IV – Substances Commonly Misused (an excerpt from The Quantum Manual of Style)
The entries here listed are not to be considered a comprehensive list. Since the nature of quantum style is rooted in observation, emotion and expression, any list of terms purported to be complete would work against the fluidity of the field. That is, QS depends on perspective and subjectivity, so the idea that there exists some absolute set of limits is counter-intuitive. This list, then, is intended to educate the student of QS on what is common, but by no means absolute. Context, discovery, feeling can all re-determine what is correct or appropriate or even true in QS. The field is a malleable one.
Analysis. This particular fine line widens should you study a subject academically. The problem arrives when seeking out truth by seeking out falsehood. Proving the unlikely to prove the likely. Put simply, using the negative to display the positive. For example, Internet commentary,
In response to a possible cure for cancer, gIbLeThammer8 writes:
“that’s nothing. this tech has been around 4 years. let me know when they can inject pregnent women with a vaccine 4 cancer. Then well have something.”
In response to the natural beauty of a rainbow, spectorFISH writes:
“Meh. Let’s not go overboard. Who hasn’t seen a rainbow before. And now with every tom, dick, and harry supporting gays rights these colors are everywhere.”
This method works great for multiple choice tests. It does not help with identity, desire, wisdom or satisfaction. Like having too much ice cream. To some degree we are all lactose intolerant. And when you eat a gallon of ice cream your body rejoices. Then it considers its duty. Then it asks the questions you’ve been asking for a long time. Why am I here? Why do I suffer? What am I to do with all this milk? Worse yet, this marshmallow? We need some things to be false and the ability to prove them so. That is why we have a mind. To feel something makes it true. That is why we eat ice cream. Of course, do not eat a gallon of ice cream, and do not, through falsehood, seek to prove things true.
Black Holes. We all wish we could see one. But they live in the absence of what we can see. Physicists are now making tiny ones that dissipate in nanoseconds. We still can’t see those. We can only remember them. Creating black holes is not the misuse. The misuse is looking for one when we will never see it.
Communism. A flat plane. Superficial. A better underdog. Oh what we can accomplish as this small group. What we can secure. Communism is another example of the Higgs Boson. A theory that, on a large scale, only mathematically exists. We have yet to observe it.
Electricity. A key around a string and look what we have. A mountain of a dam. A necessary current pulsing through the International Space Station. And now a mission to Mars built on electricity. What about misuse? European Brother house uses about 4,667 kWh per year. American Regular house uses 11, 209 kWh per year. Keep in mind that California is as far west as we can go.
Epiphanies. Light bulb. Then genocide. Then women can’t be priests. Then things don’t last so you must buy new things. Then useless prohibitive warranties. Then dropped coverage. Etcetera.
Heaven. At one time a physical place far above the Earth, in a dark region where no stars do shine. Also a temporary place. A condition. With personality and eyes and ears and a giant head. A divided place. One lusted after or ignored. Supported by pillars or an octopus. Early on it hung low above the Earth. An omega point. It must not be withheld.
Meat. In accordance with Rule 5 of Section 1, it follows that the consumption of animals remain a special circumstance. Quantum style does its best to avoid moral judgments, and so the morality of animal consumption is not in question. However, the misuse results from the ease with which we can acquire meat. For example,
At a deli a man steps to the counter. “I’d like to acquire some meat,” he says. He is then sold some meat.
At a party, Dorothy shows up at the door. She does not know the person throwing the party. It is a summer party. “Where’s the meat?” she asks. “It is in the drawer,” she is told.
At a restaurant in a town known for wings, Wilson looks over the menu. He’s not in the mood to acquire meat tonight. “Bring me something without meat,” he says. The waiter laughs and laughs and calls the police.
What is considered a special circumstance? Let us define through analogy. You may occasionally, when the mood suits you, have a glass of wine with dinner. Or, you may go to the theater to see a film. Or, you may purchase a piece of electronic equipment. Or, you may compliment someone. Or, you may make popcorn. Or, you may purchase a lottery ticket. Or, you may go for ice cream. Or, you may take a day off. Or, you may email an old friend. Or, you may think about a person you once loved, though this is not possible. These special circumstances are occasional because they are luxurious, too extravagant to be enjoyed often or too expensive or may not present themselves often enough. Consider meat such a circumstance. Reason it how you will.
Radiation. Put on this lead vest. Lead will kill you. I will now radiate you. Radiation will kill you. Blast radii will let you know if you will be killed by radiation. The radiation in outer space is what will kill you. If there is a meltdown you will need to be far away or else the radiation will kill you. Radiation killed hundreds of thousands in Japan. They did not have time to generate a potential blast radius. You can look at pictures of just your teeth using radiation. This is not a different type of radiation from the radiation that kills you. It is only killing you a little. You are being killed a little all the time by many things, yes, but when you learn of your murderer it behooves you to make a change.
Speed. The Earth travels at 67,000 miles per hour. The Sun travels at 560,000 miles per hour. The Milky Way travels 1.42 million miles per hour. These speeds alone compel us to go faster. We need little competition from each other or street limits or cement realities to compound our desire to move quickly. It is logical that given our lack of understanding about what happens after our expiration, we would like, if possible, to go faster. To see more. Do more. Stave off what we can stave off for as long as possible. For the faster we move the slower time moves. Einstein’s theory: Put yourself on a train. The train, ever speeding up, reaches 99.9 percent of the speed of light, the cosmological speed limit. The train comes to a stop after a year, and over 200 years have gone by on the ground. Your parents long gone. Your siblings, should you possess them and them you, also gone. Your friends even. Then, tired and old without feeling it, you would purchase another train ticket because the Earth, the Sun, and the Galaxy stop for no one.
by Brian Mihok