When optimization arrives, either others will optimize against you or you will optimize against others. Business against you or you against business. There will be either corporate planning or central planning.
Climbing the Eiffel Tower is a disappointment. Reaching the moon is a disappointment. Why shouldn’t getting down below the nuclear level be a disappointment? Or getting outside the universe be a disappointment? Why shouldn’t science generally be the Eiffel Tower?
Suppose, for a minute, that God really did mean the universe to be our stage. Wouldn’t we expect its underside, and its backside, to be drab and unadorned, just as they are at the Met or La Scala? And shouldn’t we take the barrenness of the moon, the emptiness of space, and the randomness of quantum mechanics, as signs. Can’t we see the signs?
To follow the plot, keep your eyes on the stage.
Is it the fly who dies behind the window pane, or the fly who fears to enter your house, who retains her dignity?
Either flies don’t enter or people open their windows. By dying, which does the fly make possible?
You are nought but your fortune, as completely empty as chance, from the color of your eyes to the sharpness of your mind. So do not tell me that gambling lacks substance. You lack substance. There is no greater humility than the gambler’s.
I don’t need a book; I can figure it out for myself!
Unless you happen to fervently believe in a principle itself, and no one ought to, because principles aren’t real, you should never use one to win an argument, because one day something you love will run counter to the principle, and then you will be forced to watch it die. The argument against the Iraq war was that it was a bad war; it should never have been that military intervention is always wrong as a matter of principle. Now we have a relatively non-interventionist President, and the price is the murder of an entire country.
When other stars were reached, their civilizations were found to be in various stages of partial industrialization, at levels roughly comparable to those enjoyed on earth in the 18th century. Further examination revealed that this had been brought about in all cases by government fiat. It was for this reason that the stars had failed to respond for so long to our calls.
It is a great provincialism of life in the developed world that we assume that technological progress is unstoppable. Indeed, it is almost a nightmare, in that we see ourselves soon as either becoming something else, infinite-lived, technologically enhanced, engineered creatures, or dead by environmental disaster. In point of fact, one of the great successes of government in the 20th century was its perfection, proved in the blood of millions, of totalitarian governments capable of eliminating all technological progress, all dissent in favor of technology and growth. However horrible the methods of these governments, one must marvel at their ability to stamp out what in freer places seems a tectonic motion toward continual development.
These totalitarian governments failed, and continue to fail, only by the intervention of outside elements. If a totalitarian form were ever to seize control of the earth entire, progress might be stamped out forever, and humanity frozen in its present form.
Our goal should be a mindful technological progress, one that we understand to be under our own control, leading us to a place that we actually desire, or nowhere, if we wish nowhere to go.
The hubris of this age is not that we have dared to be scientists but that we think we had a choice!
You think you have made a discovery and are filled with joy. Later, you discover that you were wrong, but the mistake eventually leads to a genuine insight, accompanied not so much by euphoria as satisfaction. Confidence seems to hold these steps together. Believing you have discovered gives you the mental power for actual discovery. A species of fake-it-till-you-make-it.
Akira Kurosawa placed his cameras as far as possible from the action in Ran, using zoom lenses to capture it, creating the illusion of a two dimensional world.
I sometimes thought that perspective and the illusion of three dimensionality make Western painting superior to all other painting. But that is crass.
Three dimensionality is our everyday! The greatness of painting is its flattening. Chinese painters understood that. Herein the corruption of film in relation to painting, too.