When does quantum superposition end and reality collapse into one possibility or another? I stare at my mailbox and the email attachment, containing the dreaded Kirkus review of my book, Dark Shaman Awakening. Instead of a theoretical cat, my author ego is the one trapped in the rigged box. The possibility of decaying radioactive material is the possibility of pointed searing words of the reviewer, which can trigger the stab of the poisoned ink pen into my author ego. Praise on the other hand would leave the author ego alive and elated.
Copenhagen interpretation: An observation must take place for superposition to end. I would have to open the attachment and consciously observe and read the review to know if the author ego was stabbed. Without my observation the author ego state is both dead and alive.
Many-worlds interpretation and consistent histories: The observer becomes entangled with the two possible states separating into two realities. When I open the review box, one version of me will observe a stabbed author ego, while the other will see an intact author ego. Decoherence means that there is no interaction between these two versions of me, maintaining in each reality a consistent history.
Relational interpretation: Depending on whose viewpoint one takes, the point at which superposition ends varies. The fragile author ego in the review box knows the outcome before the observer outside the review box sees it.
Objective collapse theories: An objective threshold can force the superposition to collapse independently. Time has already determined the outcome. The review has been written, the author ego is already affected one way or the other. The observation of this by opening the review is merely an after the fact affirmation of the state of the ego within the review box.
“Nobody really doubts that the presence or absence of the cat is something independent of the act of observation.” Einstein
Is the cat alive or dead? http://www.nhfennecus.com/reviews/