Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Underground Dwellers


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

The lecture was on earthquakes. We were discussing a slide on the PowerPoint that showed the makeup of the Earth's interior. (This was an Earth science class, by the way. More on it later this week.) A boy raised his hand. I called on him, and he asked his question...

What if we lived on the inside of the Earth? What if when we look up, what we see is an illusion?

27 comments:

  1. What a thought-provoking question! I'm curious to know how you handled that query. Did you throw it back to the class or ask the student to elaborate?

    -makes me think a bit about the mysterious sea life way down deep in the ocean.

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    1. It would have been a great discussion question... if the classes were better behaved. Unfortunately, I was doing my best just to get through the planned PowerPoint, and things like tangents don't end well.

      That said, I did allow that it could be possible. Not likely, but possible. And that we could all be living in a computer simulation for all we know. Then shouts of "The Matrix" happened, and it was seconds away from bedlam, so I got us back into the topic at hand.

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  2. That's a pretty "heavy" question for a high school student to ask. I too want to know how you answered it.

    I think if it was an illusion, its a pretty darn good illusion!

    betty

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  3. Ask him if he thinks passing that class is an illusion...

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  4. Hi Liz - we're doing earth sciences in a rather more serious way at our University of the Third Age class - one of, that I attend. So his question is interesting ...

    How old is he and is he going to be a philosopher? Fascinating ... cheers Hilary

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  5. Sounds like the Star Trek episode, "For the World is Hollow and I have touched the Sky". I believe this kid must have nerd written all over him..I like this kid

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    1. Oh, if only. I like nerds. They're my people. I'm not sure if the boy had an actual query or if he was trying to get us off topic. Both are likely.

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  6. That would raise a lot of questions about the space program then. And satellites.

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  7. Yes, there are stories on this theme. There was one written, I think, by a Chinese science fiction writer by the name of Cixin Liu - the story is called "The Poetry Cloud" - a bit hard to read but it was quite original. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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  8. I think he watched "Journey to the center of the earth". These were the questions asked by Josh Hutcherson and Brendan Frasier, and it is a fun movie. That said, did he recently read Jules Verne's book. Regardless, those are intelligent questions. I too like this kid.

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    1. I think it more likely he saw the movie. Considering the class, that is.

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  9. Everything is an illusion. This changes nothing.

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    1. Well, I wasn't going to get into that...

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  10. A very interesting concept, but the immediate hole-poking raises the problem of 'but we've gone to the moon'. Therefore, I make an addendum to the thought: 'What if our galaxy as we know it is the interior of a single planet?'

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    1. That was my first thought as well. But the galaxy idea... Yeah, that has potential.

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  11. We all ready might be living some what of illusion.
    Coffee is on

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  12. Good on you for the computer simulation comment. I'm sure they've heard all about the Mandela effect. Kids love stuff like that. Me too ;) There are plenty of people out there who still believe the Earth is flat and we live under a fake dome. I'm NOT one of them in case you were wondering.

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    1. Yep. It might have made for an interesting discussion if the class wouldn't have gone wild with it.

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  13. Sounds like the Matrix.

    I think so long as I don't know the truth I'm ok.

    What was it? Blue pill? Red pill? ;)

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    1. Oh yes, The Matrix was invoked. Then comments of whether or not they'd seen it started, and that's where I had to shut it down.

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  14. If we live on the inside, the Air Con bill must be huge. The very thought of it send me into a claustrophobic panic.

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    1. Good thing we have the illusion of sky then, eh?

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  15. Well that'd be something. lol But if everything kept on going how it was that'd be fine with me :D

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  16. Ooh. This reminds me of the "Resident Evil" movie. It's a creepy concept. I'd go crazy if I couldn't buy into the illusion.

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