The day I read the chapter in the Feynman lectures on “What is force”, where Feynman describes the concept of “gorce”, my entire understanding of what physics was got shattered, I realized I had understood nothing, I realized that day how mysterious physics really was, and why I would never understand physics.
Perhaps physics doesn’t “understand” things, it “creates” an
understanding of things. I don’t know how to describe the difference, but I feel there must be one. Since then I can only see physics as a constructive process and not as understanding process, they create their mathematically consistent understandings of nature, their models that they eventually start calling laws. I shall never understand the “laws” of thermodynamics, nor the newton’s “laws” of motions, nor relativity special or general, I shall only perhaps appreciate that the edifice constructed is sound, if I get used to their equations enough.
The apple does not fall “because” of gravity, the sun does not shine “because” of weak interactions, the apple falls, and the sun shines, and we don’t know really why, it isn’t because we have a word for something that the mystery of it has gone anywhere.
P.S. I cannot help quote Ghalib here
Juz naam nahin surat-e-aalam mujhe manzoor
Juz waham nahin hasti-e-ashia meray aage
I acknowledge the face of the universe as only a name
The substance of reality is but superstition before me
Clocks do not tell time because clocks do not age. The physical clock ages, but the conceptual clock, of which the physical clock is an approximation, does not age, therefore the conceptual clock does not tell time.
I saw a pretty thing the other day.
An exquisite being was she.
She stood there holding the tram bar.
Not looking at me.
All of a sudden she became.
Symbols scrawled on my mind.
For such things can happen.
In dreams of such kind
A density operator she was at present
The greek letter rho
And the symbols scratched about her.
Wrote how things with rho would go.
The equation she did satisfy
Was of a liouville kind.
And that this system was closed.
Was apparent to my mind.
It said that the hamiltonian between us.
Assuredly would evolve in time.
But the work between us would be alas
Of a purely professional kind.
For no warmth and heat would we exchange
Oh heat that indescribable thing!
My hidden, infinite degrees of freedom
Await her warm embrace.
For that only an open system would do.
With a dissipator that relaxes.
She wasn’t to let her guard down.
To this reservoir that askes.
Seeing as getting a research position is unbelievably competitive and doing a job in a company sounds unbearably wearisome, absurd and soul-sucking, in the name of feminism, in order to even out the wrong that men have been doing to women, in my small way, and of course for my personal benefit I have decided to become a house-husband I then invite women, who are either from very rich families, or working in highly paying jobs to write to me. I speak three languages, more or less well (some more less than more), and I went to reasonably good schols and colleges and managed to find a way to scrape through, so our children will be reasonably well educated in the sense that they might do the same,and if they share her temperament on well paying soul sucking jobs, may also get well paying soul sucking jobs. I am willing to do the cleaning, dusting and cooking. I will take a diploma course in cooking to ensure she eats well. I will look after the children also, so long as I can do some reading and as long as she treats me to some foreign trips once in a while. Hoping to hear from the ladies soon
For most people, myself included, most scientific knowledge is having a word for something or a number, a ball falls because of “gravity”, the smallest thing is a “quark”, The number of “molecules” in 22.4 litres of air is “Avogardos number”.
In my tenth standard physics book, that I remembered by heart, on the chapter on light, the first statement is still in my memory, it is simply “Light is an electromagnetic wave”. This statement in itself is powerful to a student, who will most certainly never study light for more than a couple of years more, but it puts the word “is” between the wonders of the world and an abstraction, it has done its job, it has sold science to him. Perhaps a more accurate phrase could be, “A toy model for light is an electromagnetic wave”, but the word toy and model would have the student thinking that science is a humble enterprise, (which it is, scientists grapple with the simplest of questions to date, without any reponse.., it is techonology that is all powerful) but the industial-scientific propoganda is complete, there is no need for further detail, the student “believes” in science, in reality technology and capitalism with a religious fervour, which is why everybody wants to be an “engineer” of sorts, who cares about the science behind it as long as it works, nobody wants to be the pope, we want to be the emperors, the “engineers” that conquer the world in the name of and his sacred “truth” of science, the cathedral is the CERN super collider, but the emperors are Google, Apple and Facebook, blessed by theoretical physicists/chemists/biologists and ofcourse computer “scientists” (what is a computer scientist??),the priests, the go forth and conquer and destroy the world in the name of God..I am sorry..I meant “Science”.
Why does a Guru, dress as Guru, with a flowing beard, and white robes? What would superman be without his cape? Without a calm smile on his face, the Guru would fail at his job, independent of what he says. Because nobody escapes the law of the superficial. A physicist looks at spring, and he superficialises, he caricaturises, and his caricature works. F=-kx, F=ma, E=mc^2. The laws of nature are caricatures, they are not deep, they are profoundly superficial. A statistical physicist doesn’t care which atom goes where. A mathematician superificialises using symbols, and these symbols are the surface of the complexity of his mind, but he uses this surface, these symbols, to move forward, often the symbol finds its own way. The Gauss’ law is just this, converting a volume integral into a surface integral. A mathematician, and therefore a physicist only “understand” in symbol, he is lost without his symbol, his superficial. A believer knows little to nothing about his religion or his political party. Nobody seriously believe he understands why his religion is better, or his country is better, or his team is better. But our humanity needs to live in a superficiality. A believer would be lost without his chants, his robes, his rituals. We must embrace ignorance and celebrate those who superficialise well, bringing people together, for life itself eventually becomes superficial to us, there is only a superficial difference between a friend and an enemy, one religion and another, but this difference is key. We must learn how to judge a book by its cover. Infact “Only the superficial know themselves”. Gandhi superficialised well, when he had everybody worrying about salt. Trump did it well too, by using only 700 different words. We only have vague notions of things, but these vague notions are what the world depends on, and experts fail to realize that it is by the superficial that we shall attain the soul.