Living Forever on a Greek Island

Skopelos

Skopelos

After the first few weeks, I didn’t know what day it was.

By that, I don’t mean that I didn’t know if it was a Monday or a Tuesday. I didn’t know if it was a Monday or a Saturday. The only day I ever knew that summer was Sunday, which was marked by church bells and the voices of the psaltes (singers) in the nearby churches.

Once the churches quieted, that day unraveled like every other day, until again, on some seemingly distant and arbitrary morning, the psaltes would be heard and I would know it was Sunday again. Continue reading

From the Cage to the Plains (A Camel Conversation with my LA Agent)

A Camel in Hollywood

Humper in Hollywood

My agent had an idea. He was calling a number of his clients. I’m not sure where I fell between the first and last call. Not that it mattered.

The Phone Call

AGENT: I’m thinking you need to find a different name for your screenplays. Just a single name and something that pops like ‘Bopper’ or ‘The Drill.’

DAVID: They both sound mildly pornographic.

AGENT: Even better.

DAVID: I think my own name is fine.

AGENT: Little story for you, David. I was at the Wild Animal Safari Park in Escondido the other day. Continue reading

Socrates Gone Mad in Southern California

Slomo at the Acropolis

‘Slomo’ at the Acropolis

Slomo is a 69 year old man who roller blades in slow motion along the boardwalk in Pacific Beach, California. He does this daily, unceasingly, and is known by nearly everyone who frequents the beach, bars or coffee shops. Many discount him as drug-addled, schizophrenic, or crazy. But he is not so easily dismissed.

For Slomo is Dr. John Kitchin, a former neurologist and psychiatrist, who abandoned his lucrative career in order to live in a studio apartment by the beach and pursue “a kind of divinity” through skating. Slomo is not crazy. He is a clear eyed, articulate, and bright man who has forsaken the lifestyle of the “typical institutionalized, educated, Western man.” Continue reading

Pope Francis and his Prodigal Gay Sons

The Embrace of Pope Francis

The Embrace of Pope Francis

“Who am I to judge?”

These words, spoken by Pope Francis in reply to a question about gay priests, may represent a change of direction for the Catholic Church and signal a move away from the censure and moralizing that have come to characterize it.  This is something for which many Catholics have long been waiting. Continue reading

Sharks in Coach (Talking about my Novel with my LA Agent)

Hollywood Shark

My LA agent had been sitting on my book for a couple of months.  I’d gotten no feedback from him, only the studied silence of a poised insect.  I decided to breach the stillness and give him a call.

The Phone Call

David:  Happy New Year.  It’s David.

Agent:  Know how many Davids I know?

David:  I know my full name shows up on your phone.

Agent:  So kill me.  What’re you calling me for?

David:  Did you read my book yet? Continue reading

Weighing in on Theoretical Physics (That’s right, theoretical physics!)

Just the beginning...

Just the beginning…

I just finished reading this article, The Accidental Universe, in Harper’s, and I’m no rocket scientist or theoretical physicist (or rocket physicist or even theoretical scientist), so let me try to get this straight.

For our universe with its particular features to come about is so highly improbable and incalculable that it had to come about by accident.
Okay… check.

Now, physicists don’t like that because their job is to explain events, and to explain an event like our universe as ‘an accident’ is like theoretical malpractice for a physicist-ian.
All right… check.  

So in order to explain this accident (our universe), some theoretical physicists have postulated that there are an infinite number of universes out there (called the multiverse) and we live in only one of them.
Go on…

And the reason our universe has the basic features it does, is because in that multiverse, one of them has to have our features – and us – just because of the sheer number of universes in it.
Huh?  

Again, I’m no rocket scientist, etc. but haven’t these physicists just proposed a grander improbable (the multiverse) in order to make the original improbable (our universe) probable?

I say why stop there?  Why not propose a multiverse of multiverses?

In a multiverse of multiverses – imagine the infinities! – all things would come about and replicate endlessly.  So those same physicists would be studying their multiplicity of universes in a multiplicity of universes.  Accordingly, we would all exist in countless alternate universes as well.  (That trip to Bali?  Curl your toes in the sand.  The woman who got away?  Standing right next to you.)

This idea of a multiverse of multiverses also puts a nice spin on the anthropic principle (i.e. that the universe must have the features it does because we are here to observe it.)  You see, it’s no longer that this universe is what it is because we are here to observe it.  It’s that an infinite number of we’s exist in an infinite number of universes, observing all of them the way they are.

So, in this universe (and many others), I (and many others) am writing this post (and many others), but elsewhere in that infinity of infinities, I (and many others) am a theoretical physicist at M.I.T. myself (along with many others), proposing a multiverse of multiverses of multiverses theory which, of course, only leads to ever more blog posts such as this one (and many others) and ever more multiverses.

To misquote the playwright Tom Stoppard: “Infinity is a terrible thought.  I mean, where’s it going to end?”

My debut novel, ‘THE LAST ISLAND,’ which has nothing to do with theoretical physics, is available here.