Fredrik Olsson interviewed

After reading “The Code”, I have been enquiring the author, Fredrik Olsson and got his answers.
Here everything … for all my readers!

ATTENTION: this is including some “spoiler” from the book. It is recommended to read all this report only AFTER having read the book!

Question
The idea of your book is probably connected with the Berkeley philosohy: the famous tree makes no noise when falling down if nobody is there hearing!
And to the PAP principle too: John Archibald Wheeler statying (Participatory Anthropic Principle) that observer’s consciusness is required to bring universe into existence. This is definitely linked to the quantic phicis and to the Schrodinger cat as well. Am I right, upto here?
Answer
About the PAP principle/Schrödinger’s cat — I love how you read that into the book, and you’re right to a certain degree. But I think I would rather ask the question the other way around — how would knowing whether the cat is alive affect our decisions?
Or, to put it in the context of the book: How does knowing your future, or even *believing* that you know your future, affect your choices?
From reading the horoscope to listening to fortunetellers — might it be that we ourselves fulfill their prophecies just by having heard them?

Question
as the story told in your book is teaching, the “observer” can modify the reality. So that can the reader modify the ending (or, let me ask in a different way, is the ending DIFFERENT according to the different readers? One can imagine that William is entering the bathroom to finally complete the suicide programm, others can just imagine he is willing to intake a bath!)
Answer
I love your analogy: William in the bath is definitely a Schrödinger-cat of sorts. It’s obviously possible to read it both ways (which is perfectly intentional🙂
And yes — both versions will be true until we learn what actually happened. (And no, I’m not going to say…🙂

Question
the theory that “somebody” outside manipulated our DNA is quite old! Are we thence similar to computers who have got the consciousness too? So that the Turing experiment is proving nothing!?
Answer
That’s one way to look at it. Another way is to ask oneself: Since we all have no problem accepting that we carry a blueprint for our “construction” inside our genes — why couldn’t it also be true that we might have a blueprint for our “timeline”, without necessarily come to the conclusion that someone put it there?
Of course — my book is fiction. But it’s interesting how the immediate reaction to finding messages in our DNA (made by everyone in the book up to and including myself I guess) is that they were created by someone. Because just as evolution has provided us with a blueprint for how we look, mightn’t it also have provided us with a blueprint for what we’re expected to do…?
Anyways, the book deliberately ends openly in regards to that question: Are we just doomed to fulfill whatever is in the prophecies? Or did we fulfill it because we read it?

Question
I’m sure you are thinking of a sequel! Am I right?
Answer
Yup. I’m writing on it right now…

Question
what is science fiction and what is “science” in your novel? The codes in the DNA are really carrying “unknown” parts …? (By the way, I have a close friend who is a genetic professor, so that I turned on to him the question too)
Answer
Well — to my knowledge, there are no coded messages in our DNA.🙂 So that’s made up.
But yes, about 98% of our DNA is as of yet uninterpreted, and seemingly has no purpose, hence the term “Junk” or “non-coding DNA”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noncoding_DNA
It’s also true that a virus can deliver new sequences of DNA into cells and replace the old sequence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_vector
So yes, the idea of sending out a highly contagious virus to alter everyone’s cells is actually at least theoretically thinkable.

Question
reality is changing, from Matrix to (even) Back to the future, a lot of hypothesis have been brought to the attention of the people. A theory says that everything is true and that books and movies are just trying to get people used to think differently, waiting for the final “contact” (with some extraterrestrial life!). What do you think about?
Answer
Wow. That sounds quite advanced — in fact, coming to think of it, I think I believe the opposite. I think books and movies are here to help us experience things we couldn’t experience ourselves, to put us in fictive danger or make us think like someone else, without the actual need to live through all those situations ourselves. Whether it’s SF or thrillers or any other genre.
Rather than preparing us for final contact with non-humans, I think books are there to help us make daily contact with other actual, real-life humans: The more we can see things with someone else’s eyes, and the more we train our empathy and our ability to see how someone else thinks, the better we will be at meeting and understanding people around us.
That, I think, is probably the real fundemental purpose of all art.

Question
now we are facing a world “virus” called Ebola. When you started writing the book, was this virus already active but not so “strong”. What if your book had “anticipated” the reality (caused the reality, as William says!).
Answer
Well, there was that big Ebola outbreak, in the late 1990’s if I remember it correctly. After that, it’s been fairly silent (with a few smaller outbreaks here and there) until now. So it wasn’t an actual threat while I wrote the book, but of course I was aware of the fact that it existed.
And I surely hope I didn’t “cause reality” in any way!🙂 Seriously though, it’s always scary when you write fiction and something similar to what you wrote happens in real life (it’s happened a couple of times before with TV shows that I’ve worked on, only to see similar things occur in the news).
But I think this is just the same as with horoscopes: it’s easy to interpret reality to fit with what you already know. That doesn’t mean you actually saw it coming — every day, there are hundreds of events you *didn’t* think of (just as you think of things that don’t happen). The coinciding of one’s own ideas with similar things happening for real is just that: coincidental.
At least I very much hope so…🙂

Question
the free thinking is always under dispute. Knowing the future and being unable to change it, seems like a prove that we are not free. But when we see that the future in fact “was” changed, then we can also reconsider the free thinking as well. It should be enough to think that time doesn’t exist or that all the times are “now” together. What is your idea of “time” construction?
Answer
Well, unless I’m wrong, it has been all but scientifically proven that time is just another dimension and that all moments in time actually coexist simultaneously. It’s not a very pleasant thought, but the good news is we can’t ever experience it that way. So that really makes it an entirely academic question (albeit an interesting one…🙂
A final thought: I think whether or not there is a free will, or there is a predicted path to everything that happens (which I don’t believe, by the way) I think the worst thing for everyone would be to believe we had no choice.
Choice and freedom is what keeps us alive. Even if, unbeknownst to us, they were just a mirage.
That was some interesting questions — hope you feel there’s some substance in my answers!🙂
Thanks, Fredrik.

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