I’m reading Bertrand Russell’s The ABC of Relativity (well, listening to it, in an audiobook read by Derek Jacoby FTW), and for one, it’s helping me understand relativity a tiny, tiny bit, which is huge. Relatively.
But I also just heard Jacoby pronounce this tidbit, which delighted me:
If people were to learn to conceive the world in the new way, without the old notion of ‘force’, it would alter not only their physical imagination, but probably also their morals and politics. The latter effect would be quite illogical, but is none the less probable on that account. In the Newtonian theory of the solar system, the sun seems like a monarch whose behests the planets. In the Newtonian theory of the solar system, the sun seems like a monarch whose behests the planets have to obey. In the Einsteinian world there is more individualism and less government than in the Newtonian. There is also far less hustle: we have seen that laziness is the fundamental law of the Einsteinian universe.
This is why conservatives hate science so much! The more we learn about the truth of the universe, the more we become dirty, hippie, slackers.
7 thoughts on “The Universe is a Slacker”
Obi Wan: “May the force be with you.”
Me: “Well, technically…
But while it’s true that in the strict classical Einsteinian picture there is no force of gravity, this does not seem to be true for the other forces like electromagnetism, and it’s also questionable what the final picture will be once general relativity is properly made quantum.
My point being, Laziness is so 1916 😀
I thought they were all about rugged individualism and less government.
Excuse the correction, but that would be Derek Jacobi with “bi” as in bisexual.
Actually, that’s wrong; the famous actor is gay, not bi. He played Alan Turing in a film (dead ringer for him) as well as many other famous roled, my favourite being “Cadfael”.
Can’t place the origin at the moment, but there’s a saying about path integrals: they prove that (i) the universe is lazy; everything follows the path of least action. (ii) the universe is stupid: it tries all the other paths as well.
Yeah, you could really say that it gets in it’s own way a lot.
This is one time where I’m going to fully embrace the naturalistic fallacy. Somehow my ancestors’ Protestant work ethic skipped right over me. Probably part of the reason I’m an atheist – couldn’t be bothered to read books as boring as the religious ones.
In the middle of that quotation Derek Jacoby appears to have suffered a major case of I, Claudius -itis.