I’m no expert, but even I can see that from the moment you get up in the morning until the moment you nod off to sleep at night, science plays a huge part in your daily life.
What’s the first thing that happens to you every day? You’re jolted awake by the alarm on your clock radio, right? The digital display, the jarring _buzz_…that’s science. Even if you’ve set the controls so that you’re woken up by a soothing song on the radio, how do you think that song reaches you? Through radio waves (discovered by scientists) transmitted from broadcast towers (designed by scientists). Even the DJs at the radio station are hitting all kinds of colorful buttons and knobs and levers, just like scientists are known to.
Anyway, now that you’re up, what’s for breakfast? Toast, of course. And just what do you think transforms that bland slice of bread into your delicious morning toast? Science again, this time in the guise of your harmless looking toaster.
Is it beginning to dawn on you yet? Science is everywhere. It’s inescapable.
It’s with you as you iron your pants for work, as you run the electric razor over your face, as you slip in your contacts. It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s even some complicated scientific term to describe the way water comes out of your shower head — The Cascade Effect or osmosis or something.
Now that your morning routine is over, it’s time to head off to work…but don’t assume you’re leaving science behind. No, it’s right there with you during your commute, in the form of the internal combustion engine and intermittent wipers and traffic lights that direct your every move because you, me, all of us, we’re just lowly animals compared to this omnipotent god science. And a lot of these traffic lights nowadays come equipped with spy cameras, letting them see the expression on your face as you pass by, so you’d better put on a fake smile and pretend nothing is wrong, even though everything you see around you says otherwise.
And then there’s the office itself: computers and faxes and copiers, and even the clunky old vending machine in the break room surely works on one form of mechanical principle or another. Also, hasn’t it short-changed you on occasion?
But wait. Maybe everything isn’t as bad as it seems. Your co-workers have gotten you a birthday card. Maybe for just a few minutes you can put all these disturbing thoughts out of your head. But what’s this? When you open the card, it spits a silly little tune right in your face. Even here, in the kindest and most basic of gestures…science. What can you do except put on that fake smile again and pretend nothing is wrong even as you run out of the office screaming?
But is there any relief when you get home? Don’t count on it. You have to microwave your dinner and put clothes in the washer, and even if you successfully avoid the TV and cell phone and Electronic Battleship and retreat to the safety of a simple book, a western, set back in the good old days before science was everywhere, even here the bad guys are shooting at the good guys with bullets fired from a six-shooter through the science of centrifugal force or something.
So, now that I’ve opened your eyes, you can finally understand how hopeless the situation is. What’s that, you say? You can always flee to the mountains and build a log cabin? No working technology, not even running water? You’ve done it? You’ve escaped?
Not a chance.
While you’re out chopping wood, a jet flies high overhead. It’s science, smugly looking down at you and laughing because it knows it’s smarter than you, more powerful, better looking, superior in every conceivable way. And all you can do is put on that fake smile of yours one last time and pretend that nothing is wrong and calmly throw yourself off the nearest cliff in what scientists would call Einstein’s First Law of Thermodynamics, or something.