The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Schrodinger's Terrorist

    There is an old riddle in Philosophy 101: "If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears, does it make a sound?" That was the riddle that was posed by George Berkeley. The idea is that perception is inextricably interwoven with existence. This sounds like mere intellectual masturbation until you start learning about Quantum Physics, or Buddhism...or marketing.

     Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty seems to imply a causative relation between observation and existence. So does Schrodinger's Cat and some aspects of Bell's Theorem. (Note to angry Physicists: I said "seems".) There are other philosophical teases offered by Physics. As for Buddhism...

   "Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, "The flag moves." The other said, "The wind moves." They argued back and forth but could not agree.

The Sixth Ancestor said, "Gentlemen! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves." The two monks were struck with awe."

     Of course the entire history of marketing could fairly be called the manipulation of reality by changing perception. This last is not exactly the same thing, but rather is a backwards attempt at magical manipulation of reality by getting enough people to believe the same lie. It is sort of like Tantra without the sex. Leave it to America to invent that. 

     Now there comes the problem of Osama Bin Laden or, as I like to call him, "Schrodinger's Terrorist". President Obama opened the box and now Bin Laden exists in a temporal fugue state, both alive and not alive, by virtue of no body or photo having been provided to still the clamor of the vox populi. 

     More than a few have risen to equate so called "Deathers" with the "Birthers" such as Donald Trump who demanded the President's long form birth certificate. While I have no doubt there is an overlap between the two groups, there are more than a few progressives in the former group and few, if any, in the latter. Also, those who doubt Bin Laden's death have at least some logic on their side, something one can hardly credit the "Birthers" with. It would seem that since Bin Laden was unarmed that we threw away a chance to roll up the entire Al Quaida network by not taking him alive for interrogation.

     As one writer put it, it's not like they haven't lied to us before. There were the weapons of mass destruction that weren't there in Iraq (Schrodinger's nukes) There was poor Pat Tillman, the hero who turned out to have been shot by friendly fire.(Schrodinger's Hero) There was the "rescue" of Jessica Lynch (Schrodinger's Hostage)...The list goes on. Asking us to take their word seems a little thin by now.

    All that having been said, I am going to take the President at his word on this one. I think this is the best excuse we are ever likely to get to bring the troops home.

     Be seeing you

1 comment:

  1. The Pentagon is now allowing viewings of the photos, but they will not be put online.