2 July 2006
“The world around us is of baffling complexity and the most obvious fact about it is that we cannot predict the future. Although the joke attributes only to the optimist the view that the future is uncertain, the optimist is right in this case: the future is unpredictable. It is, as Schrodinger has remarked, a miracle that in spite of the baffling complexity of the world, certain regularities in the events could be discovered.”
~ Eugene Wigner
Emotional weariness can give rise to a loss of enthusiasm for life, but despair can only arise when to this is added a form of intellectual arrogance – none of us knows enough to be without hope.
~ Josh Mitteldorf
1 July 2006
“The universe seems to me infinitely strange and foreign. At such a moment I gaze upon it with a mixture of anguish and euphoria; separate from the universe, as though placed at a certain distance outside it; I look and I see pictures, creatures that move in a kind of timeless time and spaceless space, emitting sounds that are a kind of language I no longer understand or ever register.”
30 June 2006
29 June 2006
“As human beings, we are groping for knowledge and understanding of the strange universe into which we are born. We have many ways of understanding, of which science is only one. Our thought processes are only partially based on logic, and are inextricably mixed with emotions and desires and social interactions. We cannot live as isolated intelligences, but only as members of a working community. Our ways of understanding have been collective, beginning with the stories that we told each other around the fire when we lived in caves. Our ways today are still collective, including literature, history, art, music, religion, and science.”
28 June 2006
The essence of the RMI perspective is that saving energy in buildings and cars is so much more profitable than drilling holes in the ground and refining petroleum that no matter what benighted policies are pursued by our governments and their corporate patrons, there will continue to
be steady progress toward energy efficiency.
27 June 2006
Love in the Guise of Friendship
not of love, it gives me pain,
But friendship's pure and
Your friendship much can make
Your thought, if Love must
26 June 2006
“In the past, there was a small leisure class and a larger working class. The leisure class enjoyed advantages for which there was no basis in social justice; this necessarily made it oppressive, limited its sympathies, and caused it to invent theories by which to justify its privileges. These facts greatly diminished its excellence, but in spite of this drawback it contributed nearly the whole of what we call civilization. It cultivated the arts and discovered the sciences; it wrote the books, invented the philosophies, and refined social relations.  . Even the liberation of the oppressed has usually been inaugurated from above. Without the leisure class, mankind would never have emerged from barbarism.”
Russell goes on to remind us
that machines have displaced labor to such an extent (1932!) that one man’s
toil is no longer a precondition to another man’s leisure.
Oppression of labor remains in our culture essentially as a bad habit!