About Me

!nversed Poignancy!

...I am an eclectic amalgamation of many seemingly paradoxical things. This can be exemplified in both my seemingly endless persistance on many topics and arguments, as well as my careful cautiousness on other topics and arguments. This is largely due to how astute I am of the topic: more knowledge, more persistant; less knowledge, obviously more cautious. I also have times of obsessive compulsions regarding certain things (mostly just my thoughts, however)...

Life and Death

!nversed Poignancy!

Life

An assembly

Possibly impossible

Perfectly interchangeable..

Death

That lives most upright

Beyond the unspoken

Neither a squiggle nor a quibble..

She and Me

!nversed Poignancy!

She

A daffodil

Tyrannizer of me

Breaking the colors of dusk!..

Me

The rising sun

Infringed with violations

The impurity in the salt..

Love and Poetry!

!nversed Poignancy!

Love

A puerile desire

Buried in the heart

Never leaves..

Poetry

Sentimentally melodramatic

Cursively recursive

My thoughts idiotic!

Schrödinger's chat

Scribbled by Bharath C On April 07, 2016
The other day, I was into this pertinent IET (Idiotic Emission of Thoughts) with a few of my colleagues about a modified apathetic cocktail of the “inverse cocktail party problem” with the “conversational cold-start problem”. Err. I know the terms are as overwhelming as they might sound. Let me start defining the seminals of the sub-problems for the uninitiated ; 

Inverse Cocktail Party Problem : The cocktail party effect is a well studied in various hues of interdisciplinary sciences, it is the phenomenon of being able to focus one's auditory attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, much the same way that a partygoer can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room. But, the quibble here is that in each party, there are these bunch of folks who are not at all affected by the qualms of the “cocktail party effect”. We call them the sufferers of the “Inverse Cocktail Party Syndrome (ICPS)”. Essentially, these are the set of people who have a very high threshold barrier to get a conversation started in a party. 

*And* Let me take much pride in terming this conversational barrier as the “Conversational cold-start problem”; Without any prizes for guessing, its quite evident that the pulmonary  effect of  ICPS is driven by the degree of the “conversational cold-start” that one has; ..and goes without saying that for folks who are overwhelmed by a overdose of stranger-populated-auditory-jungle, the situation can be stressful and frustrating in an unnavigable sea of babble. 

So, what is this blog about? Essentially, I thought, I could model this entire conundrum to start-or-not-to-start a conversation as a “Quantum Situation” with a superposed states of hesitation. *Ok! I’m sorry* Let me explain…

I’m sure most of us would have experienced this situation of going to a party only to find no-known-person (except the host) amongst the crowd. Yes, you heard it right - this it an ideal bed for ICPS with the level of awkwardness and boredom in this situation is directly proportional to the degree of “conversational cold-start” one has to overcome. This is a state of a high entropy to say the least. At one end, you might feel that starting a conversation with a stranger might tread you to a quixotically feeble friendship, but, it might surely not lead to anywhere near a “friendship-for-life” kind of a relationship. 

Do you see it? Your relationship with any person in the crowd is currently not in a single state — it is in a superposition of multitude of states. It is lying with “hi-hello friendship” with a probability p1, “friendship-for-life” with a probability of p2, a “hi-hello-enemy” with p3 and “enmity-for-life” with a probability of p4 = (1- (p1+p2+p3)). So, its in a mixture of all these states. While, in puritan terms all these states are a possibility, you can for sure quash out p3 and p4 — you see, finding a enemy in someone is *infact* really tough in a short conversation, moreso, when you know that there is a very high chance that you might not even meet that person ever after. Thus, p3 and p4 are infinitesimally small and worthy enough to be ignored. 

In simplified terms, the relationship is in a mixture of “hi-hello friend” and “friend-for-life” states, with a simplified probabilities of p and (1-p) respectively. Ofcourse, goes without saying that the value of p is unknown and lies in 0 < p < 1. Now, with the probabilities in place, next comes the quantum measurement. The measurement problem in quantum mechanics is the problem of how (or whether) wavefunction collapse occurs. The inability to observe this process directly has given rise to different interpretations of quantum mechanics, and poses a key set of questions that each interpretation must answer. The wavefunction in quantum mechanics evolves deterministically according to the Schrödinger equation as a linear superposition of different states, but actual measurements always find the physical system in a definite state (The best known example is the "paradox" of the Schrödinger's cat). 

Disclaimer : Before you go through the next section, it would be great, if you brush up your Quantum Physics basics *seriously!*

So, how will the measurement be made in the cocktail party situation? The measurement, might mostly occur through a common-connect — which could be anyone or anything.. the host of the party, school, friend-of-a-friend-of-friend, common interest, etc. Its quite evident that while the measurement is being made, both the persons in the conversation have different p-values whose accurate measurement is non-trival. 

But! no later than the measurement is made, and communicated between the folks involved, the quantum state comes crashing down. Depending on what the duo decide at the time of measurement, the relationship will collapse into one of the two states it is a mixture of – “hi-hello friend” or “friend-for-life”.  So, eureka! We have a perfect “quantum situation” here. Something which lies in a superposition of states. And which can’t be measured without the collapse of these states! 
…and that makes us classify the conversation as a “Schrödinger's c(h)at”


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