Here’s a joke involving Schrödinger’s Cat*. Let me be the first to comment that the act of observing the joke might kill it.
The joke also involves the work of Black Lace, who wrote the song “Agadoo”. I think both “Agadoo” and Schrödinger’s Cat are hard to grasp, but hopefully I’ve made some sense of them for you.
Everyone loves science these days, but it’s a mixed blessing. Without some kind of Hippocratic Oath, it’s only a matter of time before scientists come up with another nitroglycerin, another uranium-235, another file format to share the music of Justin Bieber with…
In Power Systems, Noam Chomsky says that back in the day (around the early 1600s), if you were holding a cup of boiling water and then let it go, the steam would rise to the ceiling and the cup would fall to the floor. I’m not a scientist, but I think the same would happen now. Anyway, Noam’s point is that back in the day, actual scientists would’ve explained the cup-steam phenomenon thusly:
“The cup is going to its natural place and the steam is going to its natural place”.
There were some pretty clever people around, but no-one knew to be puzzled about why the cup and the steam were doing different things. And then Galileo got puzzled about it and all hell broke loose.
Makes you wonder what we’re not being puzzled about these days, doesn’t it?
*My big regret with this clip is having to leave out the final punchline (due to an audio drop-out), which is Morrissey singing, “Girlfriend in a conga, oh you’re so embarrassing…”
P.S. There’s some great Chomsky here and some great Schrödinger’s Cat here.