On the Unspeakable


Gifs taken from a 1929 William Lawrence Bragg (the youngest ever Nobel prize winner) film demonstrating his research into surface tension and spectroscopic analysis of light reflected from a soap film.

(via vortexanomaly)

I relate to them. Whether or not I actually have [Asperger’s], the shape of my personality, the condition that I’m in in my life, I relate to people who feel alienated. I relate to people who feel like they’re somehow fundamentally cut off from people on a level that “normal” people take for granted. When I found out that there was such a thing as that, I was like “I know how this feels, looking at the world through Plexiglas, hands up against it, not able to feel on a primal level what other people are feeling.”

I’d like to think Carl Sagan would prefer this approach, which recovers the Copernican Principle, to Tipler’s idea of defunding SETI. Our pale blue dot can be mundane at the scale of galactic clusters, while simultaneously being the crown jewel of the Milky Way. SETI has shown it’s unlikely there’s anyone else here in our galaxy to talk to, so perhaps it’s time for SETI to look outward. Much, much farther outward.

These children lived in households and neighborhoods where violence and relentless stress prevailed. Their parents found them hard to manage and teachers described them as disruptive or inattentive. Brown knew these behaviors as classic symptoms of ADHD, a brain disorder characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and an inability to focus. When Brown looked closely, though, she saw something else: trauma. Hyper-vigilance and dissociation, for example, could be mistaken for inattention. Impulsivity might be brought on by a stress response in overdrive.

I learned to turn my creativity over to the only god I could believe in, the god of creativity, I learned to get out of the way and let that creative force work through me… I learned to just show up at the page and write down what I heard. Writing became more like eavesdropping and less like inventing a nuclear bomb. It wasn’t so tricky, and it didn’t blow up on me anymore. I didn’t have to be in the mood. I didn’t have to take my emotional temperature to see if inspiration was pending. I simply wrote. No negotiations. Good, bad? None of my business. I wasn’t doing it. By resigning as the self-conscious author, I wrote freely.