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Science and the Jinx

A recent issue of Science News featured marvelously detailed images of cellular division — images that recently would have been considered impossible, since cell structures are tinier and more delicate than the very light used to image them.

This is a familiar story, the impossible becoming possible. At the moment, following Feynman’s lead, all myopic eyes¬†are on the micro-scale. Even Big Data mainly gets used to target small niches of humanity for advertising, votes, or drone strikes.

I hope I live to see a science of the human herd’s effect on itself. I want a science of the mystical. For example – why are people jinxes?

You know what I mean, even if science doesn’t. Stuff just doesn’t work around some people — computers, traffic, weather, getting to the movies on time. Those who try to compensate for these people wind up completely overboard in situations they would sail through any other day. And you know these people are jinxes. You just do.

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Escaping Real Life (cosmic Shawshank edition)

Fifteen years ago, a couple of pipes of marijuana and the first Hubble Deep Field printed in Scientific American inspired me to write a little fable, of civilizations trying to communicate between galaxies by making stars go supernova in patterns. Never mind the consequences for whatever happened to be orbiting those stars, never mind that the initiating civilization might die out before anyone else saw or answered the message. To communicate with faith was the point, and, as I wrote, “Maybe, someday, there will even be something to say.”

I never did anything with the story — though reciting it over a lunch date, also with weed and cheap wine too, did score me a nooner in a suburban playground with this wild brunette from Legal. Anyway. I digress. I was trying to complain.

The past few months have been a time that mired me In, as nerds used to say, Real Life. Note that word “mired” – if you were my therapist you’d ask for more about that. It’s been a taxing few months, with a lot of hassles and family issues too. Still, most people whose houses get into Wall Street Journal don’t feel “mired.” Bad form even to say it, really, a level of rude kill-jollity much like wearing a Morlock mask to an Eloi holiday party.

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