Thursday, 13 March 2014


(or why life is not always black or white)

I am not a physicist, but I love science. There is much comfort in the certainty, the replicability of it all. There is a semblance of knowledge, an inkling of control, that very much appeals to my inner control-freak. 

I was listening to a podcast the other day, that discussed wave-particle duality and it really resonated with me. 

We are brought up to believe in dualities, in false dichotomies: it is either A or B. Children are taught to think that way, because, in reality, at a younger age that's all our brains might be able to understand. 

I find myself doing that a lot when teaching: at that age (7-9) the moral code has to be dual for most children, it is difficult to explain to children than life can be... well... different shades of grey. In the same way, we want to believe that things are either A, or B and it is difficult for us, conceptually, I guess to see that the same thing could simultaneously be both A and B (and C and D and many things beside).

Yet some of us never grow out of this dual nature of life. We judge people absolutely: he is either good or bad. It is either black or white. We make these judhements daily (OK, I make such judgements daily) and it is difficult when we are confronted with evidence to the contrary. 

A lof of what I have been thinking, a lot of my ramblings, are linked to adoption, actually. And how some people want to see it as simply good, or simply bad. Experience keeps teaching me more and more that life is way more complicated than that and the simple pigeon holes we make for big ideas (adoption included, but also democracy, the free market, globalisation etc) are only there to fulfil our wish for duality. 

Life seems to be a lot more complicated than that... 

(Sorry for the philosophical post. It's been brewing awhile. Also, if you are a physicist and can explain this wave-particle duality to me in more depth, I'd love to hear from you!)

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