New Scientist - Nothing


New Scientist brings you the self-descriptively titled “Nothing”…

  • Zero, zip, nada, zilch. It’s all too easy to ignore the fascinating possibilities of emptiness and non-existence, and we may well wonder what there is to say about nothing. But scientists have known for centuries that nothing is the key to understanding absolutely everything, from why particles have mass to the expansion of the universe – so without nothing we’d be precisely nowhere. Absolute zero (the coldest cold that can exist) and the astonishing power of placebos, light bulbs, superconductors, vacuums, dark energy, ‘bed rest’ and the birth of time – all are different aspects of the concept of nothing. The closer we look, the bigger the subject gets. Why do some animals spend all day doing nothing? What happens in our brains when we try to think about nothing?”

Preston Reed“When you are doing nothing you are doing something” by Preston Reed argues that “nothing” is not just a key to the understanding, but is also a critical part of creativity…

  • “Being creative is not just about the active, productive times. It’s about the silences, the gaps, the pauses between creating, when it can seem there’s nothing going on and time is being wasted. It’s not. When nothing is going on in your conscious mind, there’s always something going on in your unconscious mind — where the development of the next idea, the next composition, the next project, the next solution to a problem begins. Creativity is not just about manifestation. It’s about gestation. When you are doing “nothing”, you are doing something very important.”

The notion of nothing reminds me of the greatest TV comedies of all time which was…“a show about nothing”. Jerry Seinfeld (who turns 60 today) made an art form of, well, nothing.

So often we are looking for something, when the answer might just be…nothing.