Revisiting one of my most listened song, All Along The Watchtower (Bear McCreary version, the Jimi Hendrix and original Bob Dylan versions are great, too), I remembered my absolute most favorite tv series – Battlestar Galactica (2004). Understanding why I love that show so much has been challenging, mostly because of the subject matter it reminds me of, a subject about comprehending the universe and the events that happen in it. (No, it is not a ‘deep’ thing, maybe only deep space.)
To me, it is about scale. A normal thing that happen in your mundane daily life is just a miniscule event in the eyes of the universe. Most things that happen to us, whether we find it simple or complex, small or big, trivial or important, probably don’t mean much to the universe. Like an atom in the atmosphere. But that is if you are looking from the standing point of universe. To each of us these things are significant.
I find this curiously interesting. It sparks some “what if” ideas. I find myself asking, if all the things that happened are insignificant to the universe, what is significant then? What can happen that will lead to a never ending chain reaction that will eventually travel far enough in the event line to make something significant happen? What if it is that atom that defy rules and ‘mutate’ and changed the atmosphere?
Something that we probably won’t find out for a long, long while. (I refuse to believe ‘never’, I’m too optimistic for that. Go, humans! Work harder, scientists!)
This also lead to the subject being meaningless. Maybe? Because what happens to the universe is probably too large for us to comprehend; we are simply not on that scale (yet), thus it is insignificant to us. The birth of a star and the supernova that signals the destruction of a star, these events probably don’t have an effect on us. Or maybe they do, but on the scale so large our solar system will only feel their effects billions of years later.
With these said, does that mean we are insignificant, too? Or, we are significant, just that the plan is so, so, so grand that we can’t see it at all. At this point I might as well Clarke’s Third Law it – Any sufficiently advanced significance is indistinguishable from insignificance.
Spoken with enough cynicism, it doesn’t matter to us (what matter to us are job, money, entertainment, health, friends and family, the mundane stuffs, right?).
But I still feel there is something to be gained by exploring it. Maybe what I draw from Battlestar Galactica that made me love it so damn much is the idea of entertaining the possibilities. What if Commander Adama didn’t get his cup of morning coffee, gets grumpy, and ordered the fleet to FTL jump to a random set of coordinates? The ending will plausibly be very different. Or perhaps they will stumble upon ‘earth’ and found it much, much earlier (a show of 75 episodes shortens to 37?).
My rambling in all likelihood is a thing of insignificance. But, it is still fun to explore the ideas. Perhaps this is why I find it hard to grasp the understanding, because of how actually meaningless it is to us, and how we still try to make it relevant to us. But the thing is, the contradictory nature of us that make us go against logic and travel out to explore, is probably what will lead us to find out the answers. Like that atom that goes against the rule.
“A Fraction Of” is my new post format/series where I ramble and pour out my thoughts on random things. A place where I can just unload the ideas without the needs of a good blog post structure. It will be mostly a fraction of big topics, generally short. (I will try to keep it compact and concise, working on that.)
Thank You for reading!
Maybe there are people out there that are like the joker and the thief in the song, who have been through enough to be able to see past the whole thing. I would love to talk to them and listen to their perspective.