Sunday, 14 January 2007

Schrodinger's Cat novelist dies

I've just seen the news, courtesy of blogger Benzylpiperazine, that novelist Robert Anton Wilson has died.

Wilson's best fiction inhabited the many wrinkles and fertile wormholes of surrealism, quantum physics and the speculations therefrom, and were never less than entertaining -- and provided perhaps the best and only decent use of the ultra-speculative physics of alternative universes. You might call him a gonzo Douglas Adams.

My own favourite, his Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy, is brilliantly imaginative science fiction. Wilson's own review of a novel within the novel -- in which the world is saved from nuclear destruction by the far-sighted actions of a presidential intern -- gives you the flavour:
The whole novel was rather didactic, Simon decided. It was written only to prove a point: Never underestimate the importance of a blow job.
Always good advice. In any universe.

LINKS: Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007) - Erowid Character Vaults
Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy (excerpts) - Robert Anton Wilson website
Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy - Amazon.Com

RELATED: Books, Obituary, Science


  1. It is perhaps nonsense to say anything about the state of Schrodinger's Cat at all time while the box where the cat resides is completely isolated from the external world.

    I would think that the only time that a statement could be made about the cat's state is when someone opens the box and peeks in to see if the cat is still breathing or been badly decomposed. IMHO that statement(s) about the physical state of the cat is valid ONLY when someone opens the box but it is nonsense to say anything it when the box is still closed. This of course restores causality which satisfies objectivists, but experiments had showed that it is the other way round. I think that I would stick with the latter.

  2. One thing is that the classic teachings of Schrodinger's intent is incorrect. We are taught that he wanted to prove the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, but in truth he wanted to disprove it. But the scientists of the time hijacked it and thought it was meant as proof of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and so, much to Schrodinger's annoyance they began to use it as such. As far as I know Einstein is the only one of the time to have understood the real intent. He wrote Schrodinger a letter applauding him for understanding reality a hell of a lot better than their colleges.


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