The Ever Shrinking Infinite


Endless. Forever. Immortal. These are all words that we associate with infinity, of both the physical world and of life itself. What do really know about infinity? The more we study something that appears to be infinite, the more we realise that it is not so. Once  upon a time, I imagine that mankind stood upon the shores of the ocean and gazed out to a seemingly infinite body of water. After he built a boat and set sail, he discovered a new land upon the other side. The infinite ocean became finite and tangible. Even humanity, with all it’s variation and beauty has been used up to the point where there are an estimated 7 doppelgängers for each ‘unique’ face. It doesn’t take a mathematician to deduce that every face is just one of a billion variations. That’s a lot of possibilities but by no means infinite. Will the same come to pass of the universe itself? Will our comprehension of the cosmos become so coherent that even it becomes finite and quantifiable? Probably not in our lifetime, especially as life itself is not infinite either, like that of our fictional Vampires.

So what is infinite? Is it merely the philosophical? Dreams? Aspirations? The creativity of man? I do not know, but I can tell you this much. Infinity is a precursor, a huge magnet that draws us in and fuels our imagination. Infinity is what made that man on the beach build his boat and set sail. Infinity is what inspires astronomers and engineers to build bigger and more complicated telescopes. Infinity is a bank balance we’d all like to see when we put our card in the ATM.

But most of all, infinity is perhaps an elusive goal. Infinite energy, endless food supplies, unlimited resources….. would these things not solve a great many of humanities problems? Perhaps one day, infinite will only be a word used to describe the imaginary or just how small minded a race we once upon a time were….

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