A Midnight Debate

Him: I see your pain! Physics was the grand science of the 20th century, but now it’s  delicate biology, to which even our technology is somehow converging, even though it can never succeed this goal.

Me (thinking): LOL, you can’t imagine how devastated I am because of this!

Me: Biology is just a physics’ department. See how well everything fits together? Genetics, DNA, quantum chemistry, which is quantum physics in fact, but who cares for the names that much.

Him: The new science – Ecology – has opened our eyes, broadened our horizons. While Darwin thought that the survival of the strongest is the key, now we know that it’s not so. A species retreats into its own niche to further develop!

Me: Predators follow them there and that’s their niche suddenly, as well. Forget about this ecology thing, it is mainly a digression back to the mystic! Besides, I have told you, it’s not the survival of the strongest, it’s the survival of those with the most grandchildren. It helps to be strong, but it’s not enough.

Him: Ecology has nothing to do with mysticism.

Me: Sure it does. The human head is build to host a god, or better The God to remain sane. Now, when the Christianity is all but dead, the Virgin Mary has been substituted by the Green Mother Nature. People adore her, but I am commit blasphemy whenever an opportunity arises.

Him: I was the first who criticize any idolatry of the Nature. But this is not the point here. The point is that your rigid ideological structure, as impressive as you may find it, is wrong. It holds you back, personally.

Me: You know me. I only see a cloud of quarks and electrons governed by the electroweak, the strong and by the force of gravity. That’s all there is, it’s all there ever was even when we did not know it.

Him: These reductionist views are terrible. But let me ask you something. How do you manage to incorporate your beloved Darwin into this overly reduced physics and mathematics.

Me: I see evolution as an algorithm performed by this quark-electron cloud. More stable substructures persist.

A third person: This is really stupid! You can’t explain even why the Moon is dead and Earth is so much alive!

Me: Of course I can. Gravity. Gravity does not permit an atmosphere on the Moon, so it’s difficult to live there unaided. There are some other reasons as well, but even this one is sufficient.

Him: He’s right here. But let me point out that our friend (that would be me) – had an accident when he was 13 years old. He broke his arm and concluded that the whole biology is somehow flawed. I clearly see this pattern here.

Me: It was not that bad, really. Almost everybody else had it worse or much worse. Still, our biology sucks, I give you that.

Him: When then, have you acquired those radical views?

Me (thinking): Well boys … It’s really quite sad, how far apart some old friends can get. Or even how far they always were. In fact the sad part is how deeply wrong you are. I can be mistaken as well. Besides of quarks and electrons, there might be some other particles or forces or maybe electrons are just special quarks or whatever. I can be wrong, but you can’t be even remotely right. That is really sad.

Him: We should really build an industry out of those electrical engines 20 years ago. Now everybody uses them and we missed the great thing.

Me: I didn’t care for those motors back then, and I still don’t. It’s not my game.

Him: Yes, but (some inventor, name omitted) spoke highly of one of your suggestions.

Me: What I said in 1990 was to use his electric engine for bicycles; don’t  wait for electric cars.

Him: Yes, but inspired by this, he improved his design! He repeatedly said so.

Me: We have a much bigger problem here. In 1990, it was 10 years AFTER someone traveled in an electric ultralight plane over the Channel. Now, 25 years later after the discussion of ours and 35 years after the original event, we have news about the first Airbus-Siemens-Boscarol charade. Nobody seems to remember the facts from 1980 – when electrical motors were nearly as good as today? Do you recall the Rosetta mission? The first landing on a comet? Which was also just a remake of some older asteroid landing – namely the NEAR.

Him: There were Americans first, in both cases?

Me: Affirmative.

Him: You may be right, for your memory is quite exceptional.

Me: I would rather see you admit that I know a lot of stuff. This “exceptional memory” sounds too freaky when you say it.

Me: Our American cousins are quite capable. And my fellow Europeans should honestly say so, instead of all that propaganda. Still the race isn’t over yet. But it will be not about electric motors, electric cars, environmental friendliness, carbon footprint reductions and such craps. It will be about AI.

Him (thinking) : You are saying basically that everything we do is of a little importance at the best. Only your fantasizing about AI is of tremendous value?!

Me: Still, I want our over Atlantic competition to remain friendly.


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