Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Way Forward Is Quantum

J. Bronowski put together a great scientific series for the BBC back in 1973 entitled The Ascent Of Man.

In Part 11 of the series he discusses the quantum world and how its qualities are proof that there cannot be a final, perfect, unassailable knowledge for mankind.

Bronowski presented the episode's final comments from Auschwitz. Above is an actual shot from the scene as he pulled a handful of mud from the bottom of a pond where ashes of incinerated bodies had been dumped during the war.

The commentary:

"There are two parts to the human dilemma: One is the belief that the end justifies the means; that push-button philosophy; that deliberate deafness to suffering has become the monster in the war machine. The other is the betrayal of the human spirit; the assertion of dogma that closes the mind, that turns a nation, a civilization, into a regiment of ghosts—obedient ghosts or tortured ghosts.

It’s said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That’s false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz; this is where people were turned into numbers.

Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some 4 million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge—with no test in reality—this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods."

The Ascent Of Man was visionary. If you've read Bryson's A Short History Of Nearly Everything, or Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, And Steel you'll see their origin here.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Haze From Wildfires Drifts Into Tampa

Here's a picture of the bay this morning. Below it is another from a few months back.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jackson Pollock Painting

There's a great little (about 1 hour) documentary out entitled "Who The Fuck Is Jackson Pollock?" I watched it and couldn't help but be reminded that there is a line of dominance, no matter how much the virtual reality likes to express that there isn't. Above is a screen shot of one of the players in the controversy.