Here’s a fun fact or three:
Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
A steel rod of one meter measures 3.2808399 feet.
One ton weighs two thousand pounds.
This grass is green.
Murder is morally reprehensible.
I welcome and hope that any given reader hits these respective “universal facts” with the incredulity of any such statement allowing Miley Cyrus’ recent actions to have an immediate and measurable effect on the general expansion of the universe. (It’s worth noting that when blue shift becomes the norm in the whole light spectrum of the observable universe I’ll adapt that statement to “the contraction of the universe.”)
I may have to start with a rant, but, let’s try this instead:
Water boils at sea level, here on Earth, at 212 degrees American, dependant on air density. We were almost there on a factual level.
Any measure of one meter can be converted to a certain amount of feet, assuming that that measure is moving at the same speed during both measurements. Einstein fucked up that ideal of constancy with his rather pleasant (I feel) thought experiments and seemingly implacable math. Speed has been screwing with more than tweakers, it seems, since the birth of the universe.
Americans figured amputating a couple of letters would equate to 2000 pounds. A French tonne weighs in at 2200 pounds. The moon disagrees. Saturn guffawed and scoffed with gravitas. Gravity, it would appear, hates absolutes even more than me.
Green is relatable solely through the rods and cones of human eyes based solely on light refraction and absorption of whatever object we’re gazing, glassy eyed, over. Green is no more intrinsic to an item as is weight, speed, or boiling temperature. Besides, how many people asked why the grass was blue? According to certain sites, it was about 8% of men and about 1% of women.
Ah, murder: see, time, place, tribe, nationality, political idealism, and/or religion. I’ve no intent to take on morals and ethics here and now. You’re welcome to throw them in the comments below (again, welcomed), but I’m skipping that front. I put it up there only because five is more aesthetically pleasing to me than four, but I really didn’t have an interest in dealing with five “facts”.
No matter what you think, you are wrong. Inasmuch as I can define truth, the previous is a true statement. Much like me, you are now relegated to the realm of knowing shit about shit. Welcome. Take a look around. Make yourself at home. Sorry about the soundtrack.
Your years of experience, your trials and condemnations, your lessons, learnings, observations; your very knowledge of cause and effect are entirely suspect and not to be trusted. We might have blamed Socrates for this, but Aristotle bears the full mantle of this one, I feel and fear. I bet that bastard would have just loved Ayn Rand.
One day Heisenberg was driving along swiftly in his car when a cop stops him and asks: Sir, do you know how fast you were going there? Heisenberg replies: I’m afraid not, but I can tell you exactly where I was.
Can we really apply quantum theories of particles to the larger scale of human experience? I see no reason why not. If you’d argue that Einstein’s theory of relativity has no bearing on human experience here on Earth I’d ask how fast a ball is thrown to a friend on a moving train and I’d tell you to stop watching the pot at about 211 degrees Fahrenheit or we’ll never get to the tea.
What kills me here is that we’re not even dealing with areas of faith, belief, philosophy, or taste. Some Roman cat quite some time ago (relatively speaking, of course) admonished that “one must never argue matters of taste.” Yet, here we are Pope time 2013 and someone out there is absolutely certain that I’m simply full of shit. The “fact” that they’re absolutely correct has no bearing on this rant…or maybe it does. At any rate, I’m amazed at the seemingly inexhaustible ability of random people to completely disallow another’s different point of view in even the most subjective of experiences.
A judge decides to change a child’s name because said judge doesn’t like the idea of a child called Messiah. Personally, I think it’s a great name. I’d call him or her Messy for short. It’s cute to me. I’m almost sorry the term “white-hispanic” didn’t work its way into the general lexicon of media led “search” for “truth”. These news items are all old hat and all but passé now, of course, but the number of people that I ran into that “knew” enough to be so self assured in their assertions as to allow them the hallowed status of “facts” astounded me.
Which brings me to two new theories about humanity: assurance of knowledge will continually slow the way towards understanding, abysmally gapping the bridge of deeper connectivity and that people aren’t wearing enough hats. It’s there to see if you look for it.
Assurance of knowledge is such a bitch because, historically, people don’t like to be wrong. We’re hard-wired for it somehow; which is funny when you think of it. We’re so often full of shit and only wander into the oasis after jumping into so many mirages. We know. We’re sure. We’ve seen. And, “Oh, we forgot to carry the one,” we sheepishly say, “Sorry ‘bout that.”
I say start doubting yourself every day. Be proud and driven, but keep that small voice in the back of your head calling you an idiot as an ally. That voice just might be right. And, in doubting yourself, you’ll find that the talking head on tv being an expert at anything might just be feeding you a line of pure, unadulterated shit; albeit, shit that he or she is absolutely convinced is a universal truth. You, however, will be much more fun for me to talk to in a bar when we wander into the general malaise of small talk and current events. Be a better person. Entertain me more than the guy who told me space travel is wrong because God didn’t build a ladder to the moon.
Or don’t. I’m just sayin’. I might be wrong.