Wednesday, January 16, 2013


    The bleak message of the stars in their overwhelming infinitude is that we are nothing.  It is hard to argue with 500 billion galaxies, each with a billion stars.  In the midst of the endless cosmos, our brief blink in an obscure corner is nothing at all.
     Yet the fact that there is something in one corner that sustains itself against the starry vastness, the fact that there is anything bootstrapping at all, is an argument against the nihilism of the stars.  The smallest thought could not exist unless the entire universe and the laws of physics were in some way encouraging it.  The existence of a single rosebud, a single oil painting, a single parade of costumed hominins strolling down a street of bricks, a single glowing screen waiting for input, or a single book on the nature of our creations requires life-friendly attributes baked deeply into the primeval laws of being.  "The universe knew we were coming," says Freeman Dyson.  And if the cosmic laws are biased to produce on bit of life and mind and technology, then one bit will flow after another.  Our immense journey is a trace of tiny, improbable events stacked into a series of inevitabilities.
-Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants

image via APOD

No comments:

Post a Comment