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Clements: Breaking the Speed of Light and How it Relates to Mid-East Politics

September 23, 2011

Scientists with the OPERA experiment, which observes a neutrino beam from CERN 730 km away at Italy’s INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory, are presenting surprising new results (in a seminar at CERN on Sept. 23, 2011) that appear to show neutrinos traveling faster than light. Physicists are refusing to speculate as to the repercussions of a revelation of this magnitude until the results have been vigorously scrutinized by scientists from both the American and Japanese scientific community. How am I going to relate this to politics? Here’s how. Human’s have continuously held the  belief that the knowledge which we possess currently is the be all and end all of human progress. Keep in mind that we once, quite seriously, believed that the Earth was flat. Now, take a moment to fully grasp that.

Since Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was presented in 1916, we have all held the belief that it is simply impossible to travel faster than the speed of light. The notable exception being that if you watch Star Trek, you have already accepted the fact that humans will be travelling the galaxy in a neo-American kind of way. Regardless, what this finding confirms is something of immense and powerful importance to our species.

Quite literally, anything is possible. WAIT, this is the part where you DON’T dismiss this as another idealist rant towards the power of optimism and creativity. The problem with Science, for all of its benefits, is that it serves to de-mystify the everyday. It’s purpose, is to bring a logical explanation to every phenomena known to man. What we all lose sight of however, is the profound wonder and amazement with which we USED to view everyday life. Ever watched a 5-year old entertain themselves with a twig and a pile of dirt? Remember when a small relative of yours first discovered what a certain type of bug was and the sheer amazement they had associated with that realization? WE JUST DISCOVERED THAT NEUTRINOS CAN QUITE POSSIBLY TRAVEL FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT!

The presses should be stopped! An international conference should be established! Do you really understand the gravitas of this discovery? Ladies and Gentlemen, the human race is on the verge of shattering every past assumption of how we relate as a species to this planet. This is a revolution not to be understated.

Nor is the global revolution occurring in the Middle-East to be understated either. Countless nations are breaking the shackles of history and proving that anything can change. Authoritarian regimes can change. Oppression can be defeated. Israel and Palestine can find a solution.

Today marks what may be remembered as a changing moment in the history of the Middle-East. President of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Mahmoud Abbas formally requested the admission of Palestine as the next country to be recognized by the UN. For those even passively aware of the conflict, it has been a constant source of violence and turmoil for both sides. Almost assuredly, President Obama will veto the resolution, denying the ability of Palestine to join as a full member state. The details of the negotiations are not my concern. What is, is the limit of human progress, be it scientific or social.

In an age where we are quite capable of blowing ourselves up with a variety of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, we should all take a moment to pause. We are no longer just individuals with specific cultures, prejudices, quirks or other funny attributes. We are now, forced by science and our inner desire to connect, a global community which is simultaneously everything and everyone. We are globally responsible for the actions of one another. We may hide behind the inability to make change due to government control and lobbyists and money and other artificial forms of blockades to change. But these are ALL blockades imposed by OURSELVES. We are capable of so much more. We can manipulate particles to travel faster than the previous thought limit of motion.

This change does not occur on a grand scale instantly, although it could. It begins by having a conversation with a friend about what’s going on in the world. It begins by recognizing our special place in the First World and the blessings we have. Spiderman was always told that with great power comes great responsibility. Ladies and Gentlemen reading this, we have massive power and an even larger responsibility to our species. If we can overcome the speed of light, we can overcome anything.

Whatever happens at the U.N, we should take a moment to concentrate on the fact that whether we like it or not, we must shed regional, cultural, philosophical and moral differences to acknowledge that we are on the frontier of the human experience. We are reaching the breaking point in terms of the usefulness of past systems to our present day experience. We are no longer living in a world where the speed of light is the limit, we are working in a world without limits. We have always found ‘boundaries’ and ‘limits’ useful to containing the human experience, so it can be transmitted and propagated in an intelligible way. We exist without limits. We are all, individually and collectively, responsible for the fate of everyone and everything on this planet. The time has come, we are, all as one.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2011 7:38 pm


  2. anonymous permalink
    October 5, 2011 9:21 am


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