Please, by all means, click image.
Okay, here's The Light Cone deal, I shall try to make it as simple as possible.
Well, actually, if I explain everything about the Light Cone which my tiny miserable undisciplined brain understands ... that will be pretty simple.
1. The speed of electromagnetic radiation -- most of the time we just call it the speed of light, but light is just a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum -- in a vacuum is a fundamental fixed, unvarying constant of nature.
2. The only way we Know anything about the Universe is through receiving signals, quantities of perceivable information -- light signals, radio signals, sound waves -- and either seeing them, feeling them (infrared warmth on our skin), or recording them on machines sensitive to those parts of the EM spectrum.
3. So it follows that Everything We Know About the Universe is just all the received Light we get from the Universe.
A consequence of (1) is that, from HereNow (the point in Spacetime where we are right now), we can see plenty, but only within the boundaries of a certain Shape.
We can't see or know anything outside the boundaries of that Shape, because it would have been (mathematically, the math of the known laws of physics) impossible for Light to have come from outside the Shape and be seen by us in the HereNow, within the Time it takes for Light to travel through Space.
This Shape -- there's probably a much better technical word for "Shape" -- turns out to be The Light Cone.
The Light Cone defines all the Space we can possibly perceive, and it also defines all the Time we can possibly perceive or experience.
There may be Stuff going on outside the Light Cone, and it could be amazing Stuff, Stuff better than Sliced Bread or Chuck Berry -- but we just can't ever Know it. It truly is The Beyond.
You can't get there from here.
Einstein and the mathematician Minkowski worked out The Shape from simple but inevitable consequences of (1). It's the two ice cream cones, one of them Up, the other Down, connected at their Points. The only difference between an ice-cream cone and the Light Cone is that the fat part of both cones goes on Forever; the boundary of the knowable Universe goes out from the HereNow infinitely.
Got all that? Alles ist klar?
Incidentally, the Angle of the Light Cone -- the slope at which it expands outward from The Point -- is warm, familiar, simple 45 degrees. Euclid would call it a Bisector of a Right Angle. Or, if you prefer, pi/4 =
(I don't know anybody who really would prefer radian measure, but I'm sure there are 40 or 50 geeks out there who like it better. I know people who, in a world of Billie Holiday and Enrico Caruso, go apeshit about Michael Jackson.)
So there it is: The Universe. Or at least the parts of it you'll ever see. There may be more, but it's Off Limits, like the other gender's public bathroom, or some of the Nixon Oval Office audio tapes for a few more years.
So what does all this mean?
Happy New Year
from Planet Vleeptron!!!
Agence-Vleeptron Presse's Art Director, Philippe de Montebello, wanted to make a Vleeptron Happy New Year Faux Postage Stamp, but he imposed a strange restriction on his design: It must be 100% free and absent of All
Visual Cliches associated with the New Year: the diapered baby crawling in, the ancient bearded man stumbling out, all that Hallmark crap.
Philippe said Non.
He pulled his hair, he sweated blood, he flagellated himself, and finally experienced the required Gestalt: The Einstein-Minkowski Light Cone.
And you can only get a Cliche-Free Einstein-Minkowsky Light Cone Happy New Year Faux Postage Stamp from Vleeptron. Nowhere else. Accept No Substitutes.
Leave A Comment. The Spirit of The Special Moment, when Earth's arbitrary odometer flips over to an arbitary Multiple-Zero moment -- what does the New Year mean to you?
You into Prophesy? Tell Vleeptron what kind of red-hot flinging plague-infested poop you think is coming our way in the next twelvemonth.
Or Antisy? (I think I just made that word up.) Looking Backward. Tell Vleeptron Your Thoughts about 2009.
This can be like one of those Internet Diaries, or Confessionals. Tell Vleeptron what you REALLY feel about the year just finishing, and tell Vleeptron how you REALLY feel about the next 365 days, which are, for the most part, Tohu v'Vohu -- Void and Without Form. Could go either way. We could all receive a $9400 check in the mail from a government agency we never heard of. Or sharks could eat us. Do you live anywhere near a big volcano? Who told you it was extinct, and not just Very Dormant?
But maybe you have Imagination or Intuition or A Hunch, or Insider Trading info, or a really hot Tarot Deck, and your Minor Arcana keeps coming up Morte and le Pendu and le Catastrophe.
Tell Vleeptron what you see.
Tell Vleeptron what you saw.
Tell Vleeptron what you will have seen.
Tell Vleeptron what you're going to see.
If you are or have been or will have been seen by Vleeptron, spill it. We want the skinny, what's the 411?
Meanwhile, I wish you all -- Adventure! Ah shit, let me see if I can find this speech ...
The test of an adventure is that when you're in the middle of it, you say to yourself, 'Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home.' And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure.
(a few more summing-up words, Final Curtain)
-- "The Matchmaker," by Thornton Wilder
"The Matchmaker" -- and "Ferris Beuller's Day Off," and "Hello, Dolly!" and about a dozen other pieces of drama, musical-comedy and cinema -- is descended from John Oxenford's 1835 farce "A Day Well Spent," which was translated and lengthened into "Einen Jux will er sich machen" by Austrian playwright Johann Nestroy in 1842. Tom Stoppard has a version, set in Vienna at a season in which everyone is wearing kilts and Scottish Highlands attire, called "On the Razzle." It's a lot of fun, the best I've yet seen from this curious and ancient lineage. It's pretty filthy, but in a good-hearted sort of way. But it's pretty filthy. It's about the filthiest thing I ever saw on a stage -- and I once acted in "Lysistrata" wearing a giant synthetic erection under my tunic.
Stoppard addresses a rarely-asked question:
If you spend 15 years, hours and hours every day, staring down or ahead at the heaving, sweating, shaking, undulating, quivering monstrous buttocks of one or two dray horses, what effects might it have on your personality and behavior?
PS. If I'm all full of shit and totally wrong about the mathematics and physics of The Einstein-Minkowski Light Cone, PLEASE feel free to tell me. Send Vleeptron some equations. Specific numbers. Shock & Awe me. Rock my world.
Labels: Einsien-Minkowski Light Cone SpaceTime Universe HereNow Tom Stoppard Johann Nestroy Einen Jux will er sich machen