Saturday, January 25, 2020

Naive Realism

"We all start from “naive realism,” i.e., the doctrine that things are what they seem. We think that grass is green, that stones are hard, and that snow is cold. But physics assures us that the greenness of grass, the hardness of stones, and the coldness of snow are not the greenness of grass, the hardness of stones, and the coldness of snow that we know in our own experience, but something very different."

- Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Monday, January 20, 2020

Mental Constructs

"Perhaps we all lose our sense of reality to the precise degree to which we are engrossed in our own work, and perhaps that is why we see in the increasing complexity of our mental constructs a means for greater understanding, even while intuitively we know that we shall never be able to fathom the imponderables that govern our course through life."

W.G. Sebald (1944 - 2001)

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Origins of Form

"The evolution of all things animate or inanimate takes place within a sea of forces. Some of these forces are dominant, some are scarcely there at all, but all exert some influence on the changing form. The force might be a necessity for the placement of leaves to maximize sunlight or it might be a compression of space, a surface stress, heat, infusion with another substance, vibration, or sonic disturbance, wind, torsion, electrical charge, gravitational pull, or any number and combination of other mechanical or chemical forces. The substance can only respond and its evolving form is a reflection of the forces, like a patch of froth on a slowly winding river revealing the currents and countercurrents. When the forces are complex and constantly shifting, the developing form is unpredictable, like an old pear tree that has been broken, pruned, and buffeted by the elements, or the skin of an aged elephant. But when the forces are more constant and predictable the forms evolve into rhythm, pattern, and symmetry."

- Christopher Williams
Origins of Form