Fiksi Tanggung

September 21, 2009

Labirin Berujung Tunggal

Kelak ketika ia sepenuhnya sadar, bahwa nanti akan lahir seorang manusia dari tubuhnya, ia tercekam lagi oleh sebuah rasa longsor yang menggigilkan, yang diperparah oleh penalaran dan dibikin kekal oleh ingatan.

Terakhir kali rasa longsor itu menyeretnya, adalah saat ia melalui puncak dari percintaannya yang sudah berlangsung bertahun-tahun dengan hujan; hujan yang dengan lembut mengunjungi senja dan mengubahnya dari merah lembayung menjadi kelabu, dan akhirnya melulur batas antara langit dan bumi. Gerimis yang gugur bersama angin yang mendengkur, adalah ketulusan langit pada hijau daratan dan biru lautan. Ia ingat rasa sakit itu bermula sebagai rasa cinta diam-diam, dan tumbuh dengan kerinduan langit yang memeluk seluruh bintang; rasa sakit yang konon mencintai mereka yang banyak tidur dan bermimpi.

Spies Iseh im Morgenlicht (1938)

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Conjecture

January 11, 2009

Supercosmos Re-Creation?

Employing the evolution-given brain, humanity has succeeded so far in accumulating extraordinary amount of knowledge, including that of the natural universe. But that abundant pile is always haunted by epistemological anxiety regarding the truth, the consistency, and the completeness of the knowledge.

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Kurt Gödel and Albert Einstein, 1950. IAS Archives

Along with its assertion that the Platonic mathematical universe can never be reduced into a finite set of symbols and a bounded group of axioms, Gödel Theorem shows that a consistent knowledge is incomplete and a complete knowledge is inconsistent. For any consistent formal, recursively enumerable theory that proves basic arithmetical truths, an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory, can be constructed. That is, any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both simultaneously consistent and complete.

How can humanity be rested assured of the accumulative knowledge on universe’s birth, when the incredibly vast distance of space and time makes it impossible for humanity to directly witness the birth of the universe?

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J. B. S. Haldane, 1941. Photo: Hans Wild/LIFE

“Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” — Possible Worlds and Other Papers (1927), p. 286, J. B. S. Haldane.

How can human race complete the knowledge of the universe and all within, being aware of the impossibility of gaining complete knowledge of an object for one who is entrapped inside of it, while realizing the improbability of going outside of the universe he lives in?

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Sastra

September 17, 2008

Sains, Sastra, Keraguan

Hampir dua abad yang silam, seorang ibu muda berusia 18, mengumumkan novelnya. Karya itu kelak jadi salah satu cerita horor dan pelopor fiksi ilmiah yang paling banyak dibicarakan. Di dunia film, novel Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (1818) karya Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley itu tak cuma melambungkan Boris Karloff dalam film arahan James Whale (1931). Kajian kontemporer atas novel yang awalnya disambut dingin ini mempertegas posisi naskah tersebut sebagai dokumen literer, sejarah, dan kebudayaan yang penting. Ia merekam imajinasi dan guncangan kultural Eropa Barat pada persimpangan abad 18 dan 19.

Eropa di simpang abad itu tengah dikejutkan oleh dua jenis revolusi. Revolusi pertama, adalah revolusi sosial politik yang dibakar oleh runtuhnya penjara Bastille. Massa dengan kekuatan seperti monster, membebaskan diri untuk memenggal keluarga Kaisar Matahari. Revolusi Perancis menularkan gugatan besar atas hak putra-putri dewa dan bapa-bapa agung pesuruh Tuhan untuk memerintah sebuah negeri.

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Novel

September 9, 2008

Poetic Time

For decades the world has been taught that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is a set of extremely unfathomable complex mathematical concepts. The Theory of Relativity ― a superb orchestration of strokes of genius based upon Riemann’s geometric ideas which overthrew the Euclid’s 2300 year-old domination ― has become a sacred area of thought where those who are not brilliant in physics should not even think to lift a finger.

This novel by Alan Lightman, MIT professor in physics and director of the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, is enchanting because it transforms Einstein’s quest for the nature of time from pure mathematical abstractions into concrete human experiences. Time presented is the pulsing time inside every human being, constituting one as a true human. Instead of presenting a theoretical description about a very complex and subtle cosmic phenomenon that exist independent of human beings, Lightman offers a literary work to intensify the awareness of time that resides in every human’s heart and body. He illustrates the abstract concept of time through lenses of the pain of longing and the joy of passion, and in our aspiration to seek out our destiny and freedom.

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