Sunday, January 21, 2007


Sometimes our newfound interests and obsessions converge in an unlikely manner.

A few months ago at Kinokuniya bookstore in Tokyo I bought a popular-science book (something that I never, ever do) called The Fabric Of The Cosmos, by Brian Greene, a non-fiction work which examines the possibilities of alternate universes and time-travel, to the past and the future, via the prism of cutting-edge, modern-day physics. After reading this mind-blowing book (and after understanding only about, oh, twenty percent of it), I emailed back and forth various theories of time-travel and alternate dimensions with a friend, discussing the themes of the book, wondering if all of it is actually, entirely possible, and then I come back to Baguio, and currently in cinemas is the Denzel Washington time-travel thriller Deja Vu, which deals, in a Hollywood-thriller-kind-of-way, with all of these identical issues, and after looking up more info on the movie on the web, I see that the movie itself had, as a technical consultant, Brian Greene, the physicist whose book I had just read and debated not a few weeks before.


To me, anyways.

The thing is, the timing was perfect. Back home, the Denzel Washington flick had come out a few months earlier. It's already headed for DVD, I imagine. But for me, it was new. It was fresh. It was part of an intellectual engagement I had started with a science book in Tokyo, continued with a friend online, and completed at a cinema in the Philippines. In the space of a few weeks, in two countries, throughout cyberspace, all of this stuff came together, just in time for me to witness it and watch it and debate it.

We've all experienced some like that, I think. We discover something new -- a hobby, an interest, even a person -- and suddenly, we can't stop thinking about it. We see signs of it everywhere. We try a new food and that food suddenly seems to be advertised all over the place. We find a new author, and his books suddenly leap off of bookstore shelves to demand our indulgence.

Things converge.

My theory is thus that people who don't get out much, who stay at home, who don't develop their own peculiar odd interests and obsessions, are missing out on a key principle of life: Things converge only happen when there are things that can be converged.

Sounds simple. But if you don't develop any real interests, any deep passions, then life becomes somewhat static. You can't see any connections between things because there's nothing in your orbit to be connected. (Which is why kids get easily bored, because they don't know all that much and are not interested in all that much, outside of one or two key things, like video games, or Doritos.)

If you step out of your comfort zone, if you pick up a science book even though you don't understand science, there might, just might, have a way and means by which your other interests will intersect. I don't like science but I love time-travel stories. I buy a book that deals with both, and watch a movie that deals with both, and suddenly for the past three, four weeks I'm shooting the shit about time-travel, other, alternate versions of ourselves, yada yada yada.

That's cool.

And the even cooler thing is, you never know precisely where and when things will converge.

But the more you keep your feelers out there, the more you try new things, the longer you maintain your interests and continue to seek out new ones, the more connections you'll have, and the possibility for convergence will remain high.

You will be connected to the world in a full and rich way, and it to you.

You will find your place, extensively and repeatedly.

You will connect.

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