To start with what sparked this, let’s look at a Youtube channel I enjoy, VSauce. (link below)
In that video, Michael gives his theories on why we feel nostalgia. It starts by showing the body as a continuous process of atoms changing, at one moment taking the shape of your form, but soon thereafter, continuing onward. He continues on to tie in this body process as a larger analogy and the whole video, as is all of their content, is just a joy to watch.
That then sparked the idea I’ve been fixated upon and gave me a scientific definition I could apply. My fixated idea being that all things, every single thing, is a result of energy transforming. The body being just one example with it’s imperfect metabolism resulting inevitably in it’s senescence. We die because our body’s energy transforming mechanism breaks down, but that’s just another part in the transformation of all energy.
So now that my mind was back here, I thought of something more. That maybe there are no nouns, there are only verbs. That sounds familiar to me, and I can clearly see why. Thanks to Dennis’s appearance in Godspell (multiple times), I had a quote floating around my brain which I was just now able to attribute to Buckminster Fuller. The quote, which was also a book published in 1970 (which I now plan to read) is “I seem to be a verb.” Well that sinks right in line with what I’ve been thinking. So let’s look into Bucky just a bit.
After a few moments of rubbing Wikipedia on my face, I came across a term he was famous for called “Ephemeralization.” The term talks about technological advancement to the point where we can do “more and more with less and less until eventually you can do everything with nothing.” That resonates well with me! But what was it again. Oh right, it was a spontaneous math lesson I received from my brother about fractals and their ability to experience the infinite and finite at the same time.
Ephemeralization sounds to me like the Sierpinski Triangle. We do everything with nothing. The Sierpinski Triangle (Gasket) is a shape where, while the perimeter approaches infinity, the area within approaches 0. To accomplish this, just keep drawing a bunch of Triforces within themselves.
But that is only one theory, and only one shape. In the article below, there is a proof of the Triangle, as well as another shape called Koch’s Snowflake which has infinite perimeter yet finite area.
But I am not a snowflake right now. Tonight, I am a triangle and a verb.
So this idea of the ephemeral. Things become so fleeting that they happen with no catalyst, effect precedes cause. It sounds amazing and it’s great fun to contemplate, but as a human, is there a cost?
I look to Calvin and Hobbes for the answer (as is customary for everything I do)
Can a human really operate/ control / exist within this ephemeral world?
I’m not so sure, maybe it’s something that has not yet come to be. Maybe it’s not humans after all. I don’t know how to translate the ephemeral into a way of being, but as I lay down in quiet moments, I can see all of existence being this already. But I guess I had the answer before knowing the question, therefore has my effect just preceded the cause?
VSauce Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coGfGmOeLjE