The Quizzical Physical Cat

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               If I am a cat who lives outside of time (as a rhetorical device, not a question of physics), a cat who lives as an idea and continues to be passed across the generations through writing and discussion, may I not become a discussant in my own state of being superposed between or above or within both life and death?
               You might say I am a cat of interpretation: I was proposed from within an interpretive move (a projected explanation); I gave rise to interpretations of my propositional predicament; and I have life only in a virtual state that relies on a continued interest in interpreting the significance of my state of being.
               I could go off here on tangential elements regarding consciousness, imagination, transmission among conscious beings, the nature of ideas, or just the quizzical state of mammals who write.  I should rather ask some questions to begin. Above all, I need to know: ‘Why a cat?’  Was the E.S. human fond of cats, owned a cat, was looking out the window and noticed a cat at the moment he was asking himself how to anecdotalize an intellectually frustrating unaccountability?
               I think I know some of the answer to this one, but I can hardly stop myself from asking the next one:  ‘Why the need to know which state? ‘ and its corollary: ‘Why the presumption of accountability within the oddly termed ‘real’ world, the world of the application of the laws of classical physics?’. 
               Did these men who needed a world that could conform to the limits of their intelligence and be ultimately describable (Can we here ask if a human brain can issue an ultimatum to the environment which spawned it?) so believe in the value of their description that the counter of further evidence required a whole different theory and one which would be a curiosity if not an anathema to those believers?
               Alas, here, I could diverge:  the evolution of metacognition, perhaps, within a critical theory of the history of science.  Alas, again, it is too presumptuous and ambitious for a cat serving my role of the observed. I pull back into my box, curl up, lick my paw and pull my ear down.  I must consider the apparatus with which I share my steel enclosure.
               You may find me a little resentful. While I respect the directed curiosity of these humans, I do questions (in the moral sense) their use of such a violent (albeit, thought) experiment. Inside with me is a vial of hydrocyanic acid (I invite you to climb into a box with a radioactive acid.)  If the stuff changes so much as by one atom, the vial will be smashed.  You can guess what will happen to me at that moment.  Since I have been sitting here for seventy-eight years with the box closed, you may think what you like.  Possibly, it is a question of ‘What you do not know cannot (or can) hurt you.’
               I have known events like that, when I was a lot happier not asking. However, this is, supposedly, not about me. Or it is about me in the sense that I am quantifiably disparate. I might be alive and dead. (Have you not had whole days like that?) The point is that since you cannot know my state inside the box, I am indeterminately something (either/both) until you open the box.
               Points to remember:  (1) This is your knowledge, not mine; (2) It is knowledge at a point in time; and (3) It is possible that I am neither or both until you look.  Because of this last point, I have been superpositioned and super interesting for all these years. 
               So, I might be already dead as soon as an (imagined) gieger counter detected the decayed atom and triggered the hammer to break the vial (In which case, do not open the box yourself.), or you opened the box, and , voilá, I am dead or not dead (Still be careful opening the box.), or you may open the box and assist in my burial, never realizing that you are no longer the you who is over there petting the live me and disposing of the vial in a safe manner (Unlike the person who put me in the box in the first place.), or you might see me alive and dead and take a sedative, or you might see that I swatted the whole thing to bits myself (In which case, please bury me and be careful.), or you might have many boxes of cats and throw me out on the radioactive recycle pile without another thought, or you and I may agree to disagree on my state, or you might find yourself in an alternate state yourself and never open my particular box.  Or you might just find more entertaining pastimes.
               Let us leave my predicament; after all, I am a cat. I am either blissfully dead or purring and hoping for dinner. Let us take the view, once again imaginative, of the experiment outside the box.  What can I posit?  What if there are many unstable vials in many rhetorical ‘boxes’ across the earth? If they begin to decay and are observed by conscious beings (or not) or they are swatted by someone with less dignity than me, who will be making the presumptively ultimate observation on the states within these boxes?  Indeed, I believe that you may be in one of these boxes with one or more of these vials.  I imagine that your box is better decorated than mine.  I imagine, in this box, the stiff gray bark of trees where I might climb, the leaved branches drooping to shade you, sipping lemonade.  Who is beside you, a child, a loved one, your parent or friend?  Perhaps a cat comes and rubs against your leg.  Perhaps it is I, who lived, come to be an observer in another experiment with vials, in a larger box.

About the Author: 
Mona Delavan is an instructional psychologist who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and two horses.

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Quantum Theories

D is for ... Decoherence

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A is for ... Act of observation

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B is for ... Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

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T is for ... Tunnelling

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W is for ... Wavefunction

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G is for ... Gluon

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S is for ... Schrödinger Equation

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D is for ... Dice

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K is for ... Kaon

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L is for ... Light

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T is for ... Teleportation

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P is for ... Planck's Constant

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Z is for ... Zero-point energy

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H is for ... Hawking Radiation

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R is for ... Radioactivity

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Y is for ... Young's Double Slit Experiment

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U is for ... Universe

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R is for ... Randomness

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O is for ... Objective reality

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M is for ... Multiverse

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U is for ... Uncertainty Principle

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P is for ... Probability

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N is for ... Nonlocality

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E is for ... Entanglement

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I is for ... Information

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R is for ... Reality

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