This question already has an answer here:
We typically use either Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle or Schrödinger's Cat when we want to talk about a situation where you can't observe a state without altering it.
A good example of this situation is the question: Am I interrupting you?
The question itself is an interruption, but you can't know the state of the person (amenable to interruption or not) until you ask.
It's been my experience that using Heisenberg or Schrödinger is likely to earn you a lecture from the nearest pedant. Removing every person in my life who's fond of the phrase "Well, actually..." is not an option because:
- I work in tech
- I'm one of them
But I'd love it if this community could supply me with whatever idiom we used to evoke this situation before our two estimable German friends came along.
Because I found success with this approach in my last idiom question, I'm going to put some near misses here:
- "catch-22" - Too general. I'm after a more specific sense of the inability to observe a state without changing it (which itself is a catch-22).