Better not to know

Complexity is the essence of things. So Einstein's universe of a sort of cold, hard space and time defined by a set of differential equations - it's there, but it's a very small part of the real universe. It's just the mountain peaks.

The quote above can be found in Krista Tippett's book, "Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit," and I was struck by the following thought. From such 20th Century milestones as Heisenberg's uncertainty principle to Bell's theorem to Gödel's demonstration that a formal logic is only finished when it calls on help, science has moved beyond its positivist bent a century ago - if it can't be measured, it doesn't exist - to an understanding that the world is not only complex, but uncertainty is fundamental to it.

Contrast that with popular culture today, which would have us understand that certainty about nearly everything is the norm. So isn't it interesting that physics, through repeated demonstration, has now shown that at its smallest dimensions reality can go this way or that, while complex and agonizingly difficult social problems and life choices merit glib answers fit only for a ready made world. That's why, between the two, I prefer uncertainty. Ready made worlds never change.

Wayne