Journal

Does Gravitation predict Humanity’s future?


The universe is governed by four forces of nature. These are the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, electromagnetism, and gravitation. I’ve not necessarily listed them in any order. But of these four forces the weakest is gravitation. If you think about it this is easy to prove. You’ll be hard pressed to peel apart two neodymium magnets in your palm even if they are both the size of quarters. But the entire gravitation of the Earth is not enough to stop you from lifting a gallon of milk off the ground (health conditions not withstanding).

Gravity takes immense amounts of mass to have any kind of real impact on nature. Though true out in space you could move one object of any size a small amount with another object of any size, but those movements are incredibly subtle and sometimes they border on meaningless when considered against the grand gravitation of all the great celestial objects. Gravity is amazingly weak and yet it has an interesting property. Gravity is the only force I’m aware of that can “pull” with a force so great that no other force in nature can escape it.

Light has a constant speed, that speed being the fastest speed in the universe. This is probably because once you are pure energy you are pure energy, once you’ve reached 0 mass you’ve pretty much shaved off all the mass that you can shave. This fastest of all things and energizer of the universe still succumbs to the power of gravity. I find it interesting and perhaps a little inspiring.

See Gravity is by itself a weak and petty creature. A single “unit” of gravity will do little but be forgotten by all. But if they band together their meek frames can suddenly overcome the very stars. There is nothing that Gravity cannot conquer if enough of it gathers. No amount of energy too great, no object too large, no space too wide. Humans are a bit like gravity. At the individual level we are pretty much meaningless. While people might think that Hitler made great changes as a single person this is simply not true. Same too for Genghis Khan or Issac Newton. These people banded with others, their discovers or actions either stood upon the shoulders of giants or were influenced by communications between.

Our dreams, thoughts, and actions all hinge on those connections we make with others. They shape us, enhance us, or retard us. But in the end we are all one large organism, not unlike a jellyfish, at this scale we look like individual cells but if you zoom out far enough we are one large writhing mass of flesh. Not exactly the most pleasant visual but…

Humans will live or die by their ability to recognize this connection. That every success, every death, every end big or small impacts each of us in the most literal of senses. Our ability to survive the next great celestial event hinge on our ability to unify. Our inevitable destruction from those events hinges on our inability.

We are not individuals, people do not grow of their own merit alone. Will humanity be a collection of single gravitons blinking into and out of existence without so much as a road sign to show history of their existence? Or will we be like the black holes that power galaxies.

I’m not sure personally. But the optimistic realist in me thinks we could, by pure luck, end up powering galaxies.