Friday, May 16, 2014

Thank God for Inflation!

The goal of this blog is to add some mind-expansion to your Shabbat table. Please print and share.

The other day Yosephi asks me,

Abba, was there 7-11 when you were a kid?

Yes Yoseph we had 7-11.

But was it open from seven o'clock til eleven o'clock? Or was it open 24 hours like today?

It was open 24 hours.

But did they have Slurpees?

These poor kids want to hear horse-and-buggy stories and what can I offer them?

Well, we didn't have cell phones...Boring.

But this always gets them: the prices.

You could really buy a candy bar for ten cents? That's crazy!

(You think I remember that far back? I use, sonny.)

Thank God for inflation! It validates my gray hair!

Now let's talk for a minute about another kind of inflation, the cosmic kind.

Remember a few short weeks ago when the new report came out of proof of inflation?

Remember how you read a bunch of stuff trying to understand what the heck they were talking about?

Remember how crazy it sounded, that in less than a second, the universe expanded from smaller than a crumb to the size of, well, the universe?

Now, if inflation is true, then the universe as we know it is far more amazing and mysterious than we ever thought.

And that should be humbling.

Unless you're Professor Brian Greene, who wrote the excellent Smithsonian Magazine article. He does a great job explaining the theory, but....

How do you end such a story? With a comment on the wonder? With a moment of awe?

Not Greene:

If inflation is right, the visionaries who developed the theory and the pioneers who confirmed its predictions are well-deserving of the Nobel Prize. Yet, the story would be bigger still. Achievements of this magnitude transcend the individual. It would be a moment for all of us to stand proud and marvel that our collective creativity and insight had revealed some of the universe’s most deeply held secrets.

In other words, the real marvel is us! How clever we are.

So here's this week's question for your table: 
What's more amazing: that we're here, or that we know we're here?

Shabbat Shalom

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