How gravity makes me upside down


As an artist friend once said, going back and forth in the rabbit hole is like real life. He often talked about the tunnel at the end of the light, and we often forget that it is always accompanied by the light at the end of the tunnel. There is always the opposite, the opposite, the opposite.

Gravity drags time and space, and the memory rabbit hole leaves precious narratives behind. A pivotal moment in my personal life story happened in 1969, when I watched the Americans and a group of friendly Russians land on the moon, staring at an old TV in the Ukrainian city of Kharkov. Or I remember. A month ago, I found the diary of that decisive year. Yes, I was indeed in Kharkov on July 17th (local time). No, the Americans and Russians did not celebrate together. “I heard that we landed on the moon,” I wrote. “But you don’t know it from the local TV station, it only shows old news programs.”

What’s even more creepy is that my memory of a happy evening drinking vodka with a lovely Russian is even more abnormal. “They said they liked me as a girl,” my diary reported, “but as an American, they have no problem with killing me.”

There is an upside-down inversion. It encourages changes in viewpoints, re-examinations and necessary corrections. I have vacillated between writer and editor many times, alone or with a partner, dog people and cat people, east roller coaster and left roller coaster. I wish I was smarter; I know that my world becomes bigger because of it.

In addition, we always miss things for the first time. A popular pastime is (well, this is stupid) line dancing. These days, twice a week, in the university parking lot with a large group of people of all ages, I swagger to perform Korean trot, Cuban chacha, and country classics. We dance with Elvis. Don’t miss the opportunity, don’t miss the opportunity.

Through all this, gravity works mercilessly-squeezing my vertebrae, bending my spine, reshaping my middle. The last time I stood in the crowd and looked on tiptoes, I realized with horror that my vision was blocked by a normal person’s shoulder.

Of course, we do not “see” the curvature of space-time, at least not in the usual sense. Nevertheless, a copy editor once insisted that I insert the word “allegedly” before “curved space-time”. This still makes me find it interesting. I mean, we can’t see the air, even if the blow is big enough to destroy the building. Flowing air (wind), like gravity, is a pseudo-force because it depends on relative motion. A car (or boat) driving in still air can stir up a brisk breeze. Obvious wind, the sailors call it.

However, we perceive most things indirectly. We hear the rustle of leaves and infer the wind at work—that is, there is moving air. We measure the motion of galaxies and infer the gravitational force required to bring the clusters together—it turns out that too much gravitational force cannot be explained by visible stars. Therefore, “dark” matter-is now considered to be the source of most matter in the universe.

Gravity reveals itself to us through its effect on things (including myself). But it is not a force like magnetism. This is only a partial view of time and space. We know that landscape is important-not just in physics. If a supposedly “flat” landscape (sports field) tends to have some people at the top and others at the bottom, then you know that less invisible forces are distorting things.

Invisible influencers are distorting our world every day, most of which we do not want to consider: mutant viruses, fragile power grids, nuclear bombs, plastic oceans. Right under our feet, structural tension may pull the ground out of our feet—especially if you live in the Pacific Northwest at the top of the Cascadia subduction zone, and a disaster is waiting to happen. Then there is the ubiquitous artificial intelligence. Although Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and others have put forward red flags very early, until now, some people are shocked by its ability to distort almost everything-now it is everywhere and inevitable. Like gravitation.


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