Thursday, January 27, 2022

Doppler Emotions

extrasolar planet orbting star (photo: Zhatt)

Let’s say you're finally part of that great migration to the planet circling the Kepler star, 1200 light years from earth—the carbon-based one that’s supposedly conducive to human life. Will you still be obsessed with the people who haven’t gotten back to you? At what point in time travel do you start to care less about the things that were once so important? Is there an emotional Doppler effect that lowers the frequency of the signal the further you get from its source? Are rejections less painful, the closer you get to the speed of light? And when one day you arrive, hardly having aged due to the wonders of what relativity does to the bodily clock, you will begin life with a peculiar kind of tabula rasa. Yes, you will know that this and that occurred, but it will have lost its power over you. Time travel reduces existence to value free chronology. Back on earth, you may have found you can’t run away. By avoiding the very fate the oracle foretold, Oedipus' father, Laius, brought about his worst fears. But when you’ve arrived a certain point in the multiverse, say the event horizon of a black hole, you'll find yourself filled with love even for those creatures who never gave you the right time of day.

Read "The First Law of Emotional Thermodynamics: Longing Is Directly Proportional to Self-Hatred" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "I Second That Emotion" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

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