At the height of the nuclear age Cesium became the all-purpose durable warrior encompassing everything atomic. While the assembly line of modern engineering produced a series of nuclear reactors in wake of WWII, with the element neighboring Xenon and Barium, the Red scare racked the nation as the future of the liberal press was born in castigating McCarthy. It was at this juncture that where pristine accuracy was possible within the research community, and sensationalism was introduced into the institution of journalism.
Take the time warp photons from the photons of the 1950’s into the future, and as the information age acquaints itself with razor sharp artificial intelligence, corporatized media has developed borderline personality disorders through the ceaseless release of subjective content, where opinion overtakes fact, and truth is left to a voracious pack of jackals representing the peanut gallery of the masses. The subsequent dynamic proportion illustrating the eloquence of data and the madness of society is both prevalent and disturbing.
During the classic physicist’s dream of the Eisenhower administration, in the absence of political correctness, the environment was conducive to pure research where airplanes and particles were named after mistresses. It was still acceptable to behave like a male, and the atomic clock, powered by Cesium came into fruition and the National Institute of Standards and Technology was responsible for achieving unprecedented precision. Even with the inability of humanity to define time, the technology was the great-grandfather to the quantum computer, as sub-atomic particles were introduced, and obscure and intoxicating brain storming sessions were a bi-product of the free market. While traditional mechanical and particle clocks are still crude metaphors for capturing the essence of the quaintest moment when weighed against the expansive complexities of the universe, the decay of a second over 100 million years was a standard that resonated in a notable landmark.
Fast forward seven decades, and in the contemporary world of digital exploits, that figure has exponentially jumped to a single stumble of the clock every 30 billion years in a testament to ingenuity. The feat is even more remarkable, considering the explosion of social media and micro-blogging has brought forth a mountain range of conjecture, as the fifteen-second attention span may soon render technological marvels useless, thanks to plummeting IQ scores.
With mechanical and software engineering ascending the jagged cleft of the precise, the linear freefall of important concepts such as math and science into coarse approximations of half-baked assumptions that were once common knowledge at least shared by the educated has formed a growing chasm in discerning truth. The alarming shrinking proportion those possessing aptitude to those cruising on scholarly autopilot is ironically due to the advancement of tools where the distinction between magic and technology is muddled. The next-gen version of the atomic clock provides humanity with the latitude to isolate essence of life, but also represents the expanding fissure between convenience and the esoteric cutting-edge.
In attempting to articulate and visualize time, St. Augustine said it best, “What is time then? If nobody asks me, I know; but if I were desirous to explain it to one that should ask me, plainly I do not know.” The profound and haunting response to one of life’s most challenging mysteries was forged in an age of reason, a climate light years from the emotional and tawdry drivel proliferating throughout F***book and Twitter, in reducing mankind to a gossiping and glutenous superficial heard of cattle. The diversion from critical thinking aptitude unfortunately is not represented in a miniscule percentage nine places to the right of the decimal point, but is measured in the billions as the pending thermodynamic crises caused by an influx of smart devices, threatens to melt the polar ice caps of individual sanity.
As a community of individuals strives to understand the universe from the perspective of a human condition, the rest of society that is not bound by tyrannical dictators, or scraping by with subsistence farming, is enthralled with an ugly exchange between two celebrities. While pop culture is a distraction for the masses as a necessary outlet, unfortunately the majority of the server storage space and bandwidth is allocated to convey the inane, prompt engagement, and cash-in on lucrative sums of advertising dollars. Amid this environment complex technology is becoming obscure in cultural relevancy as the traits surrounding the oblivious are favored.
A handful of science fiction authors have envisioned a future society where automated processes replace most jobs, and humans become apathetic resulting in a regression down the evolutionary ladder as higher intellectual function is mothballed. As the emphasis in education moves away from engineering and rewards the subjective, the fast track to stagnation is already in progress. It’s no longer about building and understanding gadgets, but the simple acceptance that things somehow work in the lust for information.