Imagine with me gravity waves (since we can all now agree that we not only have them, but can hear them) – here, you can listen too.
In related sounds:
Gravity waves sound like breathing, and water dripping, and birds chirping, like a skin drum and a tail slapping in water. They are the sound of the blood in our own inner ear.
We exchange the experience; we hear it together; we are the sum of our interactions.
“If we only could, we’d be running up that hill.”
I do not deal in “if we only could”, because I have been paying attention and I know that we can.
And so I dream, and I imagine two long, slender concrete and glass buildings, set perpendicular to the river at MIT. Inside the buildings (which themselves are studded with sun-gathering spheres) are banks and banks of Tesla Powerwalls; this is not a secret, because the glass walls reveal the technology within and without.
Atop the two long buildings, covering a tall, open corridor (a new South Gate to campus) is an almost transparent metal mesh, can you see it? It is made in the form of a hyperbolic, paraboloidal section of a space-time manifold… concentric waves radiate outward from the pressure of a sphere of mythic proportions; weightless, weighty, immense. If you put your ear to the seashell, you can hear them.
Almost two stories tall, the sphere can be lit; it may look invisible, like the sky, or like the rising moon, or it may be full of people, dancing in a garden, with robotic butterflies and bees providing the light. In its own way, it is alive, it knows what is happening inside and around it.
It can even have a tiny personal carousel in it, one that generates power for the building as quarters are fed in to run it. I mean, why not?
The installation is a showcase of human experience, a riff on the game of coding, of intention, of function and form. Illusions of physics and machines of mathematics, a glass elevator with randomly appearing holographic and decidedly dated-looking Knids, a rocket slide that generates energy with each traverse.
Think of the delight of experiencing hexaflexagonal cells, each with their own 3D printer inside, releasing unique new solar- and wind-powered robots with every click of the PayPal button that contributes to the building fund. We can do anything we like, because a) we are dreaming, and b) everything is possible.
Different people have different ideas about what winning means. To us, it means finally being able to live up to our potential; to be the people we always hoped and dreamed we would be.
I will dream until this is done; there is no doubt of that. I can tell when I am getting things right, because I feel both as if I am falling through spacetime, and also, as if my head itself is hexagonal, full of light.
Me, I’m fresh on your pages
Secret thinker sometimes listening aloud
Life lies dumb on its heroes
Also, speaking of gravitational waves, don’t miss this spectacular article that appeared in the New Yorker. My hat is off to you, Nicola Twilley, and please join our team.
A favorite excerpt:
Many scientists were concerned that LIGO would sap money from other research. Rich Isaacson, a program officer at the N.S.F. at the time, was instrumental in getting the observatory off the ground. “He and the National Science Foundation stuck with us and took this enormous risk,” Weiss said.
“It never should have been built,” Isaacson told me. “It was a couple of maniacs running around, with no signal ever having been discovered, talking about pushing vacuum technology and laser technology and materials technology and seismic isolation and feedback systems orders of magnitude beyond the current state of the art, using materials that hadn’t been invented yet.”