The Zen of motion, or possibly the motion of Zen

Today I’m back to physics, specifically Chapter 3 of Conceptual Physics, Linear Motion.

Here’s the skinny: Motion is relative. All motion.

If you’re riding a bus going thirty miles per hour your motion relative to the bus is zero. But your motion relative to the surface of the earth is thirty miles per hour.

When you’re standing on the sidewalk, not twitching a muscle, you’re still moving at tremendous speed relative to the sun and relative to the center of the galaxy.

The rest of the chapter goes on about speed, velocity, and acceleration, but since I was on only my first cup of coffee I naturally started down the path of motion relative to self.

Relative to itself an object can never move, according to the criterion for motion: Motion is relative.

So I, in fact, have not moved since I was born, since before I was born if you want to get snitty about it. I have never remained in the same place and I have never moved. Take that, Aristotle!!

When you hear one of those Zennish sorts say something like, “Wherever you go, there you are,” you now know he’s just spitting out some basic physics.


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