People Are a Force of Nature
A different vision of the place of people in the universe
Brett: Knowledge is what transforms the word. We can take some raw material that has no particular use and within that raw material find uranium nuclei, which then can be used in a nuclear reactor to create energy or bombs. We can find within something that for almost the entire geological existence of the earth sat there inert and would have done nothing, absent people. People are the entities within the universe that create explanations. They’re able to explain what raw materials might be transformed into.
Now, what are they transforming these raw materials into? Civilization. People creating knowledge end up becoming literally a force of nature. If we seek to explain something like the shape of a galaxy or the shape of a star, any astrophysicist will give you a story based upon the known laws of physics about how gravity will pull things into spheres, how the laws of thermodynamics will cause certain kinds of gas to heat up and expand. All of the known laws of physics are sufficient to explain what we see out there in the cosmos.
But the laws of physics alone will not be able to explain the appearance of Manhattan. You have to invoke things other than merely the fundamental laws of physics. You need to invoke the existence of people and their capacity to explain the world scientifically, philosophically, politically. It’s all of those things that will come together to (Read more...)