That clip was just in case you don’t know what is meant by the term ‘Schrödinger’s cat’. Moving on, then…
… let’s do a quick species jump, to dogs (from whom, I’m reliably assured, we can learn a lot). And over on Learning from Dogs the other day, I learnt a little about snow leopards. (And we’re back to cats.) Though I can recommend clicking that link yourself, I came away very sad, because these marvellous beasts are ‘endangered’ — a euphemism for ‘all but extinct’. And why is that?
When I visited Learning from Dogs and clicked on the embedded video clip, expecting it to begin to play, I didn’t see any snow leopards, I saw a message “Embedding disabled by request — Watch on YouTube”.
Whether embedding is allowable is a user-configurable setting of the YouTube account hosting the video clip. It’s entirely possible that whoever uploaded that clip made a simple mistake: or perhaps it’s intentional, to try to encourage visitors to their YouTube account. (Some people seem to believe that it’s desirable to trap eyeballs. I don’t, myself; but then, I am a bit odd.)
It’s a twenty-second clip.
The first five seconds are taken up by a title screen, parading the name of the fine folk who filmed the scene. Afterwards, we’re presented with a whole fifteen seconds of a snow leopard mother and her cub… and she’s looking up at the interfering human only a few scant feet away (rather dejectedly, I thought). Oh, and look, a copyright symbol on the lower right.*
Why are these superb felines ‘endangered’?
Simple. It’s because we humans don’t give them any room to breathe.
And the Schrödinger connection is: while they may be currently alive they are, to all intents and purposes, at the same time very really dead.
* (Some people patent genes, too. And other people let them get away with such bizarre behaviour — usually for a benefit involving bits recorded in a computer system. And I think I’m odd?).