No regrets

Posted on September 1, 2018

Imagine all the lenses polished in Pisa went into microscopes instead of telescopes. Galileo noticed the first microbes, guessed bacteria and dreamed about viruses. Imagine we have discovered vibes and moods before stars and planets. Imagine that we sailed between synapses before listening to the whispers from space probes. We might have experienced better ideas, we might have lived through better feelings, we might have related better to the other experiences of the others. We would have launched the inter-blood subways and sub-molecular hormone safaris long before the first mission to the Moon.

No regrets? Isn’t the big and the distant and the macro as exciting as the small and close and micro? Isn’t this one of the choices we have made almost by default? We are making choices by default all the time. Space used to go before time. Time  used to be less palpable than space. A distance of one meter used to be cast in platinum and kept under lock and key. All this time clocks ticked ever more precisely.

Today time took its revenge. Today we measure distance with time. Looking into the subatomic events in cadmium, we define distance with time travelled by light. GPS helps us move in space, but it runs on time. What would have happened if we made it the other way round? Who would be winners and who losers? Would events emerge as reality checks on temporary truce between time, space and us?

Too early for regrets, or too late?

Haarlem, August 31, 2018