With Continual Reference to Justin Kahn.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Found a Flaw in The X-Files

Over the last couple of months, you will have certainly noticed that the reliability and overall quality of my posts have gone way down. This is because I have been watching X-Files for four or five hours a day.

I want to believe. But I have a critical mind. So as I've been watching X-files I've been trying to find holes in the conspiracy theories and explanations of the paranormal. Episode after episode I got nothing. I was beginning to believe.

But then I saw the episode Monday and I realized the flaw in the x-files worldview was with Mulder. In this episode Muler is shown waking up. The bookshelf above his bed contains the critical flaw.

No one --not even physicists--would include Thorne, Misner and Wheeler's Gravitation as bed time reading.

I can believe that our government has made a pact with an alien civilization. But not that any person, no matter how interested in the truth, is going to go to bed reading advanced books on physics.

A survey of my bedtime reading, shows that less than a quarter of the books deal with physics--and those only assume a basic knowledge of calculus, not tensor calc like Mulder seems to enjoy doing.

Does that mean I love Truth less than Mulder? Just because I prefer Borges' poems to a work on Relativity.

No it just means I am tired at the end of the day.

So. Very. Tired.



Justin said...

First off, I'd just like to mention I don't know why there is so much science stuff this week.

We'll be getting to Fassbinder soon.

Second, I think I msy have gone too far in the final lines of my post in terms of using literary techniques to demonstrate how tired I am.


Sophie T. Mishap said...

Dear Professor,

Ha! I love that you are the first response to your own entry!

Physicists don't edit themselves. They just incorporate everything they say - good or bad - into string or gauge theory. Mulder wouldn't have known that either. Live and learn.

As for Borges, his dark and brooding nature fits better into an X-Files episode than physics (even the experimental kind) ever would.

All best,

Mishap, Sophie T.

Justin said...

Thanks for keeping my comment company. I could see how someone who didn't know me might think it a bid odd or an indication of extreme loneliness. But now that there are two (soon to be three) comments everything looks A-O.K.

Was Borges Brooding? I read Williamson's bio, and didn't get that impression. Maybe I missed something.

I am trying to be like him, so any tips would be appreciated.


Sophie T. Mishap said...

Dear PJK,

Argentina seems to think so. They have yet to write a bio, though. Wait - you being sarcastic, weren't you? It's cheating to consider sarcasm irony. ;)



alecia said...

nice sheets.

Comrade Kevin said...

I started reading Gravitation in 1983, made it to page three, fell asleep, and woke up in 1994. I missed the first six seasons of Saved By The Bell!

That kind of sleep narcotic was so powerful it could only be the result of either a boring read of unfathonable magnitude, or some hybrid product of experimental time travel derived from Alien DNA.

Justin said...

Well, virtually any statement can be ironic given the right context.

For example, Sarcasm can be considered irony when I use it.


Justin said...

Yeah, I know. They are from the Ty Pennington Collection.


Justin said...

Comrade K,
I have, once again, caught you in a web of lies.

You claim that you started the book in 1983, but according to the amazon web page it was published September 15, 1973

So you see, you must have started the book ten years before you claim. Or else how do you account for those ten years?

Yours Ever Concerned with the Truth,

Misha said...

I love the X-Files. My esteem for you has risen quite a few notches due to this post. Hooray!

Jenn said...

You read lectures on physics in bed?????

OK I'm convinced. You're MENSA material. No wonder Audrey went out with you.

Sophie T. Mishap said...


I'm confused, but don't let that stop you from being sarcastic and/or a physicist. Both can be completely autonomous from sense-making.


goldennib said...

I like the color green, so I will read Homer.

Justin said...

By that logic you will have to read everything in the Harvard Classics series.


Justin said...


Just to be clear: My Sarcasm was Ironic. While your accusation that I was being sarcastic is, also sarcastic.


Justin said...

Feynman's lectures on physics give me happy dreams.


Justin said...

Bout time I got some respect around here.

Guess what?

I bought Millenium Season One--Chris Carter's failed project.

The library owns a copy but Maggie wouldn't let me check it out.

But I got a real good deal on it.

So now your esteem for me must have risen several notches! While your esteem for maggie must have dropped several notches (You can admit it--She stopped reading my blog ages ago, I think.)

Justin said...

I noticed you haven't commented in the last hour.

I was just joking around calling you all those different names.

Please don't hate me.


sab said...

as a random passer-by, physisict and x-files fan i feel i must note:

that although i have never even attempted to read gravitation, it did indeed occupy the space next to my husband's bed back when we were in undergrad... yes, i married a man who once (no longer, thank god) considered "gravitation" suitable bedtime reading.

such people exist.

or... perhaps mulder exploited the book's soporific power to relieve insomnia.

bianconero said...