Dig the big bang

In Annie Hall, young Woody Allen explains to his doctor that he won’t do his homework because the universe is expanding, so what’s the point? His mother exasperatedly tells him, “You’re here in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is not expanding!”

I post this because I’ve been reading Coming Of Age In The Milky Way by Tim Ferris, as good a summary of the state of cosmology between two covers as a person could ask for. Thinking about the horrifying enormousness and ancientness of the universe might have depressed Woody Allen, but it has a paradoxically calming effect on me. Reading books like Ferris’ is my favorite form of meditation.

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Human technology is part of nature

Humans are animals. Our tools are extensions of our bodies into the environment, like beavers and beaver ponds, coral and coral reefs, plants and oxygen. We’re unusual in the extent of our bodies’ impact on our environment, but plenty of other organism shape their environment to suit their needs. Technology is part of our extended phenotype, as much a part of us as our social groups. We’re part of nature, and so is everything we make and use.

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