Schrodinger’s Cat

Written by Abhisek Pattnaik
Pic courtesy : Artstation.com

Areté : (Greek), the act of living up to one’s full potential.

You know looking at my past, what haunts me the most? It’s simply the foregoing of the possibilities of what I could have become. No, don’t get me wrong. I’m neither judging my current state nor carry this notion that the world and its elements needs to be layered to make any sense. Given the support I have received from my family throughout my life, I’m yet to believe in the idea of economic determinism(ie it is economics/money that determines every course of action) like that of Karl Marx. So, I continue to live in my distant ideal world, staying an idealist(someone who envisions a world i.e. ought to be rather than the real one). Hence, the possibilities I have foregone have nothing to do with the social status or power hierarchy or the paychecks that we receive by the end of every month. But rather, the idea of experiencing them in their totality. I can’t simply pull a rickshaw for a day and become a rickshaw puller. Nor can I engage in active politics for a day and call myself a politician. I’ll simply remain myself. A selection of decisions/choices from among the infinite possibilities drawing a narrow path, which has become quite thin now to allow me to accommodate something else into it. And, this makes me think of the ‘many world’ hypothesis.

You must be aware of the thought experiment famous by the name of Schrodinger’s cat. It was given by physicist Erwin Schrodinger as an allegory to explain the complexities of quantum physics.

Imagine there is a sealed box with a cat in it. And there is a radioactive element and a vial containing poisonous gas to accompany it. The system is so designed that if the radioactive element decays within an hour, the hammer falls, breaking the vial and thus, killing the cat. But, the chances of decay of the element within an hour is 50/50. Hence, Schrodinger argues that the cat in the sealed box is simultaneously both dead and alive before the box is opened. According to him, since there is no one inside the box to witness the happenings, the cat exists in all its possibilities i.e. both dead as well as alive. This in a way gave way to the ‘many world’ hypothesis  by Hugh Everett later. According to it, all possible outcomes for any quantum event or decision are physically realized in some “world” or universe.

Okay! This is assuring, to know that infinite copies of me are living simultaneously in parallel worlds as the rest of the possibilities.
Me as a cricketer. Checked.
Me as a pilot. Checked.
Me as an artist. Checked.
Me as a billionaire. Checked.
Hah! But what about this copy of myself, that I’m getting to experience. How can I transgress this limitedness and become the rest of them simultaneously?

Like the Schrodinger’s cat, I derive my status, my identity from others. Don’t I? Certainly it depends on what and how the society perceives me. Hell, I can’t even tell the difference between what’s real and what’s forced in me now. I wonder what if I simply lock myself up in a box as a solution. Like the cat, I’ll be perceived by none. Shouldn’t it liberate me then; helping me to exist simultaneously in all my possibilities from here on; helping me achieve my Arete!

Author: buddingb

A humanist, Non-conformist who likes to see the world as half full. A seeker who is yet find all his answers.

74 thoughts on “Schrodinger’s Cat”

  1. Light humor in your story and thoughtful. I haven’t had my morning coffee yet so my mind is still waking up. LOL. I like your vocabulary, strong and enjoyable to read without using language that is too obscure. I have never been one for philosophy, in university I wasn’t even tempted to discuss philosophy no matter how pretty the girl was. chuckle. But perhaps it depends if I can see the application it makes more sense to me for application to life. – I am enjoying investigating your posts – David

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A very good morning to you David. It’s almost nine in the evening here and I’m having tea for some odd reason at this hour as I write this.. 😃

      Thank you so much for appreciating my work with such depth. 🤗👍❤️
      Hope you enjoy the rest of them as well… 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Many people feel this way, overwhelmed by the choices w/ which life presents them. But our choices become our character. The failure to choose should not be mistaken for limitless choice. It is simply inertia. As a Christian, I would tell you that we derive our identity from God, not from others. He made us. How He sees us matters most. That fact can help clarify our choices.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Anna. How are you?
      So good to see your deep faith in God…🤗

      But as I see it…
      We all are social animals… N it matters to us all the time…
      Be it our career or the car we ride or the paychecks we get…
      It’s always a comparative statement of some sort…

      N the choices are always limitless no? We choose either consciously or unconsciously…
      Like Jean-Paul Satre says, “Man is condemned to be free.” 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “He”…A gender?
        Big Daddy watching over the ever fearful and psychologically fragile humans 🙂

        A scenario for you to ponder upon.

        There in the limitless number of created multiverses created by the Supreme Lord Ked are many little deputies (Gods) appointed to watch over the individual universes. Your Christian God is one such slave of the supreme Lord of the multiverse. Each Universe has an Earth where all the possible outcomes of human life are played out simultaneously. The supreme Lord orders the destruction of individual universe or of the infinitely many and this is termed as Big Armageddon. Then the creation starts afresh somewhere/time and a new God is created to watch over it.

        Now what stops this scenario to be the true picture of the present state of existence?

        I have a Muslim friend who believes the Allah is the reality and his worldview has no place for other things. He is brought up that way. To put meanings into things is a psychological drama of this aggregate of atoms of this biological structure we call human. There is something as -Emergent phenomena. Do read about it.

        I once asked an evangelist, when he was telling me about the salvation of my soul, if I could first test that there is something like a soul inside me. He said that i had to die first to know that. I asked If this is unverifiable, then its as good as anybody else’s claim from any other religion. He spent pent 30 mins on me and never met again! i was not a good customer, perhaps.

        Subjective opinions and emotional prejudices must not be projected as objective realities. Its a dangerous path and has cost humans a lot of death and destruction.

        So many religions and people cannot come to terms with what is God. Even among the trio of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, there is no consensus although they are all related to each other. At least the Judeo-Christian faiths are one if we leave Islam out.

        Still, no consensus of what God is…the angry and revengeful of the old order or the loving and caring one of the new order. I have always felt that maybe we humans are entrapped so much in our psychological projections that we distort reality in out brains to suit our societal worldview.

        One could, in principle, find or create any fantasy in the absence of hard facts and find a subjective solace. However, the danger is when people enforce their delusions on to the others. Not a good thing to do or to encourage.

        Like

    1. Such a beautiful statement you used there…

      I totally agree…
      But not everyone is fortunate enough to develope this understanding… Let alone dare to try it.

      Maybe… I’ll dare to do this someday… let go off all that’s not mine…

      Thank you so much for visiting. 🤗❤️

      Like

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