Liz moves to Hawaii. Hugh is planning return to QM. (1979)

Early in 1979, Everett's daughter Liz moved to Hawaii to start a career in the world of TV and radio. It seems that Wheeler may have played a role in inspiring her to choose this career, when she met him during her family's memorable trip to Austin in May, 1977 [54]. (This probably came about not because Wheeler considered TV and radio especially appealing fields in which to work, but because he encourages every young person to do whatever that person has a passion for.) On March 13, 1979 Wheeler himself had a flirtation with TV. He hosted a popular scientific Einstein show on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). The Everetts saw the show and enjoyed it. Hugh even placed a call to Wheeler to congratulate him and to find out if it meant the beginning of a new career as showman, but Wheeler was away from Texas at the time [54].

More seriously, Wheeler tried to change Everett's career. He (Wheeler) advanced the idea of creating a working group at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITP) in Santa Barbara, California, devoted to the quantum theory of measurement with the mandate to search for the deepest foundations from which it would be possible to derive quantum mechanics. In July 1979, he wrote to ITP's director, Douglas Scalapino, saying that he had received Everett's consent to get back into physics, and that Everett could conceivably get free of other commitments for a period of time and go to work at the Institute [144].

Nothing came of this plan, and it may have added a pinch of salt to an old wound. Even junior employees at DBS noticed that Everett went out of his way to avoid speaking about his physics past [55]. However, a Renaissance Man (recollecting the first epigraph at the beginning of this piece) doesn't suffer long from depression. An extraordinary young DBS staff member, K. Corbett, working on computer programming at the company in 1979-1980 [145], wondered if Everett thought of computer programming as an arena in which he could show off his superior intellect [55]. (Corbett had graduated with honors from Princeton University with a B. A. in English Literature, and was self-trained as a programmer.) One wonders, too, if Everett was influenced by being dragged along all those years by logic [55, 103, 104], learning machines [118], and artificial intelligence [117] - compare with [71]. Corbett recalls [55] that the small staff of DBS were all in awe of Everett.


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