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Schrodinger’s Car

June 26, 2019

I started repairing my daughter’s car today. Well, I finished the disassembly, and the actual repair. Now it’s time to reassemble the car.

I started, but Schrodinger stopped me. And it wasn’t his cat this time.

In case you’re not familiar with Schrodinger and his amazing cat, he was an Austrian physicist. He came up with the idea that has been called “Schrodinger’s cat.” See, the cat and some poison are in a box. The poison will kill the cat at some undetermined point. But, the box is sealed. So, until the box is opened, there is no way to know if the cat is dead or not. So, the cat can be assumed to be both dead and alive. And as long as you don’t open the box, it stays that way, both alive and dead.

But, it wasn’t Schrodinger’s cat that stopped me from completing the assembly of my daughter’s car. I actually did manage to get the oil pan reassembled. And fortunatley, I got all the supports and various undercarraige bits on correctly.

Next is the frontend work. The condensor, the radiator and then, of course, the cowling.

But, you know, it was getting late. And I was tired. And I might need a part. . .or a tool. . .or maybe I just wanted to do it tomorrow. Or maybe it was really Schrodinger’s car.

See, if I don’t finish assembling it, I didn’t have to worry about whether I’d done the job correctly or not. I could assume I had, of course. But, I could also assume I hadn’t done it correct and needed to redo it.

It’s silly really. I’ve either done it correctly or I haven’t. Just as Schrodinger’s cat was either alive or dead regardless of whether we know it or not. My daughter’s car is either correct or not, regardless of whether I know it or not.

But, for at least one more day I think I’ll just leave the cat in the car for now.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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