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Reality is Impossible

Written by on July 14, 2004

Notice: This article is not about any serious stuff like usability, management or branding. It is about something different altogether - let's call it "Fantastic Life"

I am constantly amazed by the world we live in. The possibilities, the advances we make and the number of strange little things happening everyday. It's marvelous; it's fun and thrilling in all sorts of mind-blowing ways.

I am also amazed why people strongly believed that reality got it right, when it is so obviously wrong. It is a fact that everything we believe is wrong - not just slightly wrong, but completely of-the-scale incorrect.

"Thomas, have you gone mad?" Yes, probably - but it is still true. There is not a single discovery in our planet that would indicate that reality got it right.

The Past

We once believed that a small part of the planet was all there existed. The sky was basically just a huge dome. Then we discovered the rest of the planet, then that it was round, then that the Earth was not in the center of our solar system, then the solar system itself was apart of a galaxy, then that our galaxy is indeed only a tiny part of the universe.

At any one these discoveries it was proclaimed that the next discovery would be impossible to reach. Nothing could be bigger than the earth - until we discovered Jupiter, nothing could be bigger than our solar system, until we found a bunch of them hanging about all around us.

Now, people believe that the universe is the limit. "We have found the edge of the universe, beyond which there is nothing more" the astronomers insists.

What about small things? We once believed molecules were smallest thing that existed, and then it was atoms, then neutrons, protons and electrons and now quarks (it takes 3 quarks to make a neutron).

Today scientists happily proclaims that nothing could be smaller than quarks - although they used to say that nothing could be smaller than an atom - it was impossible, an atom is so small that it cannot even be seen with the most powerful microscopes. Now we have something at least 3 times smaller.

Oh... Speed: "It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of sound. You would die because it is like an invisible wall that you cannot breach". Not to mention that it would impossible to talk because the voice you make would not be able to travel out of your mouth. This would come as a surprise to anyone who has been flying the Concorde - to know that they would now all be dead, and that the rather nice conversation they had over the Atlantic Ocean never took place. (The Concorde traveled at twice the speed of sound).

Today it's impossible to travel faster than the speed of light. Every scientist will tell you this, even though that we have already done it.

It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off.

- Woody Allen

Let's take something more familiar. It is impossible to fly - another surprising revelation for those on the Concorde. It is impossible to reach the moon. It is impossible to clone a living thing. It is impossible to create energy trough cold fusion, it is impossible to make dry ice - People used to say this, but today we do it.

When we look at our history of discovery, everything we believed has turned out to be wrong. Reality, at any point of our history, is based in incorrect assumptions. So why do people still today believe that anything is impossible? We have no indications that is should be like this - in fact we have amble indications everything is indeed possible. We can do it all.

This has led me to formulate a theory about the human nature: "If the human mind does not limit our thinking it would wander of and - (GOSH) - think happy thoughts".

A Change of Mind

Based on the fact that there are no impossibilities and reality is basically incorrect. We need to consider what impossibilities really are. If impossibilities are not impossible and people always introduce a new impossibility after the previous one - it would be much more accurate to think of impossibilities as milestones.

The difference is striking. Impossibility is an inactive state of mind. Why bother trying to do the impossible if it is truly not possible. A milestone, on the other hand, is an active state of mind. We are all motivated to do the impossible if we believe that it is possible.

Whether something is impossible or possible is just a state of mind.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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