Thursday, February 11, 2016

Surfing the Universe

Well, it seems that we have experimental confirmation that cataclysmic changes in gravity ripple across space at the speed of light, just as Einstein predicted. This will cause many to feel elated but to most, it's meaningless, their universes being more circumscribed than the one cosmologists and physicists live in. Everyman's concerns for the way science can confirm or deny opinion and common sense don't run deep..

Our four  dimensions  are expanded or shrunk a very tiny bit as a gravitational wave passes through.  A very tiny bit, a fraction of the width of a proton, which is far too small for the average person to get involved it, or to attach any importance to.  But it's just one small step away from the kind of consciousness Americans want to retreat into, and I'm not only talking only about the Evangelicals with their young and small universe run by miracle and designed by a consciousness.  Americans are searching for, longing for a world without harsh and rigorous scrutiny -- a world trending back to "nature" and away from technology which is somehow safer and healthier, and where  things have meaning on a human scale.

The parts of our brain that run on superstition, snap judgement and frighteningly huge oversimplifications really are in charge and nearly all the time.  Like "outer space"  the views of reality put together piece by piece by scientific method is far away, and abstract and a little silly to most people.  If the LIGO experimental confirmation of the spreading ripples in space-time from a collision between black holes billions of light years away and billions of years ago ever makes it into the public consciousness it will be to sell us gravitational wave receivers, tuned to natural frequencies which will improve your sex life and help you shed unwanted pounds.  People will claim to be getting signals from the universe through gravitational waves and will help you do the same for a fee.

It's certainly been several lifetimes since we proved that Tetanus is not caused by rust and rhinoviruses not caused by drafts of air. It's been enough time for the proof that milk doesn't promote phlegm or that gluten has no negative effects on 95% of the population or that Dr. Oz's weekly miracle discoveries are worthless.  But we know our inherited weaknesses never completely go away. Prayers and curses, personal rituals and lucky socks still matter to us. We still talk of mysterious toxins and desire to have our intestines flushed and something or other done with our Chi or our Chakras. Hardly one in a million will bother to question that the culture of marketing and entertainment is anything but an exploitation, using lies and deception and distraction.

So gravity is associated with a particle and particles have a wavelength and propagate at a finite speed across an infinite void and so we don't care, except possibly to cause us to ask the universe to help us with our love life and to choose a more ritually pure, vegan, paleo, gluten free diet free of "chemicals.".  Science doesn't really mean shit to us and as the men who wrote Ecclesiastes told us, our entire culture and view of ourselves and the universe are just vanity.

No comments: