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They tell me that with age comes wisdom, but the wisdom seems to consist in knowing that as you get older, you realize you really know nothing.

Last night was “science night” in the Peyton household. We watched a bunch of shows about various aspects of science: Is there life after death? What was there before the Big Bang? Was there a Big Bang at all?

My head hurts now. Although I am more than ever convinced that death is not the final end to our story. A varied group of scientists, for a variety of reasons, think there is scientific evidence that points to some kind of “cosmic mind” or that something of us survives to interact with a greater mind than our own. I was content with that.

But then the next show had to upset my apple cart about the beginnings of our universe. It seems that a goodly number of theoretical physicists no longer believe in the Big Bang. This may or may not have to do with human hubris. It’s hard to say. The reason they don’t is that they can’t accept a theory that basically says–we can’t transcend into a realm of no-time/no-space. Our minds are not constructed for that, and besides the math simply breaks down into meaningless gibberish.

Some believe that the entire universe is a mathematical construct in which time and space live. Others believe in waves of energy that bump each other from time to time and explode into a matter-forming “universe”. Others that we are living in a succession of black holes that explode, and ultimately end in another, only to cycle through again. There are as many theories as there are active mathematical minds who love scribbling with chalk upon a chalk board.

What I like most about these folks, is that they get paid to think. I could go for a job like that. They never of course have to produce anything practical, just design experiments costing millions to discover the elusive “top quark”. They have reduced the number of elemental particles to about 12, should you care to know. Now they wonder what is so special about six leptons. Why not 7 or 4? They are good at coming up with questions that justify more thinking, more paychecks, and more fancy equipment.

Some of these guys (and for no reason I understand, most are guys) fancy they can think just about anywhere. So some have nice cabins overlooking lakes in the woods, where they put their feet up and “think.” Like I said, these are grifters of the first quality. I want to be one.

So I was busy last night undoing all the stuff I thought I knew. I see little point in remembering much of this new stuff. In five years, it will be obsolete.

If our information is multiplying exponentially, as it is, I wonder what that means in other areas. It’s crystal clear that what was learned in high school by anyone over the age of 40 is essentially useless today. Soon, it will be twenty years, then ten, and well, you see the problem.

They say we are the sum total of every person, event, experience, feeling, we have ever witnessed or engaged in. Well, won’t humans just burst at the seams one day? I mean you can’t have enough room for everything you need to take in, having no decent mechanism to dump out the old. It seems a problem. Is anybody addressing it?

And if my body is essentially new every ten years (cell replacement) who the hell am I after all? I guess my brain cells don’t get replaced or I would never be able to store more than ten years of information. It’s all confusing.

As I said, my head hurts. I guess we should limit ourselves to one hour of science at a time. Unless of course you have properly worked you way up to larger doses.

Come to think of it, writing drivel like this is pretty much like that “thinking” the theoretical physicists do. But then I don’t have a lab, millions of dollars at my disposal for fancy machines, and certainly no paycheck. So far Bill Gates hasn’t seen fit to punch my PayPal donate button and throw a few bucks my way.

After all, I’m just losing my mind, one word at a time. Tomorrow even more stuff I thought I knew will be declared worthless. I’ll be sure to alert you as it happens, so you can clean house in your head to. If someone could just point me to the wastepaper basket in my skull, I’d be most appreciative.

 

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