In Perspective

“A human is a system for converting dust billions of years ago into dust billions of years from now via a roundabout process that involves checking email a lot.”

11 Responses to “In Perspective”

  1. matt says:

    You are just a zygote’s way of making more zygotes.

  2. Pitt says:

    I knew a German farmer once who raised zygotes. He was always going on and on about them, how “zygotes keep eating all zygrass in zyfield” and “zygotes dey not giving any milk zisweek.”

    I think he finally gave up on them and had zygotes for dinner one night.

  3. BrianN says:

    I tried to explain to my son that he didn’t exist 5 years ago, he seemed genuinely offended. So I asked him if he thought he was the matter that he happened to be made of at the moment, or the persistence of the organization of matter he could find to consume. He replied by telling me he was a dinosaur and was 600 years old.

  4. Pitt says:

    I don’t ever recall my father having this sort of a conversation with me when I was five. Mostly I received lectures about the importance of regular bowel movements and how to read the stock prices in the Wall Street Journal.

  5. Chris says:

    All of these sorts of conversations will eventually get down to the question of whether or not we have _free will_ or if we are just a really complex system that will inevitably transition from state A to B to C just as predictably as if we were hitting billiard balls against one another.

    Once we’re at that point it is a quick step to saying that our existence is indiscernible from a sufficiently complex computer simulation that models all of our energies down to the quantum spin states of our electrons.

    So when I tell my toddler she can be anything when she grows up and she responds with “woof, woof” I try to keep things simple and tell her that no she can’t be a dog, but she can have any job when she grows up.

  6. BrianN says:

    When you say “any job” you mean she can be a doctor OR a dentist, right?

  7. Pitt says:

    I imagine an accountant OR an engineer would also be acceptable.

  8. Chris says:

    Anything other than a lawyer or a politician is acceptable 🙂

    Adorable story: Another female doctor that went through residency with my wife now works in a hospital group with several other female doctors; one of whom has a four year old son who asked if it was possible for a boy to grow up to be a doctor too. It just goes to show that kids really do interpret what they see in the world around them and impose patterns that guide their world view.

  9. BrianN says:

    It is true, but it’s also amazing how even at when Jake was 2 years old I would walk into daycare and all of the boys were transfixed at the window by the construction equiptment outside, and the girls couldn’t care less.

  10. Pitt says:

    And some of us never grew up. I rented a bobcat-style front loader last summer to do some grading at my house. It was worth the rental fee just for the fun of pushing dirt around and spinning in circles.

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