Saturday, December 27, 2008

Schroedinger's Cat Bites

Fele, veni feles

We at Doombrothers have recently been assaulted by Shroedinger’s cat. While motoring from the bunker to get supplies we came across the traffic sign seen above.

As shown, the sign insists that we choose one of only two options. In this instance we had to either choose to go left or to go right. This forced choice is exactly the same type of conundrum that has bedeviled theologians and physicists for many years. Let us elaborate.

In 1843 Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher, theologian and well known depressive, purposed in Either/Or that one could choose between a hedonistic life of sybaritic pleasure, irresponsibility and fun OR a dull, long and plodding life filled with duty, ethics and responsibility. You would not know what the correct choice until is after death. Mr. Kierkegaard, in a typical display of what passes for Scandinavian humor has not yet given up the correct answer.

In 1935 Ervin Schroedinger, the Austrian physicist, torturer of cats and well know bad-boy proposed a thought experiment in which a cat is to be locked into a box with a tiny amount of radioactive material and a small flask of hydrochloric acid. If an atom decayed in the course of an hour a Geiger-counter would be activated which in turn would shatter the container of hydrochloric acid killing the cat, OR, none of the material would decay and the cat would be alive. In keeping with his humor, this twisted-sister also said that we could not know if the cat was dead or alive until we opened the box.

When we at Doombrothers saw the sign, we knew that we were being forced into a realm of doomfulness in which there was a fifty-percent chance of failure, gloom and potential disaster no matter which way we went.

We do not presume to tell you what is correct for you; you have to choose yourself, left or right? We can only tell you what we did to solve the dilemma. We turned the doommobile around and chose another route less fraught with potential failure and which gave us many more choices. Our advice to you is to watch out for true/false questions, moral bipartite dilemmas, forced choices and Schroedinger’s cat - they all bite.