A Conversation for Schrodinger's Cat
Researcher 231722 Started conversation Jun 19, 2003
I think this has to be both the most misunderstood, as well as the most under-rated metaphor in use today.
Because it essentially deals with a major aspect of quantum physics, most people dismiss it because it is a subject of which they wish to know nothing, or care nothing about, and it is written off as 'a stupid story about a cat' - However it is really applicable to a wide range of scenarios in real life. As an example, my partner was recently taking her final exams to qualify as a solicitor. She is not fond of exams in the first place - who is ? She had 3 remaining exams, and having finished the first and second exams, she was distraught with the knowledge that she felt that she could have done better, and if only she'd written x, y or z she'd be better of. I explained to her that she should consider her exams like the cat. Once the exams were over, they move into a state of both passed and failedness and the final result would not be known until results day (when the box was opened as it were, and the outcome decided.) This seemed to mollify her worry, and I was greatly gratified when she came out of her final exam saying 'I think I have resuscitated the cat now' I think it is a convenient metaphor for explaining both of the following:
1) That in an event with several possible outcomes, there exists a state at which both outcomes are possible, and it will be an uncontrollable event which ultimately affects the outcome. Most humans have a fundamental psychological problem in accepting the fact that they are not completely in control of events.
2) That there are many questions in life that are unanswerable, and that there is nothing wrong with both possibilities being acceptable and contrary at the same time. For example - Is there a God ? The human race will still continue to exist whether there is or there isn't; although in this scenario we only find the outcome when they close the lid (on our coffins)...
Long Live Schrodinger and his cat.
Bright Blue Shorts Posted Jun 19, 2003
I like your application of the theory
It's perhaps a good "real-world" example of the theory and the power of positive thinking. If nothing else it enabled your wife to give her best in exam 3, regardless of whether the theory is correct.
Interestingly, Scott Adams (Dilbert doodler) tells a story at the end of "The Dilbert Future" of how he used affirmations to get a pass in an exam. Perhaps there is a connection ...
"I wanted to get my MBA from the University of California at Berkeley They had the best evening MBA program within driving distance, and I needed that degree to become the business tycoon I always wanted to be. The trouble was, I had already taken the GMAT exam several years before its a requirement for most MBA programs-and I earned a meager seventy-seventh percentile score. That wasn't good enough for Berkeley It wasn't even close. I knew I had to be above the ninetieth percentile to have a chance. I picked the ninety-fourth percentile as my specific outlandish target My friend who told me about affirmations said I should be as specific as possible. I visualized the ninety-four exactly as it would appear on the results form, which was easy, because I'd seen the results form after my first GMAT. I bought GMAT study books and took GMAT practice exams in the books for weeks before the actual test, each time scoring at about the seventy-seventh percentile. The experts say you can't improve your score dramatically by practicing, and I was proving them right. Hitting the ninety-fourth percentile was certainly going to be a stretch The day of the GMAT came. It felt just like the practice" tests no harder and no easier. Afterward, I kept up the visualization and the affirmations as I waited for the results in the mail. I remember the moment I took the results envelope out of my mailbox My heart was pounding. My future was in that envelope. I opened it and focused my eyes on the box that I had visualized a thousand times before It was a ninety-four. I looked again, certain I had misread it. It was still a ninety-four I took it inside and looked again. Still ninety-four. That evening, I sat in a chair with the GMAT results next to me alternately staring at the wall and then staring at the ninety-four. I kept expecting it to change. It didn't. "
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