31 January 2016

Not saying

Isaac Asimov famously wrote that the most exciting phrase to hear in science is not 'Eureka' but 'That’s funny.'

He meant funny peculiar. But funny ha ha is also sometimes present in a state of wonder that may (or may not) lead to systematic enquiry. And at such moments wonder can resemble a joke that we don't quite get. Sigmund Freud quoted Theodor Lipps:
a joke says what it has to say… in too few words… It may even actually say what it has to say by not saying it.

Image from kleinbottle.com

13 January 2016

In the cave

The most fascinating [question]...is whether we do live in a virtual reality all the time anyway, in some sort of virtual ambiguity... 
The only time I [felt] I was not caught in a virtual reality is when I travelled on foot.
Werner Herzog
Las certidumbres sólo se alcanzan con los pies. (Certainties are arrived at only on foot). 
Antonio Porchia

2 January 2016

The sea

If you should dip your hand in,
your wrist would ache immediately,
your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn
as if the water were a transmutation of fire
that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame.
If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter,
then briny, then surely burn your tongue.
It is like what we imagine knowledge to be:
dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free,
drawn from the cold hard mouth
of the world, derived from the rocky breasts
forever, flowing and drawn, and since
our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
from ‘At the Fishhouses’ by Elizabeth Bishop

Image: Earth 100 million years from now