They are attempting to be several places at once, like quantum waves. But I would argue that they are nowhere.
When so much of our interaction with other people and with our environment is mediated by the invisible, the visible seems less worthy of our attention.
Doing his best Sherry Turkle (well known for her psychological study of social media), Lightman here wonders about what our mediated world has done to us, particularly in how we have become increasingly disembodied, separated from the very physical reality that science seeks to understand. This disembodied experience is becoming normal (which may inevitably bleed into normative) for us. Indeed, newer generations won’t know any other world but a mediated one. Where will this push us in our epistemological and ontological endeavors?
Each age struggles with a unique relationship between the visible and the invisible. The problem, a very unsettling one at that, is that we don’t know what we don’t know. No age ever has. No age ever can. We are always stuck in retroactive judgment and present optimism. So this disembodied age is no different. What will become of it? We can only wonder. But as we learn throughout Lightman’s collection, that’s the best we can hope for.
Wonder isn’t so bad, right?