4/03/2009

about scale

What is scale? I was sitting on the bus and I noticed the woman sitting next to me was much larger than me. This does not mean she is of a different scale. She is simply larger. Different. She is still a human, just a bigger human. So, if one paint can is small and one is large, it is just that. They are still one in the same. But is it different, is it scale, if they are not of the same material? If they are not alike? If one is an actual paint can and one is painted cardboard to appear as a paint can... one functions as a paint can, the other functions as a representation of a paint can--this shift is scale. A model of rather than a gigantic

1 comment:

Stephen Walasavage said...

To us, who are bound to a specific range of sizes, scale is indeed an interesting thing. We see things 10 times smaller than us, 100 times smaller, 10 times bigger, and 100 times bigger. We see things well outside those ranges as well. My guess is that scale is almost always a trivial idea as long as you're an organism/entity that is somewhere in the middle between "ultimate in smallness" and "ultimate in largeness". I'm talking consciousness at the size of the Planck length and the size of the universe... Beings at those scales would have a drastically different view of things. For them, scale really WOULD be absolute. The two paint cans would be COMPLETEly different, because they're made of different materials, have more/less space between atoms, etc.

Of course, it may be that even beings in the middle of the cosmic range from little to huge COULD see things as they really are, but evolution has caused them to be limited to only really comprehending things within a reasonable amount of scale smaller and larger than themselves.