What is Life? A Chaotic Mess...

What is life but a process of replacing one anxiety or desire with another, one addiction with the next? From babies, trends to jobs and lovers, we jump from one mind occupier to the next so afraid of “boring” solitude in the absence of worry or excitement. Even sleep has been hacked and occupied by the desires and worries of the consumerist culture.

Perhaps solitude is so disturbing because in boredom introspection faces us with the mirror of consciousness where we find the “I”, lonely, insecure, and confused fully aware of its mortality and irrelevance, secretly resigned to the emptiness of its existence, fully conscious of its dependence on the distance with the other. But a tweet or an email on a vibrating iPhone quickly rescues us from this depressing twilight zone back to the digital dimension that runs on busy, distractions and attention currency.

On one thing most physicists agree. If the amount of dark energy in our universe were only a little bit different than what it actually is, then life could never have emerged. A little larger, and the universe would have accelerated so rapidly that matter in the young universe could never have pulled itself together to form stars and hence complex atoms made in stars. And, going into negative values of dark energy, a little smaller and the universe would have decelerated so rapidly that it would have recollapsed before there was time to form even the simplest atoms… .

We are an accident. From the cosmic lottery hat containing zillions of universes, we happened to draw a universe that allowed life. But then again, if we had not drawn such a ticket, we would not be here to ponder the odds.

ExploreReblogged from Explore

Physicist and writer extraordinaire Alan Lightman, the very first person to receive dual appointments in science and the humanities at MIT, on dark energy, the multiverse, and why we exist – superb, mind-bending read. (via explore-blog)

(via explore-blog)

Growing Up In The Age of Hypercapitalism

Marcelo Gleiser is an astrophysicist. Marilynne Robinson is a novelist.
They’re both passionate about the majesty of science and they share a caution about what they call our modern “piety” towards science. They connect thrilling dots among the current discoveries about the cosmos and the new territory of understanding our own minds. A joyous, heady discussion of “the mystery we are.”

Source SoundCloud / On Being