Daughter of a porter, there should be more books like this. What is never talked about? The books. The infinity of books. So many and what does anyone learn from them all? The nostrum . . . where did I hear it . . . from some do-gooder . . . read anything . . . but read . . . compile a personal library. Reading is like spending your life looking for a needle in a haystack while society tells you that, of course, you must enjoy what you are doing. The wonderful flights of imagination . . . the infinite variety . . . the great authors . . . the profound truths . . . the sublime insights. Most books are as interesting as avoiding the potholes on Interstate 80. The irony of it all is that after awhile it must occur to you that one of the most puerile TV shows ever created “Lost in Space” contains a most profound truth, seemingly never hinted at in books, when Doctor Zachery Smith says, “Oh, William, my back is a disaster area today!” From reading books, Doctor Smith? From merely scanning a page with your eyes and turning some pages with your hand? But, the endless repetition of it . . . the endless repetition of it and for what . . . for happiness . . . for killing time in between even less pleasant obligations. The eyestrain . . . turn on the bright lights, two of them. The rules for commas . . . for appositives . . . this is what literature should be . . . this is what science should be. Who gets to stop . . . stop and think about what they’re doing? But, the books are waiting like dirty dishes stacked on clean, orderly library shelves or bookstore rows. Wash . . . always you wash . . . but more appear. Wash . . . infinite washing like the rain that washes a canyon into being, and so the raindrops must ache with the repetition of their journeys like eyes following the words on a page. Life as interesting as a raindrop’s is enough to call forth reason . . . reason prone to exaggeration.
Writers have taken their turns trying to describe the modern world in a word or two. For me, we live in the era of the fake sublime. Imagine that Einstein’s special relativity and general relativity theories are false. What do we have? Fake sublimity. Who benefits from the ersatz sublime? Do the elite fear the outer fringes of the suburbs—exurbia. The cities and the suburban belts around the cities are too noisy, crowded and materialistic for sublime thought to develop. The grinding work of the farmers and those who live and work in farm communities are too demanding and too devoid of leisure for sublime thought to develop. Leisure is needed to study nature and ferment the desire to puzzle out the nature of time.
Perhaps, that’s the approach to take when studying Einstein’s relativity theories, you want to puzzle out the nature of time. It is not the approach of the nascent scientist or a traditional scientist. They view understanding Einstein’s relativity theories as another rung on the status ladder with little differentiating this rung from any other rung on their endless climb.
(review of free book)