Anyway, today I was cleaning my Gmail account, which is an exercise in futility and I remembered wanting to watch this talk. Of course, I am biased due to the fact that I do love watching the Mythbusters and Adam Savage is in this talk.
And the good thing about TED is that anything in there makes you think. Adam's performance reminded me that the road may be more important than the destination. Don't you sometimes feel like "what now" when you finally achieve something? Wasn't it fun just to keep on trying or working to achieve that?
A good lesson for life. If like me you are skeptical of after-life myths, then life is the road and there is really no destination. Poor religious people who waste their lives in their kantian search for duty and virtue, not enjoying everything the world has to offer just because there will be a reward at the end... and at the end they never knew they were wrong and there was nothing...
But... listen to Adam talk. And enjoy his quest! In this case, the quest is definitely funnier and more entertaining than the goal!
Nor does a professionaly developed website.
Note: this is a first! This post is being published today in english AND spanish in both my blogs, www.thechapinskeptic.info and www.elchapinesceptico.info. Hopefully there will be more simultaneous postings!
I didn't say it first. In her fantastic 2006 monologue Letting go of God , Julia Sweeney explains her disappointment when she first goes after Chopra's ramblings about conciousness and quantum mechanics and later, after studying quantum mechanics she realizes that Chopra's elucubrations are highly improbable and she yells "Deepak Chopra is full of shit!"
I tried to listen to an audio version of one of his books. No, scratch that, I listened to the full fracking thing! At that time I was halfway between agnosticism and supersticion so I was interested and even then, it seemed like a lot of nonsense. Basically, he was saying that in order to achieve something you somehow have to wait for it to show up or materialize or something. There wasn't any piece of usable advice I could find. It was all about sitting back, waiting and having faith.
So, I concur, Julia. He is indeed full of crap.
But the worst part of all was THE BOOK: dog-eared, stained, its pages almost loose, we had read it over and over. THE BOOK was "Self-Mastery and Fate With the Cycles of Life", one of the essential books of the rosicrucian's library. This book was written by H. Spencer Lewis, ostensibly the founder of the Rosicrucian order in San Jose, CA, and our family lived by it.
Sir Arthur Eddington, English astronomer (1882 - 1944)
- Class I Impossibilities: Technologies that may become possible in the near future, meaning some decades to a century. We understand the physics involved but further technological development and experimentation are required before these achievements are practical. Examples are invisibility, anti-matter engines (Star Trek anyone?) and even some forms of telepathy or mind reading.
- Class II Impossibilites: These are technologies that may take some centuries to millenia to achieve. They are perceived by physicists as possible but require additional knowledge/breakthroughs in fundamental physics or vast amounts of energy, the kind we currently do not have access to or really know how to harness. Examples of this category are faster-than-light travel, time travel and entering parallel universes.
- Class III Impossibilities: These are the "true impossibilities": the things that violate currently known laws of physics. As per Dr. Kaku's thinking, they either are really impossible or we have to fully re-write our textbooks with new discoveries in order to make them possible. Amazingly enough, Dr. Kaku only finds two of these "impossibilities": perpetual motion and precognition.
Michio Kaku is a brilliant and amazing man: he built an atom smasher in his garage as a teenager for a high school science project. I fully respect his opinions and all this discussion convinces me that a dogmatic stance is not proper for a skeptic.
As I mentioned in my other blog (spanish required) being a skeptic does not mean complete disbelief in everything or just being stubborn. Being skeptic means that critical thinking is being applied to the evidence on hand. No evidence, no acceptance. A skeptic does not accept "faith" as evidence, since "faith" only really means someone else told us to believe something. And, not being dogmatic, a skeptic is perfectly willing to change his/her mind if new evidence surfaces which may corroborate, enhance or contradict previous knowledge.
Reading "Physics of the impossible" was a powerful reminder that the universe is a much stranger place than we usually perceive and that there is still much to learn. I highly recommend you read the book and check Dr. Kaku's work, especially the article referenced above.