Ex nihilo nihil fit

Ex nihilo nihil fit. This is latin for “out of nothing nothing becomes”.

Philosophically, nothing is truly the absence of any material at all, visible or otherwise.

The pre-Socratic greek philosopher Parmenides was the first to think of the “Ex nihilo nihil fit” theory, which states that, seeing as something does exist now, there can never have been a time when nothing did exist. Therefore, it’s only logic that there is something which has always existed since the beginning of eternity (if one can speak of a beginning when talking about eternity). The main question this theory makes us ask ourselves is, what is it that has always existed?

This theory has been recently opposed by modern theories, notably a certain theory which states that, seeing as physicists have calculated that the universe is probably flat, there are chances that the universe did spring from nothing.

However, in science, “nothing” as it is defined in philosophy, does not exist. There can only be vacuums, and even the most perfect vacuum is “filled by a roiling cloud of particles and antiparticles, which flare into existence and almost instantaneously fade back into nothingness.” [1].

Moving on, seeing as we can prove, by calculations which I can’t be asked to explain here, that the universe is flat, this sets out the conditions needed for the universe to spring from a vacuum, and to make the energy needed to create everything. Indeed, in a flat universe, gravity and matter can balance each other out, pretty much like an old fashioned scale.

So the antique theory that “out of nothing nothing becomes”, has been basically disproved by modern theories, at least concerning the origins of our universe. Yet it hasn’t completely been disproved, as we realise that the scientific definition of nothing isn’t quite the same as the philosophical definition of nothing. So, though a universe can apparently be created from a vacuum composed of swirling particles and antiparticles, which, granted, is not much, it can not be created by “nothing” in it’s purest sense.

But these explanations about the creation of our universe only seem to push the problem further back. Our universe, and probably countless others, were created by vacuums, but how were these vacuums created? When did there start being the particles and antiparticles which composed them? We can dismiss this question by the answer of “eternity” which then puts nothing at the beginning of the universe, seeing as, technically, eternity has no beginning.

Or, otherwise, we could simply imagine our own crazy theories regarding the universe, seeing as, overall, what difference does it make if our universe came from a vacuum composed of swirling particles, or from a desperate fight between two cosmo-pandas?

Sources : [1]:http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141106-why-does-anything-exist-at-all

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_comes_from_nothing

Standard

Here’s a beautiful poem, which i will translate:

Le livre de la vie est le livre suprême
Qu’on ne peut ni fermer, ni rouvrir à son choix;
Le passage attachant ne s’y lit pas deux fois,
Mais le feuillet fatal se tourne de lui-même;
On voudrait revenir à la page où l’on aime,
Et la page où l’on meurt est déjà sous vos doigts

Alphonse de Lamartine

 

“The book of life is the supreme book,

Which we can neither close, nor open as we please;

The chapter we enjoyed can not be read twice,

But the fatal page turns by itself;

We would like to go back to the page where we loved,

But the page where we die is already beneath your fingers.”

 

This is one of my favourite poems, mainly because of its simplicity and openness in describing something which so many people see as a great mystery. To me, this comparison describes life as simply as it ever could be described. It can be taken many ways, I suppose, depending on what type of person you are: some people may see it as depressing, as it depicts the inevitability of death without holding back, while others may see it as a reason to live life at it’s fullest, because our days are numbered.

The author could be depicting life as predefined by destiny, and maybe it’s true. Fate controls almost everything in life, in such a way that you can never know what will happen before-hand, no matter how carefully you might plan things. Then again, maybe there’s no such thing as fate. My theory is that the thoughts and actions of others, however indirectly, can affect what happens to those around them. At any moment, we might be affecting the life of someone we’ve never even met, simply by deciding to get the bus instead of walking, or by getting in their way in the street, or forgetting to leave a tip at the restaurant… Who knows how our actions, however unconscious they may be, affect other people’s lives? I’m not saying that everything you do will change the course of someone else’s life, but I can also name many occasions in which strangers affected the course of my day, or even allowed me to meet someone who then proceeded to change my life. We’re like parts of a huge machine, and everything that one part does will change what another part does, which then changes what another part does, and so on, and so on. Not that this is strictly true in all situations, but in many I believe that it is, at least until I find a better way to describe it, or until I begin to see things otherwise.

 

 

“Le livre de la vie” (“The book of life”), Alphonse de Lamartine

Aside

In my opinion, my parents had the most romantic meetings ever, once in a yacht club in Hong Kong, and again on the other side of the world, in a bay in the Caribbean.

At the time of their first meeting, my mother was about twenty-five years old, and working in a jean factory in Hong Kong, while my dad, two years older than her, was an architect’s assistant. Both loved sailing, and had their own separate sailing groups. These two groups somehow met up, and my dad challenged my mom to a race, saying that the losing team would have to take the other team out to dinner. My mother accepted bravely, despite how much better the other team’s boat and crew and equipment were. Obviously, after a disastrous race, she and her team lost.

So, my dad, ever the womanizer (although when I see old pictures of him I wonder how), smoothly suggested that she take only him out to dinner, instead of the whole crew, and my mother accepted.

They went out to a very atmospheric restaurant, and, as far as I’ve heard, had a near perfect date, finishing with a romantic kiss on the docks.

Then my father said that he was engaged.

I’ve never heard this part in detail, but I like to imagine that he received a monumental slap, which he quite honestly would have deserved. Imagine falling in love with a charming man, only to have all your illusions broken by a few words. You can bet your life that if someone did that to me he would end up with a red, hand shaped mark on his left cheek.

Anyway, I would have liked to tell you that my parents, being the reasonable people they are, realised that they probably shouldn’t see each other any more, and parted ways. They didn’t. In fact, though it embarrasses me to say it, they had an affair which lasted many months, until my father was a month or so away from getting married, and they separated.

One month later, my mom was sharing a flat with a friend, when a girl came into the apartment in tears. She was a friend of the friend, and, incidentally, the girl that my father was meant to marry. Until he broke up with her a week before the wedding.

I’ve only just realised that my father really was a terrible person… Age, or maybe love, really can work wonders on some people.

Moving on with the story, my mother was pretty annoyed with my father for being such a jerk, and swore to never have anything to do with him again. A few months later, she went on holiday to the Caribbean, where she stayed on a friend’s boat. As fate would have it, my father was on a boat right next to hers, and when my mother discovered that, she was thrilled and annoyed in equal measures, but decided to do the civil thing and go see him.

When my father heard that a blonde girl from Hong Kong was looking for him, his mind leapt straight to thinking of his ex-fiancee, and he was ready to pack up and flee the Virgin Islands. Luckily, he did no such thing, and he and my mother met up. A few weeks later, they were going out, and have been together ever since.

Years later, they had my big brother, Inigo, and two years after that, on the eleventh of June 1997, they had me: a bald, red faced, dual nationality baby.

 

I was born in Oregon, USA, meaning that I automatically became American, but, due to both my parents being british, I also have the british nationality. I have no doubt that this is going to be incredibly useful in future.

I shan’t bore you with all the tiny details of my life, because that would make this an autobiography as opposed to a blog. I’ll just tell everything up to the last year in the briefest way possible, and then we’ll move on.

When I was four, my parents suddenly decided to move to France, so we did, to a small village in the South, near Pau, a few hours away from Toulouse.

We lived there four years, and then, as my dad still had an architectural company in the Caribbean, B.V.I, we moved to a small island named Tortola, where I spent third and fourth grade. Over that time, I had a mad crush on my best friend, Charlie. He was my first love.

We moved back to France for fifth grade, and then to the B.V.I again for sixth. Finally, we returned to France when I was twelve, and have been there ever since. Two years ago, in 2011, we moved from Pau to a tiny village in the mountains, which I’ve come to pretty much love, despite how reluctant I was to move here at first.

So there you have it, a shortened version of my strange life. It’s a bit unconventional, and complicated, but I love it… Especially as it’s a really good conversation starter.

 

 

Short biography

Aside

The life of a teenager is an emotional mess. I know it, and you know it, particularly if you’re presently a teenager yourself. This blog is me telling you about a few of my thoughts, and my rather crazy life, mainly in the french Pyrenees, but also with a few memories form Oregon and the Caribbean muddled in.

Some of this will probably be boring, and some of it melodramatic, because I am after all a teenager, and wouldn’t deserve the title if I didn’t dramatize things from time to time. Most of it will be completely random, because my brain is just as disorganized as my room, which is really saying something. Imagine facts and poems and story ideas and dreams and fears all over, either tossed carelessly on the floor to unearth later, or put on display, or hidden away as well as I can manage, and you have a pretty good idea of what my mind is like.

I guess I’ll start by laying out the basic facts about myself so that you don’t feel too lost, and so that I can go on to talking about whatever I feel like, and whatever is on my mind at that moment. So.. here we go. Enjoy!

Aside