science

Total Eclipse of Internal Interference

Total Eclipse of Internal Interference

The real magic happens when we become intimately familiar with the moment-by-moment experience of being alive. Instead of trying to force complete experiences to happen. I focus on setting the stage for them to happen by exercising my attention. 

When remembering to notice that we're alive becomes a habit, we begin to erode the internal friction that obscures our view of the richness we're swimming in every day.

In a Different Language

In a Different Language

"What we’ve been doing for thousands of years is just trying to piece by piece get some understanding of where we came from, where the universe came from, and where it’s all going. So, to me, that is not distinct from what the poet does or what the philosopher does or what the great writer does or the composer does. They just do it in a different language."

~ Brian Greene

If We Didn't Try to Hold the Flux

“What both science and at least some philosophical and even religious traditions tell us is that the world is impermanent. Nothing in it stays the same. We don't stay the same. Our bodies don't stay the same. The people that we love and the things that we love don't stay the same. That's just the truth of the matter, that there's this constant impermanence, this constant flux. And some philosophers have argued over the years that we should just embrace that. We would be freer if we didn't try to hold that flux for a moment.” 

Alison Gopnik

The Important Thing

 Leonard Mlodinow, from "Randomness and Choice," OnBeing with Krista Tippett, April 30, 2014:

When you look at your life, if you had to sit down and think about, and I'm talking about in detail, not just the headlines, if you think about all the details of what happened to you, you will find that there was a time where you had the extra cup of coffee, where if you hadn't, you wouldn't have met Person A.

When I look back in my life, I could find so many instances like that. And I had fun tracing some of them. And the course of your life depends on how you react to those opportunities and challenges that the randomness presents to you.

If you're awake and paying attention, you will find that things happen. They might seem good, they might seem bad but the important thing is how you reacted to it.

Dandelion seeds are dispersed by the wind.


See also: "Stochasticity," Radiolab

The Preparation for Those Moments is Your Life

"If you view crossing the finish line as the measure of your life, you’re setting yourself up for a personal disaster. There are very very very few people who win gold at the Olympics. And if you say, ‘if I don’t win gold then I’m a failure or I’ve let somebody down or something...’

What if you win a silver? What if you win a bronze? What if you come fourth? What if your binding comes apart?

What if all of those millions of things that happen in life happen...

Only a few people that go there are going to win gold. And it’s the same in some degree I think in commanding a spaceship or doing a spacewalk it is a very rare, singular moment-in-time event in the continuum of life.

And you need to honour the highs and the peaks in the moments — you need to prepare your life for them — but recognize the fact that the preparation for those moments is your life and, in fact, that’s the richness of your life...

The challenge that we set for each other, and the way that we shape ourselves to rise to that challenge, is life."

~ Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut 

See also: 

  • Hadfield, C. (2013). An astronaut's guide to life on Earth. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/861187010
  • Adams, S. (2013). How to fail at almost everything and still win big: Kind of the story of my life. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/842209207 (systems over goals)

The Universe is in Us

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked in an interview with TIME magazine, "What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?" This is his answer.

Editing Memories

"Can we edit the content of our memories? It’s a sci-fi-tinged question that Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu are asking in their lab at MIT. Essentially, the pair shoot a laser beam into the brain of a living mouse to activate and manipulate its memory. In this unexpectedly amusing talk they share not only how, but  more importantly why they do this." 

See also:

A State of Flux

View from the ISS at Night from Knate Myers on Vimeo.

Marcelo Gleiser, from "The Mystery We Are," On Being, November 9, 2012: 

The way we understand the world is very much based on what we can see of the world. Science is based on measurements and observations. And the notion that we can actually come up and have a theory that explains everything assumes that we can know everything — that we can go out and measure everything there is to measure about nature and come up with this beautiful Theory of Everything. And since we cannot measure all there is to measure, since our tools have limitations, we are definitely limited in how much we can know of the world.

So you can even build a theory that would explain everything that we know now. But then two weeks from now, someone else will come and find something new that does not fit in your theory. And that's not a Theory of Everything anymore because it doesn't include everything that can be included.

When you look out into nature, everything is in transformation at all times. And we see this at the very small and we see this at the very large [scale]. When we look at the whole universe, it is expanding, it's growing, it's changing in time. And so I look at things much more as a state of flux, of becoming, of transformation, as something that has some static truth behind it. So the notion that we as humans could come up with a final answer to the mystery of nature it's pushing things a little too far for our capabilities.


See also: