Observer -> Participant: A Quantum Leap

There is another application of the quantum leap that I’ve been noticing rather frequently these few days – the Observer -> Participant Quantum Leap.

People value objective observers because they are able to provide unemotional, unbiased feedback regarding the state of situations. While most people tend to automatically process information and therefore produce a coloured report of happenings, these observers are able to give us an accurate and true picture of reality, or as accurate as a human can get it to be.

I posit that among other possible reason, one dominant explanation for their objectivity would be that they are not participating in the actual events or activities themselves, and so they have no emotional tie or personal stake in the actual proceedings, and therefore they will feel no need to spin the facts to better suit themselves, either consciously or unconsciously.

Another benefit of not being a participant is that one is able to observe the facts from a bird’s eye point of view, seeing a larger picture which includes the interactions and relationships between each variable without being a variable himself. He is not influenced by these variable and can provide a far more accurate general depiction of the happenings.

One drawback would be that he will be unable to feel the subjective states that each of these variables experience unless he participates himself. His observations, while accurate, may draw flak from those who are negatively depicted, or perceive themselves to be negatively depicted even though the report was as factual as it could possibly be.

Now, all observers once in awhile, being human, will desire to be a subject that participates, instead of the object that perceives. To do so will mean that he will get to experience the trills of being emotionally moved by the changing variables in the event or activity, and that may cause painful loss or exuberant gain depending on whether he was negatively or positively influenced, and also on the stake, or level of participation the once-passive observer dared to put in.

Participation transforms an observer in subtle but unmissable ways. Once exposed to the wide fluctuations in emotions, he may never be able to report observations in an objective way again. Having felt the pain and joys within his own heart and feeling the tinges of loss and thrills of victory in his very flesh, he will be unable to ignore so easily as before the scathingly neutral commentaries that he once produced. Slowly, his reports will show signs of infection –  partisan reporting, subjective emotionality, and maybe, even empathy; they are no longer objective.

But perhaps, this is what makes the robotic observer more human. Perhaps, this was all that is needed for people to listen, accept, and act upon the facts reported by the once-irrelevant, non-integrated observer. This quantum leap, from an observer to a participant, may in very fact be necessary for a restoration to function. Maybe human beings were never made for cold-hard truth… maybe they were made for those seared by fiery passion and cooled by the calm waters of measured empathy.


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