The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-09-2000, 11:43 PM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 6,976
Schroedinger’s Cat: What the hell is up with this cat? Is it even really a cat? Is he related to Skimpleshanks or Rum Tum Tugger? Does the cat have special powers? Does he sleep with Pavlov's Dogs?
Please someone enlighten me!!
__________________
These statements are my own. Views and opinions expressed are not endorsed by the U.S. Army or Department of Defense and in no way constitute an official stance of any military or government organization.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-10-2000, 12:13 AM
Or'n'ry Oscar Or'n'ry Oscar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
The answer, of course, is one of the master's classics. I have used it several times to impress those who claim to know. To show someone up, and to do it in verse, is a wonderful thing...

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1-122.html
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-10-2000, 12:14 AM
Or'n'ry Oscar Or'n'ry Oscar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
The answer, of course, is one of the master's classics. I have used it several times to impress those who claim to know. To show someone up, and to do it in verse, is a wonderful thing...

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_122.html
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-10-2000, 12:22 AM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
The correct link is http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_122.html .
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-10-2000, 12:36 AM
Or'n'ry Oscar Or'n'ry Oscar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
thanks brother
__________________
It's a cheap hobby, and it keeps me from falling into the company of frolicsome women.
--George A. Thompson Jr.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-10-2000, 09:01 AM
Merlot Merlot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
IIRC, Ursula K. LeGuin wrote a short story about Shroedinger's Cat appropriately called, Shroedinger's Cat.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-10-2000, 09:30 AM
ENugent ENugent is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 3,487
There is also an awesome a cappella group in Texas called [url="http://mac3.a-cappella.com/prodinfo.asp?number=2630C&variation=&aitem=192&mitem=247"]Schroedinger's Cat[url].
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-10-2000, 09:32 AM
ENugent ENugent is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 3,487
Oops - sorry about that link.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-10-2000, 01:45 PM
fredicus fredicus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Please feel free to correct me
Wasn't Heilein's " the cat who walked through wall's "
on this subject ?

IMHO not one of his better works
( Long time no read .. )
__________________
unlikely to be Y3K compatible
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-10-2000, 01:50 PM
KeithB KeithB is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Please feel free to correct me
Wasn't Heilein's " the cat who walked through wall's "
on this subject ?

Not really. I forget just what the book was *about* but the cat was a character that kept appearing in odd places. It was *named* Shroedinger's cat IIRC, and they described the thought experiment, but that is the only connection, again IIRC.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-10-2000, 01:51 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Heinlein's book isn't about Schroedinger's cat. To tel the truth, I can't remember what it's about.

Robert Anton Wilson also wrote a book called "Schroedinger's cat". In Dan Simmons' "Endymion" and "The Rise of Endymion" (from which Aenea undoubtedly gets her cognomen)the titular Raul Endymion is sentenced to death inside a "Schroedinger Cat Box".

I've got a cartoon up on my cubical wall of "Schroedinger's Dog". He's whispering his idea for an experiment involving the cat into the ear of a sleeping Schroedinger.
__________________
"My name is Michael Jackson, King of Pop
Look on my works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!"
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-10-2000, 01:59 PM
Balance Balance is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 6,941
The Heinlein book is actually about a cross-time, cross-dimensional effort to save a sentient computer. Go figure.

The title cat is Pixel, who is a living representation of the subjective nature of reality in Heinlein's future history--he doesn't know he can't walk through walls, so he can (at least, that's the theory). The cat demonstrated the ability to traverse mundane walls, alternate realities, and time itself. Neither the book nor the cat have anything to do with Schroedinger's poor hypothetical kitty, beyond a joking reference or two.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-10-2000, 02:06 PM
Moe Moe is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by scr4
The correct link is http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_122.html .
I love Cecil. LOL.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-10-2000, 02:09 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 54,536
Heinlein's book is about sex, time travel, and alternate universes, in that order. I like Heinlein, but he does have a tendancy to go overboard on sex and politics, unless it's one of his juveniles. As an aside, I've heard that the sequel to The Cat that Walked through Walls, To Sail Beyond the Sunset, was even worse. The Cat in question was a kitten named Pixel, who had the unexplained (at least in the first book) ability to pass through solid objects.
__________________
Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
--As You Like It, III:ii:328
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-10-2000, 02:47 PM
Sofa King Sofa King is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, you can now test this unusual theory yourself. Just go here:

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~jsw/Schroedinger.html

and click the "Run the experiment, Professor" button at the bottom of the page.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-10-2000, 02:59 PM
yabob yabob is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,221
<digression mode="SF criticism">

This Heinlein book was also after the point where, IMO, he had deteriorated to the point of unreadability. The unfortunate fact was that at the end of his life he could have sent in his used toilet paper and they would have published it. Somewhere along the line, he lost the ability to adequately edit his own drafts, and his publishers either didn't have the nerve, or didn't care as long as it would sell.

Alfred Bester was another in a long line of SF writers who simply deteriorated into maundering blather at the end of their careers. Sad.

This is one reason I like Robert Silverberg - he has had a LONG career without losing it, and generally getting better as he went along - not that I like everything he's done, but "Hot Sky at Midnight" is fairly recent and was solid and original work. I could utterly strangle him for the ending of "Face of the Waters", though.

When Robert Anton Wilson wrote the "Schrodinger's Cat" trilogy, his schtick was wearing pretty thin. Read "The Illuminatus Trilogy" instead.

</digression>
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-10-2000, 04:30 PM
JoeyBlades JoeyBlades is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Schrodinger: Wasn't he the guy that wrote "101 Uses for a Dead Cat... or Not"?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-11-2000, 02:16 AM
silent_rob silent_rob is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
[small hijack]Yeah, I gotta agree with yabob to some degree. The Illuminatus! Trilogy is better. But Schrodinger's Cat trilogy is still very good. The only problem was most people that don't like it feel that way because they thought it was a true sequel to Illuminatus!. It isn't, and just includes some of the same characters. Though I must admit that I liked Illuminatus! much more. [/small hijack]

Basically the book follows movement between universes as the previous ones are destroyed every hundred pages or so. Thus where the title comes from. To quote Cecil about the theory:
If that's not confusing, the nuclear dance
Of electrons and suchlike is governed by chance!
The universe and the people in it change, like the electrons that change by chance. Men change into women, and vice-vera. Just thought I'd clarify the
__________________
"Anyone who has seen her smile knows perfection. She creates grace without movement, and makes all divinity fit into her slightest gesture."--Edmond Rostand
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-11-2000, 11:30 AM
fierra fierra is offline
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,308
Quote:
Originally posted by CalMeacham

I've got a cartoon up on my cubical wall of "Schroedinger's Dog". He's whispering his idea for an experiment involving the cat into the ear of a sleeping Schroedinger.
Cal, do you have an electronic copy of this that you could post to me or somewhere, as it makes a change from the Far Side catfud one & once I explain quantum mechanics to my dogs, I'm sure they'll love it...

& yes, I know this is a personal message in a board,but Cal doesn't have a mail tag at the base (& I think I forgot to do mine too...)
__________________
The UnaBoard
I intend to have a good time on this planet for as long as possible...and I'll be damned if any apocalypse is gonna get in my way!!!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.