Sunday, December 26, 2010

Understanding Infinity

There's a weird kid in every elementary school class. He's the odd one who doesn't get along socially or ever seem to answer a question correctly. It's not his fault, in fact, he'll probably be more well adjusted than most of the people in the class one day, but those elementary school years are tough for him. The one in my 4th grade class was Joey. One day the subject of infinity was breached in that class. Our teacher said that it was impossible for humans to truly comprehend infinity, and she asked, "Can anyone here comprehend infinity?" Joey's hand shot up for the first time. While most of us recognized it as a bad time for him to come alive, he didn't seem to mind. Our teacher gently corrected him that humans could not ever truly comprehend infinite concepts, and he put his hand down. But now three things occur to me: 1. Maybe Joey was an alien; 2. In the infinite universe with infinite possibilities, there has to be some kid born on some planet orbiting some star who is the only one on that world with the capacity to understand the concept of infinity; and 3. I probably should have been nicer to Joey.

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