- John Archibald Wheeler (1911 - 2008)
Saturday, February 24, 2024
Sunday, February 18, 2024
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Wednesday, February 14, 2024
- Dag Hammarskjöld (1905 - 1961)
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Perhaps one of the reasons for this silence is that you have to know how to read music. For instance, the scientific article may say, “The radioactive phosphorus content of the cerebrum of the rat decreases to one-half in a period of two weeks.” Now what does that mean?
It means that phosphorus that is in the brain of a rat—and also in mine, and yours—is not the same phosphorus as it was two weeks ago. It means the atoms that are in the brain are being replaced: the ones that were there before have gone away.
So what is this mind of ours: what are these atoms with consciousness? Last week’s potatoes! They now can remember what was going on in my mind a year ago—a mind which has long ago been replaced. To note that the thing I call my individuality is only a pattern or dance, that is what it means when one discovers how long it takes for the atoms of the brain to be replaced by other atoms. The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out—there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday."
- Richard Feynman (1918 - 1988)
Sunday, February 11, 2024
to tears of joy is in the eyes
of others only a green thing
that stands in the way. Some see
nature all ridicule and deformity...
and some scarce see nature at all. But
to the eyes of the man of imagination,
nature is imagination itself."
- William Blake (1757 - 1827)
Saturday, February 10, 2024
Above all, geology makes explicit challenges to our understanding of time. It giddies the sense of here-and-now. The imaginative experience of what the writer John McPhee memorably called 'deep time' - the sense of time whose units are not days, hours, minutes or seconds but millions of years or tens of millions of years - crushes the human instant; flattens it to a wafer. Contemplating the immensities of deep time, you face, in a way that is both exquisite and horrifying, the total collapse of your present, compacted to nothingness by the pressures of pasts and futures too extensive to envisage. And it is a physical as well as a cerebral horror, for to acknowledge that the hard rock of a mountain is vulnerable to the attrition of time is of necessity to reflect on the appalling transience of the human body."