More and more, the science of physics and its practitioners (so-called “physicists”) are leaving an indelible mark on our daily lives.
But let’s back up…
It used to be that physics was simple, boring and safe (like banking used to be). You know, you had gravity, light, the physics behind suspension bridges — stuff like that. Rarely did anyone get too hurt, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse not withstanding.
Even then, only the dog got killed. The result of a sophisticated model not perfectly predicting reality was not that bad.
But now physics is darting off into dangerous territories, promising life-enhancing “innovations” like hydrogen energy, efficient power grids, high-speed mag-lev trains and so on and so on.
It sounds nice until it all explodes. People! We’ve seen what geeks bearing formulas did to Wall Street. Don’t let it happen in real life.
They come at you all nerdy and innocent, but then they spew their fiendishly complex alphabet soup of top quarks, higgs-bozons bosons (see, we can’t even spell it right it’s so complex) and massless neutrinos.
If you think anyone understands this stuff, and what could happen if it all goes haywire, then I’ve got a Large Hadron Collider I’d like to sell you for $3 billion.
Let’s not be forced to learn this lesson twice. It’s time for sensible regulation on physics to take us back to a simpler, safer time.
(Disclosure: the author’s father is a physicist)
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