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ABSTRACT: One would not think that thought experiments could matter to nature, for they are a humble human device. Yet quantum mechanics very naturally frames thought experiments (as distinct from precisely defining what exists). They exemplify the informing powers of radiation. Though based on wave functions that have time symmetry, these tableaux inevitably tell of irreversible behavior by nature. The paper sketches how John von Neumann's measurement theory fits into this and retells N. David Mermin's baseball story.