Saturday, September 14, 2013

Schrödinger's Cat (Ateneo In The Final 4)

It's time to admit to being a geek!
A lot of college graduates will admit to taking a basic course in Psychology where they were introduced to Pavlov's Dog. This is often used as an analogy for a conditioned reflex or response.
Let me then introduce you to Schrödinger's Cat. Erwin Schrödinger was an Austrian Physicist who did a lot of work on quantum mechanics...wait...don't let your eye's glaze over just gets interesting...
In what is called a "thought experiment" Schrödinger proposed setting up a cat in a sealed chamber together with a Geiger counter (a device for measuring radiation) as well as a tiny bit of radioactive substance. The radioactive substance is tiny enough so that it may or may not affect the cat in the chamber.
Are you with me so far? Yes? No? Just read on...
After a period of time, one can pre-suppose that the cat may be alive or dead at the same time. You won't know the answer until you open that sealed chamber. But until that chamber is open the cat exists in two states, dead and alive. Ok, its a simplification of a theory...still, please try and follow...
Opening that box triggers a chain of events...these events will depend on the cat being alive or dead. Again, until you open that chamber you don't know...
Ok, here is my analogy...Until that last elimination round game with UST, we don't know what will happen to the Blue Eagles. Until after that game, there are two eventualities.  One is that they lose and that season is over. The other pre-supposition is that they win and maybe get into the final four, and who knows, a chain of events will see them all the way to the finals, maybe even winning the Championship. The thing is, the team has a very even chance at both. Belief and confidence may tip things in your favor, or it may not...but it's a choice. I'd rather believe in a favorable outcome than be a pessimist. In the end, for me, being right or wrong won't carry much weight.

Moving on...There is another concept very familiar to readers of graphic novels (formerly known as comic books). The hypothesis of a multiverse or parallel universes has been used extensively. Put simply, it may be possible that a finite or infinite number of realities exist at any one time.
It may be easier to understand this from a personal point of view. You, yes you, may have a finite or infinite number of personalities that exist all at the same time in different universes. One personality may be eating, one reading, one dying, one playing ball...each doing a different thing...all at the same time. Is this starting to make sense?
Having said that, a few may have noticed the glaring 3 point performance of Keifer in that crucial game against NU. Quite a few wondered why he was put back in with 4 and something minutes left in the game. On the other side of the coin, it is possible the same number of people were expecting him to transform into superman and save the day. We all know he struggled till the final buzzer. But before the buzzer sounded we were still hoping for a Blue Eagle win, we didn't know what the outcome would be (Schrödinger's theory again).
It may be possible that in one alternate universe, Kiefer took the final 3-point shot, made it, got fouled and sank the free throw. Or Juami Tiongson could have done it in another. Or Ateneo lost the game by 20 points in another. Maybe Kiefer was never sent back in and we may have won or lost the game. Even better, maybe in another reality Kiefer never got that season opening injury and Ateneo ended the first round with a 5-2 record. The thing is we will never know because this is our reality and we will never know the outcome in those other possible universe or realities.
Who knows, in another universe an alter-ego of mine is in some remote beach lounging instead of writing this. One thing's for sure, in this reality, come Wednesday, I will be there at the ADMU-UST game waiting for the box to be opened. Win or lose and all that right?

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