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December 21st, 2019
All creatures have some kind of input. Humans have a few. We can taste, we can touch, we can hear and we can see a certain sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum that we call visible light.
Bees can see ultraviolet light and humans generally can’t, but beyond these small slivers in the electromagnetic spectrum, there is a huge range of activity that bees are oblivious too and humans for the majority of our existence have also been oblivious too.
The important difference is that we have figured out how to access that spectrum without having any sense organs that are designed to interface with these other regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
We have been able to notice everything from Ionizing radiation to microwaves and beyond. This hasn’t just given us new capabilities like transmitting massive amounts of information through your average wifi network which utilizes radiowaves, it’s also allowed us to study the fabric of the cosmos. When we simply look up at the night sky with the un-aided eye, we only see specks of light, but with our ability to access a larger portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, we see an outpouring of information raining down from the heavens. This information gives us a more nuanced and detailed perspective of what is potentially going on when we look up at the night sky.
Just as our use of radio waves via wifi or cellular networks provides us with access to an endless stream of information about what’s happening around the world, with our family, our friends, or even if we wish to access the vast treasure trove of human knowledge. Because of our awareness and manipulation of this part of the spectrum that we cannot see nor taste nor hear nor touch, we no longer have to make a trip to the library or write a letter or make the arduous journey to visit someone.
Perhaps most important, however is our ability to unify these realms of information. Not just in a manipulative sense in that we can convert something like sound or a picture into a form that can utilize radiowaves, but that our juxtaposition of these different realms allows us to make assertions about the nature of physical reality that is simply unavailable to your average bumble bee or octopus.
This is an assumption that Octopi and Bees don’t have some hidden access to the whole electromagnetic spectrum, but chances are they would express this access in some sort of use.
Natural selection has little use for the useless.
Humans, on the other hand are quite quick to put a new discovery to use. Curious findings rarely remain just curious findings. We find some way to use it, manipulate it, and bend it to our benefit.
Just as we had no knowledge of Gamma rays for most of human history despite their presence nearly everywhere, we must wonder, what else is right in front of us, just waiting for our minds to create some portal so it can be seen?
What keys might such unknowns hold to the questions we see in other places?
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