Tuesday, April 12, 2005

On Being and Nonbeing

To be read from the bottom, up, in this order:

The Universe is Actually Shrinking

The Truth About Space And Time

The Vast Balloon

The Universal Balloon

Popping the Balloon

On Being and Nonbeing

We can't escape our own minds. We accumulate evidence and then try to fit it into a model, plug in all the parts and hope it runs. As astronomers struggled to incorperate the evidence brought before their eyes, far from leaping to conclusions, they hunt carefully, even fearfully, for the import of what they seek is very dangerous. This is why the word "revolution" was coined to cover all disorder, but it came from Corpurnicus. Hundreds of years ago, he overturned how we saw reality.

The fate of the universe, we have no say in. We can't change it nor can we influence it at all, not even slightly. Our puny powers will never be up to the task. Contemplating this easily can lead to suicide. I have known astronomers to commit suicide or to go simply mad, my grandfather and grandmother went insane.

It is a struggle.

But understanding time and space is the true religion. All religions sprang from the stars. Our most distant ancestors looked up at the stars as the cold winds of the brutal Ice Age swept the night, and they wondered about the stars. Distant, cold, brilliant yet faint. Inscrutible yet with pattern and form and shape if only the watchers could figure the riddle out.

This will never change. We will always be struggling, trying to put the mystery of time and space into words, into graspable concepts. This is probably our greatest task. If ever there are aliens seeking others, this is probably what would be their first question: "What do you think the Universe is?"

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