A black hole is something theorized to be so massive that nothing, not even light, can escape from it. Gravity, everything being attracted to everything, is an idea prerequisite to imagining a black hole. Before Einstein nobody imagined any such thing, and without Newton Einstein would have had a hard time thinking any of his famous thoughts.
So; we try to think a black hole, but we can’t look at a black hole. We can look where we don’t see anything, but only if we’re far enough away, very very far away, that we’ll live and die before the black hole can suck us into it.
(Of course there’s zillions of them, all pulling us in every direction. Like every air molecule pushes you, you’re pushed from all sides, all at once: so you move only where you move: till the tornado picks you up.)
The ideas nest with other ideas so nutty that no one could have imagined them before Einstein: and there’s a lot since Einstein that Einstein couldn’t imagine: he tried, not hard enough, and he failed: quantum randomness, for example. But never mind that: ponder this one: light has mass!
Light has mass!
Once upon a time light seemed to be the opposite of matter.
Never mind, those ideas are all far far away from common sense. Try to explain that to the common sense devotee, to the person who trusts their common sense, the sense common to their culture: the caveman authorized to correct the physicist, the school board, politicians, organizing ignorance, to trump Darwin with superstition.
Never mind: I have a metaphor so common that anyone contemplating it seriously enough ought to be able to recognize a few distinguishing characteristics of black holes by analogies outside physics:
God (how the universe really works), imagined as something that “wants” things, wants man, a creature who’d evolved “intelligence” of a sort, to improve his intelligence: so he has an actual chance to survive, won’t just keep buying the Brooklyn Bridge over and over.
So: God “sends” a “messenger,” to the world, sends his “son,” “Jesus.”
Jesus arrives on earth, says some clever oxymorons, goes to visit the temple where God is supposedly worshipped: and there are the “priests,” called “rabbis,” and they’re running a scam on the people, the Jews that is, where the Jew shows up with a goat to sacrifice to God, and the priest says, “Uh uh, it has a flaw: we’ll sell you a pure goat.” and the priest sells him the goat he refused from the Jew in front of him. Value added, you see.
Jesus gets pissed, throws things around. The priests somehow get the Roman warlords to arrest Jesus, and to torture and kill Jesus, even though he hadn’t broken any Roman laws! (Some trick! Try it sometime. Imagine an Arab getting a US soldier to torture to death some Arab who’s pissed while holding his dick with his right hand!)
Let me repeat that as simply as possible: God has a message for man, man has a temple, staffed, in which to worship God, God shows up with a clearly valuable, true, and simple message. He delivers it, or tries, and finds himself scourged and crucified! by people who say that they encourage and reward merit!
Now: read the Roman’s reports on themselves: promoting Roman might, they reward merit (that serves Rome). No intelligent discussion: only the Romans can talk. Read the priests report too: they’ll tell you: they’re for God, they’re for truth, they’re for survival, they’re for merit …
Now: ask Jesus!
Let God chair the Q&A.
Sit down, shut up, and let God do it; not the priest! Don’t let the priest wheedle his way onto the bench pretending that he’s speaking for God: his fraternity prevented God from speaking.
No, the Romans can’t sit in this chair either.
See? Like a black hole! Churches, schools, the Times … God’s messages go in; only kleptocratic delusion comes out.
Next session I’ll try to leave god out of it. God is an excuse to misunderstand, substituting your own meaning for the other person’s intent. I’ll give a different parallel:
I submit my story, it isn’t published, two years later somebody else publishes a botch of my idea.
I tell my university how I read Shakespeare. They interrupt me, never get it: never get that they never get it: go right on, supervising others, dispensing degrees: distributing resources unfairly, by fraud.
Do those defrauded get angry? No, they’re all the more determined to get their unfair share of what loot hasn’t yet been utterly spoiled: get tht deed to the Brooklyn Bridge before everyone knows that none of the deeds are legitimate.
Ask the university if they read my paper, if they understood it. They’ll say, Of course, and, Yes. But that washes only so long as no one actually reads or understands the paper!
In kleptocracy, the kleptocrat is the expert, not the author plagiarized from, or suppressed, or censored …
Black holes, all black holes, all pulling everything, every way. and from millions of light years away.