Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Science Guy

I don't follow a lot of people on Twitter. That would require that I pay more attention to Twitter. I'm pretty good for a once-a-day peek at the tweets of those whom I continue to find fascinating, or at least worth a look at once all the important business of the day has been done. The business that is transacted with  more than one hundred forty characters. When I'm done doing all that high-minded, verbose stuff, I take a moment to catch up on all the twittering, and the place I find myself most often is the account of one Neil deGrasse Tyson. You might know Neil from his frequent appearances on The Daily Show, That was back when that old guy Jon Stewart was hosting. I don't follow Jon Stewart on Twitter. He has a great big bag of degrees and it is doubtful that, in spite of all the all the fun TV appearances and glib one-liners about our place in the universe that Sarah Palin might suggest that she was as much a scientist as Doctor deGrasse Tyson. Ms. Palin, who has said plenty of which got my dander up, never said anything that made me doubt my own existence. 
Doctor deGrasse Tyson did. It didn't come to me in a tweet. It wasn't a nice compact thought like, "The elevation difference between the Marianas Trench & Mount Everest’s summit is a mere twelve miles. Manhattan is a mile longer." These are the "oh wow" moments that I can take. The "that's kind of interesting" stuff that impresses in daily conversation. Factoids about our planet and its place in the universe that are just thought-provoking enough to remember them. This one, wasn't a tweet. It was a position held by my friend the doctor at the 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate. As to the question, "Is the universe a simulation?" Neil deGrasse Tyson took up for the affirmative. Sure, he says, it would be difficult to prove but he felt the likelihood of such a thing being true "may be very high."
Well, okay then. The words you are reading right now may just be the figment of somebody or something's imagination. We aren't stardust. We aren't golden. We aren't even billion year old carbon. Getting back to the garden won't be necessary because that garden is only real in the story of the creation of the universe that turns out to be a simulation in the first place. We haven't figured out how to simulate an entire universe. Not yet, but a very clever creature with plenty of spare time.
Maybe I should be following that creature with a great imagination on Twitter. But does that mean that Twitter isn't real?
You can just rock me to sleep tonight.

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