Observer Effect

The term “Observer Effect” in physics describes the effect observation of an experiment has on the experiment itself. Sometimes this effect is a result of the tools used to conduct the experiment, and sometimes, particularly in Quantum Mechanics, it refers to the theory that life and energy changes simply because it is being observed. This makes perfect sense to me. Consider mirrors. When we look in a mirror we say we are “looking at ourselves.” But this is not entirely accurate. When we look in a mirror we are actually looking at ourselves looking at ourselves. In other words, we are looking at what we look like when we look out ourselves, and how we feel about that experience.

It is probably more useful to be seen by other people than by yourself. For instance, looking at something you have written can become deadly close to looking in the mirror. See how the work changes from moment to moment like the expressions on your face. One moment it is beautiful, the next it is ugly.

A writer must forsake the idea she will every know what her story really is, whether it’s really funny or really boring, the same as she must forsake the idea that she will ever know what she really looks like. It’s frustrating sometimes, I know, but your stories are like your face in this way too—a window best used to see the world, not to measure yourself.

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