i feel like i have a vast yet valueless cache of bits and pieces to post here. and i suppose here and there ive got a paragraph that might provoke a useful thought in someone.
whats inside youre mind?
i was thinking the other day that, in science, we deal with the when where and how, not the why or what so much. in terms of when where and how, we are very successful. even in quantum mechanics, where we principally cannot know both when and where things will occur we can still describe much of the how, and assign probabilities to the when and where, as well as restrictions as to how much is and is not knowable.
now, a lot of people have difficulty with all this. a lot of people seek the what and why of reality, which science cannot do much for. we can always say what and why something is in terms of other things, but that usually leads most people with those questions to ask for the what and why to deeper levels of reality, which sooner or later result in an unknown, or more likely, unknowable answer.
it is interesting in fact, the very nature of the words 'what' and 'why' lead to a hierarchy of questioning, as opposed to the questions when where and how, which we tend to think of as having more definite answers.
i think i kind of stole this all from something bertrand russell supposedly said about electricity:
"Electricity, Bertrand Russell says, is not a thing, like St. Paul's Cathedral; it is a way in which things behave. When we have told how things behave when they are electrified, and under what circumstances they are electrified, we have told all there is to tell."
what an odd dilemma; on one hand i resist change, and grow comfortable in monotony. on the other hand i often grow terribly bored with the stale state of repetition.
i keep having some strange ideas during physical chemistry. a few classes ago i began to think about how first we quantized matter, with the atom hypothesis, then we quantized electricty, in theory. then we quantized energy with planck's explanation of blackbody radiation, and then light with einstein's photoelectric effect paper. so i was thinking the main concepts left are time and space (i am aware that there are theories of quantum gravity out there, or more that people are trying to construct them, and that at various times people have suggested quantization of space, and all sorts of bizzare stuff, non of which i am doing. im simply keeping my mind moving). which made me realize, if either one were quantized, so would the other, which is kind of neat. then i realized that the space is quantized for electrons bound to atoms, it seems, and that the whole concept of quantum leaps implies that the quantization of their possible position in space leads to a quantization of time in way. although now that doesnt seem to make as much sense. but thats okay, it has entertained me quite a bit. i feel like there was more of a point to this originally.
today i buried you in a pile of papers.
we all find our own ways to cope.