Existential Thursday: Hawking’s Universe

Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence? Or does it need a creator, and, if so, does he have any other effect on the universe. And who created him?

If we do discover the complete theory, we shall all be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.

A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking

Young Chronicles II: Cochrane to Iroquois Falls

Mileage 8506

Last night there was a bad fight in our hotel. So the cops had to come and the police sent the two men away because they were hurting a lady. When the two men left, the room was a mess. Bottles were on the floor and the bed was torn apart.

Soon Nigel and I went to sleep, but Nigel couldn’t sleep because there was music downstairs right under us. But I went to sleep because I liked the music. Nobody went to sleep except me. So we moved to a motel and it had a TV, a shower, a cot and two beds and other things. Then we had breakfast at a park. Now we are going to Iroquois Falls.

Mileage 8539

We arrived in Iroquois Falls. We saw a sort of tractor and it was called a skidder. It looked like this.

Then we went to have lunch. I had some peas and four peaches. They were good.

Existential Thursday: Dee Flies

Dee could not find her sunglasses. She had been told that someone had been seen walking across the tarmac with them on. Dee did not believe that, but still they were gone. The tiny shop beside the airport had only local food, flip flops and reams of fabric. She bought a coconut juice but it leaked everywhere. Clouds were moving in. 

The plane turned nicely, swinging out from the airport shadow into the direct sunlight, and drove smoothly along the runway. There was a plane coming overhead. It was not going to land. She made the final turn and waited for the voice which barely acknowledged her.

She only needed half the runway and was already turning out across the lava rocks that turned into dirty sand and then the sea. She angled up into the sky, almost forgetting she had somewhere to go.

Young Chronicles I: Driving to Northern Ontario

June 3, 1973, Mileage 8240

We made a visit to the Marten River. There was about 20,000 black flies, and it was quite pretty. There was a little stream, and we saw the Marten River. Soon we had lunch. Then we went down to the pond and I saw a fish. It looked like this.

I past a lot of bees on dandelions. Me and Nigel had some fun playing soccer. We had to clean up a mess because the car stopped and all of a sudden a box fell full of food. That was our mess.

June 5, 1973 Mileage 8341

We are leaving New Liskeard and going to Cochran. We went to an agricultural farm. We saw the cows first, and one of the cows went to the bathroom on her baby. It looked like it had a hairdo. And then we saw sheep. They were cute except one because it was eating hay and he blew it at me.

Ancient Staircase

The stairs had a tightness, coiling down into the gloom. I stepped nervously, missing a step and clunking into the wall. And then it was brighter, the light coming from above. The space was empty, full of grit and dust.

I held myself there, thinking this was the place and should stay here to find something out, something true, but went into the side room, walked across the creaking floor and opened the little door. The light changed. There was someone above, and I stayed quiet, wondering when they would find me.

Words XIV: Ubiquitously Obsequious

Ubiquitous (appearing everywhere): “The ubiquitous masks and gloves in New York are a constant reminder of Covid-19”. Obsequious (attentive to servile degree): “The obsequious manner of the many homeless are an example of a failed society.”

The ubiquitously obsequious nature of the current White House staff indicates that none of this will end in the foreseeable future.

Prometheus as an Existential Hero

Existential responsibility started long before Nietzsche and company espoused those virtues, dating as far back as Aeschylus in his portrayal of Prometheus, the giver of light:

I know exactly every thing/That is to be; no torment will come unforeseen/My appointed fate I must endure as best I can/Knowing the power of Necessity is irresistible/Under such suffering, speech and silence are alike/Beyond me. For bestowing gifts upon mankind/I am harnessed in this torturing clamp.

For I am he/Who hunted out the source of fire, and stole it, packed/In the pith of a dry fennel-stalk. And the fire has proved/For men a teacher in every art, their grand resource/That was the sin for which I now pay the full price/Bared to the winds of heaven, bound and crucified (ll 101-111, Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound)

Waking The Dead

I was asked at a comedy show, “Hey you, what’s your favorite part of a film?” I said that the first images, the opening scene where the distributor’s logo comes up and the sounds of the film begin, that was the best. The comedian mocked me for that.

I feel the same about concerts. The Grateful Dead taught me that. They never came on stage with fanfare and hoopla, but instead wandered out. Phil Lesh often started the sounds with vague strums, and then sometimes hard and loud, reverberating across the stadium. And then the drums rattled out, the rhythm guitar too, the sound building.

And then Jerry Garcia, on lead guitar would begin, noodling down and up, and there was a beginning of a coalescence. They would meander like that, together, pausing, and then clear notes, pauses, and then the sounds again.

Anticipation. That was is the key to it all. Not what is. But what is next? I always loved that. What will happen now? Where will go tonight?