Dagdha's Blog

E = MC²

Posted in Uncategorized by dagdha on September 23, 2011

Yesterday I read an article about CERN’s recent discovery of neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light.  Then I saw an article on Reuters.  Then Yahoo.  Then plastered everywhere online from forums to memes, and suddenly everyone’s an expert on Relativity, as though they even knew what the variables in Einstein’s equation meant a week ago.  I’m not pretentiously feeding my ego by criticizing the supernova-esque explosion of interest in physics by the general population, but rather the capricious nature of superficial public interest based on hyperbolized news media.

While the ramifications of such a discovery are astounding, there is very little proof outside of CERN’s own experiment, which typically needs to be independently replicated for verification.  I don’t question CERN’s results (their scientists are obviously much more intelligent than me), but I’m bothered that reactions to the news aren’t from a historical perspective, especially in such a complex field.  Boldly claiming that Einstein was wrong, when very few people completely understand his theory, is the epitome of wrongfully sensationalizing a story just to make money.

The sad truth, however, is that exaggerated news stories are what sell.  That’s why people like Glenn Beck are rich and famous instead of institutionalized.  That’s why Haiti is still in ruins but no one seems to care anymore.  That’s why whoever has the biggest mouth, or throws the biggest tantrum, is who gets elected and passes legislation.  That’s why our nation lacks a global perspective and has fallen into disrepair.  Our media has created an ADD society.

If CERN’s results are correct, and Einstein’s theory is wrong, then it will be an exciting, if not scary, revolution in the field of physics.  Historically, ground-shattering discoveries in physics have produced proverbial quantum leaps in technology.  With Einstein’s discoveries came a new perspective of the cosmos, as well as the atomic bomb.  It’s impossible to know what might come of this discovery, but my inner cynic is wary, especially in a society fueled by emotion that uses sensationalized media as kindling.

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