Schrodinger's election

Last night, I decided not to watch the all-night long election specials on television with their swingometers, pundits and talking heads. Instead, I went to bed to dream of the possibility of waking up to a different world.

I went to bed not knowing who had won the presidential election in the United States. When I woke up this morning, I still didn’t know the outcome.

As I lay in bed this morning, it struck me that the entire world had become a giant Schrodinger’s cat:

“The Psi function for the entire system would express this by having in it the living and the dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.”

I couldn’t lie in bed forever. It would be irresponsible to let the world linger in live cat/dead cat state of flux (unless Einstein was more right than he realised when he said “there is no cat”).

I got up. I walked into the kitchen. I turned on the radio and tuned it to Radio 4. In doing so, I killed the cat. This cat is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life.

I’ve quoted Schrodinger. I’ve quoted Einstein. But the quote that is foremost in my mind comes not from a European scientist but from an American writer. I believe it was Mark Twain who first said:

“The people have spoken… the bastards.”

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