Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by AllOurPrettySongs, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Hey, you. With the face. And you without the face, I'm talking to everyone. Especially you, without a face. We got to talk about your lack of a face. You're frightening and confusing people.

    To the point:
    I love you. I do. You're amazing and wonderful and a joy. Other people love you. You're unique and smart and funny. You're beautifully flawed. You're great at what you do. You're important and beautiful and I'd pick you to be on my apocalypse survival team.

    You're strong. You're creative and imaginative and resourceful. You're a powerful diety. You're lovable and badass and incredible.

    And I love you.
    I hope that if you're having a bad day, you can remember these very important facts.
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  2. That's sweet
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  3. Agreed.

    Posts like these makes the World Just Awesome.

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  6. I love the mountains

    I love the pale blue skies....
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  7. For those of us who are not religious or very spiritual, like myself. This video pulled me out of one of the worst depressions I've ever experienced.

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  8. Utter wide-eyed wonder always helps me too. I'm a little nuts for astrophysics and geometry....
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  9. Holy crap - space.
    Outer space. The universe. Oh my God. It's incredible. There are an estimated one hundred - two hundred billion galaxies in the universe, all of which have hundreds of billions of stars.

    A hundred or two hundred billion galaxies and we're in one of them: the Milky Way. 8.8 billion Earth sized planets are in the Milky Way alone and we're living on one of them. From nothing, we appeared over an unimaginable period of time. There was nothing and then, there was something.

    This might make you feel pretty small and insignificant. The complete opposite is true. Your very existence is mind boggling. You are an absolute miracle - everyone is. Every detail aligned to make your existence possible and more are working now to sustain you.

    From nothing, life as we know it formed and grew. In a universe of an estimated one - two hundred billion galaxies and hundreds of billions of stars, we, on our impossible rock, grew and continue to grow.

    That's how important you are. Don't forget that.
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  10. I just love this, so educational too!

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  11. Oh this song
  12. Anybody remember the time when you first truly realized how big the universe is?

    A little boy was reading a book about space in his elementary school and found out that the sun was a star. He though about all the stars he had ever seen in the night sky, and that they all had their own solar-system.

    I remember having trouble breathing for a little bit as my imagination went wild.
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  13. This just makes me want to leave the planet to explore.
  14. I have always been captivated by astronomy. I absolutely remember the first time the universe was explained to me to where I could just barely grasp the universe.

    Buddhist monks have a very matter of factory way of putting things. Some about chaos being the normality, and what cigar my attention the most was when the monk talked about stars. Their light actually took so long to reach our eyes that some stars we see today have blown up and turned to dust years and years before. That just is flipping amazing, and even more fascinating is the fact that my eyes can see and study that light. It's almost a gift to be sitting so perfectly amongst such grand chaos.

    Asteroids and comets come so close we can admire their trails, solar storms so primordial that ancient myths have named its presence "the rainbow bridge", that what divide us from yet leads us to Valhalla, heaven, or whatever waits for us out there.

    We truly are fucking amazing anomalies, and it's thanks to this planet, and the chaos, from nothing, we came to be everything we are.

  15. Everytime I feel overwhelmed about life I like to look at things like these. It reminds me that there are big things out there that people discover everyday, wondrous things. I feel small and insignificant sometimes but overall, space is very beautiful.

    To think that of all these large planets and starts and even more undiscovered out there and our planet is possibly the only one that supports life - that our world is special. There isn't anything like it in the world and we are all blessed to wake up to it everyday.

    My science teacher showed us this in my senior year of high school, and all I could think was 'Whoa... and our place is the only one that probably supports life! Would you look at that!'
    #15 Hana, Dec 13, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  16. I'm gonna have to go into science nerd mode here, because you're only brushing the surface of this idea.

    It gets way crazier if you add a higher level via the concept of the multiverse, which is that our universe is actually just one among a potentially massive number of universes. String theory, the current front runner for a unified theory of how everything from the tiniest subatomic particles up to the universe as a whole works, says that the multiverse is absolutely thing. Of course there's a lot of room for doubt, because string theory isn't anywhere near as rigorously proven as things like the laws of physics, but it adds another order of magnitude to the insanity of the improbability of our very existence.

    The very lowest estimate of the number of planets (not just Earth-sized planets) in the Milky Way is 100-200 billion. However, the generally more accepted figure is 10 trillion planets. That's a lot, and nothing says life could only thrive on an Earth-sized planet. Let's assume the Milky Way is average in terms of size (it's actually on the small side, if I recall correctly) and call it an average of 10 trillion planets per galaxy.

    The estimated number of galaxies in our universe is 100-200 billion, though unlike planets that's the full story. Let's go with 100 billion to make it simple.

    10 trillion times 100 billion = 1 septillion possible planets in our universe. By the way, 1 septillion written out is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. We happen to exist on one planet out of that many of them, the vast majority of which are indeed totally inhospitable to complicated life.

    But then there's that multiverse thing. Back in 2009 some physicists (Andrei Linde and Vitaly Vanchurin at Stanford University in California) did some fancy mathematics dealing with quantum mechanics stuff (I read a couple articles but honestly I couldn't make heads or tails of what exactly they calculated, other than that it had something to do with quantum fluctuations from when our universe first formed) to estimate the number of universes that might exist. They came up with a ridiculously huge number that it requires three levels of exponents to accurately convey it: 10^10^10^7. This number is so stupidly big that it dwarfs the estimated number of atoms that exist in our universe (1078). Getting it down to a single exponent would make it 10^(a 1 with ten million zeroes after it), meaning it ends up being a 1 with that parenthetically described number of zeroes after it. If you were blown away by the septillion, a 1 with 23 zeroes after it, just know that it would be less than a drop in the bucket compared to this gargantuan number. It's entirely possible that the number is so large that it would be physically impossible for someone to write it out by hand in their lifetime.

    I could get into nonsense about the different possible states of the universes and how that might affect the odds, but let's just stick with the already stupid number we have. So, given said number, if you want to get an estimate of how infinitesimally small the chances of humanity existing in this universe in this galaxy and on this planet actually are, take that stupidly huge number and slap another 23 zeroes on it. You can get the number even more disgustingly big if you were to try to add in personal factors for you in specific existing, such as the total number of humans that have ever existed and the odds of all of your ancestors happening to mate with each other and the odds of all of their individual DNA patterns happening to form in exactly the way it did, but we're already into the realm of a number so stupidly big that it's hard to even describe.

    Even metaphor fails us here. I've heard it said before that the chances of you being exactly who you are today are about the same as you being tasked with picking up a particular grain of sand in the world, then going to a random beach or desert in the world and picking a bit up at random and getting the right one. Those odds are nothing compared to the ridiculous bullshit numbers involved in this kind of calculation. The estimated number of grains of sand on our planet is 7.5 quintillion, so call it a 1 in 7.5 quintillion chance. Hah! We passed that little baby number without even needing to play with the multiverse concept. We're such an oddity that our statistical chance of existing as a species on this particular planet in this particular galaxy in this particular universe is less likely than a single individual being in a plane crash and surviving, getting hit by lighting that same day and surviving, getting struck by a meteor in that same day and surviving, then going on to find that one particular grain of sand at random that same day, and then ending his day by slipping on a banana peel and falling down a set of stairs and dying.

    I can see why that level of nonsensical odds might make someone feel insignificant, but in reality it should make them feel excited. We didn't just beat the odds, we fucking trashed them. That's something to gloat about. The odds against you as an individual existing as you are now are so infinitesimally small that they make things called statistical impossibilities seem inevitable conclusions by comparison. That's fucking awesome. You're a freaky anomaly that somehow exists despite all the numbers saying you're just barely on this side of impossible. Live it up.
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  17. Babylon 5's nod to Carl Sagan and Buddhism. Anytime I feel really isolated and small, I just remember that I am made up of the same molecules that make up the universe. I am not separate of the universe, I am the universe, made manifest, attempting to understand itself, attempting to understand the wider scope of things. Through science and curiosity, empathy and mercy, and a lot of hard work, I achieve or I fail. In either instance, it is just another page in one story. A story being written alongside billions of others simultaneously, based on the works of billions more who came before. Those billions include not just humanity, but all the creatures humanity evolved from, each step, every mammal, every fish, every single cell, from the womb of the Earth's primordial soup, which in turn came from the womb of a star, a nebulae, a galaxy, the big bang, and whatever else may have been before that.

    All of what composes me now is what once was, and what will be. I have the privilege of being just barely conscious enough to comprehend the sheer grandiose nature of the universe, and yet, there are things out there so foreign, so alien, that I'm not sure my mind could even truly comprehend it.

    Just remember, hammer it into your mind: You are star stuff. Carl Sagan said it, and I'm repeating it. I will continue repeating it until you memorize it: You. Are. Made. From. Stars. We are all made from stars. Every single one of us that has been, and will be.
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  18. @Jorick
    Never tell me the odds.
  19. Science and religion share many roots in curiosity for our environment. One is a tool and the other a complete worldview. To reject religion is to reject a certain certainty, but it wins us something amazing. The unknown is frightening, but when you overcome the borders you put up for yourself it is you who can reap the rewards of discovery. It is the journey and not our destination that teaches, motivates and shapes us. Life is an on-going epic, in which our kind unravels the nature of our backstory gradually. Perhaps we will never know anything for sure, but it is not strange to stand in awe of what we do think to know.

    I like to quote a tile I saw somewhere in a youth hostel. "A good traveller does not know where he is going, a great one does not know where they came from." On the one hand, it's fucking stupid. I mean, whatever fucker wrote that should go buy a dictionary. However, when you think about it a little more abstract, it could be about letting the presence shape and guide you. Not to be bound by the past, nor bottle-necked into a destination. Be open to see things as they really are as you see them and as they are now. I'm not spiritual and nowhere near religious, but in an anti-climatic ending to this post; that idea is something that makes me feel a strange way I cannot describe very well.
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