Thales and Higgs Boson

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pseud
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Thales and Higgs Boson

Post by pseud » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:33 am

Thales and Higgs Boson

The whole world was once considered water.
It was said that God saw his reflection in its depth
and molded a mirror in the skies.
It was water that first propped up the land
and fell on us when the living clouds cried.

These days, it is considered far more profound
to say the whole world is one big explosion.
Like a dying firework, fluttering in the stars.
It is fire that now fills the increasing distance
between space and time and the physical laws.

Who knows? Someday we might learn which was right.
Or else wait until our children see the day,
that God will combine the two efforts
and strike another kind of match
and ignite a hot bubble
with lightening so sudden,
thunder never follows.
"Don't treat your common sense like an umbrella. When you come into a room to philosophize, don't leave it outside, but bring it in with you." Wittgenstein

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Re: Thales and Higgs Boson

Post by Ros » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:59 pm

I was immediately grabbed by the title, but a bit puzzled when I read the poem. First verse = Thales view, which is fair enough, though 'living clouds cried' seems a bit consciously poetic - but I don't know Thales' world-view, so perhaps it's necessary. I'm confused by 'to say the whole world is one big explosion.' as I'm not aware of modern theories that could be interpreted like that? Or that the world is like a dying firework? And then I can't see how mixing water and fire could lead to a hot bubble that could be ignited. Poetically, I thought the last verse was somewhat prosy. Sorry to be rather negative - I think you've got something good going here, but I can't quite make sense of it yet.

Ros
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twoleftfeet
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Re: Thales and Higgs Boson

Post by twoleftfeet » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:43 pm

I agree with Ros, you've got something here, Bren.

The "eureka" moment at the end seems to me to be the crux of the poem and work well, but the pre-amble needs some attention, IMHO.

I'm not too keen on "living clouds cried" either.

the whole world is one big explosion.

- shouldn't that be cosmos/universe ?

space and time and
- maybe space-time and ?

lightening/lightning ?

Geoff
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Re: Thales and Higgs Boson

Post by Macavity » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:06 pm

hi Caleb,
Almost if you are saying science is another belief system and one day God will prove otherwise. I liked the opening. It had the language of a creation myth eg the living clouds cried. I also like the notion of God playing, combining elements to create another vision.

mac

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Re: Thales and Higgs Boson

Post by oranggunung » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:17 pm

Hi Pseud(onym)

Like the others, I’m excited by the idea. I had to look up Thales, so clearly I’m not a philosopher of any training.

That said, my reading informed me that Thales “attempted to explain natural phenomena without reference to mythology and was tremendously influential in this respect”. So S1 looks less like a Thalesian explanation than the sort of myth Thales was trying to reject. Perhaps that can be addressed by a change in the title, or perhaps I’m missing the point.

I like the fire aspect of S2, this works much better imho. All of the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and iron on our planet are probably derived from supernovae. In addition, the centre of the planet is a vast boiling mass of material. So that seems spot on.

S3 drifts off into mythology again, which clashes head-on with the title. Is the hot bubble “air”, from the four classical elements? It’s the only one that doesn’t seem to get a decent look in; unless one might consider the “hot air” of various crackpot theories.

Ultimately I’m dissatisfied, but I think the vast majority of this dissatisfaction stems from the mismatch between the title and the poem. A more abstract title like “an evolution of explanation” would avoid any direct clash with Thales or Higgs (or Anderson, Englert, Brout, Guralnik, Hagen and Kibble, to name but a few more). The title, as I see it, is suggesting science and philosophy, but the poem is not really delivering either.


A few notes on the content of the poem, in the spirit of constructivism.

Dying firework – wouldn’t it be fairer to say that the sun was the dying firework?

God is mentioned in S1 and S3, so should Man (or Woman, thanks Reg) be mentioned in S2?


It is fire that now fills the increasing distance

this is probably a poetic device that I am misconstruing. I can see how fire might have caused the distance, but not how it fills it.


Please pardon a scientific reading of a poetic composition. I rather like the poetry, but the science is niggling.


og

pseud
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Re: Thales and Higgs Boson

Post by pseud » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:48 am

Thanks all,

Wow. I was inspired when I made a connection in my head; being rusty on the poetry front it came out too jumbled on the page. I'll rework it when work settles down and see if I can't fix some things. I just got too caught up in certain words.

Oh and:
Ros wrote:Sorry to be rather negative
No need for apologies! I'm the one who posted.

Thanks

Pseud
"Don't treat your common sense like an umbrella. When you come into a room to philosophize, don't leave it outside, but bring it in with you." Wittgenstein

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Re: Thales and Higgs Boson

Post by Antcliff » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:18 pm

Hi!

I enjoyed this contrast between a big bang-ish/Thales world view. Dramatic. Quite striking.

On one point:
It is fire that now fills the increasing distance
between space and time and the physical laws.
I'm not sure I quite grasp talk of distance (to be filled by anything) between laws and space-time. Laws lack location? If it were me I would tweak that..but it is small point.

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Seth
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Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
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Re: Thales and Higgs Boson

Post by brianedwards » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:44 am

Most of my quibbles have already been expressed by others, the biggest being that a for a poem with this title it seems to have a very flimsy hold on both Thalesian philosophy and scientific theory. That aside, in terms of the poetry, "living clouds cried" is pretty awful, and several other lines tip over into prose.

These days, it is considered far more profound to say the whole world is one big explosion.

It is fire that now fills the increasing distance between space and time and the physical laws.

"Like a dying firework" strikes me as a weak description of a world exploding.

Is it me or is there something hypocritical in that last stanza? You say "Who knows?" but then go on to describe what "our children" (wince) will see, with the confidence of one who, err, knows . . .

Typo: lightening.

B.

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