Hello and welcome to the July 2019 issue of Aphelion. By the time you
read this, I will have been to this year's LibertyCon in Chattanooga
and returned safely home. At the moment, I'm sitting here at home on a
June Sunday afternoon, drinking my last cup of coffee for the day, and
contemplating what to accomplish today. The convention is four days in
my future, the next issue of Aphelion is still two weeks away, and I'm
breaking a long-standing tradition by getting my editorial done at
something other than the last minute. It feels like I'm putting a
message in a bottle, here. No one will see this for two weeks, but
then, writing is sort of like time travel, isn't it? I mean, a reader
can find something someone wrote down weeks or years, or even centuries
ago, and suddenly they are inside the mind of the writer at the times
thewords are recorded. Well, last night I engaged in a bit of
philosophy, as I sometimes do, and I penned the following little essay.
"In vino veritas," eh?
One’s lIfe is not the goal, it is the path you take in search of that
goal. Goals can change as experiences bring new knowledge. Paths can
change, diverge from their original course, and destinations evolve
along the way.
In an experiment, changing one tiny variable can tweak the outcome in a
myriad different ways. This does not invalidate the original
experiment. It merely prompts you to consider different values for
That’s the thing with variables. Plug in different values, get
different results. What if my family had never moved back to Tennessee?
What if they never left Tennessee for Georgia? What if they had never
left Georgia for that brief time when I was in middle school? What if
we’d kept the first farm Dad bought? What if, what if, what if? All
variables, in different parts of the equation.
The path I have been on for so many years has presented me with
uncounted detours, side-quests, if you will. Subtract the least of
them, and I would not be who I have become. I would have become someone
This is not determinism versus free will. This is chaos theory. One
tiny change at the right point can skew the end results way out of any
predictable outcome. Change the spin of a single quark that’s part of a
single electron that’s part of a single atom of a single molecule, and
you can change entire universes into some unrecognizable alternative
It’s the same with people. Change one tiny thing in their lives, and
they suddenly have an entirely different life.
Be the change you want to see in the world. One word, one action, one
touch, one connection, one kindness... in the right place at the right
time with the right person, you can change reality itself.
You have the power to reshape the universe. For better or worse, fate
looks to you for guidance.
OK, now I'll shut up and let you get to reading the new stories, LOL!
Title: The Trapezium cluster
Photo Credit: ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/R.Gendler, J.-E.
Ovaldsen, and A. Hornstrup