Best Of The Web
“Close your eyes and try to imagine nothing.
Too late. Odds are, you’ve already thought of something: maybe the color black, or the word “nothing,” neither of which are nothing.
Pondering nothing could be considered, at best, a form of meditation, and, at worst, a total waste of time. Or, it would be, were it not for the simple fact that there is an unresolved question at the heart of physics that requires at least some consideration of this matter, or lack thereof: why is there something (our universe) instead of nothing?
Nothing is a concept so deceptively simple that it inhabits the strange intersection of science, philosophy, and language itself. Like a child asking “Why?” to the point of absurdity, trying to get to the bottom of this problem can be pretty frustrating, so I enlisted the help of a physicist and a philosopher to get an idea of what—if anything—”nothing” means. Apparently, this is also a frustrating question for experts.
What is nothing, according to physics?
Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist at California Institute of Technology. Nothing has been a recent concern of his, insofar as it relates to something.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"With the weakest of hands, an economy not much larger than that of Spain, and a GDP per capita several thousand dollars smaller than Malaysia, he has asserted massive negative influence over the globalized world."
"Scarcely hours after the titanic drubbing Democrats delivered to President Trump's GOP in the 2018 midterm elections, the 2020 presidential campaign began in deeply unwelcome earnest."
"US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital exactly one year ago, breaking with decades of international consensus in the process. What was the historic move and what impact has it had?"
"With a decade’s worth of hits under her belt, Gaga is definitively one of the biggest stars in the world. Rolling Stone dubbed her the “Queen of Pop” in 2011."
"Have the scars of the housing bust turned us away from the American dream of homeownership? Survey data suggest otherwise.... We simply can’t afford to pursue that dream right now.'
"Even as phones and tablets extend their reach into daily life, a bigger screen remains supreme... the average American household watches nearly eight hours of television a day."
"Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel Miami is part of a global network of art fairs that have transformed the worldwide art market."
"Dutton Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House, is releasing a series of tiny books that give the act of reading a studied whimsy."
"The presence was so disruptive, she added, that some children had a hard time when their parents left. Others were disappointed that their parents did not come for lunch."
"The kitchen — named after the Hebrew phrase “L’Chaim,” which means, “To Life!” — features a menu of Americanized Jewish food items such as pastrami on rye, potato knish with herb sour cream..."
"Life on the sprawling grasslands precipitated a shift from individualistic ways of living to more cooperative ways. This was the birth of what you might call “social intelligence,” and it changed the way our minds work."
"When you have headlines about “white privilege” and “evil white men,” Jews become the epitome of whiteness—except, of course, for neo-Nazis, who see Jews as hyper-integrationists."