARE, AGAIN, LESS LIKELY TO FIND YOURSELF IN THOSE WORLDS THAN IN THE NORMAL ONES.>>Reporter: ARE THERE PEOPLE WHO THINK YOU’RE OUT OF YOUR MIND?>>YEAH, THERE’S PLENTY OF PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT I’M OUT OF MY MIND AND THAT’S PART OF WHAT IS TROUBLING. NOT THAT THEY THINK THAT I’M WRONG, BUT THAT WE HAVEN’T SETTLED THIS YET. I MEAN, THESE WERE ALL QUESTIONS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN HASHED OUT IN THE 1920s AND ’30s. BUT AS A FIELD, PHYSICS DECIDED NOT TO FACE UP TO THIS PUZZLE, AND I THINK THAT IT’S BEEN HOLDING US BACK AS PHYSICISTS. I THINK THAT OUR UNDERSTANDING OF COSMOLOGY AND GRAVITY ISN’T NEARLY AS GOOD AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN HAD WE WORKED HARDER AT UNDERSTANDING QUANTUM MECHANICS.>>Reporter: MANY WORLDS SUGGESTS A NEW YOU IS CREATED IN A NEW UNIVERSE THOUSANDS OF TIMES PER SECOND. SO THE YOU IN THIS UNIVERSE WON’T BE SURPRISED TO LEARN THE THEORY IS CONTROVERSIAL. THE ONLINE MATH-AND-SCIENCE JOURNAL “QUANTA MAGAZINE” HAS CALLED IT “THE MOST POLARIZING OF INTERPRETATIONS,” SAYING “SOME PHYSICISTS CONSIDER IT ALMOST SELF-EVIDENTLY ABSURD.” DO YOU SAY THIS AT SOME RISK TO YOURSELF? YOU ARE A BEST SELLING AUTHOR, AND YOU TEACH AT CALTECH, YOU’RE IN A PRETTY FIRM POSITION AS THESE THINGS GO.>>I’M NOT IN A SUPER FIRM POSITION, ‘CAUSE I DON’T HAVE TENURE AT CALTECH, SO, BUT I DON’T CARE EITHER. LIKE, I THINK IT’S MORE IMPORTANT TO ME AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE TO TRY MY BEST TO GET IT RIGHT. AND IT’S NOT LIKE I’M GOING TO BE BLACKBALLED OR OSTRACIZED BY THE COMMUNITY, THERE’S PLENTY OF OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE EVERETTIANS. IT’S NOT SO MUCH THAT I’M A FAN OF MANY WORLDS, IT’S THAT I CARE ABOUT THE FOUNDATIONS OF QUANTUM MECHANICS.>>Reporter: I’M JUST WONDERING IF DECADES FROM NOW WE’RE GOING TO FIND YOU ON THE CORNER WITH A BOTTLE, BABBLING ABOUT MANY WORLDS.>>THERE IS A WORLD IN WHICH THAT HAPPENS, YES. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, I COULD CHANGE MY MIND NEXT WEEK IF SOMEONE SHOWED ME A BETTER THEORY THAT DIDN’T HAVE SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS AND STILL HAVE ALL OF THE BENEFITS. I THINK IT’S UNLIKELY. I WOULD LOVE TO BE THE PERSON TO COME UP WITH THAT THEORY MYSELF. BUT I THINK THAT WE SHOULD HAVE THE COURAGE TO FOLLOW OUR BEST THEORIES AND ACCEPT WHAT THEY PREDICT.>>THIS IS PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND,SUNDAY.>>Sreenivasan: TONIGHT, PBS BEGINS EXPLORING THE HISTORY OF A UNIQUELY AMERICAN ART FORM: COUNTRY MUSIC. THE EIGHT-PART, 16-HOUR-SERIES IS DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY KEN BURNS. HERE IS A PREVIEW.>>COUNTRY MUSIC COMES FROM RIGHT IN HERE. THIS HEART AND SOUL THAT WE ALL HAVE.>>YOU CAN DANCE TO IT. YOU CAN MAKE LOVE TO IT. YOU CAN PLAY IT AT A FUNERAL. IT HAS SOMETHING IN IT FOR EVERYBODY.>>COUNTRY MUSIC IS ABOUT HUMAN EMOTIONS. FOR ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THOSE TOPICS THAT ARE GOING TO TELL US A LOT ABOUT WHO WE ARE, NOT JUST TO THE ERA THAT WE COVER BUT WHO WE ARE NOW.>>IF YOU WANT TO LOOK FOR LIKE SUPERSTRONG WOMEN TELLING REALLY AMAZING STORIES, YOU WENT TO COUNTRY.>>I MEAN THE SONGS ARE JUST LIFE. I’VE SEEN IT OR I’VE LIVED IT. AND I NEVER WOULD TELL MY HUSBAND WHICH ONE IT WAS.>>I BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN GO LOOK TO FIND A COUNTRY SONG THAT WILL HELP YOU FEEL BETTER. SOMETIME IT MIGHT MAKE YOU CRY BUT YOU’LL FEEL BETTER.>>HELLO, I’M JOHNNY CASH.>>MY DAD, HE WORKED OUT ALL OF HIS PROBLEMS ON STAGE. THAT’S WHERE HE TOOK HIS ANGUISH AND FEARS AND GRIEFS. AND HE WORKED THEM OUT WITH AN AUDIENCE, THAT IS JUST WHO HE WAS.>>I HOPE THAT WHEN PEOPLE HEAR OF THE SERIES THAT THEY WILL TUNE IN. IT MADE A CONVERT OUT OF ME. IT’S A WONDERFUL STORY. ♪ CRAZY I’M CRAZY FOR FEELING ♪>>I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WAS A REALLY GOOD SONG. AND I PLAYED IT FOR PATSY CLINE AND SHE THOUGHT IT WAS A GREAT SONG.>>IT IS PHENOMENALICALLY GREAT MUSIC ABOUT PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT THEIR STORIES WEREN’T BEING TOLD. I THINK THAT IS UTTERLY AMERICAN. ♪ I COULD CRY ♪>>Sreenivasan: FINALLY TONIGHT, IT HAS BEEN SIX MONTHS SINCE A GUNMAN KILLED 51 PEOPLE AT TWO MOSQUES IN CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND. ON FRIDAY, THE COUNTRY’S PRIME MINISTER, JACINDA ARDEN, MARKED THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE MASS MURDERS WITH AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW LEGISLATION THAT WILL CREATE A REGISTER TO TRACK ALL GUNS IN THE COUNTRY. THIS IS THE SECOND ROUND OF GUN LEGISLATION SINCE THE MURDERS. LESS THAN A MONTH AFTER THE SHOOTINGS, NEW ZEALAND’S PARLIAMENT VOTED ALMOST UNANIMOUSLY TO BAN MOST SEMI AUTOMATIC WEAPONS, AND THE GOVERNMENT STARTED A BUYBACK PROGRAM THAT HAS ALREADY COLLECTED ABOUT 19,000 WEAPONS. THAT’S ALL FOR THIS EDITION OF “PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND.” I’M HARI SREENIVASAN. THANKS FOR WATCHING. HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.

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