A Pointless Poll

24 January, 2010

Why?  Because I haven’t had a poll on my blog this month.  Or this year, for that matter.

(Inspired by a thread at Pharyngula)



  1. Interesting poll.

  2. Both.

  3. Leofwine: Thanks for stopping by. Wish I could take full credit, but, again, it was inspired by a thread at Pharyngula.

    Yunshui: I think ‘both’ is covered by the refusal to answer because it will influence the result. Until the observation is made and dead or alive is determined, it is both, right?

  4. But the act of answering doesn’t influence the result. Quite the opposite, in fact. The act of observation (i.e. opening the box) does, in that up until that point the cat is simultaneously dead and alive, but you can hypothesise all you want as to which state it will eventually be in. Until the moment of observation, the quantum state of the cat is unaffected by any guesses made about its state of health.

  5. Good point. The act of observing influences (or (more accurately) forces the quantum uncertainty to manifest itself to one position). Damn. Brain not at 100%.

  6. Scroedinger’s scenario is meant as a reductio ad absurdum. What you’ve really set up here is a little pop psychology experiment about how people feel about cats. Personally, I prefer them alive, but only when they don’t smell. Dead cats smell all the time.

  7. No, Schroedinger’s cat is an analogy to illustrate the quantum uncertainty principle which, in part, shows that the act of observation can have an effect on the position or charge of an observed particle.

  8. Yes, I know, dingbat, but the result is still a reductio ad absurdum. The uncertainty cannot be resolved unless observation can take place. It exists in duration, and not some perfect space of theory, just like particles. That’s the point.

  9. What an ridiculous collection of nicely executed articles, it seems like now-a-days everyone is simply copy/pasting and stealing content material on a regular basis, however I suppose there’s still hope in trustworthy blogging.

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