One of the most rewarding benefits of homeschooling my children is that I get to learn all sorts of new crazy shit. I’ve accidentally become fluent in the foibles of the 19th-century whaling industry, and in the life and times of James Buchanan. I’ve become reacquainted with geometry and basic algebraic concepts; I’ve also learned about semicolons. The kids start finding new stuff that interests them, and I get to go along for the ride.
About two years ago my son became passionate about physics, a class I cut for the entirety of my junior year of high school. I have always enjoyed a casual relationship with physics via my love of science fiction and a personal attachment to gravity, but I have not spent much time pondering the basis of my own reality, because I have ADD and know exactly what would happen to my brain if I went anywhere near that rabbit hole. I did not need to see how the atomic sausage is made, but the kid starts talking about beta particles and dark matter, and I’ve got to look like I know what I’m doing. I’m his mother, goddamnit.
Anyway, he’s got me watching this Fabric Of The Cosmos show on Amazon Prime, and apparently we’re all living inside a hologram. This was news to me. Something about how black holes scan data that crosses their event horizon and display it two-dimensionally or some crap like that. The important part of this story is that I thought the narrator said “ham-a-gram,” so I went into the whole segment while thinking about ham. If we’re all just 2-D bits of information being projected on the surface of a black hole, what does the concept of ham even mean? Is it nothing but a bit of data? Do I even taste it, or feel it? Does it come from a pig, or from a line of intergalactic code?
I have time to ponder these sorts of questions now, because I have nowhere to go and nothing to do. I’m just going to be in this house, staring at a pile of deli ham, wondering what it’s all about. Have you eaten any cold cuts recently that really made you think?