Sunday, July 25, 2010


It all began with the day the World (as we know it) ended.

The exact date’s irrelevant, other than it was some day in 2010, a year I’d never expected to live to. Having read science fiction avidly, if not exclusively, since an early age (say, 7 perhaps) I, like many others, assumed that 2000 AD/CE would be the epochal year.

When, in fact, it wasn’t, I found myself, like many others, assuming some subsequent 21st-century year would be. Why not a nice, rounded 2010 then, when I became 68, or 2020, which my cardiologist advises me might be my last? But back to the common present: 2010, the year I’ve had my first tiny heart attack, an autoepochal event I’d also never expected.

Presuming a generalized chaos, I began by designing a necessary I.D. badge for myself:





CH Geneve Switzerland



There, I thought, who could possibly doubt the number was significant? Of course, it was and is my date of birth, so that it would surely pop up, in one format or another, in any/all of my on-line profiles, enough to validate my now Higgs-altered existence. Once I was alive in the new Higgs-world, everyone’s numbers would be altered somewhat, if not obliterated, I thought. Numerical chaos would have to serve to validate everyone until new numbers were issued. whom? Any organization that looked reputable. I deliberately chose CERN because it was both quasi-obscure, vaguely known, and obviously relevant. I also assumed that nobody had a working phone number for CERN in their cyberaddress book. And that Googling CERN wouldn‘t bring up CERN's current personnel database.

Now I was ready to appear to have become the post-Higgs me, I thought. How much of the old me would I preserve? Well, all of me! I thought: it'll be easy to validate - if things haven’t changed much. If they have, everyone’s would have, so perhaps sympathetic dubiety would prevail. As a test, I Googled myself and CERN.

[G] [ Bill Costley, CERN]

In the first few listings, I found myself twice:

Bill Costley

Bill Costley: poet, playwright, journalist, editor, blogger (obviously). View my complete profile. Blog Archive. ▼ 2010 (84). ▼ July (8) ... - Cached - Similar

Bill Costley - LinkedIn

San Francisco Bay Area - poet, journalist, blogger

View Bill Costley's professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world's largest business network, helping professionals like Bill Costley discover ... - Cached - Similar

before I found other Bill Costleys:

Bill Costley, Education/Outreach at Traverse Area Association of RealtorsSaginaw, Michigan Area Bill Costley, Senior Paralegal at Arnold & Porter

I already knew of a Scottish hotelier/chef, and a writer specializing in German Army units, both named Bill Costley.

Would they be distracting enough? Probably, in a post-Higgs universe.

None of which associated me with CERN, unfortunately. I could hope that the general post-Higgs chaos might explain that absence to any chaotic questioner now of dubious certification themselves. Or I could hope that no one, under such chaotic circumstances, would even bother to inquire. All this probability was making me anxious while relieving that anxiety.

Was this the post-Higgs universe? How could I tell? So far, it seemed the same as the pre-Higgs one. Perhaps by Googling "post Higgs" I would find some relief.

[G] [post Higgs Boson]

Relief appears in the New Scientist:

where I'm told the announcement of the Higgs Boson is due immanently. I suggest you try to calm down – if all this has discombobulated you as you are now – and just wait for it. It’s really only a matter of days now...

UPDATE: No Boson; am I still the person I was when I wrote this? R U?

No comments: