Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel Fine.

Interesting that the Large Hadron Collider (which could potentially end all life as we know it by simulating the Big Bang) goes on line the same week that Spore (a video game about creating life from the start) is released.

Does anyone else see a correlation here?

Since the opening debates about the construction and potential use of this master/monster of particle physics began in 1984, no amount of conjecturing on the part of scientists should be enough to put you at ease. As I am writing this, I am fully aware that it could be the last thing that I do before I take a shower and go to bed. I am terrified.

Yes, the world collapsing in on itself because of a man-made explosion so great that it melts the very mantle of the Earth from its foundations is a little far fetched, to say the least; however, this is an untested, not fully understood realm of science we are breaking into here, people. We are truly treading new ground. The things we learn from this could be fantastic and answer all questions ever asked about the origins of, well, everything. Or melt your face Raiders-style.

But does that make it right to venture here? Should a handful of scientists really get the chance to kill us all? What about what you want I want? Forget me, what about what you want to do with your life? It could all end early this morning (around 3:15 EST) and you would never know, apart from the probable millisecond of rumble and screams of absolute terror that foreshadow the approach of certain, painful, burning doom.

If only we had some way of knowing, for certain, what was going to happen. I remember a Bradbury story out of my youth, found in The Illustrated Man. "The Last Night of the World." That would be peaceful, and in a sense much more comforting, than waiting to see if we all wake up in the morning.

If we don't, at least I had the opportunity to feel somewhat self-important blogging about this. It just makes everything seem so inconsequential, so useless, just thinking about what could happen after they press the start button and send those protons around the Franco-Swiss Border Roller Coaster Loop of Calamity Physics.

In the end though, I will be content with whatever happens. What I preach in school to the students is "don't let the little things get to you." And, while I may be hypocritical much of the time (as is human nature), I know that some things you just cannot do anything about.

If we do end up down in the morning, at least I'm happy on the way out.

See you tomorrow when I will be off my high horse.

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