Saturday, January 17, 2009

Time Scales


http://www.csuhayward.edu/sci/sem/whatisit/scale.jpg
fig 1: fish scales magnified a zillion times

Love that "Flaming Lips" song- depressing and uplifting at the same time. Was pop music made for such deep thoughts?

I keep thinking about our place in the universe- how insignificant we seem. One little blue planet orbiting a smallish star- one of 20 billion stars in our galaxy- one of 20 billion galaxies in the universe. Just hanging out here- killing each other, passing the time. Our perceptions moulded by the evolution of our chimpanzee brains. Up into the trees as squirrels we went, down from the trees and on to the plains as apes. It would be surprising if we could really grasp the universe with such a primitive instrument.

Glimpsing up at the sky at noon, the clouds seem fixed, but time-lapse photography shows them scuttling by. Glass seems solid. Look at the stars at night- though they seem fixed, all the constellations are in motion. If time is infinitely divisible- then there is literally an eternity in a nanosecond. Which scale is therefore better? Which is more real? More important?

I have a bad bad feeling i've written all this before- maybe that's it! No more new ideas ?

FAST

SLOW

1 comment:

  1. Jules C1:54 AM

    Perhaps a first step could be putting aside this chimpanzee idea of ours "significance"

    ReplyDelete

Whaddaya think?