The Reith Lectures – “What We’ll Never Know”.
Ever wondered what it’d be like if Nigel Tufnel ate Timothy Leary’s handbag and then gave a lecture on astronomy, the speed of light, information and A Very Big Number? Nor me, and yet here it is.
It is impossible for humans to know everything, we are restricted in our knowledge by time and distance.
There are infinate things that we know of but just cannot do/achieve/experience ourselves now or even by a million years into the future.
I have a little print out above my computer monitor which I scribbled a few years ago. It says-
Infinity of knowledge
Knowledge is so great that even if human knowledge was enough to fill the density of a billion worlds, it would still be significantly less than one trillionth of knowledge still to learn.
We have computers that can count numbers that most of us would just find impossible to even get a grasp of. We know of numbers that even if humans counted one by one for a trillion years it would still take a bigger/greater number of years than most people could understand.
Humans will never know so much because we are just so limited.
Most people do not know what number a “googol” is. Its a number with 1000 zeros, its impossible for a human to count up to it without the aid of technology, (the numbber 1 million just has 6 zeros in comparison). A number that is so astranomically bigger than a “googol” is a “googol plex”. A “googolplex” is so vast that we do not even know what it is so a googolplex plus one is an impossibility to know and is basically irrelevent.
To travel to outside our planetry neighbourhood would take much longer than the lifetime of one individual, hence even travelling for a million lifetimes we would not be able to reach that which we can see via telescopes etc. Which means that ALL the available knowledge of ALL that which is just in one direct linear line 1mm wide is beyond our capacity to have knowledge about, let alone 360 degrees around us.
In all things, if we were to measure our knowledge on a solar ruler in milimetres (one ruler is the distance between the sun and earth), the knowledge we have presently attained is MUCH MUCH less than 1 millionth of millimetre in comparison to knowledge that is waiting out there for humans to try and learn about.
I think the greatest knowledge we can have is that which we know about the wonderous events which led us to our existance and that knowledge which we are capable of using to maximise our continued existance for as long as humanly possible.
What a speech! Someone fetch this man some robes! From this day forth I shall gaze up into the cosmos with a renewed sense of wonder. Future generations of scientists will describe the day when, as young children, they ravenously devoured the words of MrWonderfulReality and first knew that they would dedicate their lives to studying… um.. massive great.. um.. stuff.. and .. well.. you know.. googolplonkers and numbers and sky-millimetres and.. like.. complicated, whirly, infinite shit.
Why are you still sat there reading this??? GO AND BUY A FUCKING TELESCOPE.
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