Question of the Day

I felt like making today a question day.

If the world was flat, would you change your daily routine?

For some time belief in the earth's flatness did profoundly influence certain people, namely the sailors who avoided the "edges" of it. But when flatness was disproved, and later the heliocentric nature of the solar system was made plain to us, did it really change our lives? Surely the existences of sailors, airline pilots, and physicists, mathematicians and astronomers are all profoundly influenced by this fundemental shift in our thinking.

But what about your average high school student, bellhop, or waiter? What about doctors, lawyers, and machinists? What about programmers and businessmen?

Is there a breakpoint at which, changes in the nature of our universe become so grandiose that they no longer influence our lives unless we specialize in an area of study and practice that is profoundly influenced by that particular part of the universe?

If the sun were full of Platinum turning into Iron (chemically silly, I know) instead of Hydrogen into Helium, would my garbageman care? Would my ISP technician change when he got up in the morning if the earth spun in the opposite direction?

The factors are massive, important. If any of them were different, on a grand scale EVERYTHING should change. And yet. . . so much of our lives would stay the same.

On the other hand, if the US spoke French instead of English, or didn't observe daylight savings time, or collected taxes in August instead of April. . . all of our lives would change. These self-imposed and often arbitrary factors would change our daily routines. While universal constants that are severely vital to the continued stability of our world just wouldn't.

I've run out of things to say. So I'm going to do something I've never done before.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the deuce, is that a comment box I see before me? Egad. What was it you were saying about changing universal constants...? I do believe Hades is looking rather chilly.

As to your original question:
Short answer... daily routine, no. Quasi-daily routine, however, and life in general: yes. What is the average daily routine, anyhow? Other than given constants of sunrise, sunset, seasonal change -- we're fairly oblivious creatures. Yay, we wake up, take out the trash, and go to work. Of course, should our humdrum elliptical orbit suddenly shift into uber-eccentricity, it would be a whole new ballgame.

...but I definitely think my life (along with that 'quasi-daily' component to existance) would change. As a pseudo-weather nerd, I have just enough learnin' to be dangerous: enough meteorological data is stored in the coffers of my brain to profoundly affect my view on the world in general. Weather influences us, and subconcious perception of the beast comes with the territory of dorkhood. In your flat-earth proposal, I can only imagine what massive geostrophic pattern shifts would exist... but our weather would change profoundly, and that in turn would change us. Mayhaps deadly afternoon hailstorms become the norm, and there would suddenly be that factor residing in the back of my/our brains...? Imagine rearranging your average routine based on vastly changed climate.

Cool. ;)

6:33 PM  

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