Small and insecure

I finished Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash a few weeks ago. At some stage I’d like to read it again, as some of the theology references flew past way over my head. But thoroughly excellent nonetheless.Thumbs up!

Last week I started reading Bill Bryson’s A Short History Of Nearly Everything. The opening chapters talk about the creation of the universe, and I couldn’t help but think of the Monty Python Galaxy song

“So remember when you’re feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely is your birth
And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space
‘Cos there’s bugger all down here on Earth.”

So I read about the Big Bang, the way the universe grew into what it is today, the infinitesimal likelihood of the events that have resulted in (allegedly) intelligent life. Then I looked up from the book, around the train, and had this strange feeling of inconsequentiality and pointlessness.

Hmmm. It passed after a few minutes.

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6 Replies to “Small and insecure”

  1. “Then I looked up from the book, around the train, and had this strange feeling of inconsequentiality and pointlessness.”

    Commuting, let alone scientific philosophy, is often quite enough to induce that effect, I find.

  2. The best thing about commuting is that its an extra x minutes of sleep. After a couple of weeks you’ll automatically awake at or just before your stop. And what with Sydney’s trains being more inept at cancelling trains than British Rail ever was (yes its possible) I can get up to an extra hours sleep a day.

    Of course if you’re really lucky you have web access to toxic custard via a mobile or pda and this helps the time pass more productively :)

  3. Everyone should read books like A Short History of Everything, Emotional Intelligence, a good overview of the human body, etc. This is all solid and very useful general knowledge…text books for the human race, really. Mandatory reading!

  4. I got a similar feeling quit often throughout that book. You also realise how much destruction we are doing to our world. Wait until you get to the bit about extinction rates…

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