Heikegani takes its name from a Japanese crab whose shell uncannily resembles the face of a samurai warrior. How so? Carl Sagan explains…
Note: Sagan’s theory is still a matter of some debate, with a counter-argument saying that the heikegani are too small to eat and therefore of little interest to the japanese fisherfolk central to Sagan’s thesis.
The journey to bring you this website began with a viewing of Sagan’s Heike warrior crabs sequence from Cosmos many years ago. That its factuality is debated makes the name even more appropriate. For this site’s only ambition is for people to ask questions and to make up their own mind, no matter how beautifully or poetically a story is told.
Heikegani is a website that hopes to inspire thought and encourage healthy inquisition of the universe in which we happen to find ourselves. Here we will look deep into the fabric of space and peer way out, and back in time, across the cosmos, in order to address, if not answer, some of the most fundamental questions of our existence.
We are not experts, merely curious. By collecting and organising the most interesting and thought provoking videos we can find, we hope to become part of the worldwide movement towards free education made possible by the internet. The curated videos on these pages contain ideas at the cutting edge of science, including many theoretical, which to us represent a very modern incarnation of philosophy.
Cosmology, quantum physics, mathematics, philosophy, art and many other different subjects are presented and discussed from an interested layperson’s perspective. These topics are not, as is peddled by the more arrogant proponents of each, mutually exclusive, and study of one subject almost invariably leads to greater understanding of others. Combining knowledge gained from every avenue of exploration will always be more enlightening than individual phenomena studied in isolation. There is no place for self satisfied truths, especially when ‘truth’ is a nebulous concept at best, but some lines of inquiry evidently lead in a more productive direction than others. We hope that the content presented here helps lead you towards an expansion of your own horizons.
Currently we are still a long way from fully comprehending any fundamental ‘truths’ about our universe. We do not yet even know whether such ‘truths’ would be comprehensible to beings such as us. However, this is cause for great excitement rather than concern, as the plot has not yet revealed itself in the greatest detective story ever told and we are all players in an active game. Unintimidated by our insignificance in the infinite regress, emboldened by the collective wisdom we have amassed in the blink of a cosmic eye, we continue our endeavours to learn about the stage on which we play. There is no finishing line in life, only the desire to know a little bit more about it when you leave than you did when you arrived.
Enjoy. The Berg