046: Reader Mailbag (V)

Season One Nov 9, 2020

Different Scales sparked many replies.
Sharing a mix of your responses below 👇

I liked the circular scale. Sat well with me.
Linear makes sense too, but circular feels more right somehow.


I think about distance vs time scales - physicists talk about the space-time continuum as one "thing".


Was talking to my biz partner about a related topic on Friday: How long the earth has been here and how hard it is to even comprehend.

Dinosaurs were here 250 million years ago?!? Kind of a crazy thing to think about how big the universe is, and how small some organisms are.

Sometimes it's good to step back and remember that the earth and humanity have been through some CRAZY things, and we'll get through 2020 also.


Have you ever read the book Zoom? I was reminded of that.

Re: How we measure our worlds and lives?
Cue Rent’s “Seasons of Love” 🎶


I do not think about the universe much as I find it too scary. But I do like a diagram to cut it down to size.  

For me, the image that works would be an upside-down pyramid. I didn’t find the circle that easy to understand.  


When I encounter complex issues that require brain power (that I sorely lack), I recite my confidence-building mantra:

What is mind? No matter.
What is matter? Never mind."

Consider the Torus:


We could classify the levels as:

  • Things inside us
  • Things that we are
  • Things we are inside

The circle diagram hits on something important: Our human understanding and comfort (?) is best within a certain scale. Much smaller or larger and it takes expertise to really grasp it.


One thing you might consider here is how organism, ecosystem, and biosphere are different from the other items in your scale.


You've been to the Museum of Natural History in NYC, yeah? Remember the scale exhibit there?


Ideas that I find powerful:

  • The universe is divisible into small parts. In another sense, the universe exists as an indivisible, integrated whole. Both are true.
  • At the extreme ends of the scale (Quarks, black holes, absolute zero etc), there is less and less certainty. That's because we can only interact with these through imperfect technologies.
  • I happen to like the interconnectedness and the sense of renewal that we see in cycles and spirals. And this T.S. Eliot quote:  
We shall not cease from exploration
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time."



Excellent food for thought 👍
Thanks (as always) for the replies.



📬

Other crowdsourced episodes:
Reader Mailbag 4
Reader Mailbag 3
Reader Mailbag 2
Reader Mailbag 1