Eppur si muove
Hello world! Well, that’s not quite accurate. Hello east coast of North America! Saying hello to where I actually am and specifying the space I’m in seems to (yes define my location) “limit my influence” for lack of smarter brain cells (they wake up last). If instead I were to say, “hello world!” I would be walking onto a much larger stage. Perhaps I should change “hello” to “good morning”?
“Good morning world” works in two directions. It indicates I’m aware of more than my sensation of the world yet it reduces all of it to being present and addressable by me. If I say, “good morning east coast of North America,” it does the same on a slightly smaller scale but by adding myself to a subset that can share this specific sensation of the world, I also indicate knowledge of my place in a grander scale.
If you go to a mall and say, “hello mall!” as you walk in you are addressing the largest set of building you are in (very broad but not the broadest. There are many malls). If you say, “hello Macy’s” (because that’s the store you walk through to get in the mall) you address a specific location, and included in the subtext is an understanding of the fact that you’re in a larger space (even larger than just the mall).
Two issues here. 1) some people could mention the specific without knowledge of the general (the store but not all other malls). 2) how can you know the subtext is really/always there?
I’ll get to those later (maybe). The thought here though is that sometimes we speak in broad and general terms which sound open, vast, and inclusive yet in fact they may be more limiting than specificity. Does this have any implication? Perhaps not. It can though be an indication… Of something (I guess).
Hello world! (<--) this dude thinks he can talk to the whole world.
Hello east coast of North America (<--) this dude knows where he is, the limit of those sharing his perception. That means he also knows there are others without that limit. Once doors of "limitlessness" (? still waking up) open, awareness of what can't be sensed/perceived become accessible. Notice, I only said awareness of what can be perceived. This doesn't mean enlightenment.
We can go down the sociology tunnel and talk about how limiting beliefs fuel things like racism. Or not. We could also go down the existentialist tunnel and talk about how you're meaningless and make less than no impact and will be dead soon... but I think that covers it well actually (existentialism is a short tunnel with no light at the end).
So the title. 120 years after Galileo was released for house arrest, Giuseppe Baretti wrote a history book that included:
“The moment Galileo was set free, he looked up to the sky and down to the ground, and, while stamping his foot, in a contemplative mood, he said, Eppur si muove, that is, and yet it moves, meaning the planet earth.“
There is no mention of the phrase in the trial notes or his personal letters yet this remains tied to Galileo (it's also a cool video game). It is a great phrase and may make a good smart-person tattoo. It's also a good reminder that the earth is moving (on an axis and around the sun) and that is small and far away from everything else.
The ontology tunnel (existentialism's parent (can't say if it's the father or mother as most birth in philosophy is asexual. More evidence that philosophers don't have sex)) would say you are blessed (cursed?) with knowledge that you are alive (meta-cognition for the psychologists in the audience) and you will always live caught up in the little things in the world (gossip, fashion, entertainment. Jim Gaffigan. Calls it "McDonald's of the soul". (If that was confusing, reread that sentence again but skip then parentheses then skip this sentence). It's ok that you do because you just will. In fact, the first thought you have when you're not caught up in little things is, "hey I'm not caught up in little things! Damn those things are little!" Then you're back into the little things.
Stop fighting and stop defending why to stop fighting. Not sure how we got here but it's time to get out of bed. Someone connect those last dots in the comments (and know that doing so is a little thing. It's polishing the brass on the titanic; it's all going down). Love you; Mean it.