Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Experiencing the world from a different perspective

< sounds better when you lie on your back on the floor, just like an apple tastes better when you cut it up into wedges. It’s as if when you change how you experience the world, the world becomes more poignant. But it’s still the same world: the same apple and the same music.

If you leave an apple on your kitchen counter, eventually it will rot. The rotten apple is the same apple that it was when it was fresh, and when you awake everyday you are the same person that you were when you went to sleep. Yet didn’t your dreams affect you, and isn’t it always possible that one morning you’ll look into the mirror and not recognize yourself?

When I stand here and look at a room reflected in a mirror, let’s say I see image X. When you stand over there and look at the same room reflected in the same mirror at the same time I do, let’s say you see image Y. Images X and Y are not the same image, so what image is on the surface of the mirror?
It’s impossible to take a photograph of a river at night without all the reflections in the water pointing towards the camera lens. And when you run along a river the reflections from across the water follow you no matter how fast you run.

To run away from here is to run towards there. But when you run in a circle by running away from here you also run towards here.

How big is here? Sometimes here is a house or a room in a house. Or sometimes it’s the location of a paper on a desk. Or it could be here in this state or this country or this galaxy. In mathematics, here is a single zero-dimensional point in an infinite-dimensional space.

So much certainty lives in mathematics. Since we create the rules of mathematics, we can prove with absolute certainty, using those rules, that a certain proposition is true. Let’s change the rules of mathematics; let’s create a new mathematical universe.

The internet is like a new universe. It lives in servers scattered across the world, yet it is neither a place nor a time. Task: explain the internet to someone who has no experience using a computer.

Task: prove that what you can’t experience with your senses in this very moment still exists. There could be nothing outside your door until you open it and look out; your very action of looking out could be what makes there be something there.

In my English class our professor asked us to memorize a sonnet. Now that sonnet is there in my mind, and I can remember it whenever I want. Memorization removes the visual aspect from reading; I don’t see the words in my mind when I recite the sonnet.

When I read Shakespeare aloud before I go to bed, I dream in iambic pentameter, but the verse in my dreams isn’t always in English. Sometimes the words in my dreams don’t make sense in this world; sometimes I awaken with a line or two of nonsense, which made sense when I was asleep, fresh in my memory.

So many languages in the world. And so many words that, when translated, mean almost the same thing as their translation. But really each word in each language is unique. The word “water” in one language has different connotations than the word “water” in any other language.

Also: so much water on the planet. Such deep oceans and so many crazy-looking creatures that live deep down there near the hydrothermal vents where the sunlight never goes. It’s a deep deep world, my friends. A deep deep world.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *