What would a conversation between planets of our solar system be like?

By: | Post date: March 19, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture

Originally asked as: What would a conversation between heavenly bodies be like?


Downtown at Brazzers HQ:

—Hey stranger! Woah! Nice sixpack, dude!

—Yeah, gotta work out when I can. Hey, you’ve healed up nice!

—Yeah, you like? I went with the single Ds. Better match for my frame.

—Awesome. So. Standard set of positions in this shoot?


Oh, I’m sorry, you meant a different kind of heavenly bodies.

Well, to take my mind from the gutter right up to the sublime, I invoke Michael Masiello’s answer to What was God doing during the infinity prior to creating man? (I’m an atheist.)

The thing to understand is that temporality is the dimension in which finite beings, who undergo change, who begin and end, perceive reality and have their being. It is sequential, narrative-like, a process of generation and corruption.

God is typically conceived as eternal, atemporal: he sees all of what finite, conditioned minds would perceive as “times” uno mentis in ictu, as Boethius would say, “in one stroke of the mind.” There is only one eternal moment, one word eternally speaking. This is sometimes called a nunc stans (see nunc stans – definition of nunc stans in English | Oxford Dictionaries).

What sort of conversation do you have with someone timeless? Someone for whom there is no new information to exchange, nothing to learn? Never mind understanding such a being, how do you even meaningfully talk to someone in the nunc stans?

No, Arrival (2016 movie) did not really cover this off.

Well, what conversations do the heavenly spheres have? They’re just as timeless, just as unchanging: nothing to learn, nothing to forget, nothing to exchange that won’t already have been exchanged. Even in the physical universe, what discourse can there be between bodies whose nunc isn’t stans, but which does measure in the billions of years?

You might say my imaginary discussion between two professionals in peak physical condition, in the San Fernando Valley, is inane. I’d say by our metric, the discourse of Mercury and Mars would be much more inane:

—Orbit.

—Other Orbit.

—I see you.

—Then you won’t. Then you will again.

—Is this over yet?

—Orbit.

—Other Orbit.

—I see you.

—Then you won’t. Then you will again.

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