Week Four.

We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.

 — Carl Sagan

The Book: Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku

The memory: I struggled with this one, I’ll admit. What meaningful, inspirational, or comical memory can I associate with this book? Two weeks late on this post because I didn’t feel “inspired.” Well, then I got over it, and here goes:

Ai Vuong022 copy

The world in the near future (2000-2030), midcentury (2030-2070), and the far future (2070-2100). We just may live to see it, yet. Robots! Circuits! Intelligence!

Thinking about the future almost always pulls you back in the past. Is there a term for that? Must be, somewhere. Free homemade cookies for anyone who can provide me with that term.

These days, my life has little to do with the cutting edge world of science and technology, but it doesn’t mean I don’t secretly wish I could be a part of it. Maybe not in the world of physics, the highest of the science totem pole hierarchy, but definitely in the world of biochemistry, a few notches down.

In choosing my major at UT Austin, I scrolled down the list of innumerable majors, thought to myself: “I like biology. I like chemistry. I’ll do biochemistry.” And that was it. Exit out of the page. Do something else.

Yes, this one could’ve been a scientist.

‘Cause for a biology project on parts of the cell, she brought in a stack of fresh from scratch pancakes so that the audience could fully comprehend the structure and function of a golgi.

‘Cause her depictions of the amoeba, paramecium, cardiovascular system, and plant cells were some of her best artwork.

‘Cause her friends Amanda, Linda, and she had a sleepover to finish their Biology Board Game, complete with a hand-painted ceramic dragon.

‘Cause whenever she heard other people studying cellular respiration, she immediately joined in, even she had already taken her exam.

‘Cause she read her biology & chemistry textbooks three times.

Three. Who does that?

Ah, yes, my parents were thrilled I was going to follow the science route.

…And then I became an anthropologist.* My parents didn’t even know what that word meant. Admittedly, neither did I at the time. But I never looked back.

Biochemistry, we’ll meet again soon.

*Self-proclaimed. One day I’ll become a real anthropologist.

End, Memory Four.

Next week: The White Man’s Burden by William Easterly

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