Schroedinger’s Hannity

Erwin Schroedinger is an Austrian physicist who came up with a very interesting thought-experiment to demonstrate the curious properties of quantum mechanics… and also the Republican Party.

The thought experiment is called Schroedinger’s Hannity.

Schroedinger's HannityImagine, if you will, a box that is entirely closed so that no part of the inside can be observed from the outside.

Inside this box, President Obama is about to make a decision about a particularly controversial, delicate and sensitive issue: for example, how to respond to the chemical weapons attacks in Syria. After some period of time, President Obama makes a decision… however, because he is inside the box, nobody outside the box yet knows what the decision is. It’s possible that Obama has decided to bomb Syria, and it’s possible that he has decided not to bomb Syria. It could go either way.

Although nobody outside the box knows what decision Obama has made, it just so happens that Sean Hannity is also inside the box.

As you know, what Sean Hannity believes about Syria depends completely on what Obama decides to do.  If President Obama decides to bomb Syria, then Hannity will believe that nothing good could possibly come of bombing Syria and it could very well start mass chaos and destruction. On the other hand, if President Obama decides not to bomb Syria, then Hannity will believe that anything short of bombing Syria immediately is a sign of weakness and “leading from behind”.


According to the very complex theory of quantum political mechanics, while the state of Obama’s decision is unknown,  it actually exists in a superposition of states, in which Obama simultaneously has decided to bomb Syria and not to bomb Syria. A direct and unavoidable causal consequence of this, however, is that poor Sean Hannity is forced to simultaneously believe both that nothing good could possibly come of bombing Syria and that the only possible good decision would be to bomb Syria.

When Schroedinger originally proposed this thought experiment, he intended it to be an illustration of how ridiculous quantum mechanics (and possibly also American politics) is.  His assumption was that everyone would immediately recognize that a world in which Sean Hannity could simultaneously believe that bombing Syria was the correct and the incorrect decision would just be absurd.

But that’s just liberal bias.

Not only does the reality of Sean Hannity’s behavior support the Schroedinger’s Hannity hypothesis… , but eminent physicist Stephen Colbert was also able to replicate this thought experiment, substituting Rand Paul for Sean Hannity in the box.

This is obviously not a “contradiction” for Republicans… it’s just quantum mechanics at work.


[Post Scriptum: If you don’t understand what this story is in reference to, please see: Schroedinger’s Cat]

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