Sunday, March 28, 2010

Reality Junky

I was talking to my brother about how I've loved to watch Richard Feynman's talks on physics (he was a pioneer in quantum mechanics).

They're wide eyed.

He has the mind of a genius, but the playfulness of a child.  He has some how managed, though spending his life in academia, to circumvent becoming cloyed to the wonder, the novelty, the queer, the stupefying in the quotidian.  His idea of a good time is to imagine in his mind what the universe is really like on a super small or super big level.  It isn't fairy tales that captivate him.  It isn't fiction.  It's reality, because reality is far stranger than fiction.  It's much more interesting and fascinating that we are on a sphere of super nova dust spinning around a flaming ball heated up by its on crushing weight suspended in a void of staggering proportions than we are living on the back of a giant mythological turtle.

A bonfire isn't hot, bright stuff.  It's the stored energy bonds of carbon and oxygen made by photosynthesizing plants breaking and releasing energy and photons--a miniature sun created from the power of the sun--which is molecules fusing together because gravity is pulling so hard and so many molecules are bombarding each other that they reach incredible heights of temperature.

Ice isn't just slippery.  It's due to the fact that H2O is less dense as a solid than a liquid because of its unnique polar structure.  So, when you compact it under the pressure of our weight it turns back into a liquid for a fraction of a second.

When you blow on food to cool it off, you aren't just blowing away the heat.  You're hitting the fast vibrating (hot) molecules of the food with less vibrating molecules of your cooler breath.  On the molecular level there are tiny pool balls hitting each other at faster or slower rates.

Rubber bands aren't just stretchy.  They're chains of charged molecules that are atomically trying to keep a certain conformity based on their attractions.

Reality is amazing.

I want to be what I've coined as a "Reality Junky"--someone that doesn't need mythology to instill a sense of awe, majesty, wonder, the transcendent.

Reality is more than enough.

I want to be like Richard Feynman (and Richard Dawkins, Charles Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould, et al) that are humble enough to see themselves as small and the universe as bigger than we ever have and ever will know.

I want to be a Reality Junky.  Who's with me!!?!?


  1. What is wonderism?
    I've gotten at least a few comments from people along the lines of, "I'm still not sure what to make of wonderism." In my attempts to explain it, I find myself writing longer and longer articles, wit…
    Tagged: foundationism, science, reason, intuition, summary

  2. The Age of Wonder, by Richard Holmes (4)
    Mon 29 Mar 2010 •
    Andrew West discovers that the history of discovery is more complicated than you think.

    Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

  3. Wow! I just shared the first link with someone that I think might really love it. Very much thanks for sharing it.


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