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bluebox's picture

Life, the Universe, and Everything

I feel like everyone (teachers, parents, movies, museums) has been trying to force this idea on me at every chance they have, so hearing it again was just another story. Kind of like an unimpressed "wow" and a nod of understanding.  I know the universe is huge, I know people are small and insignificant, but what am I supposed to do with that information? I can't really let it affect me, because the only result I can imagine is just believing that I am insignificant, none of my actions matter because there are so many people just like me. What's one wrong decision among millions? I could just live for the moment, without a thought to the future (because in comparison to the universe, what's 50 years? My life being less than what it could be wouldn't change anything in the long run). I could just go around and marvel in the beauty of the world, because that's all there really is.

Or, if I decided to let this affect me so that I would want to find the answer to everything, there's no point. What's the point of knowing? This guy I sat next to on a plane one time (who i think was a bit drunk because he was spouting off parables much more quickly than a sober person would) told me "Knowledge without action is trivia." If you know something and can't do anything with it, what's the point of knowing it? Or supposing it to be true, which would be more appropriate in this course.

My only reaction or change in how I perceive stories is that in the back of my mind, I suppose that I am insignificant. But to myself, I am the most significant. I can't devote everything to some abstract idea that somebody else had when my perceptions work better for me. We could be hurtling through space at inconceivably high speeds, but all I can tell is that the sun rises and sets each day and the stars in the sky move, and that's how I base my life. Hurtling through space has no effect on my immediate life. Unless we crash into another galaxy or something.

Something that I was reminded of during class was this:

It's a scale of the universe, showing things from as small as the strings in string theory to the entire universe (with many reference points in between). It's a lot like the things we were supposed to look at for class on Thursday, but it shows size instead of time spans with the bonus of cool background music.


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