12-step programs have a phrase that I think fits here: progress not
perfection. I do not need to know everything, but I do need to strive to
Are there walls in the way? Obstacles that are beyond our current
tools or capabilities? Certainly. Will those walls ALWAYS stand in
the way of learning more? Maybe, maybe not.
Looking backward in time and history, there will probably always be
questions that can only be answered with guesses, ideas, and more often than not
"Not a clue!"
The obstacles do not negate the accomplishments; nor do they prevent us
from striving, guessing, and idea-producing!
I'm cool with that!
In a message dated 6/18/2013 1:35:35 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
[address removed] writes:
This was very
good! They talk about:
The desire to trace your way back to the very beginning,
to understand everything -- whether it's the mysteries of love or the
mechanics of the universe -- is deeply human. It might also be deeply
short, Jad and Robert talk to a writer and two physicists who are all
grappling with versions of the same enormous question: is it possible to
understand everything, or are we chasing an impossible dream... one built on
questions that always lead to more questions?
Jenny Hollowell kicks
things off with her gorgeous short story "A History of Everything, Including
You." It's a powerful tale with a sweeping scope -- the history not just of
one couple, but everything that led to them -- distilled into a poetic crush
of just a few pages. The piece was born out of a sense of frustration Jenny
felt about trying to account for "everything" in order to understand her life.
And in many ways, her solution speaks to an eerily similar moment of
uncertainty in physics. Inspired by an essay written by physicist and novelist
Alan Lightman, Robert pays a visit to Brian Greene to ask if the latest
developments in theoretical physics spell a crisis for science -- where we
find we've reached the limit of what we can see and test, and are left with
mathematical equations that can't be verified by
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