The Quantum Mariah Carey Problem is simple: if you put Mariah Carey into an equation, what would her value be?

This seemed like a Just for Fun question until it became a non-trivial problem when Mariah Carey "emancipated" by squaring herself. She came out with an album called *E=MC ^{2}* in 2008. She claims it stands for "(E) Emancipation (=) equals (MC) Mariah Carey to the second power." For purposes of this discussion it is assumed she meant to call it E=(MC)

^{2}, since squaring just the Carey part would be silly. Without knowing the quantitative value of Mariah Carey (Q) we cannot know what her bringing herself to the second power accomplished. Did it increase her, decrease her, or have no change? The question has now become a vital key to understanding the consequences of her changed Q-value and navigating past the resulting singularity.

The most likely hypothesized outcome is that there was no change in her value due to Q-values of 1 or 0. 1 is thought to be a likely Q-value due to Mariah Carey being, based on all known evidence, a single person. The result Q=0 is supported by two arguments, one, put forward by the Irrelevantist school is that assigning numeric values to human beings is irrelevant and/or stupid so 0 is the only coherent solution. The other, favored by the Mariah Sucks school, is that Q=0 on the grounds that she has 0 talent. While Q values of 1 and 0 are interchangeable here, they become distinct if Mariah Carey is able to perform some other function on her self such as multiplication or a logarithm where the distinction is non-trivial.

0<Q<1 is in many ways the least frightening Q-value as it leads to a contraction of Mariah Carey. Sadly, hypotheses for this outcome are sketchy at best. The best being that Mariah Carey's career, especially its amazing ability to rebound from such debacles as *Glitter*, imply she has made some sort of deal with a satanic power or possibly a member of the House of The 1000 Year Night for a portion of her soul, thus lowering her Q-value. Most who deal with this problem think this is patently ridiculous and it is most strongly opposed by those in the Dualist school.

Q>1 is the most frightening of all solutions as it implies that Mariah Carey has increased her Q-value and those unknown consequences (known as the Mariah Carey Singularity) are completely unpredictable. The main hypotheses for this solution are as follows.

- The Talent school suggest that because Mariah Carey is so awesome, she must have a Q-value higher than those of regular people. This presupposes that people normally have a Q-value of 1, but this is not necessary, as the next hypothesis shows. Supporters of this hypothesis in general fervently oppose the Mariah Sucks camp.

The Fanboy school has a similar argument but based on hotness instead of talent. Supporters of this hypothesis in general watch her music videos over and over, so don't have time to oppose anyone. - The Dualist school believe all people have Q-values greater than 1 due to the human soul having its own additional Q-value. Generally assumed to be equal to the personal Q-value leading to an aggregated Q-value (AQ-value) of 2, though AQ-values of 3 or greater are not ruled out.
- The Autoquantizing school believe that one's Q-value is directly related to what one thinks their own Q-value should be, thus those with high self- worth would have higher Q-values than those who don't. The Celebrity Corollary states that Mariah Carey, as a famous person would thus have a higher than average Q-value, which presumably would lead to the solution Q>1.

The Fictionalist school believes that Q-values are made up values and thus Q=bi. What a transition from a complex number to a negative number means is best left up to other mathematicians, philosophers, or FanGirls and is not germane to this discussion.

The Economist train of thought sets the value of MC according to her net worth, around 250 million.
If we square her value, we learn that emancipation's value is set at $^{2}
62,500,000,000,000,000. What exactly a square-dollar actually *is* is still up to debate. While there is some validity behind this system, there are quirks to using it.

First of all, the system would mean that everyone's value was a constantly changing variable, and thus any attempts to put a value on Mariah are immediately discredited. Secondly, it defines that all people's values are defined by money, which means that Mariah Carey's value is significatly higher than anyone else's, which isn't necessarily true. Thirdly, if the value of emancipation is equal to Mariah Carey's net worth squared, adjusted for inflation, emancipating the slaves in 1863 would have cost around $3,628,700,543,322,582.00 at the time, and with the currency at the time being backed by the gold standard, adjusted for the price of gold of the time, it would have taken about 7,509,727,945,618 pounds of gold to emancipate the slaves. If we put stock in this view, one must wonder how Lincoln managed to pay to emancipate the slaves. Although it can also be argued that since Mariah Carey did not exist in 1863 she also did not have a net worth. This would mean that emancipating the slaves should have been free. Since history books everywhere tell us this is not the case this leads to a few interpretations. Firstly, instead of an ever-changing variable, her net worth should be chosen from a specific point in time; which point is not known. Secondly, there were other factors in play during the civil war, which would imply that E=MC^2 is a simplification of another more complex equation. Lastly, it could mean some kind of cover-up by the House of The 1000 Year Night. Of course, this all implies that for the purposes of dimensional analysis and natural units, $1=1 at both the present time and the Civil War era; if this is different or changing, even the simple E=MC^{2} becomes much more complicated due to the effects of special relativity and time dilation.

The very small Negativist school hypothesizes that the Q-value must be negative, because pop culture has such a negative effect. That would suggest that squaring it would make it become positive, thus -1<Q<0 has the same net effect as 0<Q<1; Q<-1, 1<Q. The even smaller Elvis Costello school shares this belief, but for the reason that they believe everything to be "Less than Zero" (Costello, 1977)

Finally the Strangist school believe that due to the weird behavior of Mariah Carey, the Q-value must be irrational. This school does not actually have a particular position on what it is *per se*, just that it must be irrational. Strangist Dualists tend to favor a value of root 2 or root 3, Fictionalist Strangists tend to advocate ei, while Strangist Fanboys tend to advocate "THE ROOT OF A GOOGELPLEX +1", which is strange not because of the value itself, but both because Googol is misspelled and because the square root of a googolplex, plus one or no, is rational. "THE ROOT OF IN PARENTHESES A GOOGELPLEX +1", however, is perfectly irrational.

Of course, some people say simply that the amount of letters in her name (squared) is the answer.

- It is possible that squaring only the C is correct, if she secretly married someone else named Carey and became Mariah Carey-Carey. If that is the case, then the rest of this article is meaningless mathematical wank. However, the equation becomes E=M(C2)? E=MC^2 in turn means Emancipation= Mariah Carey CArey CaRey CarEy CareY (that's just representative, since you can't properly write in acrostic here). Unless it's like squaring a fraction, where the MC is to be taken as two parts of a whole... Lets just burn the disc covers and rewrite all the labels, mmmkay? It would be easier and less mentally torturous.
- In Matlab syntax, and probably in a whole bunch of other mathematical software, any string of letters and certain other characters counts as a single variable. If you type "mc^2" in Matlab, they will assume you mean exactly what Mariah Carey intended: mc to the second power. Unless you write it out properly, since MC is a shorthand notation of (M×C). This of course raises the question — is Mariah Carey equal to the multiplication of her two names?

To solve this problem, the value of E (Emancipation) must first be analyzed. The Other Wiki defines emancipation as: "...a term used to describe various efforts to obtain ... equality" Which means that emancipation is not so much a number, as it is an operation. There are two fairly simple operations which will always produce the same result regardless of the input value: x*0 and x^0.

- To begin, let's assume that E=(x*0), then E=0 and so either (MC)^2=0 or M(C^2)=0
^{ 1 }^{ 2 }^{ 3 } - Next, Let's assume that E=(x^0), then E=1, meaning either (MC)^2=1 or M(C^2)=1. In the first case, that means that MC=1. However, since E=1 for all x, that means that (Mariah Carey)=(Anything Else). This supports a very Egalitarian point of view.

The first case could also mean that MC=-1. Would that make her a Nobody or just evil? If the latter, this leads to the theory that a person can be either entirely good or entirely evil.

In the second case, that means that M(C^2)=1, therefore, Mariah=1/(Carey^2) suggesting she is the inverse of her family raised to the second power. What exactly this means is open to interpretation.

Since emancipation was proclaimed true on Jan. 1, 1863, we can apply boolean logic to get MC^2 == true != 0. Thus, E == (MC)^2 != 0. But since the entire world exists inside Instrumentality and/or the mind of Haruhi Suzumiya, we know that Mariah Carey is imaginary. So, (MC)^2 < 0... which means that we have negative emancipation. Is this bad or good? Must Mariah Carey exist for us to have an egalitarian society? Truly a disturbing philosophical question...

Previous investigations have limited themselves to the case of MC being a real or complex number: however, empirical examinations suggest that MC (like most pop stars) is not nearly as real or complex as often thought, and may in fact be simple. There is abundant evidence that MC is a member of the Tits group.

A subgroup, some would say cult, of the Mariah Sucks school calling themselves "Physicists" refuse to accept that Mariah came up with the formula E=MC^{2}. Their hatred and loathing runs so deep that they have instigated a worldwide conspiracy to hide the truth, a conspiracy that reaches deep into out society and to the highest echelons of power.

The Physicists proclaim that E=MC^{2} was not the product of Mariah's deep intellectual insight, but was instead developed by their leader, Albert Einstein, allegedly deceased. Their, frankly preposterous, view is that in the formula E represents energy, M represents mass and C represents the speed of light. Simple inspection of this view reveals how preposterous it is, only the truly mental would use C for the speed of light, any sane person would obviously use L.

Unfortunately the Physicists have been phenomenally successful in spreading their lies. However, they have created a momentous problem for themselves. Since so many now believe in the Physicists' twisted version of the formula the Physicists are now required to prove their deluded rantings are true. As this would require demonstrating some form of Mass - Energy equivalency it is clearly impossible.

The Physicists' desire to prove their version of the formula to be true has resulted in them developing ever more monstrous machines in their drive to square the circle. The latest risks ripping holes in the very fabric of space and time, and spewing forth the daemons of hell onto the Franco-Swiss border. The Physicists try to gloss over these risks and claim that even if it did occur the French military is fully up to the job of handling the situation, which is absurd in its own right.

With each passing generation the Physicists' lies become more and more ingrained. A few of us continue to preserve the true meaning of The Formula, and seek out the value of Q. Our numbers continue to dwindle. Some have said that only the discovery of Q is capable of demonstrating to the masses the wool the Physicists have pulled over their eyes, and freeing them from the tyranny. They state that this is the true Emancipation that Mariah foresaw.

A radical new approach is to separate the "squared" from the equation. It's an album, and therefore comes in a squared case. Then, realize that, counting the space between her first name and surname, there are twelve characters. There are twelve characters in emancipation, as well. Hence we have solved the cipher.

A little simple algebraic manipulation reveals the truth — namely that the root of emancipation is, in fact, Mariah Carey. Its current formulation is to rule out the possibility of negative Mariah Carey being the root of emancipation. This could mean that Abraham Lincoln is -Mariah Carey...

This research is still ongoing and any who have additional new information about the Quantum Mariah Carey Problem or relating to general human Q-value knowledge are encouraged to post it here. ^{note }

For a study of a similar problem, see Cliburn et al., "The Value of Love, Using the Bob Dylan Model," *Annals of Improbable Research* 1:5 (1995), reprinted in *The Best of Annals of Improbable Research*. See also: the Quantum MC Hammer problem, which is complicated by a unique time co-ordinate.^{note }