Thursday, January 10, 2013

Is Hugo Chavez Schrödinger's Cat?

Back, back, many years ago, back when I thought I might be smart, I took a lot of math, chemistry, and physics classes in college. All my high school friends were math and science wizards, and nearly everyone of them ended up attending CalTech. I wasn't that smart. I went to UCLA, instead, and tried to take a CalTech sort of load there. I learned a great deal, and will always be grateful to the sciences for providing me certain analytical skills which proved very helpful in later life. Having a basic grasp of real science, and not of "Gender Oppression in the Literature of Colonial Africa," can be invaluable in helping debunk enormous quantities of the nonsense in the media and politics, especially when it comes to issues dealing with science, e.g., the imminent death of humanity from overpopulation, global "warming," AIDS, SARS, anthrax, fracking, etc. Two intense years of studying hard science also convinced me that I was not smart enough to study hard science and should instead focus my energies somewhere, let us say, where there weren't as many Jewish and Asian kids. So, I switched to history and political "science" -- it has "science" in it, right? -- went to grad school, an overseas university, and landed a nice little sinecure with the Foreign Service. Dummies can prosper, too!

One topic which helped convince me I wouldn't make it as a scientist was "Schrödinger's Cat." I won't go into detail on that little thought experiment since the internet has lots of good explanations. It also happens to be one of those which I understand for about two seconds, and then it goes away. The bottom line is that under certain circumstances in quantum physics a cat in a sealed box can be dead and alive at the same time. In the "real" world, of course, the cat is one or the other. This helps illustrate what is called either "quantum indeterminacy" or "observer's paradox." The act of observation or measurement can affect the outcome: the outcome does not exist unless the measurement is made, i.e., in this case, opening the box and seeing whether the cat lives. Heisenberg, of course, described a similar phenomenon with his "uncertainty principle," which lays out that an observer cannot know for sure that observation has not influenced the phenomenon under observation. We see this exciting and complex principle at work in "reality" shows. Do people behave the same when the camera is on as when it is off? Yes, my friends, it turns out that "Jersey Shore" actually provides a lesson in quantum physics. Who'd a thunk that? And they say there's no quality TV programming!

This will not be on the test. Let's move on.

This, of course, is a typical round-about Diplomad way of getting to today's topic: Venezuela. Hugo Chavez, following in the footsteps of other dictators and mountebanks, e.g., Stalin, Castro, Tito, Franco, Salazar, the North Korean Kims, and our own Woodrow Wilson (unfair, I know, but funny), keeps the true state of his physical condition from his followers and subjects. He and his immediate circle fear the consequences of the truth, of the people learning that their putative god has not only feet of clay but perhaps also heart, lungs, and kidneys made of the same earthy material. The truth of the Great Man's mortality and impending departure from the scene must be hidden as long as possible to ensure the continuation of the circle of graft and corruption, and that the oppression machine remains operational. We see that at work in Venezuela. The Great Man has slinked away to a sealed box in Havana for the "finest" medical care his petrodollars can buy--he most likely has, as did Castro, European doctors attending him.

{Note: I strongly recommend my friend Luis Fleischman's excellent piece on the struggle among the elite for the future of Venezuela in The Americas Report.}

Like a weird Schrödinger's cat, Chavez is both dead and alive at the same time. With time, of course, observation will reveal the "objective" state of the Great Man's condition. Don't, of course, put it past the Venezuelan corruptocrats and their Cuban backers to try some El Cid Campeador stunt: dead but suited up in his armor and astride his faithful horse Babieca to frighten the besieging Moors. It is, however, all a matter of time for the smell of putrefaction to reveal the truth about what is happening in Venezuela.

My condolences to Sean Penn and Oliver Stone.

14 comments:

  1. On the other hand, Franco is still dead.

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  2. He's pining for the fjords you know!

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  3. Chuckling as I read on to learn of the final arbiter of life, putrefaction, really. Personally, put me down for incineration, if this is not too personal. Besides, it may help forestall the latest approaching ice age a bit, maybe a microsecond or two. Was delighted to see an explanation for a further reason why many of us enjoy your style, etc. I too had a similar schooling experience, but mine was at 2 years of CIT, then to accounting and business. But oh how the science, engineering, and math have been useful for much the same reasons. Actually, I’m considering as to how you may be a budding Donald P. Belisarius, for all we know, given the many adventures, experience, and scribing talents, similar to DPB. Then we’ll be able to say we knew ye’ when.

    I visit here to learn, restore sanity, and to escape and revel into your land of relative reality and cordiality, with people who don't quake and wilt at the sight of a gun, and know how valuable a tool and otherwise fun they can be, also to escape for a brief moment in time from the real reality of moonbat heaven such as the regime has become, and from the way too real reality of the open invitation extended to our enemies, the socialists, marxists, leftists, and theocrat totalitarian controlling dictating butchers of the globe to seemingly just walk right in, since they are feted with lunches, dinners and parties in the WH, these days, and removed in security training courses from definition, characterization, and even from mere existence, thanks to a likeminded (to his guests) emperor, who enjoys spending money, ours not his, unimaginably more than even I did, and loves executive action even more! I mean, this guy is an “executive action hero” if there ever was one. You know, Cap’n Spendthrift, (over you) at “your” command, so to speak!

    Out there in the howling wilderness, there are many big hats on dangerously empty skulled heads, these days! Like the urban cowboy, "big hat, no cattle"
    Jack

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  4. 1) Franco still dead...... Check, excellent reference.

    2) Pining for the fjords.. Check, extra points for the Monty Python reference.

    3) Big hat, no cattle..... Bwaaa haaa haaa haaa - good one Jack!

    As to Hugo Chavez? Is it rude to hope that (1) and (2) apply? Soon. If not already. Or am I being insensitive? Sorry, I'll go back to my gun and Bible clinging.

    Move on, nothing to see here...

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    1. I really could see Cleese doing a news report "This just in Hugo Chavez nearly, but not quite dead. Still kicking slightly."

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  5. By not telling the world Chavez is no longer with us, they of course perpetuate the spendthrift manners of the apparat, but they deprive Biden of a chance to play the official role that best suits a vice-president: representing the US President at some leader's funeral. For a fortnight now the rumor is that Chavez is only "alive" thanks to some machinery. Why oh why can't some janitor (are they still called that?) remove the plug so he can power his vacuum cleaner? (I know, that sight gag has already been used, but it is apt.) How fitting that this coward (read about the coup attempt during which he hid out) is denied his chance to go down in Bolivarian glory and just quietly slips away. I don't mean to be grim, or to speak ill of the dead, but Hugo Chavez is not my favorite person. Nor is Sean Penn.

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    1. I saw a debate with Galloway and Hitchens (this is from memory so bear with me) any way as Hitch was kicking his butt Galloway burst out with "you're just a drunk". To which Hitch replied; "I may make my home in a bottle, but I don't wander at the heel of every dictator to find the kennel I'll sleep the night in." I thought he was referring to Penn.

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    2. Penn hardly needs to 'find his kennel:' plenty of rubes would take him in. So it's entirely fitting he's been taken in my Chavez. A genuine lack of discernment on his part.

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  6. East Texas RancherJanuary 11, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Diplomad, wondering if you have new opinions regarding failures in Benghazigate?

    The East Texas Rancher

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  7. It is seldom good enough for a commie to be simply "dead".


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  8. @OMMAG: Great Commies get mummified and worshiped.

    Looking at the world today, I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't have been better to let Stalin have Europe. At least he would have killed or condemned to the Gulag the generation of European intellectuals who would have made his rule possible and, in the way history actually worked out, ended up implacably resenting the USA and leading their own continent into cultural suicide.

    And, perhaps, it would've been a good idea after World War II, to have let southern Azerbaijan and Iranian Kordestan join "the fraternal embrace of Soviet peoples"--and for the Soviet Union to have met its Afghanistan a bit further to the south and west during the 1950's and '60's.

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  9. Better still if Adolf had killed Stalin and the Japs overrun china then the world would have not had the commie/ marx popularity contest. This would have had great benifits to the whole world except the Jews sadly!

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  10. Cute take on the Chavez mystery. Another blogger that watches too much Big Bang Theory :)

    Now Chavez brother announced he is back mid February only to call the press to backpedal that he never said that, that the government is the one that is supposed to speak on Chavez health, not his family.

    Just when you thought it could not get any weirder...

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