15 March 2013


I was having a yack to one of my mates earlier today on the telephone. He lives in Sydney and I am heading there on Sunday night for work. We were just catching up on news and shooting the breeze. I will see him for dinner on Monday night and we will catch up some more in person. He is a very old friend of mine and we never run out of stuff to talk about. 

As we were saying our farewells my mate asked me what I was going to write about tonight. When I got home. 

I told him that I didn't really know and that I never really know actually. I just sit down and hammer out some words just like I am doing right now. I don't really think about it. It might be something that happened to me or what I am feeling at the time. It is sort of like when I talk – it is mostly drivel but it just flows. It flows through my fingers rather than my mouth. 

I just write shit down.

Now I am considering it though I think I will write about nothing. This will be the subject matter for this evening. I have quite a bit to say about nothing because when you really think about it - it is quite an interesting subject. When you ask yourself what nothing actually is nothing is actually always something. I am not going to look up a definition of the word because I am well aware that it will likely refer to an absence of something.

I was watching a show on television a couple of weeks back and this very subject came up. The show that I watched was called Q&A. It is an Australian production that I watch on the Australian TV channel and it screens here in Singapore every Monday night - at 9.30pm. 

I never miss it.

On Q&A there is typically a panel of 5 or 6 invited guests who discuss various subjects before a studio audience. The panel changes every week. There are politicians, artists, scientists, comedians and a variety of other personalities who are asked their opinion on a range of different topics. They share their ideas and points of view and the debates and discussions are often lively. The TV audience gets to ask questions as well and television viewers are able to Twitter enquiries through to the panel. They tweet. I still don't quite get the whole Twitter thing and I don't think that I really want to. I will always associate tweets with bird song. I am old school in that regard.

I still marvel at the technology that is the Internet and emails and mobile telephones. None of these existed when I was at school or University. We corresponded with people from other parts of the world by letters and we put these letters in envelopes and stuck stamps on them. The stamps you had to lick to stick. Then we posted them at the Post Office.

Our telephones had dials on them that rotated. The handsets were physically attached to the telephone unit by curly wires that were covered in plastic. Wireless simply did not exist then because it yet to be invented. Nothing was instant - except maybe coffee.

On the Q&A show that I watched a couple of weeks ago two, of the panelists were having a bit of a crack at each other. This is not uncommon. I think that the Producers of the show set these sorts of encounters up and they invite guests who will likely argue with each other. It is entertaining for we viewers.

On this particular episode one of the guests was a Priest and another guy was a leading scientist. He was a physicist. The subject matter was Creationism and Evolution so it was the age old battle between Science versus Religion. There were obviously two vastly differing opinions on the matter.

The question that really caught my interest was what existed before there was something and what exactly is nothing? The point was made by the scientist that an empty space is actually something - even if it is a void. He told the studio audience and the viewing public that one can see empty. One can see nothing. Is it black or is it white? And then how of course did nothing become something?

The religious dude was talking about the Power of God whilst the scientist was waving his hands around and talking about black holes. They yelled a bit at each other for a while and it was excellent to watch and to listen to. 

Both men referred to something called the God Particle. This God Particle has apparently been sort of discovered through experiments that are being conducted in the massive Hadron Particle Collider machine thing that has been built in the city of Cern in Switzerland. The Hadron Particle Collider is a gigantic and incredibly complex machine that smashes sub atomic particles together at speeds that we mere mortals can only imagine.

The scientist was quoting something called the Higgs boson particle which he said is in fact the God particle. I am nowhere near smart enough to even begin to understand what this is but apparently it's discovery explains mass and space and time. It defines what nothing actually is and how it became something. It is thought provoking. 

It is brilliant. 

It is marvelous.     


  1. Having had a long running and sometimes heated discussion with a creationist in my university years it eventually become apparent that arguing against someones belief in their faith was pointless. I should just accept that they had a belief. This was where the discussion stopped for me.... but not for them....

    R. Marmot

    1. This is often the case Mr Marmot. I have endeavored to argue my faithlessness before with those with beliefs - it is like swimming against a strong tide