You can’t ask that!

I watched a tedtalk the other day which was questioning the scientific constants, such as gravity and the speed of light. Do you know that gravity is not of the same force constantly? It varies depending on place and time, (I’m sure it’s extra strong where my bathroom scales are!) but the number is averaged out and considered a constant, unchanging figure.

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Same for the speed of light. In the early 1900s the speed of light was consistently measured at a lower speed than previously and since for over a decade. So was everyone measuring incorrectly, or does this constant, unchanging fixture actually change?

Well, it seems that it’s a bit of a taboo in the scientific world to suggest that these constants may not be constant. The numbers have been set in stone so for the love of god don’t ask any questions!

I found this tedtalk super interesting on its own merits and it also got me thinking about the “constants” in my own world that I do not question.

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The social “norms”, expectations about how I am to behave in any given situation, the right way to interact with others and what I can expect in return.

My height, weight, hair colour. How I measure success is monetary terms, what I think a “Good” person is, my attitude towards working, how much sleep I need and the kind of food I like to eat. All things that are part of my DNA and therefore set in stone. But do they have to be?

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Some things probably are set in stone – I don’t suppose I can change my height much at this point, but others are up for scrutiny.

“It’s just part of who I am” may just be an excuse to prevent any further self examination that may leave me wanting. Perhaps it’s time to pick up the stone I’ve carved these constants into and have a peek under.

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