There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did Time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further, what did Time look like? Time looked like snow dropping silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an ancient theater, one hundred billion faces falling like those New Year balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how Time smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight - Tomás shoved a hand into the wind outside his truck - tonight you could almost touch Time.
Richard Feynman on the value of science…
"The same thrill, the same awe and mystery, comes again and again when we look at any question deeply enough. With more knowledge comes a deeper, more wonderful mystery, luring one on to penetrate deeper still. Never concerned that the answer may prove disappointing, with pleasure and confidence we turn over each new stone to find unimagined strangeness leading on to more wonderful questions and mysteries - certainly a grand adventure!"
Background image credit: Michael Sidonio
But it is the imagination of the latter that keeps us inquiring about the former.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
I meet many people offended by evolution, who passionately prefer to be the personal handicraft of God than to arise by blind physical and chemical forces over aeons from slime…What they wish to be true, they believe is true.
Only 9 percent of Americans accept the central finding of modern biology that human beings (and all other species) have slowly evolved by natural processes from a succession of more ancient beings with no divine intervention needed along the way.
Look on the bright side! Since Carl wrote these words in 1995’s The Demon-Haunted World, support for human beings evolving solely by natural processes has risen to a whopping 32%!! Although, I must admit, I don’t know where that 9% number comes from.
If you read one thing today, make it the great Oliver Sacks on what hallucinations reveal about how our minds work
While some early forms of scientific engagement are known to have been present in prehistoric cultures, it wasn’t until the 19th century that science emerged as a formal, specialized field. Art, on the other hand, was important to the human experience even before we were fully human. Neanderthals were using ochre pigments for ornamental purposes 250,000 years ago, and many of our earliest relics are cave paintings and musical instruments. Hegel has a theory that as time progresses, the world is coming to know itself. Perhaps art is the very illustration of that idea: a collective creative embodiment of the world coming to know itself. Evolution combined with consciousness produces culture.
Rachell Sussman, in The Oldest Living Things In The World
Unfortunately, when I Googled Hegel to try and put that tidbit in context and decipher Hegel’s thought I immediately realized that I don’t understand what Hegel means at all.
Halp from philosophy folks is welcomed.
My own feeling is that science fiction, of all the different forms of literature, is the one that most easily accepts the notion of change. Things are changing very quickly, and any kid who thinks about it knows that the world in which he or she will be a grown-up — which he or she will be helping to run — will be considerably different from this one. Maybe better, maybe worse, but different. Science fiction explores the future world.
I think more and more young people are beginning to feel that science fiction is the kind of literature that a person interested in reality should be reading.
- Isaac Asimov
A while back, I asked why it is that some science fiction is so good at predicting the future. Far and away, the most common answer was because people who read science fiction are then inspired to make that future a reality.
Asimov knew that.
Check out more from his 1983 interview with Dr. Julius Strangepork in Muppets magazine (yes, seriously) at Brain Pickings.
All of science is uncertain and subject to revision. The glory of science is to imagine more than we can prove.
If you think about it … a word is a meme. How do you install a meme? Well, the first time the kid hears it, it’s just a sound. The second time the kid hears it, it’s a somewhat familiar sound and maybe there’s something about the context that’s the same. The third time the kid hears it, a little bit more. Pretty soon, by a process of gradual installation, a structure gets established, a little tiny micro-habit in the brain, which is then available to be exploited in various ways and, of course, not always well.
Sure, a word is a meme, but… meme is also a word.