Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Which Way is Down?

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Today’s Blog Post

Which Way is Down?

Now I know that some of the readers of this question are going to think that I am right off my rocker now! I just know it.

Down is… well Down! Right?

Now consider this.

If you are on the Moon and look out over the horizon at Earth... Earth is over there… not down. The Moon surface that you are standing on is Down. Right? But when you were traveling to the Moon it was up and then out there. Not Down. Right?

When you climb back on to the shuttle craft to shuttle back to the earth – it is up ahead. You come closer and closer to the earth until becomes a bigger and bigger ball. Now you are close enough that it is almost filling your entire vision – yet it is still a ball. You are able to now see the oceans and land on the surface of the earth. The earth is out there – still.

At what point would you consider it then to be “Down” there?

It was up there – or out there – now it is down there. Why?

At what point did your thoughts turn to the fact that it is now down there… and why did you start thinking that way?

Now I know you have not had enough coffee to be able to process this yet.

Before I offer more thinking on the Earth – try this one.

Some people go “up town”…. Others go “down town”. How can that place in our city be both up and down at the same time? And if I really pick this one apart a little further… why the dickens do they use the word “town” – when it is in a City? Shouldn’t it be “up city” and ‘down city”.

When I first heard “up town” and “down town” – it was in a prairie town that was flat. Which didn’t make any sense in that there was only directions – and no height at all. You could argue that the town was at an elevation of 1,150 feet above sea level. This then made it higher than Toronto and Vancouver by 700 to 1150 feet above these to cities. No one ever said they are going down to either of these cities… or going up to Regina!!!

In both of the cases above – we either go “out” to or “over” to – never Down or Up!

Back to the Earth thing.

There is no actual Down… or Up for that matter… it is positional.

Down and Up are influenced by Gravity for sure. But it is partly physiological, partly psychological and partly logical. And with that in mind only one third is affected by the reality of gravity.

So in fact there is no definite Up or Down.

When I have been viewing the results that the Hubble Space station is collecting it has blown my mind quite simply. There is no up or down – anywhere. There is no over or out or under or beside. There is only infinite – or infinity.

And the infinite and infinity is limited altogether by the ability to see just so far and no more… which does not change the extent of the absolute distance. There is no edge of space. There is no limit to it at all.

I have a GPS Unit that talks to me when I turn it on in the Van. Immediately it tells me that it is searching for the necessary satellites above my head – or some where out there now. Then when I turn a different way the talking GPS Unit says… “Recalculating, Recalculating…”

Maybe I need to do that in my own life too.

Yesterday I met with lots of people that thought they were the centre of the Universe. Everything in relation to them is up, down, over and under… duh! But most important they are the centre of everything. It as quite funny to witness a whole host of people in the same room that all thought they were the centre of the whole Universe.

I need to refocus big time… Oh boy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Anonymous said...

Hello: I found your blog because I was amused by Todd Richardson's e-mail as much as you were, and upon "googling" his name I found your blog.

This is more of an FYI, I like your style of questioning, but I also like to know the origins of things and well you did ask.

Downtown v Uptown.
Like so many things in our culture it's source is New York City, (like some salsas I hear). It has nothing to do with physics or altitude but simply street numbers.

When one goes uptown in Manhattan, you are traveling to streets with larger numbers, and downtown is toward streets with smaller numbers and as you might guess midtown Manhattan is somewhere in the middle of downtown and uptown.

Now most people I find, use downtown and uptown based on the connotations formed by the neighborhoods of Manhattan's Uptown and Downtown. The residents of Upper East side and Upper West side of Manhattan are wealthy and a bit older and tend to like things "nice" and kept that way. Where the people of Downtown Manhattan, used to be poorer and are still tend to be younger and like things mixed up and changing. So when someone thinks of "downtown" they normally think of a bit more grit and more diversity and more activity. When someone thinks of "uptown" they tend to think of more wealth and less activity and diversity.

Murray Lincoln said...

That is a GREAT addition to my post - Thanks. Makes perfect sense. But it is also even funnier when you think of the fact that they used it in Southern Saskatchewan, in a small town of truax that has mayube six streets at its high pointy - now it is less... but it is still downtown.

Thanks a million!