Schrödinger’s Leopard

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?

Image of Youtube video that cannot be played because embedding within the page is 'disabled by request'

So… they don’t want us to see this here. 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.)

That video clip is here.

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?).

About pendantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in ... wait, what?, Core thought, Environment, Phlyarology, Tributes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Schrödinger’s Leopard

  1. mikestasse says:

    Yes, we humans think we own everything. Copyright the planet, patent its contents, run amok, screw it all. I’m often ashamed to be human…….


  2. Oh, Mike (above comment), so often Jean and I feel the same way. In fact, I have a item coming out tomorrow on LfD which endorses that in spades.

    Mr. P. thank you for the link, the kind words and the explanation behind the YouTube query.


  3. ccgwebmaster says:

    One hopes it shakes like that as they’re using a lot of zoom and aren’t especially close. It ought to be noted that humanity is doing exactly the same thing to itself that it is to other species. Undermining and destroying the habitat leading to a population crash or extinction.

    Arguably your observation applies just as much to us and our civilisation as to the snow leopard.


    • pendantry says:

      Sadly, indeed so. I personally feel more sympathy for the snow leopard, myself, because it has no say in the matter. One on one would be a different story: but when have we ever given a sucker an even break?


  4. witsendnj says:

    One of my pet peeves is movies that are made to enlighten us all to existential threats requiring immediate action, that are made almost impossible to see. Chasing Ice, Call to Life, Crooks and Liars, What a Way to Go…etc.

    If these producers really believe that they have a time-sensitive message critical to save life on earth, why don’t they make it available on the internet, for a fee even? Why force people to go to an obscure screening 1000 miles away, or invest in a dvd?

    I think it’s all status. Humans are obsessed with self-aggrandizement, it dictates our every decision. I used to think it was sex, or fear of death. But now, I suspect those are subsidiary concerns that are subsumed by a craving for status (which provides greater access and choice for sex, and clouds the inevitability of death).
    Just my cynical thought of the day, Colin Reynolds, haha!


    • pendantry says:

      I think you’re not wrong, Gail (‘Zawacki’ is a verb that means “I told you so.”)


    • ccgwebmaster says:

      The cynical side of me says they’ll be there on the torrents somewhere. Does that make me a bad person? Or can I plead the potentially controversial excuse of not being prepared to let my limitations (wealth, or rather lack thereof) from stopping me?

      More seriously – the socioeconomic monkeys at the top of the pyramid are incapable of controlling the population. The population controls themselves by means of the policeman implanted in each and every mind by society under the control of the top monkeys. That policeman at least isn’t so hard to assassinate once you identify it, especially with an input of some measure of adversity. To blindly play by the rules is to march to ones end.

      Accordingly I advocate the intelligent assassination of the policeman in the mind as a good starting point for the average person. Follow a moral law by all means – that much is arguably good. Many of other the rules and regulations do not do justice to the trees murdered to record them. Wake up and see the world. Understand your power once unshackled from the little prison cell created by society for you to compress yourself into.


  5. Eric Alagan says:

    Human empathy – another ‘endangered’ trait.


    • pendantry says:

      It’s odd, though: I meet a lot of empathic folk; but none seem to be in evidence where it could make a difference. Perhaps that says that those with empathy naturally steer clear of those positions sought by those who love power and control?


      • ccgwebmaster says:

        If you ever read Freakonomics it details the findings of “the bagel man” – a person who quit his job to sell freshly baked produce in office buildings where payment was based on “the honour principle” where people would put money into a box (or open container).

        If memory serves, he kept statistics on the amount he made and the rate of theft from the containers. Interestingly and somewhat damningly, he was more likely to receive less money (people taking their baked items without paying, I can’t remember if it extended to include theft of funds) from boxes in areas of office buildings where the better paid and more senior people worked.

        I believe the book speculated that the characteristics required to be successful in the modern world led to people higher up being more criminal and less empathetic but can’t recall if any statement was made as to causation. Either way one might speculate that those more willing to take advantage of others are likely to rise – rather than those less willing to do so specifically choosing to steer clear of them.


        • pendantry says:

          “…those more willing to take advantage of others are likely to rise…”
          Well, that’s certainly the behaviour that our ‘civilisation’ rewards, so it makes a (perverted) sense.

          I recall feeling cheated in the early days of the Internet (as just one example). At one point Demon Internet was a popular (indeed, more or less the only) way to get online. Needless to say, a great many technically-savvy people signed up for their ‘tenner-a-month’ deal; and I can’t speak for them, but I know I spent a great deal of my own time providing feedback to Demon so as to help them improve their service. And what happened next? The guy at the top of the tree sold his shares in Demon — for £6.66 million. Not a bean, not even thanks to the grunts who helped him get there….


      • Eric Alagan says:

        I wonder whether it is an either or situation: empathy vs power/control. I wonder whether there could be a happy mix.

        But you are right – at very high levels as in CEO’s of MNCs, heads of governments and other large powerful institutions – it is an either or situation. Plenty of power/control – very little if any empathy, it seems.


  6. penpusherpen says:

    We seem lacklustre at best when being warned about species becoming extinct, it seems wherever man places his feet, extinction follows on as a matter of course… You’re spot on (Leopard?) with your observations methinks… (sorry, becoming rather hysterical, not having had brekkie yet…with much needed two cups of coffee.) …x


  7. Pingback: Reflections on pain and peace. | Learning from Dogs

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