The discussion of Why Does E=mc2(and why should you care?) has begun over at SPOB.

In the past, I’ve always written here about books, even if I was also writing about them somewhere else, so I’m going to duplicate it here, on the grounds that some of you might be utterly fascinated by this book, but not enough that you’d actually want to go over to SPOB.

However, if you want to go to SPOB and join the conversation, we’d love to have you. There are seven of us over there right now, which is not too many for a good conversation.

Anyway, I’m really enjoying this book so far.

The introduction to the book asks us to think about space and time. It suggests that we might think of space as limitless vistas punctuated by planets, or golden ships with people named “Buzz.”

I was sort of taken aback by that. I don’t think “outer space” when I hear the word “space” in the context of physics. Do you? I think as much of the space between the molecules of an apparently solid surface as I do of the space between planets.

As for time, I don’t really believe in it. Someone said, “Time is God’s way of making sure everything doesn’t happen at once.” Or Nature’s way, if you prefer anthropomorphism to deism. But that makes sense to me. I think we define movement or change or things like that in terms of time because it’s measurable and tidy that way.

Like dividing writing up into paragraphs. It’s right and proper and even natural to do so, but it’s still a convention. Thoughts don’t actually occur in paragraph form.

So these are my random thoughts about time and space. I don’t think I’ve given anything away or gone ahead for those of you who are still waiting for the arrival of your books, but I think it would be interesting to know your current idea of time and space. Then we can see whether our ideas about these things change as we read.

Today’s music is Pachelbel’s Canon in D. This may seem like cheating, because it isn’t really a Christmas piece. However, this morning I was awakened from by this playing on Top 40 radio with an overlay of children singing “Merry Christmas” and “Toyland” or “Joy and…” or something. Google tells me that this is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Canon.”

There are people who hate this piece as much as “Little Drummer Boy” and for similar reasons, but it’s beautiful. If you aren’t wild about it, then you should check out the Pachelbel Rant.