A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Schrödinger's Ex-President

Meaning no disrespect to an obviously ailing, and just yesterday dead, Husni Mubarak, but it occurs to me that we may finally have a real-world embodiment of that quantum physics paradox known as Schrödinger's Cat. As Wikipedia simplifies it:
According to Schrödinger, the Copenhagen interpretation implies that the cat remains both alive and dead (to the universe outside the box) until the box is opened. Schrödinger did not wish to promote the idea of dead-and-alive cats as a serious possibility; quite the reverse, the paradox is a classic reductio ad absurdum. 
Although the most recent claim is that Mubarak is not only not clinically dead any more but just slipped and fell in the bathroom,  it seems his apparent alive-and-dead-at-the-same-time status yesterday may have given us our first proof of the Schrödinger's Cat thesis, but it's a longtime world leader as well.

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