* Wave-particle duality, etc. I had a dumbass moment this week when I forgot you don't learn quantum physics, or even the basics of relativity, in high school. I forgot we're taught that matter (as in things with mass) and energy are two totally different things; in relativity, mass and energy are fundamentally equivalent. People think the interesting thing about wave-particle duality is that light can act like a particle. But that's like, who cares. The mind-blowing part is that everything else can act like a wave. In other words, there's a real possibility that you could fall through the floor. (According to the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, in some worlds, you do.) Light is radiation in the visible spectrum, a wave we can see. In a way, "matter" is waves we can see. This view is probably confused on some level, but so is everybody else's.
Anyway, the whole "is light matter" question is weird because "matter" doesn't have an agreed-upon definition. Some sources say photons are massless and not usually considered matter, but a system that emits a photon supposedly decreases in mass, and photons exert gravitational attraction and are subject to gravity, like objects with mass. So what gives?
* Other potentially needless distinctions. Why do we continue to study physics, chemistry, and biology as separate disciplines? You can't do biology without doing physics and chemistry. I mean aren't all sciences basically branches of physics (the study of "matter")?
* The above is in light of Turin's vibrational theory of smell (see video from a couple days back, or read his book The Secret of Scent or Chandler Burr's The Emperor of Scent, which is actually a more engaging read). Turin wasn't even the first to propose the theory (Malcolm Dyson was), but most biologists didn't take it seriously because a) Turin was a biologist, and his theory involved a lot of physics (e.g., electron tunneling) and b) it's supposedly implausible that our nose could interpret vibrations, since we'd need a biological spectroscope (an instrument that measures molecular vibrations). But human vision and hearing both work via vibration; receptors in our eyes and ears sense the frequency of light bouncing off objects or the vibrations in the air, and our brain perceives these as images and sounds. So why is it so implausible that our sense of smell could work in a similar way?
* Stability versus intensity of experience as a framework for happiness. I find I'd rather be stable, in the present moment, but treasure memories of certain unstable times more, with their jagged extremes of emotion, though I know I was miserable at the time. It's partly that I can access those memories more fully, and occasionally they're so immersive as to be almost hallucinatory. So strange, this nostalgia for pain.