I’m a young creative writer and artist from Germany who has a fable for anything strange or absurd. So follow me on a trip of bizarre facts and weird knowledge.
The dematerialization of matter goes too far
Richard Feynman once remarked, when asked which physical statement contains the most information in the least words: “I am convinced that this would be the atomic hypothesis (…), which says that all things are made of atoms. That material things consist of atoms and that these consist of further particles is today part of the canon of the naturalistic understanding of the world. Now, of course, a strange epistemological uncertainty relation is increasingly noticeable in this naturalism. The deeper the understanding of matter, the more the concept of matter evaporates.
No smoking, no sex — and always fold in the side mirrors
So someone had taken the trouble to have forms made to call drivers to order. “Park properly and become a valued member of society,” it says in the fine print. At the moment I’m still worthless because I haven’t folded my mirrors. The author, however, wants to help me to social advancement by giving them up. I’m really glad because then I won’t have to fold them either.
Why do we see the world stable even when we move our eyes?
While reading this text, your eyes jump over the line, pause briefly, and then move on to the next jump. Such eye movements — so-called saccades — do not only occur when reading. We humans and other primates perform them two to three times per second, usually without being aware of it. Most remarkable, however, is that we do not perceive the resulting movement of the image on our retina. Rather, the environment appears stable. How can this be?
The First Theory of Evolution in Religious Studies
Back to the origins The works of Edward Burnett Tylor (1832–1917) are undoubtedly among the first drafts that had a lasting influence on religious studies. Tylor’s first major scientific work entitled “Researches into the Early History of Mankind” was written in the early 1860s, a period in which Darwin’s “Origin of Species” set the framework for the discussion of evolutionary processes in biology, while Spencer’s “System of Synthetic Philosophy” focused on the description and analysis of the social development of mankind. During this time, public interest turned increasingly to ethnological topics. Not only the extremely popular travelogues of Wallace, Darwin, and others and the formulation of the theory of evolution had contributed to this. The rapid growth of ethnographic data, but above all the discovery of the remains of fossil humans and their artifacts, as well as speculations about the possible age of the human race, had drawn the attention of science and the lay public to the question of the origins of cultures.
We, humans, are the yardstick, and it is set low
“The word information has a special meaning in this theory, which must not be confused with its normal use. In particular, information must not be confused with meaning.”
Was it me or my implant?
“It becomes a part of you”, is how patient 6 describes the device that changed her life after a 45-year history of severe epilepsy. Implanted brain electrodes send signals to a hand-held device as soon as signs of an impending epileptic seizure appear. A warning tone now reminds the patient to suppress the impending seizure with medication. “You grow into it slowly and get so used to it that at some point it becomes commonplace,” she tells neuroethics Frederic Gilbert from the Australian University of Tasmania, who works with brain-computer interfaces (BCI).
There are no fair drugs
T. wants to quit smoking. Not because she is so shocked by the new pictures on the cigarette packets or because she once saw one of these encrusted smoking lungs. She is not pregnant either. “It is simply inconsistent when you live as we do,” she thinks. By that, she means: Eating organic, changing clothes, instead of buying and generally finding exploitation stupid. Hedonism in the form of drugs and tobacco no longer fits in with her political attitude. Smoking promotes exploitation and child labor, coke and other drugs strengthen cartels, prostitution, and life-threatening smuggling. We have known this not only since Netflix and “Narcos”.
How to get through the day without sleep
You sit in the office or the university library, maybe even in your home office due to your corona, stare away and drift into nirvana. The night does not even have to be alcohol-soaked for that. For heavy sleepers like me, the next day’s fatigue is already enough that they didn’t get to bed early enough and have to manage without their vital eight hours of sleep. To be fit for work or university seems almost impossible then. Without knowing it, I have done pretty much everything wrong on such dog days — at least according to sleep experts.