Some friends of mine told me that I take E2 too seriously, so here's something that I wrote in less serious mood. However, the problem, I say, is something that makes me think.
I sometimes keep my machine running at night. (This is somewhat rare, because the machine makes a lot of noise.)
Sometimes, I listen to MP3s and stuff before I go to sleep. I get XMMS playing tunez and go under the bedcovers... but then, the question comes to my mind.
I can't see the screen when I'm completely under the bedcovers. I can't even see the light the screen emits reflecting from the walls. I'm under the bedcovers, the screen... is not.
Has the screen saver kicked in?
Even if it has, can I tell? No. I cannot observe the screen, because the bedcovers won't let the light throug. Because of "xscreensaver -throttle" and music from the headphones, I won't even hear the screen saver going on. The throttle switch makes it possible to XMMS buffer stuff to soundcard continuously; If i'd omit -throttle then xscreensaver might start something heavy and music might stop until processor decides to serve xmms process' needs again. The music from headphones, then, make it impossible for me to hear the monitor going to energy saving mode.
Furthermore, I have very vague time sense. I can only tell I've listened to one tune through, two songs, three songs and so on. I can only estimate that "oh, 3 tunes, about 10 minutes - screen saver should have kicked in by now.
I cannot know precisely when the screen saver kicked in. I can tell IF it has kicked in, but only if I look at the screen.
Here I have the same thing Schrödinger had with his cat. The screen is both on screen saving and non-screen-saving mode at once UNTIL I get my head from under the bedcovers and LOOK at the damn screen.
Uncertainty walks among us.
And uncertainty principle, of course, is not just for quantum particles.
BTW, One comic strip had a cat called "Screen Saver" - "Screen" because it made sounds that sounded like that, and "saver" because it saved the owner's, sorry, servant's life once. =)