Schrödinger’s cat, risky texts, and parallel universes

“Nothing’s over yet, the cat is still inside”. – The Singer’s Gun

I should start by saying that Schrödinger’s cat is not a real cat; it’s a thought experiment postulated by scientist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, where a cat is put into a box with a vile of poisonous gas which will be released at a random time, thus killing the cat. No one knows when or if the gas will be released, and so while the box remains closed, no one knows whether the cat is alive or dead. The cat is therefore thought of as simultaneously being alive and dead.

I believe that Schrödinger’s cat was introduced to pop culture through an episode of The Big Bang Theory, at least that’s where I heard of it. In the episode, Leonard asked Penny out on a date and she said yes, but later she wasn’t sure if she wanted to go on the date because she didn’t know whether being in a relationship with Leonard would work out. When Penny expressed her dilemma to Sheldon, he replied by telling her about Schrödinger’s cat. The implication is that until Penny and Leonard try being in a relationship, no one knows if it will be good or bad. Until we open the box to look at it, it is both alive and dead.

Schrödinger’s cat was a thought experiment to illustrate a paradox of quantum superposition. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know the first thing about quantum mechanics, let alone any other quantum whatevers. What I do know, is that when I heard about this thought experiment, I realized that I could apply it to my personal dilemmas as pertains to human interaction.

Say one morning I wake up compelled to send a text to a potential suitor confessing that I have feelings for them. I send the text and then obviously throw my phone far away from me because that was such a cringe thing to do, and the person might not even feel the same way. During this time, we might consider Schrödinger’s cat. Until I check my phone, the person simultaneously also has feelings for me, and doesn’t. All possibilities are possible but only one is reality when I check. The person might have responded saying they feel the same way, they might have responded and said they don’t, they might have ignored my text, or maybe they’ve not even seen it. The cat is simultaneously alive and dead. While the cat is still in the box, it’s not over yet. All possibilities are plausible until I force nature to make a decision for me.

I might be digressing here, but if you’re the sort of person who believes in parallel universes like me, then technically all of these possibilities are true. If in this dimension I check my phone and the person has responded by saying they don’t feel the same way, then my curiosity will literally have killed the metaphorical cat. I am however comforted by the fact that in a parallel universe, I got a positive response from the person and everything came up Mumbi. I’d like to interject here to say that I’m aware Schrödinger’s findings were much more complex, but I can only discuss the thought experiment to the extent that I understand it and can apply it to the world around me. Back to parallels universes.

It gets a little more complicated when I think about the text that I’ve just described in relation to parallel universes, because then I think what’s the point of me doing anything in this dimension if another version of me is doing the same thing in another? The notion of parallel universes posits that there are infinite worlds where there are infinite outcomes to events. Ergo if I’m interested in someone and I’m scared of making a move (or shooting my shot), then I can as well sit back and do nothing and believe that in an alternate universe, I made my move and all went well. This is a dangerous rabbit hole to go down because then I wouldn’t see the need to do anything if another me is already doing it.

I say all this to say, if you were looking for a sign to send a risky text, do it. Flip your phone face down; Schrödinger’s text style. You’ll only know whether the cat is alive or dead when you open the box.

Further, we might really be in the matrix, so live your best simulation life.

Consider this, if a tree falls in a forest with no one around to hear it, did the tree make a sound when it fell? Does the tree even exist? Does anything exist if we’re not looking at it? Think about it.

As usual, if you enjoyed this post do let me know. Connect with me on Instagram & Twitter, or send me an email at machariamumbi1[@}gmail.com.

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Published by mumbimacharia

Performing spoken word poet, writer, event curator, East African.

2 thoughts on “Schrödinger’s cat, risky texts, and parallel universes

  1. Almost went String theory and the avengers, but you put a serious approach to life that could help those holding back

    Like

  2. You had me at parallel universes😃😃😃
    I am one with the belief of parallel universes

    Send the risky text. If it goes well then you have a beautiful story to tell. If it doesn’t then you have an emotional story to tell, aaaaaaand you’ll have forgotten about it in a month or so🌸🌸🌸

    Like

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