Monday, October 8, 2012

The First and Also, The Glorious Common Feeling of Falling

So the topic I seem to be preoccupied with lately is the concept of singularity.

There's a variety of TV shows, movies and video games related to the word of singularity. It would be cool if somebody did some kind of anthology about the concept of singularity and how it captures the public's interest in the topic, and how those concepts play out in our media. There are definitely websites that touch on some of this stuff (historical singularity -- when life has gotten so chaotic its impossible to predict what might happen, technological singularity -- when technology is so advanced that anybody who came before it wouldn't understand it or when AI overtakes human intelligence etc.) But I feel like I keep encountering the concept of singularity in my own media consumption and state of mind as of late, almost as if I've been surrounded by a cultural history of the topic.

So but this singularity, let's start here...

What came before the Big Bang? Clearly I am not the first person to think about this. But specifically, I am really caught up in thinking about how the universe supposedly started from a singularity. A singular what?  This is the part that causes me a great deal of both anxiety and wonder. I love thinking about this but it also makes me nauseously butterfly-stomached. I recently learned that this compelling sick fucked-upness feeling manifesting physically, specifically in reference to this concept of "what came before the before?" is commonly described as the "feeling of falling." (I also have the same feeling when I think about "if the universe is always expanding what is it expanding into?") I was delighted to learn that THIS IS A THING. It was very exciting to me that other people experience this wonder in the exact same way I do. And then I thought, But of course! If we're talking about singularities, we all come from the same, er, thingy. Of course we might experience things in the same way as each other. (Sometimes. Maybe?)

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