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What It Means To Be Late

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Ghosts drive cars, too.

This is a picture of a ghost trapped permanently in the world of ten minutes from now. He drove so fast, in such a complete mortal panic, he got completely ahead of himself.

You know how it happens. Inertial frames being what they are, we really can only share a Euclidean reality with everything else that's going our way. Accelerate too quickly in any particular direction, and everything you know distorts until it's unrecognizable and perpetually inaccessible, stretched thin or squashed flat and pushed outside of our light cone.

It happens with people, too. When someone says, "They drifted apart," now you know what they mean. "Drift" seems like a weak term, maybe, but we're so focused on where we're headed we don't notice what happens to everyone else...

That's what happened to this guy. We smell a whiff of his foul exhaust, hear the dying echoes of his screeching tires, but by the time we get to where he's been, he's long gone, forever stuck on the tachycardial side of the lightspeed barrier.

The absolutely hysterical part is that he's totally convinced he's late.


Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

25th Sep 2008, 04:13   | tags:


jc1000000 says:

I could / should be that ghost - I am late for everything!

Is the euclid reference to the that greek idea of we are only ever halfway between where we are now and where we are going?

25th Sep 2008, 13:15

That and a lead foot on the accelerator pedal will turn you into this guy! Be careful!

The Euclidean reference is to what happens to normal spacetime when you get too close to the speed of light. You and a stationary observer will disagree vehemently on thing's you'd think were beyond debate, like how much time is passing and how close you are to each other. Euclidean math you could draw on a sheet of graph paper, and it's all intuitive. That other kind takes graph paper printed on a rubber sheet being stretched in a taffy puller....


25th Sep 2008, 14:09

Dhamaka says:

love the image
love the story

a propos of nothing much, I remember in Bali on the main road outside the hotel was a sign
"better end late than in hospital"

don't know if it worked

15th Dec 2008, 19:26