The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict will end when exhaustion overwhelms fear, resentment, hatred, and arrogance. I have no idea when that will be.
The Cosmos is always becoming what it will be next. It is always an unfinished work. The kinetic energy of the ground state cannot be removed.
Fanaticism and other collective extravagances of the human mind sometimes leave the world a better place, but I am presumptively suspicious of them. They are often evil and sometimes monstrous, and the serial impotence of the decent in opposing the worst of them is a deep stain.
Because we don’t carry with us, present in our minds, any adequately-informed sense of the past, we imagine aspects of our times novel in ways they are not.
Seven years ago, I wrote an entry in my journal that has considerable resonance today:
The actions science urges are not always sound, because all science is provisional, and some conclusions must be revised with further evidence, but on the whole we are much, much better served heeding the recommendations of the scientists than of the wingnuts who insist that we ignore the science and act on pseudo-science, superstition, or politics.
The only thing a physicist values more than an answer is another question.
I saw a clip on Twitter of an MSNBC personality going off on a Fox personality after the Fox personality went off on the MSNBC personality, and the whole thing put me in mind of professional wrestling. In professional wrestling, the spectacle is the point.
Some things yield their secrets only when they are taken apart. Other things yield their secrets only when they are taken together.
The future isn’t fully-formed and waiting to roll through a cosmic projector into the light of the present, frame by frame, then take its place intact on a take-up reel of the past. There is no future that can be rendered in anything other than probabilities, and there is no past that can be visited in any machine other than memory. And the present is a chimera that can’t be experienced before it’s gone.
We’ve known from the outset, you and I, that Covid gained purchase in our species and filled our hospitals, then ICUs, then funeral homes and cemeteries only because some fraction of the species refused — and still, after everything, refuses — to take the simple precautions that prevent the transmission of an airborne virus from person to person.