Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Your mind, well and nicely blown

The world is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine. And that is *awesome*.

Mark Morford: Your mind, well and nicely blown

We are never going to run out.

This is the good news. Wait, check that: This is the astonishing, God-exploding, soul-altering, holier-than-wow news you must sip like a fine absinthe and jack straight into your bloodskin like a heroin bomb and then suck into your very anima like Lindsay Lohan on a coke bender.

It might sound obvious, the idea that wonders will never cease, that we will continue to be blown away by new discoveries for as long as we shall exist, that the world will keep astonishing us with stunning ideas, organisms, diseases and cures, synapses and connections, modes of being and ways of understanding for all eternity, despite our efforts to thwart it, deny it, reject it, or dumb ourselves down so much that we no longer have a goddamn clue what’s going on.

But it’s not obvious at all. We are, after all, nothing if not preternaturally jaded and wary. Many assume we’re at a point in history when we’ve made most of the major breakthroughs and discoveries, have established all the laws of time and physics we are ever going to need. No more man on the moon, no more discovery of antibiotics, no more E=MC2, no more sorry-Pope-the-world-ain’t-flat kind of epiphanies left.

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7 Comments

  1. Even if all the big “EUREKA” discoveries have been made, (which I somehow doubt) every little discovery is a piece of the puzzle that is our universe. That in of itself is pretty exciting.

    • One of my favourite quotes about science, by way of Isaac Asimov:

      “The most exciting words in science are not “Eureka, I found it!”, but rather “Hmmm, that’s peculiar.””

  2. There have been many books written by old men saying either “There won’t be anything better than us” or “There won’t be anything after us.”

  3. Hm. That’s an awful lot of fuss to make about a fish.

    No, I mean seriously. Strip away the drug-related hyperbole and what we’re looking at is a hitherto undiscovered species of fish, swimming happily in an unregarded part of the ocean. As the Arab chieftain purportedly said of the jet aircraft: What, you mean it’s not supposed to do that?

    I yield to no-one in my appreciation of the wonders of science and nature. I’m still marvelling (quietly, as we Brits do) about computers: you can play games on them, you know. But the fish, and just about everything else I’ve heard about in science lately, does seem to me like filling up the corners. Mr Morford’s final point, if I remember aright, was made by Sylvester McCoy back in the late eighties, and I took it on board quite happily then.

    Show me a new paradigm of physics that doesn’t involve believing six nonsensical things before breakfast (and still lets the computers work). Show me FTL travel without time dilation. Show me alien life that has more than one cell. I’m positive all those things are possible and that science will deliver them, and when they do I shall flail and squee with the best. I am certain that most of what we know we only think we know, and I’m impatient for the next level to be revealed.

    But I’ll be very surprised (delighted, but surprised) if it happens by means of a fish.

  4. I loves me some Morford, yes I does. The disclaimers at the end of his erstwhile “Daily Fix” column were random and glorious and inspirational without being cloying; there are many of them sprinkled throughout my journal, under the “morford” tag.

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