Tonight Jamie and I were discussing CERN's Large Hadron Collider, and it's possibilities for accidentally ending life, the universe and everything. And it was one of those instances where I felt a little bad, because we had wildly differing opinions regarding the possibilities of the worst case scenario.
I guess I made reference to the fact that if the Hadron Collider does, in fact, end Everything, I was okay with that.
I am, I think, in the minority on this one.
It boils down to a few things:
1) If I'm gonna be ended, I would prefer it happen by my atoms spontaneously zipping away from one another at the speed of light rather than, say, eating bad clams or something.
2) At least we were trying to learn something when we'd end the universe rather than getting into some petty political squabble that, frankly, isn't that important, and so we all wind up waiting twenty minutes for the rockets to come down on our heads.
3) I have nothing planned for next week, anyway
In some ways, I am intellectually aware that my survival instincts can't deal with the abstraction of sudden proton reversal, and I just can't get worked up about this Hadron Collider stuff. But having grown up under the threat of imminent nuclear war which could break out at any time and end the world twenty times over... I've kinda been figuring on reaping the whirlwind in some firey blaze since I was in first grade. Thanks, TV.
Anyhow, I'm about as worried about this as I am about the end times coming in 2012. With the added bonus of: hey, I could be sitting at my desk reading e-mail from Randy, and.. zip... that's it. We all get blue screened. There's nothing I can do about 99% of the ways we could go, and if you have to pick one... again, sudden protonic reversal seems not all that bad.
I also suggested to Jamie that even if the universe does end, all that energy has to go somewhere, and so in a trillion years of linear time, most likely we'll all be back doing exactly the same thing when the universe simply recreates itself, following roughly the same pattern.
Sure, we might be giant flagella-wielding manta rays or something as random circumstances effect minute changes in progress... but I'm pretty sure the universe, even destroyed, will sort itself out without us. I mean, we're just recombinant DNA packages swimming in a soft atmosphere passing data back and forth to one another, when you get down to it. Sort of just little self-running programs collecting and analyzing data and passing it on through DNA or sensory-based transfer (for now). In the grand scope of things, we're a blip in the infinite and not even a picamoment in the cosmic timeline, so...
Yeah. I'm not too worried.
The LHC is part of Machine: Earth, of the Solar System. If the systems running on Machine: Earth bluescreen, well, the universe will figure its way out somehow beyond our miniscule comprehension. There is cosmic-level systems support, I assure you.
And for all we know, this is but a reboot in which we've already been here countless times, and this is the one time we've gotten it right, so when they fire up the LHC, this time its smooth sailing.
You gotta think positive about these things.
Anyhoo, here's Yakko Warner putting things into perspective (and song):