Happy Mortal

This life, well-lived.

My Brief History of Hawking

Dusty Galaxy NGC 7049 “Hawking is very ill,” I kept scanning the morning headlines until my head caught up with what I was reading. The Huffington Post reports that he’s fighting a chest infection: Hawking, Ill.

My thoughts took me back immediately to the summer of 2000 when the younger, fundamentalist version of myself was being blown away by light cones and black holes. I’d learned about Einstein in highschool, studied relativity, but it wasn’t until I’d come into contact with Hawking’s work that my world really started to open up.

First it was A Brief History of Time, then Deutsch’s Fabric of Reality, and Greene’s Elegant Universe–the scales were starting to fall from my eyes, so to speak. Each of these authors (not to mention Nietzsche, Heidegger, Zizek, and Jung) helped me recover my curiousity and courage. But it wasn’t until this morning when the words (Hawking, Ill) stuck in my head that I realized how much of that process started with his work.

I think I speak for many when I say:

“Thanks, Stephen. You’ve done more than change our view of the universe; you’ve helped us see how we can fit into it.”

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the nice tribute. I read A Brief History of Time a few years ago, and while it didn’t change my life, it was a useful step in the process of my quest to understand relativity. Hawking is a brilliant physicist and a key part of our cultural landscape. I second the thanks offered by rekon!