2 September 2007
Modern human societies are set up as hierarchies, with abundant signals concerning our status relative to those around us. In the best of social organizations, climbing the hierarchy entails contribution to the communal good. In societies that are less perfect, we clamber and flail, stepping on our neighbors in our quest for the highest rung we can reach.
Interactions are stylized and constrained by the roles in which we fall. Still, the human within us strives for real contact, for authenticity, for love. Ironically, we rely on the hierarchy for cues about appropriate candidates for friendship and love, then we curse the hierarchy for making genuine relationship so difficult.
If it falls on the lover to transcend the hierarchy in reaching for deep communion, it is the artist’s bread-and-butter to undermine and subvert the hierarchy in new and unimagined ways. Meanwhile, the mystic sees through the scheme, and senses directly in the now that there is no distance between you and me.
– Josh Mitteldorf
1 September 2007
“All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific.”
31 August 2007
The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
Outside the open window
Some are in bed-sheets, some are in
Now they are flying in place,
From all that it is about to remember,
“Oh, let there be nothing on earth
Yet, as the sun acknowledges
“Bring them down from their ruddy
~ Richard Wilbur ~
30 August 2007
Vitelogennin is a protein that is fed to ‘nurse bees’ and queen bees, making them live longer than their (genetically identical) sisters the workers. Worker bees live only a few weeks, but nurse bees (which tend the queen) live up to ten months and queens can live for many years. Vitellogenin seems to be able to reverse aging damage, not just prevent it.
article in PNAS
29 August 2007
let’s live suddenly without thinking
under honest trees,
28 August 2007
Germany’s greatest poet was a scientist. He traveled to study botany, set up an optics lab at home, and counterposed his Theory of Color to Newton's corpuscular theory of light (presaging the wave/particle duality of 20th century quantum physics).
“Once one knows what really matters, one ceases to be voluble. And what does really matter? That is easy: thinking and doing, doing and thinking---and these are the sum of all wisdom...Both must move ever onward in life, to and fro, like breathing in and breathing out. Whoever makes it a rule to test action by thought, thought by action, cannot falter, and if he does, will soon find his way back to the right road.”
Wolfgang von Goethe was born this day in 1749.
27 August 2007
British-American violist Rebecca Clarke, born this day in 1886, composed in obscurity, but her works have been rediscovered and loved and promoted in recent years.
Listen to I’ll
Bid My Heart Be Still, for viola and piano, performed by Helen Callus
and Robert McDonald.