Geek that I am, I love physics. I particularly like quantum theory when it bleeds over into other worlds we might not associate it with. I was listening to NPR about the current situation in Burma, still horrendous, and how while the Military powers-that-be there are more than willing to accept our aid, they still will not accept expert help in disaster relief distribution. Maybe they saw the coverage of Hurricane Katrina, I don’t know, but that would more explain their exclusion of the US, but the fact is, they won’t let anyone in and supplies are being horded.

So this got me to thinking about Schrodinger’s Cat, a theory in quantum mechanics. In short, there’s a cat in a box with a vial of poison that will be released under specific circumstances. Assuming the circumstances are met, the cat will die. However, if you do not open the box to check on the cat, then the cat remains forever in this state of duality that the cat is both dead and alive until such time the box is open.

Schrodinger’s Cat opens up an interesting dialogue on ethics for me. See, once the cat is in the proverbial box, in my mind anyway, the cat is already dead and this is Burma in a nutshell: the Junta there believes (or want to anyway) that the people to be fine and outside help is unnecessary. They play at Schrodinger’s Cat in that they keep the people in Burma in a permanent state of limbo, being both alive and dead as the theory suggests. However, there’s a fly in the ointment, we’re talking quantum mechanics here, there’s always a fly in the ointment, and in this case namely it’s the Copenhagen Interpretation.

The Copenhagen Interpretation, in its own and separate nutshell, is that nothing exists until it is measured. Quite simply, the Junta is in some serious freakin’ denial. They don’t want to know how many people have died, they don’t want the international community in their country to assess how bad things really are there. They’d rather have the cat forever be both alive and dead to suit their dictatorial purposes. The people aren’t dead, they aren’t in need, and their country is fine so long as no one outside their own perverse and diabolic circle looks at it.

It is now estimated that probably over 80,000 people have died due to this disaster and over 2 million more are at risk. This is the same country who last year during the Saffron Revolution called out for international intervention and the world answered back with a big fat deaf ear.

If ever there was a time for a little war and revolution, you’d think this would be it.

Personally, I hope the cat is alive, although I’m not betting on it.