Physicists, please...

Stop Me Before I Paint Again!!

A True Confession

by Robert Winter

I didn't know it would end this way.

I was just trying to mix a few colors to paint.  Nobody told me I'd one day find myself railing against the authority of physics.

When it comes to making friends and associates nervous, agnosticism is infinitely more acceptable these days than disbelieving in science.  Am I on the verge of finding myself waving an anti-water-fluoridation placard or trooping around in some anti-evolution demonstration?

As if losing my belief in accepted science weren't bad enough, I also find myself cobbling together a kind of "alternative" physics, to explain what I think I've found about color and light. 

This all feels unnervingly similar to  the television news story about the guy who started up his own backyard space program.   He built a lumpily tubular "rocket" out of God knows what.  At the top was a kitchen chair (with a seat belt) that was to be sat on by a neighborhood preteen in a Pop Warner football helmet.

What makes matters worse is the possibility that the guy with the space program may only have been kidding.

I've sought help.  I've contacted a physicist or two.  I've also looked into respectable physics texts. 

But when I reach the crucial sections of these books, it's as if somebody had spliced in passages from "Jabberwocky."  I can't derive the slightest sense from the stuff.  I'm left only with vague mental images of loop-the-loops and curlicues...almost like those intricate designs that scientists drew to describe the movements of the stars and planets in pre-Copernican times.

It's still hard to believe it could have started out so innocently.