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A short look at nothing

December 16, 2013
James P. Whipple , Shepherdstown Chronicle

Every so often a writer gets what is called "Writer's Block." I am afraid that is the case with me.

What to write about, that is the question. Unfortunately there is not an easy answer. I could write about the loveliness of snow or things with a Christmas feeling. There is the passing of a great man, Nelson Mandela. There is the changing of the seasons and the pattern of weather change in this part of the earth. All of these would make a good article.

But I have decided to write about nothing. Nothing, you say. "How can you write about nothing?" Let's see if it can be done.

The definition of nothing according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is "not any thing: no thing; leave nothing to the imagination; 2: no part 3: one of no interest, value, or consequence; they mean nothing to me; so nothing is really nothing."

To start to write about nothing, I searched the internet to see what others had to say about nothing,

Here is a short poem entitled "Expect nothing" by Alice Walker

"Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise. Become a stranger to need of pity Or, if compassion be freely given out Take only enough Stop short of urge to plead then purge away the need."

So there is someone trying to make something out of nothing only to do away the need.

Throughout my search for nothing a question kept coming up: "Does nothing exist?"

Here is am answer from a website called "Philosophy Form." By regarding physical matter, does "nothingness" exist? With nothingness being the opposite of everything. When it is said everything the writer is referring to matter. In some peoples opinion the question contradicts itself. Because of existence "nothingness" does not exist. Now there is a head turner and food for thought that is unless you have some more urgent matters to think about. I guess in a way nothing is something called nothing.

In a website question, I ask what color is nothing. Is it Pitch Black, Pure White or completely clear? The answers given had no names attached just the answers. Here are a few of those answers I received "Completely clear. The vacuum of space is the closest approximation to nothing as you get. Hence you can see stars and galaxies billions and trillions of miles away. If nothing were black you wouldn't see anything past your own nose." Another wrote: "Simple thought experiment. Have an object. Put nothing in between you and that object. Observe the object. And then observe nothing. You can't see anything, but you can see the object. Therefore nothing is transparent."

This last answer I had to think about. "If nothing were pitch black, and you put it between you and an object you would see nothing, because you can't see the object but you can see black."

So there you have it. A quick look at nothing. I have to admit that it was a lot harder to do but it was also full of a lot of information, so as you watch it snow or just plain rain, take a moment and try to think of nothing, now go and get some of that Christmas shopping done. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all, now THAT is something.

 
 

 

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