^z 10th January 2024 at 8:45am

Near a black hole gravitational fields become so intense that time and space themselves are twisted — until at the event horizon, the point-of-no-return Schwarzschild radius, escape velocity reaches the speed of light. Time becomes a spacelike direction; the radial space dimension in turn becomes timelike. Inside a black hole one can no more avoid moving toward the central singularity than one can go backward in time. You're trapped ... doomed.

Near a power center, judgment similarly becomes twisted. Even with the noblest of intentions one loses the ability to reason, to choose wisely, to act with justice. As Lord Acton said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." It becomes impossible to release the reins of control. Thomas Jefferson wrote concerning slavery (in a letter to John Holmes, 22 April 1820) "... as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other." A nation was trapped ... doomed to eventual Civil War.

(See ^zhurnal 21 February 2000 For Your Own Good.)

Monday, February 12, 2001 at 20:54:16 (EST) = 2001-02-12

TopicScience - TopicSociety - TopicJustice

(correlates: NoTimeForThat, UnfortunateBillboard, SingularPoints, ...)