Author: Tim Love

Once we’d enhanced the Quantum stabilisation fields, our biggest hurdle to implementing Shrődinger’s cat experiment was more ethical than technical so we temporarily relocated. To bracket the data we brought along Pavlov’s dog and lab rats, bypassing quarantine.

When we determined that saliva did and didn’t drip, that stress did and didn’t improve memory, and that we were and weren’t in Guantanamo Bay, the Cheshire cat grinned. We thought that would be proof enough so we let it out of the bag, but before we could swing it, it got our tongue.

“What next?” it said, profiting from our silence. “What earthly use is a Quantum computer with one qbit, dead or alive? You’ve got no guts. Think outside the box. Imagine you could use all the quantum states in the universe. What would it be able to calculate? I’ll tell you – its own next moment. It’s no more than an analogue simulation of itself. That’s the meaning of the universe, its high concept. Watch.”

And with that, it disappeared, grin and all. We remained speechless even so. Would we get our Nobel? Or not? We needed repeatability, copy-cat action at a distance to justify our means – Siam, Persia, even the Isle of Man would have sufficed. But some things aren’t meant to be. Between the dog and the rats there was now an excluded middle. Had our very curiosity killed our subject? Should we just have ignored it as if it were a naughty child whose behaviour we wanted to correct? In any case, could cats be trained? There was no shortage of volunteers to search online for an answer, for hidden variables. Feline screensavers began to fill the lab as if the disappearance of the original caused many smaller ones to appear, each with a cute name.

Predictably, when the project leader announced that the fat-cats had withdrawn our funding, nobody had kittens.