Tuesday, April 3, 2007


in the blogosphere have decided to research and study and think about existentialism. I have decided to think about physics.

I recently watched a documentary on Einstein. It was pretty interesting.


Stephen Hawking is coming to Seattle.

I will read A Brief History of Time. And then I will read Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe (which I have had on my book shelf for a really long time and been meaning to read.)

Wikipedia: "Physics" (often spelled physike) formerly consisted of the study of its counterpart, natural philosophy, from classical times until the separation of modern physics from philosophy as a positive science during the nineteenth century.



Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

Yes, the idea of quarks are interesting. If you are interested in having a companion to your physics readings, PBS has put out several documentaries featuring Brian Greene and his "Elegant Universe."

amber said...

Yes. THank you :) I was planning on it. I have The Elegant Universe PBS special on my "queue." But sadly, there's a "very long wait."

I have also read most of The Fabric of the Cosmos. But would like to re-read it. I found it so fascinating I couldn't put it down...for like 150 pages, and then my brain tanked out and it went slowly. I always planned to go back. My brain was overworked. I've studied very little science.

Now I will go back. After I read the Elegant Universe.

It's cool the way other people's brains work.

MadisonGlass said...


I've seen that documentary I think. I know I saw him on Book TV, lecturing about string theory. He sounds a little like a zealot. Funny how much theoretical science can sound like religion. All faith-based and whatnot. The math for string theory is sketchy from what I've gathered. I haven't read Elegant Universe yet either, though. Maybe someone could shed some light on the math/hard science side of it.

amber said...


Actually, Ofelia has read both the Elegant Universe and Fabric of the Cosmos. I know you two talk quite a bit.

What I do know is that String Theory is, as yet, just a theory. All the math/hard science hasn't been figured out yet. It manages to solve a lot of problems (which ones, I don't know) that plague physicists, but it's an unfinished/proven theory and does have it's inconsistencies.

I realize this was directed at Pirooz, and things may have changed since then, and he may be able to shed more light on the subject, but this is how I understand thus far.

MadisonGlass said...

Yeah, but what other theories can you think of that fill a lot of gaps in our knowledge without hard evidence? God. God I'd say. And you should really see him read. He may end up being right (along with the other fellows who did a lot of the theorizing) but the guy's just another believer. You know? But he may end up being right. The thing about science is that there's really no proof for anything. Empirical evidence yes, but evidence isn't fact. But there I go talking about the abstract notion of the "concrete" and everything unravels and goes to hell.

amber said...

No. I agree completely. I am very very much not a believer in absolute knowledge. I don't believe people even absolutely know themselves. And how many times has science proved itself wrong (insomuch as fact exists).

This is no religion bashing whatsoever. I have, for many years, claimed to be an agnostic, which basically means, I don't know, but I'm okay with the fact that I don't know.

Saying "fact" in terms of the math not proving it, is proving it within the parameters of mathematical "fact."

But I also believe that you cannot to truly believe that there is no "fact" "truth" "reality" really leaves you without any point to doing anything. There are some things that are "fact" and maybe there can only be things one "knows" on a personal level (like the fact that I am hungry right now. that's a fact. I KNOW that.)

But this is also why I don't really question these things. There aren't any absolute answers so any discussion dwindles into this spiral of what one "believes" and nobody really learns anything or changes their mind.

Which is why I can say I don't know. And I think it's okay that I don't know. I'm okay with that. There may be a god, maybe not. String theory may have all the answers, maybe not. But I have spent a lot of time with god and now I want to learn some science. I don't necessarily think it's truth. But it's really fucking interesting.