Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Physics Post #1

There's something off-putting about the flow of activity at this College. Buildings and spaces are so perfect, so manicured here, and yet the activities which take place between them are brimming with anxiety and distraction. It is as if the architecture has been placed as a stoic, orderly damper on the anxiety that pushes us to compete for survival against one another (or for highest gpa, whatever).

Once in a while, when I'm off campus, I can relax to the point where I enjoy words again. Where I am confident in the products of my own thought. I think that things have been designed in the wrong way, but I can't quite figure out how. We need to be more playful.

In short, I have been watching patterns. Trying to verbalize that which I see around me. There is an artificial order which holds us back from the chaos of play, interaction and culture, and it has been placed here at Dartmouth with careful intent.

Anyway... here's a thought on physics I could only safely have once the anxieties of survival were sufficiently addressed and poorly :

Your body has a gravitational field.

Every one of your molecules pulls everything else around it, pulling your body and the rest of the objects around you, towards you. These fields stretch out to the ends of the universe, weakening as distance increases by a factor of 1/r^2. So something a billion light-years away from you, even if to a negligable degree, pulls on every atom in your body.

So given a near-infinite sensitivity to gravity, one may hypothetically "feel" every other atom in the universe from a single location by measuring changes in the intensity of its pull.

Out there... I know. But humanity is growing more and more able to take in information about what's going on around itself with every technological and linguistic hurdle it tackles.

We aren't necessarily perceiving more. We focus on certain things, like work and GPA and driving and food. How often do we pay attention to gravity? To the stars?

They did this study where they put 30 people in motion capture suits and told them to be "angry" "sad" "happy" etcetera while measuring their physical movements. Then another study found that subjects could recognize a given emotion just from watching a single light source move.

So something could be attuned to subtle changes in gravitational effect in such a way so as to perceive the physical movements of every creature on Earth. Through body language and gesture recognition, the feelings of all emotion-wielding objects (beings) within range could also be sensed.

The Buddha felt suffering all around him. If I were attuned to all the forces of gravity pulling on me, could I not identify, out of those forces, a human figure by the way it moved? Could you not recognize the sensations which their movements would make onto you as they... suffered?

Could such a sensation take place inside us without us knowing it?

Could we create a machine that might do this?

Please read this: