The Gravity of the Situation

Posted in Tech at 12 pm

So I’ve been reading Five Equations that Changed the World (Purchase at Powell’s, but I don’t recommend the book.) which is a little pop-sci book on a 5 men, with… let’s say embellished biographies and fact-checking worthy of Wikipedia. (Plus the author gives me he willies.) That aside, it has brought me to a thinking place, the kind of place I rarely visit these rat-race filled days.

So my thought is, what happens if we reconcile gravity and electro-magnetism? That’s the big disconnect in the Theory of Everything, right? (Or I guess it’s more Gravity vs everything else.) But with EM vs G there’s a specific imbalance that continues to seem… odd? inelegant? and that’s the lack of ‘polarity’ in gravity.

I really think we may have gravity all wrong. The famous visualization for gravity is the rubber sheet, with the big ball in the middle weighing things down and the small ball “orbiting” via the slope of the sheet surrounding the big ball. I can easily think of this in the requisite three dimensions with a lattice structure being pulled inward, but there’s still a missing piece.

Why isn’t there anything to “pull up” on the sheet? If the lattice can be pulled in, why can’t it be pushed out? Where is the opposite of gravity?

To a certain degree, it’s unfortunate that science fiction has made ray guns and anti-grav boots and devious AI’s stuff of mere stories (and often ridiculed for the lack of literary quality). These questions of “why” and “how” and “why not” get lost, repressed, and stifled as the stuff of fantasy.

Cheers to the amateur, the lone adventurer, the crackpot with the crazy. In the age of information, we’ve seemed to have lost the age of wonder and the will to be personal explorers.

In an era of increasing religous fervor, we may need to think ourselves out of this.

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