Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Framing "my " surroundings (3)

Santa Cruz do Sul, Janeiro 2019 

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Consider the dot we call earth

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. 

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity - in all this vastness - there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. 

The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbour life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

Carl Sagan

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Framing "my" surroundings (1)

Santa Cruz do Sul, Janeiro 2019

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

A Fantastic State of Ruin

What first and foremost attracted me to this tome is the fact that since I visited Rajastan some years ago I’m carrying pictures in my head that deeply affect me. The places in India that I have been to (Delhi, Gurgaon, Agra, Jaipur) left me stunned – the masses of people, the traffic and noise, the colours and, especially, the women who I thought the most beautiful and dignified I’ve ever laid eyes on. What also made a mark on me was the observation by U.R. Ananthamurthy “that the Indian writer is luckier than his Western counterpart, for he lives simultaneously in the 12th and 21st centuries, and in every century in between” for it describes perfectly what I experienced when looking through my car window while my driver was busily navigating through traffic. “No rules,” he commented. “Do cars in other countries go all in one direction?” he wanted to know. “Generally speaking yes,” I answered, “they usually do not come from from left or right or towards you.”

For the full review, see here