The cat is both dead and alive

Accepted now as an actual reality (as opposed to virtual reality), the cat is quite actually both dead and alive. It is not one or the other until the box is opened.

And so, the mathematics goes (apparently, as I’m unprepared to follow it, and accept it with all the faith of the altar boy accepting the ascension of the Virgin bodily into Heaven [neatly dodging the decision of open or closed casket]), that indeed a host of parallel universes must exist. An infinite host. No, wait. Another mathematician says: Only that universe that is formed after the box is opened actually exists; the others exist as potentialities only. No shit. It doesn’t exist until it exists. Until it exists, it is but potential. My bartender, when I had a bartender, used to maintain a nearly identical view: “Might as well be drunk as the way you are.”

Last I heard, that insurgent mathematician (the potentially former bartender) was consigned to advocating the existence of exactly 11—count them, 11—alternate universes. Not an infinite number. Not even a dozen.


He is so pissed. He was willing to go 9, even 10. But 11?

The mathematics shows it. This string of vibrating membranes, perhaps insane in the membrane, waving like the metal sheets used to feign thunder in the theater.

Hamlet: But just as a raging thunderstorm
Is often interrupted by a moment’s silence,
And then soon after the region is split apart by dreadful thunderclaps,
In the same way, after Pyrrhus paused,
His newly awakened fury set him to work again.
When the Cyclopses were making unbreakable armor
For the god of war, their hammers never fell
So mercilessly as Pyrrhus’s bloody sword
Now falls on Priam.
Get out of here, Lady Luck, you whore! All you gods
Should come together to rob her of her powers,
Break all the spokes on her wheel of fortune,
And send it rolling down the hills of heaven
Into the depths of hell.

Polonius: This speech is going on too long.

Hamlet: We’ll have the barber trim it later…

Here’s the rub: If there is an infinite number of universes, where all potentials are in fact actually real, and all decisions are made in every which way, even stupid decisions, which may have involved your father wearing a condom at the wrong time and therefore precluding your existence, or feverishly supporting no tax increases for the wealthiest Americans, despite the approach of a presidential campaign, then all things are happening all the time, and then nothing is happening. There is a moment of silence, and all the spokes are broken on the wheel of silence. Lady Luck is not a whore, as she does not exist, or if she does, she is equally a saint. Equally worthy of ascension.

We have 2 cats, my wife and I. No, my wife and I are not cats. Together we own 2 cats. Alive last time I looked. But then, I haven’t looked for a while…for as long as it took to write this. So tell me: where the fuck are they now? And are they dead or alive?

Schrodinger’s cat

KJC dingbat-thumbnail


About Keith Croes

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Posted on November 9, 2012, in Uncategorized, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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