Getting your head around the notion that reality is created by observation (consciousness) isn’t all that hard. The scientists in Copenhagen were living in a world of 19th century materialism, which is why they thought it would be.

Nor did the idea come only from their studies. Others, particularly Nietzsche, had intuited it earlier. “All existence is essentially interpreting existence.” Same idea without what Schrödinger would later call in exasperation that verdammte Katze.

Quantum physics, even when misunderstood, has had and continues to have a profound impact on modern thought, as has Nietzsche for that matter..It has provided new metaphors for a new world in which the old god of certainty is mortally wounded, if not dead yet.

I used to have T-shirt that said on the front, Schrödinger’s Cat Is Alive, and on the back, Schrödinger’s Cat Is Dead. Complete strangers stopped me and asked me what it meant. Try explaining it to a woman in a thrift shop in Tennessee sometime.

The interesting thing is that Schrödinger’s Gedankenexperiment is nowhere near as much fun or as mind blowing as considering, for example, Bell’s Theorem, the Copenhagen Interpretation or the Many-Worlds Interpretation.

All of these make thinking about thinking more challenging and more fun. Perhaps they will get t-shirts one day. :)

Honorary Schizophrenic. Recent refugee. Displaced person. Old white male. Confidant of cassowaries.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store