“Three passions have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” – Bertrand Russell (philosopher, 1872-1970)
When I started writing in college, my thoughts were mostly about my engineering classes, and my ideas arose from an interest in the physics of life. I wanted to understand how nature, seemingly chaotic, could produce such seeming harmony. Having just left my childhood faith, I often wondered about the absurdity of my existence, but I had little expectation of figuring anything out. Nonetheless, I felt that life was something to be cherished—that humanity’s existence was not as meaningless as my atheist friends had claimed. So I began to observe the world more broadly, looking for patterns in everything from physics to economics, from religion to politics. And as I connected the dots, I glimpsed a picture that has fully captivated my imagination. What began as a scientific curiosity has expanded into a perspective that I find wholly satisfying.
The following is an excerpt from an article published in The Atlantic by Nancy Andreasen, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who studies creativity:
Creative people are better at recognizing relationships, making associations and connections, and seeing things in an original way—seeing things that others cannot see. …Of course, having too many ideas can be dangerous. One subject, a scientist, described to me “a willingness to take an enormous risk with your whole heart and soul and mind on something where you know the impact—if it worked—would be utterly transformative.” The if here is significant. Part of what comes with seeing connections no one else sees is that not all of these connections actually exist. “Everybody has crazy things they want to try,” that same subject told me. “Part of creativity is picking the little bubbles that come up to your conscious mind, and picking which one to let grow and which one to give access to more of your mind, and then have that translate into action.”
I’ve always had a lot of ideas, and most of them are pretty bad. But I find this one to be quite compelling, and many agree that these connections are difficult to disregard. But what exactly are these “connections”? Some might call this philosophy a utopian fantasy based on some pseudoscientific theory, or perhaps some sort of religion informed by reason. These are fair descriptions, but I see this more as a psychosocial theory based on my observations and speculations about the human mind and its deepest intuitions. And above all, this is a personal attempt to justify my belief in the sanctity of life. I may be wrong, and this philosophy may fail, but I think it’s a perspective worth considering. With regards to the moral and intellectual progress of humanity, the potential implications of this idea are many. I have no doubt that its impact—if it’s true—will be “utterly transformative.” And the if here is significant.
“I believe in intuition and inspiration. At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason… Knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.” – Albert Einstein (1879-1955), theoretical physicist
Thanks for checking out this site, and please feel free to share it with anyone who might be interested. Should my ideas fail to inspire some good in this world, then they will, at the very least, make for some fantastic science fiction. And thank you to everyone who has offered encouragement or suggestions for improvement. My ideas were born from many perspectives, and their growth will require integrating broad and diverse sets of knowledge. In any case, feedback and evolution are necessary for survival, including the survival of ideas. And what is the truth, if not an idea that survives?
“Knowledge consists in the search for truth… It is not the search for certainty.” – Karl Popper (philosopher, 1902-1994), In Search of a Better World: Lectures and Essays from Thirty Years
My name is Nick Ma, and I’m from the suburbs of Chicago, IL. I attended college at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago. I’m currently in my first year of residency training in psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC.
“It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. Its a crazy world out there. Be curious.” – Stephen Hawking (theoretical physicist, 1942-2018)