Any fan of Adam Smith believes in specialization and the division of labour, which implies the efficiency of “rational ignorance.” In keeping with this principle, I know a lot about economics, statistics, history and technology; but very little (okay, nothing) about physics, chemistry, and engineering. I am familiar with a slide rule and trigonometry, and used to be able to mentally calculate cube roots but, as the Sam Cooke song goes, “don’t know much about science book.”
For that, I depend on the kindness of my sister, who has degrees in physics and international relations, a wide sphere of scientific interests, is married to a plant geneticist who specializes in microscopy, and knows English, French, and Dutch. She holds passports from Australia and the United States, currently lives in the Netherlands, and has travelled from Tunisia to Namibia to Mongolia (where, apparently, Khan is a name to conjure with).
This post and its title are all owing to her sending me an email with this link to an utterly fascinating video.
She wrote: “Don’t get dizzy looking at this. Ultimately, we (and everything else) all travel at the same velocity in the space time continuum, and only the space or time aspect of the vector changes.”
As a super-fan of Star Trek: Next Generation and Firefly, I know all (or as much as I want to know) about the space-time continuum. Although I do often wonder what exobiologists spend their sidereal day doing…
(This link includes a NASA video that illustrates the rotation period of different planets.)