The other day I was watching a TED talk (Technology Entertainment Design) which if you don’t know is conference where presenters give about a 15 minute speech or so about something in the science world, topics can range over a variety of issues. They are usually very funny and filled with information. I have watched a few TED talks and so far I think they are very interesting, you should check some out if you have time. There is a wide range of topics available to choose from, plus they are not very long so you do not have to invest a large portion of time watching. Below I posted a link to their most popular 20 talks.
The reason I am talking about this is because the other day I watched a talk about the universe that basically asked, “why is there something rather than nothing,” by Jim Holt. Holt is a philosopher and writer, who I suppose is quite famous in his field. Sorry Jim I have never heard of you, but I did enjoy your talk. No offense to any philosophers out there but they have taken the literal back seat to the modern day philosopher, the physicist! Don’t be sad philosophers, as I honestly believe that these two fields need each other, and are inexplicably linked. Having one and not the other would be pointless as there are so many questions about the universe that need both sides of the philosopher/physicist equation to make sense. I have written about this in another post so I will not digress but you get the point.
The questions he asked were right up my alley in terms of the things I think about, and what I liked is that he asked many of the same questions I have. I will say that I am always of the mindset that when explaining things, the simplest is always the best. When it comes to using big fancy words I am, in simplest terms, ain’t very smart. In the talk by Holt he uses some very big words so at times he is hard to follow, but there is one thing that I have not been able to get out of my mind since I watched it – The universe is absurd!
There is actually a belief system known as Absurdism which is (Wikipedia)
the conflict between (1) the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life and (2) the human inability to find any. In this context absurd does not mean “logically impossible”, but rather “humanly impossible” The universe and the human mind do not each separately cause the Absurd, but rather, the Absurd arises by the contradictory nature of the two existing simultaneously.
This more or less sums up how I have always felt about the “meaning” of life. I have always kind of thought that there is not one, and even if there was it would be different for every person. To me I think it is fascinating to know that there is actually a school of thought out there that follows this logic and it has a name. The idea is quite literally absurd, but in a weird and strangely logical way it does make a lot of sense espically about the mind the universe having a great disconnect. It seems one was never meant to understand the other, and they never will. I have had to read and reread almost every line in the article so I will not try to explain it here. You should check it out though if you are interested, it is very bizarre and fascinating indeed.
Here is something that will surely make you smile. I thought it was hilarious. I figured I needed to throw in something on the lighter side. enjoy..