The angry science geek rant

As I’m reading Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe I recall an article on io9 about how vomit-inducingly (that’s not really a word, I know) misused has the word quantum became – now unavailable, but you get the idea here and here. The cutting edge mental framework of science to become an umbrella term for touchy feely woo really is vomit inducing. I decided a couple of years ago to never tell anyone I don’t really know that well I have an interest in quantum physics ever again after I realized how much enthusiastic pseudoscience is thrown at me with gleaming, smiling eyes screaming “oh, you understand me!”. No, I don’t, actually. I have yet to find a reputable science book that explains in detail, with verifiable, experiment-based evidence, the secret connection between quantum theory and the magical empowerment of your pathetic little soul. What I find instead is world-class scientists humbly stating how far we still are from truly understanding all the mysteries of quantum theory. How giving quantum theory to twentieth century science was more like dropping a laptop in a 1950s household than like finding the holy grail of cute motivational pictures. Now don’t get me wrong, I ain’t no expert, but there’s plenty of serious science out there explained for the masses. Books that put the complicated in simple terms and the abstract in relateable, everyday examples that any layperson can understand. If they want to. Now excuse me while I get my science from Michio Kaku, Werner Heisenberg, Stephen Hawking and the like instead of Some Spiritual Person On the Internet.

I do agree there is something deeply spiritual about even thinking about all the intricacies of the laws of physics. Astrophysics, quantum physics, any physics. About the vastity and the randomness that we just find ourselves in, and how far we still are from making complete sense of it all. But please admire it as it is (read: get your ass to a book store first), and marvel at the great unknown, and don’t you dare sell the great unknown as the ultimate answer for the ultimate healing of the ultimate bla bla. There is no answer, that’s the beauty of it.

And now, completely coincidental but somewhat unrelated tbh – keep in mind the 12th logical fallacy in Carl Sagan’s baloney detection kit, but bear with the stream of consciousness for a bit – this book I’m reading comes at a time in my life when I happen to spend a lot of time more or less unwillingly eavesdropping on dozens of strangers’ more or less private converstions (legally, in a public space!). And I happen to hear a lot of little bricks in the wall longing for some affection, “relaxation”, “reconnecting with the self” and shit. Aimless folks who played it nice and did what they were told only to wake up one day that they hate their lives. Who chose life (in the most sarcastic Trainspotting sense, of course) and crushed it instead. Who are willing to throw money at the first false prophet claiming to sell back a tiny fragment of their innocence lost. Lost on their way to more money, or to where their parents told them they’d find a good career, or to where the peer pressure herded them and they never had the courage to say this is not me. It’s those who seek to find their soul again who squander it the most, throwing it around at anyone selling an “everything happens for a reason”, or an “everything is connected” or a “god doesn’t give you more than you can handle”, or a chance to kid around like they’re in kindergarden again or anything else of the like. There is no reason. There is no connected. There’s only you, and the here, and the now, and the choices you make. Deal with it or shut up. There is no mystic quantum healing to save you when you don’t own your own life.

 

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