ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the October 2, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from Marina Bonomi and LiveJournal user Siege. It belongs to the series Schrodinger's Heroes.


"For Life's Sake"


Alex is the quantum mechanic
and Morgan is the astrophysicist
and Ash is the computer wizard coding in ternary

but it is Alex's sleek black cat Schrodinger
who truly manipulates probabilities.

He chases the cosmic strings
and catches them in his careful claws,
tugging reality along like a tuft of feathers.

He sidles through a firefight,
black coat against white smoke,
then pounces on possibility
and pins hope beneath his velvet paws.

He picks his way through rubble
to find and return a straying breath,
for life's sake.

He has enemies -- entropy
and his own pale alter ego
are always waiting to take advantage
of the smallest mistake.

He has allies -- Maxwell's demon
divides the room with invisible walls,
sorting the hot fast molecules
from the slow cool molecules
to improve the comfort of a cat
and not incidentally, decreasing entropy.

It is a small thing that they do,
each time they choose this branch over that,
Schrodinger and Maxwell's demon
working discreetly to keep the team safe --

but then any wizard's work is made of small things,
molecules, atoms, quarks, bosons, chances,
all the ones and zeroes
that encode the whole of creation.

* * *

Notes:

Cosmic strings are topological features predicted by quantum field theory.

The famous firefight appears in the unaired episode "Last Woman Standing."

Maxwell's Demon is a famous thought experiment.

Quarks and bosons are elementary particles.

Although not a true crossover, this poem contains oblique references to the Feline Wizards series by Diane Duane.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-17 01:48 am (UTC)
chanter_greenie: a slightly faded picture of a three-legged torbie kitty cat with a lot of rust coloring in her fur (supermodel kitty)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
In life's name, and for life's sake, I--

I knew you were going there when I saw this poem's title listed on the SH menu page! I hadn't thought of the feline wizardry sequence, which was a rather silly mistake of mine. Bigtime Young Wizards fan here, surprise. :)

In other words, EEEEEE obliquely or otherwise wizardly!Schrodinger!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-16 07:43 pm (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
Maxwell's Demon... innnnnnnteresting.

Which immediately cross-references to the song "Maxwell's Wave Equations (http://www.cyphertext.net/escapekey/Maxwell.txt)" (skipping John Lennon entirely, just like the original)...

*laugh*

Date: 2013-07-16 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I love the filk song. Thanks for sharing.

Re: *laugh*

Date: 2013-07-16 10:13 pm (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
You're welcome! The author's hubby is a roboticist and physicist... and when she heard the phrase "Maxwell's Wave Equations" she instantly realised what it scanned to, and said "You have to teach me about this so I can write this song!"

I'm not sure which of the pair is the bigger geek. I think they're just *differently* geeky... :D

Re: *laugh*

Date: 2013-07-17 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Yeah, I've done things like that. Geekery makes the world go 'round.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-17 11:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] natalief.livejournal.com
Coding in ternary. Interesting idea. True, false and maybe?

Yes...

Date: 2013-07-17 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
That's how it works. It offers more options, more complexity.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-18 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westrider.livejournal.com
I've had an idea for some time about a setting where magic works mostly by manipulating probability on a quantum level, letting the magic user's will overpower the randomness.

Never wrote anything there because I never came up with any characters or plots, just the setting and some bits about the magic system.

Yes...

Date: 2013-07-19 09:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Magic is probability control, among other things. Go for it!

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