Rendered Fat Content


Edward Hopper: American Landscape (1920)

"Old campaigners never die …"

A point comes in every political campaign when the election process enters the quantum realm, most prominently during that excruciatingly brief period when both candidates have won. After the mail-in ballots drop but before votes are counted, Schrödinger manages the ballot box. That box holds both victory and defeat without definitively disclosing which outcome will ultimately manifest. There's nothing a candidate or an electorate can do to influence an outcome that's already moved out of their hands. The results exist in superposition, both-and rather than either-or. However, by the evening of election day, their quantum state will finally resolve after a frustrating fortnight of SuperImpositioning, the supreme imposition not knowing induces. The Muse has fliers remaining but little means to influence voters now. Many already voted, one way or another, and those that haven't voted become increasingly less influenceable, especially since it's an off-year election featuring only local races. Ballot return rates have historically measured in the low two digits regardless, yielding an unpredictable race.

The die cast but yet to land, out of hand but not yet settled and countable.
Everyone's a winner until reality imposes itself on the loser's fantasy. This might be the puzzling attraction of gambling. Not innumeracy and maybe not the winning or the losing, but the uplifting supposing that occurs when the outcome enters that quantum state where everyone still holds a potentially winning ticket, where the future exists in satisfying superposition. We're all wise when we enter that state before what will pass as reality reasserts her dominance again. The quantum holds our aspirations while the mechanisms decide. The clock inexorably ticks, but everything's always possible between those tickings.

The Muse continues campaigning but with ever-decreasing satisfaction. She feels complemented to learn someone already voted for her, but that information resolves nothing. It's in the nature of the quantum for observation to prove misleading. The Uncertainty Principle rules that realm so that every poll taken to determine how those who already voted chose will prove misleading. The observer's biases will be reinforced, and every deduction will fail to resolve any question. These are the tool marks of SuperImpositioning. It's damned frustrating! The harder anyone tries to find True North, the more their compass betrays them.

A candidate and her supporters might just as well rest on their imaginary laurels until the results come in. Now might be the time to celebrate as if the future has already revealed a win. The anticipation resolves into nothing, and guessing seems supremely unproductive, for there's no known mechanism to collapse the quantum into anything definite before it resolves. This quantum realm seems ready-made for living as-if. It's that or somehow try to cease to exist, for we do not naturally inhabit the quantum. Our realm has always been where things have already been resolved. Everything around me might have once existed in a sublime quantum superposition, but it abandoned those childish ways when it manifested into something tangible on my level. I suspect that even I once existed in a quantum superposition, and this period of superImpositioning might be harbingering my future as well as my past states, which could be why my SuperImpositioning feels so unsettling. Old campaigners never die; they just slip into infinite SuperImpositioning.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

blog comments powered by Disqus

Made in RapidWeaver