29 Jan Space-Time
The experience of someone watching the movie seems to be, at the least, a strong component of whether you can say that the movie has played. As an aside, the movie question makes me wonder exactly how many components need to be there for us to declare that it is a movie. In the normal movie viewing process, digital memory goes to a processor that triggers a power supply that can convert that information into electronic energy, which then modulates a projector. The projector then emits photons of multicolored light onto a movie screen. This is all interpreted by the human mind as a movie, and we say that a movie has been played. In any case, whether seen by adoring fans or not, projecting a digital movie seems to be all about energy transfer. Could you say that the movie has played if you transfer it from a flash memory stick to an optical drive since almost all the same energy transfer components are still there? My rational mind would say no, but it does bring the human experience of the movie back into the equation. The problem with assuming that an event occurs, even if there is no one around to watch it, is that there is evidence from quantum chemistry that infers that an event cannot occur in the physical world unless there is a human to observe that event. Spooky! I’ll talk more about this in my next entry. In the meantime, you should look up the Copenhagen Interpretation.