The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Science news you can use

Quantum mechanics are in the news these days and not at all for the usual reason.  They are not going on strike, an announcement that comes as a surprise to anyone who has watched the airline’s troubled labor history and as a relief to anyone planning an antipodean vacation this year.  Odd as it may seem, you will not find the news about quantum mechanics in any of the places you would usually expect to find such news. No indeed. Quantum mechanics, if you can believe it, have made the headlines on the science page of every newspaper that can still afford to have a science page not dedicated to fad diets and miraculous cures for cancer.  Scientists working for an organization whose name is eluding me at the moment have determined that a key proponent of quantum mechanics, that reality does not exist until an independent entity attempts to measure it, is, in fact, true. Now, I am not sure how this can be, to be honest with you. If there is nothing until something tries to measure it, how can the something doing the measuring exist without something else trying to measure it? There’s a bit of a paradox here that brings to mind a universe of frustrated tailors packed into a small room trying to measure each other for a nice three piece suit and an extra pair of pants thrown in for half price (shoes, socks, and belts not included. Order now and avoid the Christmas rush!)  But who am I to argue with scientists?  No one.  A man who still has trouble doing long division is not a man who can argue with quantum mechanics, although I can tell when they’re padding the bill whenever I bring in my water cycle for inspection. Despite what you may have heard from certain biased sources—yes, Mom, I mean you—I do know when those guys are gouging me.

Still, the fact that reality does not exist until someone tries to measure it is, I think, one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century. For generations, dieters have fought the unwelcome tyranny of the weight scale, trying one new diet after another in a pathetic and usually futile attempt to halt and turn back the inexorable and ever upward advance of the scale. And what has been the result of all of this effort?  Depression, self-loathing, and an ever shrinking sense of self-esteem. But now, modern science finally offers the overwhelmed dieter a way off the never-ending cycle of weight loss and then more weight gain entirely. If reality does not exist until one attempts to measure it, then what could be simple than not weighing yourself and telling everyone who asks that you’ve lost weight?  Reality, after all, does not exist until you step onto the weight scale. So don’t step on it. This will make you much happier than worrying about calorie counts and weekly weight checks will, and quantum mechanics is all about making you a happier person, isn’t it?

There will be a great deal of pushback against these findings, of course. The diet industry is a billion dollar business in this country and they will not surrender those profits without a fight. The American public can expect to see the full weight of the advertising and public relations industries brought to bear in order to deny the science. Before too many more months pass, we can expect to see the full page spreads in all the major newspapers and magazines, the tendentious public service advertisements running in prime time, and the phony “scientists” operating out of allegedly independent research institutes telling credulous journalists that quantum mechanics is not really settled science, that quantum mechanics don’t allow black people to join their union, and that Werner Heisenberg, the original quantum mechanic, was a not very nice person who did not support gay marriage and liked to kick cute little puppies out of second story windows when they weren’t looking.  The journalists, whose employers will not want to upset such important advertisers, will not bother to research the claims of these “scientists” and so the public will not find out until much later that the diet industry funds these “independent research institutes.”  The fear that the diet industry will use its economic clout to harm the media is nothing for anyone to sneer at.  It is important for the true believer in quantum mechanics to know that the dieting industry, like hell and tyranny, is not easily overcome; the fight against these science deniers will be long and hard. As I mentioned above, there’s simply too much money involved to think that the dieting industry will go gently into that good night willingly.  We must educate the public that they do have choices, that the dieting industry is trying to deny established science, and that the public does not have to live with the abuse heaped upon them by these corporate bloodsuckers.

But all will come right in the end.  The richly deserved economic oblivion that awaits the dieting industry will mean the end of fat shaming in our society and the attendant psychological bullying that goes with it.  Science will move us all forward into a bright new day and quantum mechanics will go back to doing what they do best: disassemble the transmission on your water cycle and tell you that it will cost you two thousand dollars to repair the thing. You’ve noticed, no doubt, that quantum mechanics will tell you that reality doesn’t exist until someone tries to measure it, but they get to charge you an arm and a leg just to do noting but look at your transmission.  Reality and unreality run into real money, folks, whether or not you own a weight scale or a tape measure, which I find vaguely surreal, but, as in all things mechanical, that could just be me.

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  • At 11:11 PM, Blogger Joseph said…

    If you weigh enough to be exerting a gravitational field, the effects of that field count as a measurement.

  • At 10:21 AM, Blogger Akaky said…

    Clearly a science denier in the pay of the dieting industry. And a killjoy as well. Pay no attention to that man in the comments, everyone! You can weigh whatever you want as long as you stay away from the scale. Science has proved it and you can read the proof for yourself in the National Enquirer!!!!

  • At 10:10 PM, Blogger Joseph said…

    The dieting industry owes me back wages!

  • At 4:28 PM, Blogger Akaky said…

    Yes they do, dude. Take them for every cent you can get!

  • At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great idea from the Mold Pit. Throw away your scales, you have nothing to lose but your diet.


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