Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Microstory 1372: Space and Time

Lifelong Student: Hi. I know people don’t really do this anymore, but I was hoping to get some help finding a book. I’ve looked for information online, but I’m struggling with understanding what it is I’m trying to research. I get a lot of results, but none of them is what I’m looking for.
Librarian: Not a problem. You came to the right librarian for help. I hail from the old guard, so I still remember what it was like before the internet gave everyone all the answers. I’ll try to find you that one perfect book. Let’s start broad, and whittle our way down from there, shall we?
Lifelong Student: Okay. Uh...space.
Librarian: All right.
Lifelong Student: And Time. Space and time. Is there a difference?
Librarian: I think..maybe not. But they both fall under astronomy and astrophysics. What would you like to know about space and time?
Lifelong Student: Well, I guess I’m less interested in learning the physics of it all, and more about the relationship between people and spacetime.
Librarian: Okay, give me a second to think. Yeah, 527 is Celestial Navigation. That will help you understand how seafarers traveled the oceans using the stars.
Lifelong Student: No, that’s not it either.
Librarian: Oh, okay. Well, if you’re talking about space travel, you may be more inclined towards the social aspect of space. Water, air, space transportation can be found in 387. If you need to know about space law, like who owns the moon, and whatnot, you’ll wanna go to the 340s. Though, to be honest, I’m not sure how to get more specific than that. Space law isn’t in my personal brain archives as its own decimal classification. It may be more history.
Lifelong Student: It doesn’t matter anyway. I guess I could get into some ethics, but I don’t care much about the actual laws. That’s too particular. I’m thinking more broad space and people, and what we think about it.
Librarian: Oh. Philosophy of space and time.
Lifelong Student: Yes! That’s it. Philosophy. Why didn’t I think of that word?
Librarian: That’s okay, I got you. Metaphysics are in the 110s. Let me think again...space is 114, and time is 115. Maybe they are different? Anyway, I assume you’re looking for something introductory?
Lifelong Student: Actually, now that I finally know what it is I’m actually looking for, I think I can take it from here. I can probably find better information on the internet. No offense.
Librarian: It’s okay. I understand that times have changed. I’ll keep helping until the day the last person ever leaves my library, and then one day after that.
Lifelong Student: Thanks so much. You really have been a big help.

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