An Animated History of Everything. Go!

Found at Maria Popova's Brain Pickings Web site, this video condenses - she worries, reducts - some of the most interesting ideas from the famous cosmologist Stephen Hawkings.

Illustrations such as these are harmless in the sense that only the tiniest group of our number will ever understand the phenomenon described anyway - I'm actually insanely jealous - and then only through the symbolism of the mathematics. Observational support for Hawking radiation, one of the phenomena described in the video, is elusive, with the Wikipedia entry suggesting that the study of analogs in nature may have to substitute for the real thing.

Explanations like these "commodify wisdom" out of necessity, of course, but also in the sense that much human understanding is derived from analogs anyway. Yes, experimental science offers us direct access the nature, but there are whole swaths of the human experience cannot be understood execept thought metaphor. This is like that, and that, like something else.

Until then, if then, we can only admire chalkboards, translations of a translation, and take satisfaction that something incomprehensible there surely breathes.

Stay curious.