This is my themed series of blog posts in which as part of my ongoing quest for greater self-awareness and my continued personal and professional development, I pick a word and write about it for a set amount of time. Leave a comment on here with a new word for me to explore in the future or you could suggest one on Twitter (@Iain_D_Stewart).
This week, the word is INFINITY, and I’ll be writing for twenty minutes.
See, I think the theme for the first six parts of this were guessed quite early on – it was all about those Infinity Stones from the little Infinity War film that came out earlier in the year. Of course, being an old-school Marvel fan, it was hard for me to switch from calling them the Infinity Gems – but I’ve just about managed it.
So what is infinity? It screws with my brain. I find it hard to parse the paradox. But that’s the crux of a paradox. It is everything, isn’t it? But it can’t be everything, isn’t it more than that? An infinite amount of something is limitless, there’s no end to it. Defining infinity is like trying to find the biggest number, it’s impossible, because you can always add 1 to the number you thought was the biggest number and make it even bigger. You could always double it, triple it, or multiply it by itself to get an even larger number. Infinity can only exist as a concept. If you counted up every particle in the known universe, it would still be a finite number. Wouldn’t it?
Solid Snake comes to mind when thinking of infinity. Specifically, one of his bandanas. In one of the Metal Gear games, it gives him infinite ammo you see. But even this has a limit, if you think about it. It’s not truly infinite. One day, when all the discs that contain the data for the game have degraded, the digital copies have been marooned on hard drives that no longer function, and the host hardware the game was designed for has physically degraded, Solid Snake will have stopped shooting bullets, still with a full clip in reserve. It’s a functional infinity rather than an actual infinity. His infinite ammo will have just disappeared. Is it even possible to make an infinite amount of things just disappear? Can an actual infinity even exist?
I can’t wrap my head around it because I always come up with reasons why infinity cannot exist.
What is the biggest thing? It’s the space we live in, isn’t it? Anything bigger wouldn’t fit into it. So is that infinite? Is space, our universe, infinite? Truly limitless? No boundaries? We can’t know for sure. Lots of questions this week. Questions that are just impossible to answer. Theories can help though. It’s human nature to want to know the answers to the questions. A theory is a best guess, and sometimes that’s all we can go on. Some make sense to some people, some make more sense to other people. Can you pick and choose which parts of which theories you like best? Which ones resonate with you the strongest? I understand that everything we are and everything that exists is fundamentally made of vibrations, after all, which is why “resonate” is such a powerful word and concept for me.
Can it go the other way? Rather than being a large number, can infinity get infinitely small? What is the smallest thing? Can you go smaller than that? What if you broke that thing in half? Is it the singularity at the centre of a black hole? Is that the smallest thing? Black holes are fascinating. Where do they stop though? Do they reach a critical mass? Are they nature’s way of restoring order? As the theory goes, after the Big Bang, everything in our universe is moving outwards. Are black holes a way to bring everything back together? What happens when two black holes collide? The one with the most mass sucks the other one up? What happens after all the stars have burnt out, and they’ve all been sucked into a supermassive black hole? What happens when it reaches maximum gravitational pull? What happens when everything particle in the universe is inside a black hole? Does it reach critical mass then? Everything in the universe is located in the infinitely small space in the middle of the black hole – too much pressure!
Would there just be some kind of, I don’t know, big bang?