Sunday, February 27, 2022

Never Mind Schrödinger's Cat, Here's David Bohm's Dream

I’ve had dreams of all sorts from time to time, but I don’t remember them too well. There was one dream that had a sort of philosophical content.

I dreamt I was in a place that had a cat. I came into the room where this cat was talking to another cat, making a date to meet at a certain time. I said, “There’s something wrong here. What could it be? I know what it is: Cats can’t tell time!”

I went up to this cat and said, “What do you mean by making this date? You know you can’t tell time. ”

The cat said, “Of course we cats can tell time.”

I said, “I don’t believe it. There’s a clock on the wall. Tell me the time.” The clock showed a quarter after eight.

But the cat hemmed and hawed and said, “Five after four... ten after three...”

So I said, “That proves that cats can’t tell time!”

Then I woke up laughing because the point was that in the dream, I was concerned with some trivial difficulty when a much more fundamental issue was askew. The trivial difficulty was that cats can’t tell time. The fundamental absurdity was the cat talking!


Anonymous said...

The fundamental absurdity is that this is a shaggy dog story pretending to be about a cat.

Calgacus said...

The end of Lord Dunsany - A Shop in Go-by Street:
“Tell me something,” I said, “of this strange land?”
“How much do you know?” she said. “Do you know that dreams are illusion?”
“Of course I do,” I said. “Every one knows that.”
“Oh no they don’t,” she said, “the mad don’t know it.”
“That is true,” I said.
“And do you know,” she said, “that Life is illusion?”
“Of course it is not,” I said, “Life is real, Life is earnest—.”
At that both the witch and her cat (who had not moved from her old place by the hearth) burst into laughter. I stayed some time, for there was much that I wished to ask, but when I saw that the laughter would not stop I turned and went away.