Thursday, July 02, 2009

Making and Breaking

I’ll tell you what’s wrong with the world: physics!

That’s the problem; these so-called “laws” that govern the way things work.

If it weren’t for phucking physics, we’d have perpetual motion machines, faster-than-light travel, and I could go back in time and avoid making all these mistakes that I’ve made that have resulted in broken dishes, pointless arguments, and the cracked screen on my laptop when I slammed the trunk lid on my knapsack in which it was stored.

Oh, and those favorite shirts that I shrunk in the wash would still fit.

The thing is, most laws can be broken, or at least negotiated. For instance, there’s a law against riding your bike through a red light, but when no one’s around, who cares? By contrast, even when I’m alone, I can’t break the “law” that says matter can’t be created from nothing—as evidenced by my inability to manifest a pile of hundred dollar bills from thin air.

I blame this not just on Mother Nature, bless her pointy little head, but also on physicists, who have to take the blame for “discovering” these laws. If Newton, for example, following his misadventure with the apple on his noggin, hadn’t come up with the law of gravity, then maybe I would be able to levitate these days, or at least dunk a basketball.

Other disciplines have their “laws,” too, but most recognize those laws can be broken; in philosophy, for instance, we have the so-called “law of non-contradiction,” which says that something cannot both be something and not be something, or as philosophers like to say, cannot simultaneously be P and not-P. But, of course, that law is broken all the time like when the home team blows another lead in the late innings and I’m both a Mariners’ fan and not a Mariners’ fan all at once.

We need a master criminal to break the laws of physics for us: Bernie Madoff, where are you?


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