1 simple rule to make you smarter than this man

This is Quentin Cooper.  He is a science blogger for the BBC, queue awesome British accent here, it makes everyone seem smarter and cooler.  Quentin has a fascinating job and is well respected by his peers.  Still, I would argue, you could easily take his place if presented with the opportunity.  Not only would you be better at the job than Quentin, the world would be a better place having you there than Quentin.  How do I come by this conclusion?  To understand you first have to read a recent post from Quentin: The truth about movie time travel

I love those moves!

Here is the real truth, we have no idea if time travel is possible or not.  Steven Hawking understands this and Quentin references it in his post, “Steven Hawking, wanting to believe time travel is possible…”  So either Quentin is suggesting he is a better physicist than the esteemed Mr Hawking or he is not listening to anyone,  not even himself.  The paradox here is not the time travel paradox, better known as the Grandfather Paradox, the paradox here is how Quentin ever learned anything given he is a knower not a learner?  You have met one of these people, regardless of the data or facts presented they know they are right, truth be damned.  My teenager fits this description nicely:-)


The problem with being a knower is your mind is closed to paradigm shifts.  You simply cannot see around the corner, for a knower, the future travels in an infinitely strait line in the direction of current momentum.  They assume, since they cannot conceive of any other possible reality, only their answers could be correct.  For them no outside force will ever act on the current momentum of reality and *everyone* knows objects continue to travel in the same direction until acted on by an outside force  Oh wait, that would be knowing:-o


You know nothing Quentin Cooper (about time travel that is).  In fact no one really knows anything about time travel.  Sure we know as you approach the speed of light your timeline skews relative to people not traveling at the speed of light.  Of course even that is confusing as speed is all relative itself, imagine a middle school math problem, two trains, one leaves New York headed for Washington DC and the other leaves Washington DC headed for new York.  Its 225 miles between the cities.  If both trains are traveling at the speed of light, what is the approach speed of the two trains?  Is it a) the speed of light b) 225 miles per hour c) 2 x the speed of light or d) impossible to tell because when you are traveling at the speed of light, no light escapes in front of you?  It all depends on your vantage point or your point of relativity hence why its called the General Theory of Relativity.


Many authors have surmised how time travel could be possible, multiple parallel universes, that changing the past simply changes the future and breaks the loop (back to the future), that travelling back in time merely moves you backwards to that point in your life and if you move back to before you were born you exist merely as quantum, stuff like that.  Any or all might be true just as there was a cadre of people like Quentin who said the world was flat but a few surmised it must be round and set out to prove it.  Funny, it might have actually been flat, whoa, mind blown.  Who knows, Quentin could be right, and time travel is impossible.


The only rule you need to be smarter than Quentin is to be a learner not a knower.  This is how you become the smartest person in the room, listen patiently and intently to everyone, ask intellectually honest questions (as opposed to leading or grandstanding questions), imagine what would have to be true for such a new paradigm to exist, build on the ideas in the room, incorporate what you learn in your future conversations.  I know that’s 5 things but you will find if you focus only on the first, listen patiently and intently to everyone, the others just happen naturally with no effort.  That is the only thing you need, genuinely listen and you will quietly become the smartest person in the room.

Oh yeah, sorry about the click bait title, it is a test to see if I should really sell out my blogging morals to get more traffic.  Probably I should just post more but I could never resist a good study:-)

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