Schrodingers’ Twat

forgive the rudery, but i love the concept.

First, a short digression for those without geekery in their make-up. The original schrodinger’s cat was a thought experiment meant to illustrate the nature of quantum events. Place a cat in a sealed box with a radioactive isotope for which the chance of emitting a lethal dose of radiation was 50% and…there was a 50/50 chance that the cat would be alive when you opened the box.

However, being a smart-ass physicist, schrodinger claimed that until you actually open the box, the cat is neither alive nor dead, but exists in a sort of probabilistic haze of uncertainty. Hmmm. When last seen, Herr schrodinger was dabbing iodine on what looked suspiciously like cat scratches – which goes to show he might know loads about physics, but bugger all about matters feline.

Still, i then encountered the above phrase in the mouth of a comedian (not necessarily pro-trans) but quite liked the allusion it opened up. First, because when it comes to trans genitals, it sort of sums up the dilemma. Or issue.

The world and its wife appears obsessed with what trans folk keep in their pants. Trans women particularly. Why? A large part, i suspect, is prurience. And also the fear of maybe being tainted by the idea of being thought gay, if male.

But as far as most trans women are concerned, tis no-one’s business but their own. What i have inside my knickers is my concern and yes: since i write about my transition publically, others probably do have an idea. But if i were someone who chose not to write…then the only people entitled to know would be those for whom the issue was pertinent. Medical professionals. Partners. Lovers.

And for everyone else? Well, as far as i am concerned, for everyone else, there is no right to know…no right to ask, unless the conversation leads to a place where it is proper to do so. If you meet a trans anyone, you may assume merely that they may or may not have male or female genitals. But frankly, that’s not for you to know and your best assumption, schrodinger-like, is both, neither, male, female, whatever.

Sounds, to be honest, like ordinary politeness.

This week, however, the phrase has taken on a new significance. Cause post-op is not quite post-op. Not immediately, anyway. Cause post-op you are swathed and bandaged about the waist like some modern mummy. Pulled in tight, you have no sense whatsoever of what you yourself now have between your legs.

Intellectually, you know: unless the hospital is running a most ingenious scam, your genital geometry has changed. But you don’t feel it yet. Must, in fact, wait a few more days until the moment, on sunday, when all is unwrapped, the packing is removed, and you find out whether the pussy is alive or dead.

🙂

jane
xx

5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Marina Wood said,

    It is only when it purrs you really know that it has started to live again🙂

  2. 2

    Sabine said,

    Very geeky – however the radioactive isotope in has a 50% chance of triggering a lethal chemical poison trap in a given timeframe. Basically the isotope + a Geiger counter. If the isotope decays that decay is detected by the Geiger counter which triggers an electric circuit to break a bottle of poison.

    Schroedinger was a physicist and so knew that radiation poisoning is no on/off state but gradual. A lethal dose does not mean dead right now, but too much damage for a body to live long enough to be cured. He used the isotope in his thought experiment because it is the best way to produce randomness as in: there is no way to predict if a piece of radioactive material will emit a particle (will decay) during any particular timeframe. You can only give a probability that it will. In theory, you can get a piece of, say, americium-241 (commonly found in smoke-detectors) and there is a small (yet finite) probability that not one atom of it will decay before your house burns down.

    What Schroedinger overlooked was that there are three distinct states a cat in a box can be in: alive, dead or bloody furious. (–Terry Pratchett – Lords and Ladies)

    Hand in your geek card (if you ever had one) and tell your doctors to step up the diazepam treatment, you sound anxious.

    • 3

      janefae said,

      anxious, moi? nah. Though probably a bit tired…and one side of bum going sore.

      i always preferred the pratchett version.

      however, as past author of a highly worthy book on statistics, i have always been troubled by the nature of propbability. Basically, we write over probability from relative frequency far too easily. It makes perfect sense to say of a population that 1% give or take some error term will die in twelve months: is philosophically difficult to state that someone will die with p=.01 in that time scale and even worse to suggest, as we do in modelling, that someone is actually 1% dead already. Didn’t need a cat to spot that!

      jane
      xx

  3. 4

    Now, that’s the sort of post I’m used to reading – musings on consuming Rice Krispies through a tube are diverting, but this is the head-above-the-parapet stuff I associate with you.

    Glad this step in the process seems to be going well so far.

    • 5

      janefae said,

      but in itself that’s an interesting response from u.

      this blog isn’t determinedly political, philosophical, biographical…or pretty much anything. It just “is”. At the same time, i do delight in finding the interesting picture in small things.

      a dedicated fan of haiku and very upset to find my illustrated taoist writings are no more owing to a leak (of water) which has gummed the pages together.

      I digress (which is, in many ways, the point). Rice Krispies aren’t bloggologically sexy – but they do represent a quite big issue for me.

      First, there has been the whole helplessness thing over the last week, which has maybe given me a small insight into other lives. Its an experience and a memory i hpe i won’t lose too easily.

      second…and this is me wearing my helpful hat…i think that rice krispies represent a particular issue here that maybe need thinking about. i don’t think i’m speaking out of place, cause the clinic is actively seeking views and input…and it seems to me that listening to individuals such as Becca is something they should be clever enough to do.

      so not a witty subject…but not an insignificant one, either.

      jane
      xx


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