So I’ve noticed something.
Anytime somebody wants to make an obscure science joke, they seem to usually reference Schrödinger’s Cat. Now, I can understand why it’s the go-to material for a joke- essentially anybody who has it described to them can understand it, but at the same time it’s a concept from quantum mechanics. This means that while the only qualification for understanding this concept is having found the wikipedia page, you’re still able to make jokes about it loudly in public and when people don’t understand it, respond with “Oh don’t worry about it, it was an obscure reference to quantum physics, so most people don’t understand it.” It’s basically an easy way to make yourself seem
smart pretentious, while not forcing you to actually understand the experiment past “if you look away from a cat, well gee, that fucker could very well be dead. But not dead. At the same time.”
But that’s not the problem here. The problem is that this is turning into the obscure reference. You can find it on a multitude of different webcomics, for one, many of which I didn’t link because hell, Schrödinger references have their own wikipedia page. Now I’m not saying it’s wrong to make Schrödinger jokes or anything, because that would be stupid. Making jokes about it (or anything) for the sake of sounding smart is, but that’s a whole different problem.
This problem is that we now have a popular obscure joke. The joke, for the most part, comes from how it’s supposed to be obscure and something most people won’t understand
But if it’s a popular reference, then it can’t be obscure, and therefore there’s not really a joke.
So it goes something like this: Either “obscure Schrödinger” jokes are popular, rendering them not obscure. Thus, there is no joke. But if there is no joke, then it most certainly can’t be popular and is once again obscure, making the joke exist again. But if it’s a joke, then it’s suddenly popular and no longer obscure, and if it’s popular… etc. ad infinitum.
In a simpler form, Obscurity = Popularity = Non-obscurity = Non-popularity = Obscurity, in an endless cycle that is all happening at the same time. So all at once, a Schrödinger reference is both obscure and not obscure at the same time, meaning that a Schrödinger joke is simultaneously a joke and not a joke.
Essentially, an affinity towards obscure references in popular culture has created Schrödinger’s Schrödinger joke.