Of Quin, Quarks & Quanta

“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”

Richard Feynman

“If you are not completely confused by quantum mechanics, you do not understand it.”

John Wheeler

A keen student will notice many similarities between the Quin Field and Quantum Theory. While we assure you these are entirely coincidental, we’d be remiss to fail to point out that we’ve noticed them too, and while it’s worth knowing that no scientific study is necessary for high-level Quin play (in fact it might get in the way), it’s also come to our attention that some people like to feel like they know what they’re playing with, or what for, and would rather have a made up lie than accept it is all meaningless and tragically fun. So we present to you,

Quin: A Tale of Two Quarks

First, in the sub-atomic realm, there was nothing. Then, unfolding from the square root of zero, there came a magnetic field, gold gravitons in ribbons like foil from the ether. A microgalaxy swirled, bending out of itself impossibly. And still, as these lines curved out, golden in the ether of absolute beginning, without even an eye to see them, still they were barely 2 dimensional.

The miraculous began – on the edges of the galactic field, lost in zero gravity, little teardrops were forming, quarks like ivory mints, flickering with power coursing through the air, hovering. Rising out of the very plane of possibility, tethered by shimmering bolts of energy, 17 little orbs . . . became.

Then across the golden field of galactic smallness, like in a mirror, so came 17 anti-quarks, blacker than night, in their own zero gravity un-world, exactly like those first ones, but in every way their exact opposite.

Then something even weirder happened. At the center of the field, a hole opened. There was no sound, no pop, just one moment nothing was there, and the next, well, a hole in the nothing. Then this started spinning, slowly at first, then faster, and faster.

The quarks and anti-quarks were drawn by this motion, quivering, and then with a rush, like a waterfall, started racing forward toward the spinning hole. The fastest ones were the darkness, the Shadows, and even though these stayed connected to the plane of the ether by their zap and zig-zag cords of night, still they shot forward so fast that they could barely be said to exist at all.

These quarks and anti-quarks came in more flavors than any physicist could have guessed, including odd and spontaneous creations. Peripherals curved around the sides, against the flow, and Memories flashed, with all kinds of odd thoughts, jumping around the field like they couldn’t even care for the rules of the world. Then they suddenly stopped. Little bits of Void accumulated in unexpected places, moving slowly and then popping into existence next to each other.

One quark at the back came along, faster only than a little child of Time itself, and this was Light.

Though they all had names (who knew where from) and each flavor seemed to have rules that governed its tiny little self (though they had nothing to do with anything else), they were, from the start, little mysteries to each other, both there and not there at once, as if their identities didn’t even quite exist until they ran into their anti-self . . . but then, with a FLASH! they were revealed into the world and only one remained.

So long story short, eventually the field of nothingness drew everything toward that rotating hole in the middle, and they were popping into and out of existence like water balloons in a rainstorm. The Light came face to face with the anti-Light. In the darkness off to one side, 2 giant Totems looked down, fierce and shadowy pillars, faces stacked on faces, like Egyptian gods built out of legos. One of them turned, eerily, impossibly, as if it was alive.

Just at that micro-moment, in that infinitely small battle for existence, a Shadow burst out of the galactic field, but on the wrong side of it all, and raced forward down a long gold ribbon toward the anti-Light, which spun around on it’s lightning cord, as the Light itself slid surely forward, to the center of it all. With a rush, like a waterfall, just like that, everything wooshed and washed and then was gone.

What remained, what became was just one quark. One photon. One Light.

“Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.”

Richard Feynman

You’re going to call me a liar, no doubt, if you have any schooling in this kind of stuff, but the honest to god truth is that, from conception through development, Quin had absolutely nothing to do with Quantum Field Theory. I don’t even really believe in it, generally. I’m a Newtonian, Einstein guy. This is all just one big coincidence.

But then again, nothing really exists, right? Until it does.