Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life Line

Robert Heinlein’s first short story is undoubtedly one of the seeds from which sprang Will? I Am!  It is a mental construct that has certainly helped me, so let’s see if others will find it as useful.

At school I was regarded as some sort of a geek. And yet, when a friend tried to explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to me I couldn’t get it. It didn’t make any sense at all. Now, when I find myself in the position of trying to explain my own ideas about time, I wonder how the man did it. How did he explain himself clearly enough to convince his peers?

I guess that the Mathematics helped, although even with those equations I’m sure that it was a long haul before other scientists stepped onto his bandwagon. I wonder if thought experiments are going to be more persuasive or less. Give you three guesses.

For me, the jabberwocky helps me to visualize identity, consciousness or life outside the framework of time. I wonder how easy—or difficult—it’s going to be for other people to grasp it too. I don’t know if I, Einstein or Heinlein could explain it more simply. But it’s crucial. So much rests upon and within it—what the present is, how the future works, and the diode-like nature of one’s sense of self.

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