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  • So the question is, what is invisible?

  • There is more of it than you think, actually.

  • Everything, I would say, everything that matters

  • except every thing, and except matter.

  • We can see matter. But we can't see what's the matter.

  • As in this cryptic sentence I found in the Guardian recently.

  • "The marriage suffered a setback in 1965

  • when the husband was killed by the wife."

  • (Laughter)

  • There's a world of invisibility there isn't there?

  • (Laughter)

  • So we can see the stars and the planets.

  • But we can't see what holds them apart,

  • or what draws them together.

  • With matter, as with people, we see only the skin of things.

  • We can't see into the engine room.

  • We can't see what makes people tick, at least not without difficulty.

  • And the closer we look at anything, the more it disappears.

  • In fact, if you look really closely at stuff,

  • if you look at the basic substructure of matter,

  • there isn't anything there.

  • Electrons disappear in a kind of fuzz,

  • and there is only energy. And you can't see energy.

  • So everything that matters, that's important, is invisible.

  • One slightly silly thing that's invisible

  • is this story, which is invisible to you.

  • And I'm now going to make it visible to you in your minds.

  • It's about an M.P. called Geoffrey Dickens.

  • The late Geoffrey Dickens, M.P. was attending a fete in his constituency.

  • Wherever he went, at every stall he stopped he was closely followed

  • by a devoted smiling woman of indescribable ugliness.

  • (Laughter)

  • Try as he might, he couldn't get away from her.

  • A few days later he received a letter from a constituent

  • saying how much she admired him,

  • had met him at a fete and asking for a signed photograph.

  • After her name, written in brackets was the apt description, horse face.

  • (Laughter)

  • "I've misjudged this women." thought Mr. Dickens.

  • "Not only is she aware of her physical repulsiveness,

  • she turns it to her advantage.

  • A photo is not enough."

  • So he went out and bought a plastic frame to put the photograph in.

  • And on the photograph, he wrote with a flourish,

  • "To Horse Face, with love from Geoffrey Dickens, M.P."

  • After it had been sent off his secretary said to him,

  • "Did you get that letter from the woman at the fete?

  • I wrote Horse Face on her, so you'd remember who she was."

  • (Laughter)

  • I bet he thought he wished he was invisible, don't you?

  • (Laughter)

  • So, one of the interesting things about invisibility

  • is that things that we can't see

  • we also can't understand.

  • Gravity is one thing that we can't see,

  • and which we don't understand.

  • It's the least understood of all the four fundamental forces,

  • and the weakest.

  • And nobody really knows what it is or why it's there.

  • For what it's worth, Sir Issac Newton, the greatest scientist who ever lived,

  • he thought Jesus came to earth specifically to operate the levers of gravity.

  • That's what he thought he was there for.

  • So, bright guy, could be wrong on that one, I don't know.

  • (Laughter)

  • Consciousness. I see all your faces.

  • I have no idea what any of you are thinking. Isn't that amazing?

  • Isn't that incredible that we can't read each other's minds.

  • But we can touch each other, taste each other perhaps, if we get close enough.

  • But we can't read each other's minds. I find that quite astonishing.

  • In the Sufi faith, this great Middle-Eastern religion,

  • which some claim is the route of all religions,

  • Sufi masters are all telepaths, so they say.

  • But their main exercise of telepathy

  • is to send out powerful signals to the rest of us that it doesn't exist.

  • So that's why we don't think it exists,

  • the Sufi masters working on us.

  • In the question of consciousness

  • and artificial intelligence.

  • Artificial intelligence has really, like the study of consciousness,

  • gotten nowhere. We have no idea how consciousness works.

  • With artificial intelligence, not only have they not created artificial intelligence,

  • they haven't yet created artificial stupidity.

  • (Laughter)

  • The laws of physics: invisible, eternal, omnipresent, all powerful.

  • Remind you of anyone?

  • Interesting. I'm, as you can guess,

  • not a materialist, I'm an immaterialist.

  • And I've found a very useful new word, ignostic. Okay?

  • I'm an ignostic.

  • I refuse to be drawn on the question of whether God exists,

  • until somebody properly defines the terms.

  • (Laughter)

  • Another thing we can't see is the human genome.

  • And this is increasingly peculiar.

  • Because about 20 years ago, when they started delving into the genome,

  • they thought it would probably contain around 100 thousand genes.

  • Geneticists will know this, but every year since,

  • it's been revised downwards.

  • We now think there are likely to be only just over 20 thousand

  • genes in the human genome.

  • This is extraordinary. Because rice, get this,

  • rice is known to have 38 thousand genes.

  • Potatoes, potatoes have 48 chromosomes. Do you know that?

  • Two more than people.

  • And the same a gorilla.

  • (Laughter)

  • You can't see these things. But they are very strange.

  • (Laughter)

  • The stars by day. I always think that's fascinating.

  • The universe disappears.

  • The more light there is, the less you can see.

  • Time, nobody can see time.

  • I don't know if you know this. Modern physics,

  • there is a big movement in modern physics

  • to decide that time doesn't really exist.

  • Because it's to inconvenient for the figures.

  • It's much easier if it's not really there.

  • You can't see the future, obviously.

  • And you can't see the past, except in your memory.

  • One of the interesting things about the past is

  • you particularly can't see, my son asked me this the other day,

  • he said, "Dad can you remember what I was like when I was two?"

  • And I said "Yes." And he said, "Why can't I?"

  • Isn't that extraordinary? You can not remember

  • what happened to you earlier than the age of two or three.

  • Which is great news for psychoanalysts.

  • Because otherwise they'd be out of a job.

  • Because that's where all the stuff happens

  • (Laughter)

  • that makes you who you are.

  • Another thing you can't see is the grid, on which we hang.

  • This is fascinating. You probably know, some of you,

  • that cells are continually renewed. You can see it in skin and this kind of stuff.

  • Skin flakes off, hairs grow, nails, that kind of stuff.

  • But every cell in your body is replaced at some point.

  • Tastebuds, every 10 days or so.

  • Livers and internal organs sort of take a bit longer. A spine takes several years.

  • But at the end of seven years, not one cell in your body

  • remains from what was there seven years ago.

  • The question is, who, then, are we?

  • What are we? What is this thing that we hang on,

  • that is actually us?

  • Okay. Atoms, you can't see them.

  • Nobody every will. They're smaller than the wavelength of light.

  • Gas, you can't see that.

  • Interesting. Somebody mentioned 1600 recently.

  • Gas was invented in 1600

  • by a Dutch chemist called Van Helmont.

  • It's said to be the most successful ever invention

  • of a word by a known individual.

  • Quite good. He also invented a word called blass,

  • meaning astral radiation.

  • Didn't catch on, unfortunately.

  • (Laughter)

  • But well done, him.

  • (Laughter)

  • There is so many things that -- Light.

  • You can't see light. When it's dark, in a vacuum,

  • if a person shines a beam of light straight across your eyes,

  • you won't see it. Slightly technical, some physicists will disagree with this.

  • But it's odd that you can't see the beam of light,

  • you can only see what it hits.

  • I find that extraordinary, not to be able to see light,

  • not to be able to see darkness.

  • Electricity, you can't see that.

  • Don't let anyone tell you they understand electricity.

  • They don't. Nobody knows what it is.

  • (Laughter)

  • You probably think the electrons in an electric wire

  • move instantaneously down a wire, don't you, at the speed of light

  • when you turn the light on. They don't.

  • Electrons bumble down the wire,

  • about the speed of spreading honey, they say.

  • (Laughter)

  • Galaxies, 100 billion of them, estimated in the universe.

  • 100 billion. How many can we see? Five.

  • Five, out of the 100 billion galaxies, with the naked eye.

  • And one of them is quite difficult to see unless you've got very good eyesight.

  • Radio waves. There's another thing.

  • Heinrich Hertz, when he discovered radio waves in 1887,

  • he called them radio waves because they radiated.

  • And somebody said to him,

  • "Well what's the point of these Heinrich?

  • What's the point of these radio waves that you've found?"

  • And he said, "Well, I've no idea.

  • But I guess somebody will find a use for them someday."

  • And that's what they do, radio. That's what they discovered.

  • Anyway, so, the biggest thing

  • that's invisible to us is what we don't know.

  • It is incredible how little we know.

  • Thomas Edison once said,

  • "We don't know one percent of one millionth

  • about anything."

  • And I've come to the conclusion

  • because you've asked this other question, "What's another thing you can't see?"

  • The point, most of us. What's the point?

  • (Laughter)

  • (Applause)

  • You can't see a point. It's, by definition, dimensionless,

  • like an electron, oddly enough.

  • But, the point, what I've got it down to

  • is there are only two questions really worth asking.

  • "Why are we here?" and "What should we do about it while we are?

  • And to help you, I've got two things to leave you with, from two great philosophers,

  • perhaps two of the greatest philosopher thinkers of the 20th Century.

  • One a mathematician and an engineer, and the other a poet.

  • The first is Ludvig Vitgenštajn who said,

  • "I don't know why we are here.

  • But I'm pretty sure it's not in order to enjoy ourselves."

  • (Laughter)

  • He was a cheerful bastard wasn't he?

  • (Laughter)

  • And secondly and lastly, W.H. Auden,

  • one of my favorite poets, who said,

  • "We are here on earth

  • to help others.

  • What the others are here for, I've no idea."

  • (Laughter)

  • (Applause)

So the question is, what is invisible?

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ジョン・ロイドの「見えないところに」の意味について (John Lloyd 述說「看不見」的含義)

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    keep seeing に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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