Michael Stevens (educator)
American YouTuber and Internet personality
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- Hey Vsauce, Michael here.
- Beginning quote to his videos
- And as always, thanks for watching.
- End quote to his videos
- The pyramids of Giza were as old to the ancient Romans as the ancient Romans are to us.
- Compared to what human life has mainly been like here on earth, our current societies are WEIRD.
- "Our Narrow Slice", Vsauce (8 October 2013)
- What I'm trying to say is... I'm not going to say, "I hate" anything I ever made — but I will say this: My mother is much more proud of what I do now than all of the fart-joke videos I did in the past.
- Responding to the question "What is your least favorite video?", in "IAMA: Michael Stevens of Vsauce" Reddit (29 April 2014)
- We are finite creatures. Our lives are small and can only scientifically consider a small part of reality. What's common for us is just a sliver of what's available. We can only see so much of the electromagnetic spectrum. We can only delve so deep into extensions of space. Common sense applies to that which we can access. But common sense is just that- common. If total sense is what we want, we should be prepared to accept that we shouldn't call infinity weird or strange. The results we've arrived at by accepting it are valid, true within the system we use to understand, measure, predict and order the universe. Perhaps the system still needs perfecting, but at the end of the day, history continues to show us that the universe isn't strange. We are.
- It's a truly eerie experience — because you can find the permanent location for any 3200-character text. You can find in this library the description of your birth, every possible description of your death, every poem, every joke, every lie — everything that could be said, can be found on this site. This … thing … blurs the line between invention and discovery; did you really discover or invent that thing, if it's description already existed? 105000 different pages are offered by the Library of Babel. In comparison, there are only 1080atoms in the observable universe. I searched for what I just said, and sure enough, in this hexagon, in this wall, in this shelf, in this volume, on this page, it's there. Hello. But deep down, we feel like there's a difference between this program, permuting something unknowingly and a person actually meaning it, intending it, saying it because they wanted to, with agency. We use a finite number of symbols to say things. For that reason, a library of every finite combination of those symbols can be made. But just because it can be made doesn't mean it has been said. That is the power we have.
Perhaps you and I were born too late to explore the world and too early in history to explore the stars, but we were born at just the right time, which is pretty much all times ever — to explore language — to explore what can be said. What should be said? What should we send out to space? What, that can be said, will you be the first to say?
- Remarks upon the website "Library of Babel" created by Jonathan Basile, inspired by the 1941 story "La Biblioteca de Babel" by Jorge Luis Borges, in "Messages for the Future", Vsauce (23 September 2015)