Nautilus

Paradox Is Illuminating the Black Hole

This essay is one of the five winners in the 2019 writing competition held by the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard University. “The Black Hole Initiative offers a unique environment for thinking about the topic of black holes more creatively and comprehensively,” says BHI director, Avi Loeb. To add context to the exciting April 10 announcement that astronomers have observed a black hole for the first time, this week Nautilus is featuring all five winning essays.

The way up and the way down are one and the same,” says the Sage.

Paradox has a way of plaguing thought. It illuminates the inconsistencies and inadequacies of the concepts with which we make sense out of our experience. It casts into doubt our framework of understanding as much as the understanding itself. Whatever tower of thought may be built in an attempt to see past its contradictions teeters and, with slight perturbation, collapses. However, it can also become a tool of epiphany, if only we wield it skillfully enough. The philosopher

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da Nautilus

Nautilus9 min lettiPsychology
The Weak Case for Grit: Where’s the evidence that grit predicts success?
It might surprise you to find out how little evidence there is to support the idea that boosting students’ “grit”—their propensity to tenaciously attack difficult problems they encounter rather than give up—is a reliably effective way to improve thei
Nautilus5 min lettiPsychology
Why We Love to Be Grossed Out
Nina Strohminger, perhaps not unlike many fans of raunchy comedies and horror flicks, is drawn to disgust. The University of Pennsylvania psychologist has written extensively on the feeling of being grossed out, and where it comes from. The dominant
Nautilus6 min letti
How Surprising Connections Can Save the Ocean: Marine biologist Heather Koldewey on conservation, seahorses, and cross-discipline work.
Many marine biologists identify a gateway drug into their obsession, and for Heather Koldewey, it was the seahorse. Who can blame her? Seahorses seem to have evolved not entirely in the ocean, but also by way of a whimsical storybook, in which animal