The Fourth Matter
Following common Matter, Dark Matter, and Antimatter, long recognized by Science, is the less well-known Doesn’t Matter, the study of which has for quite some time now gone under-funded, unappreciated, and rather difficult to publish.
“It’s a problematic issue, although not very” says a not-so-notable Physicist (cornered during a longish lift ride). “Research into this field has always struggled with indifference in the scientific community, not to mention the public. Even research staff and students tend to fall asleep at the lab, or simply wander off”.
Doesn’t Matter was discovered by pure accident during a 1976 NASA project attempting to quantify black hole properties, and had initially caused some concern before being discovered to have no effect on the original measurements. Since then it has been given little attention despite its possible scientific, technological and even commercial implications (including stealth technology and tax evasion).
“No-one really bothers with it”, comments Dr. E. Jasper, editor of “Physics Whenever” journal, “now please go away, I have some work to do. It’s not worth your trouble anyway.”
It has been speculated, usually during long train journeys and lunch queues at Physics conventions, that Doesn’t Matter has what was flippantly named (and never renamed) “psycho-recessive” properties, namely the quality of being extremely elusive to cognition and consciousness, tending to slip out of anyone’s attention. This property effectively prevents its being subjected to any kind of empirical trials and tribulations.
“Maybe it doesn’t want to be found,” yawns a Philosopher of Science who didn’t even stay long enough to give his name, “Leave it be. Who cares? Don’t you have anything better to do?”
Be that as it may, Um… what was I saying? Never mind.