October 26, 2020

Gen Z Conservative

The thoughts of a young conservative on political issues relevant to all ages

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything

Introduction:

As you can probably guess from reading this blog, I’m very interested in politics and history. I love reading everything from the Federalist Papers to The Memoirs of Ulysses Grant to The Best and The Brightest. However, another thing I love reading about in both the news and the literary world is space, which is, as you can probably guess, the subject of The Theory of Everything.

I find the concept of a limitless frontier absolutely fascinating and exciting (which is why I would highly recommend you read Orphans of the Sky). So when one of my friends told me that I should read Stephen Hawking’s The Theory of Everything, I dropped everything and immediately read it. I would highly recommend that you do the same.

Summary of The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything is Hawking’s masterful translation of his theory about space and how the universe formed into the vernacular so the common person can read and understand it. And he does a wonderful job of doing so. Some scientific books are full of scientific, academic vocabulary that is utterly incomprehensible to the layman. Hawkin’s The Theory of Everything is if hard to comprehend because of the subject, a quite readable book.

Furthermore, it’s very interesting. Hawking covers the Big Bang, black holes, singularities and more. To break up the material, Hawking divided the book into seven sections. Those sections cover diverse topics but generally stick to the history of scientific theory about space and new discoveries. As one progresses through the sections, each one of Hawking’s lectures, it is easy to see that he is using them to gradually get to whether there is or is not a “theory of everything.”

So, does Hawking have a “theory of everything?” Or, worded differently, is there a single theory that could explain everything in the universe? He’s certainly able to explain certain phenomena. I found the sections on space-time and black holes simultaneously awe-inspiring and extremely interesting. Additionally, those sections were well explained in the theories in them were very well supported. But as for his theory of everything…well I’ll let you read the book and find out what it is and if you agree with it. Enjoy reading!

Analysis of The Theory of Everything

I was amazed by how well Hawking was able to distill his theories in The Theory of Everything into lectures that the average person could understand. For example, although I find space interesting, I am not very scientifically inclined. High school chemistry and physics were a challenge for me. Yet even I was able to get a good mental grasp of the theories of Hawking and his colleagues to the layman.

Why is that important? Because space is humanity’s future. Not in some Malthusian, we’ll have to flee Earth to survive climate change sort of way, but rather in a “Space, the last frontier” way.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been making space more accessible year after year. Because it’s a private company, it has been able to innovate in ways that the past decades of government-run space programs never could. Perhaps we’ll one day be able to explore far-distant galaxies in ships like the ones described in Orphans of the Sky.

If we’re going to explore space, more people need to understand what it’s really like. How can one understand the costs and requirements necessary to get past the moon, much less to distant galaxies, if no one understands even the most basic elements of our universe? The Theory of Everything is the way to educate people on that subject. It’s easily understandable, fascinating, and very well written. In my opinion, everyone should read it.

Conclusion

When the government was trying to ramp up support for the Space Race, it build playgrounds with rocket ships, flying saucers, and assorted other space-themed toys. And it worked; a whole generation was transfixed by space. That fixation helped us get to the moon, as described in The Best and The Brightest.

Unfortunately, that enthusiasm has since faded. It needs to be revived. I firmly believe that if more people read The Theory of Everything, they will be willing to fund research and exploration of space. Maybe I’m wrong. But it’s worth a try. We’ve stopped exploring space for years now and it’s starting to show.

Limited exploration means limited innovation. Limited innovation means limited growth. The amount of natural resources in space is enormous. For example, mining asteroids might soon be possible. But only if people understand how those ventures work and are excited about them. Reading The Theory of Everything might catalyze that change in opinion. It’s at least worth a try.

By: Gen Z Conservative

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