Monday, October 26, 2009

A Penny For Your Thoughts

I have just finished reading "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown. Once again, he has given me a great read and has also sparked my curiosity. He has caused me to think about things of which I already had a little knowledge. But he has also motivated me to learn many new things as well.

Each of his books has forced me to stretch my mind. In "Digital Fortress," I found myself wanting to learn more about cryptography. "Deception Point" left me wondering about scientific trickery and political cover-ups. After reading "Angels & Demons," I wanted to read more about the Swiss Guard and the Vatican. And of course, "The Da Vinci Code" led me to learn more about Opus Dei and The Priory of Sion and left me questioning just what was fact and what was fiction.

"The Lost Symbol" has had a similar effect. While I've enjoyed learning more about freemasonry than I ever thought I would, it is the Noetic Science that I find the most interesting. I'm still learning more about it, but the part of the book where Katherine Solomon was been able to weigh the human soul left me filled with wonder. I want to know more about this.

The idea of the human soul having mass started me to think about the weight of a human thought. Thoughts are caused by electrochemical processes in the brain. This means there should be energy involved and therefore mass. If a thought has mass, what would it weigh?

I started checking and could find no information on this. So, let's say a human thought uses one electron and therefore has the mass of one electron. If I convert the mass of one electron from kilograms to pounds and then calculate the number of electrons in one pound, I get a 5 followed by 29 zeros. So if each thought uses one electron, then there are 500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 electrons (and therefore the same number of thoughts) in a pound. If each thought costs one penny, then you multiply by $0.01.

As it turns out, when someone says "A Penny For Your Thoughts," we're talking about 5 octillion dollars per pound of thoughts. I'm pretty sure I have had at least a pound of thoughts for which I'd like to be paid. So far, no one has offered.

This is what a great book should do. It should make you think, it should make you study, it should make you want to know more than you do, to be smarter than you are, and to question what you currently know and what you are about to learn. And while I'll never get $5 octillion for a pound of my thoughts, it's still a great thing to think about.

This is why our children should read. Reading is not just for enjoyment, but it's for learning, for questioning, for wondering, for curiosity. If it's also fun, then all the better.

And there's another thought!

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