The Anthropology of Physics and Free Associative Musings under A Flat Miner

imagesI had a dream yesterday, that my dad was talking to me.  It was in the morning after I had awakened already, and went back to sleep.   The dream snuck in, like they do under the seems of consciousness.  (Yes, I meant that).  Dad was talking to me, but his speech was affected by his thick tongue, the way it was a month before he died, as if he wasn’t fully recovered from being dead yet, like Wesley in the Princess Bride.

He told me that he was glad he finally had gotten a hold of me, that he would remember this connection.  He could sense that I was worried that it would be broken, so he answered things before I spoke them.  He said he would give me his number, so I could get a hold of him.   I reached for a paper and pencil, and as I did I dropped the metaphysical phone by waking up.   I had a sense of excitement at waking, and a calm, that he would call me back.  I have never had a dream like that, ever, in my conscious memory.   In fact, I haven’t held a dream in a very long time.

I once thought that if you spoke a truth really well, that those words, that phrase, would remain like a king of the hill, until they were replaced by something better.  Like a contribution in science, however small, would remain forever, as Marie Curie said, at least as a building block to the next thing, rather than this, more soupy thing we have. There is no high water mark preserved.  It ebbs and flows as consciousness in the individual, so it is for the whole – ontogeny and philogeny.

Just as the observer’s presence influences the outcome of the experience in anthropology, what if scientific observation affects all of science?   Not just in individual experimentation, but what if our presence actually is changing the elemental interactions and outcomes, influencing them over time, so that they are actually different now than they once were?

What if we can fatigue interactions in physics?  For example, once we’ve started too many cars,  their reliability fades simply for the fact that the single interaction has been worn out.  We would have to keep adding a novel element, (like whistling a different tune each time) just to turn the engine over, which would also require some novel element.  Exhausting.

I once had a dream about that.  It was not a good dream.  Gravity stopped working, and I particularly remember the non-reliability of inertia in my dream.  It was a mess.

I preferred my dream yesterday.  Thanks, Dad.

Are these things related?  You decide, just as you always have.


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3 responses to “The Anthropology of Physics and Free Associative Musings under A Flat Miner

  1. Paula

    Oh, Jeff. What a sweet gift you received. So happy for you. And, your dad. ♡

  2. Molly

    Great dream, so vivid and the feeling of calm so soothing.. thank you

  3. Lisa Johnson

    After my dad died, I had a dream that he and I were together. I remember I he kissed me or I kissed him and I felt the stubble of his unshaven face on my cheek and could smell his skin. The dream was very vibrant and I can still recall it as if it just happened. My dad didn’t believe in an afterlife, but I wonder what he believes/knows now. I also treasure this memory/feeling. It is very calming and reassuring. My heart is with you.

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