"Is it a fact or have I dreamed it - that by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? Rather the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence! Or shall we say, it is itself a thought, nothing but thought, and no longer the substance which we dreamed it!"
Nathaniel Hawthorne 1851 ‘The Information’ - James Gleick p125
"From primal mists of matter to spiraled galaxies and clockwork solar systems, from molten rock to an earth of land and air and water , from heaviness to lightness to life, sensation to perception, memory to consciousness- man now holds a mirror : spirit sees itself. Within the river currents turn back, eddies whirl. The river itself falters,disappears, emerges, moves on. The general course is the growth of form, increasing awareness,matter to mind to consciousness. The harmony of man and nature is to be found in continuing this journey along its ancient course toward greater freedom and awareness."
The Minds Eye
"Ode to Gaia Eiseley and Erlich told us Suzuki too Ponting detailed it and Brown and Kelly spoke too Some heard, but most not at all Of the gradually accelerating diminuition in life quality as they knew not was before They shored up their faith in the infinite resilience of their domain Until, bursting forth with their great and sundry deeds and their spectacular fecundity Chaos quickly came, to make most inhospitable This once diverse and glorious globe."
P. M. N
"Look about you in this secular temple
where religious sentiments of such disparity
Elephant gods in Hindu mists
and blokes on crosses
This information bazaar
where evidence of our divine like inspiration
sits side by side , maybe on that there trolley
with the irrefutable evidence of our superhuman folly
Peer into the past in this grand enclosure
with images of our evolutionary ancestors, in full exposure
Indeed,the author he/herself of that text
may well have departed to the great hereafter
Or find a view that looks the other way our planet’s future
Further still ,to contemplation of the universe, if that suit ya
For a paradigmatic shift, look to that shelf
where you may discover , a small truth reflected in your own nature
What good be there anyway , to know the speed of light
cosmic lore and prehistory
if life’s love remain a mystery
It ain’t necessarily so,politics in that section might be your go
Have a quiet chuckle on Mao Zedong’s great leap forward
and his other brilliant solutions delightfully titled “The Cultural Revolution”
Hope there’s not a Chinese fatwa
If there is , I’m a goner."
P. M. N
"In the beginning there was information, The word came later............The transition was achieved by the development of organisms with the capacity for selectively exploiting this information in order to survive and perpetuate their kind."
‘The Information’ - Fred Dretske p323
"Lights come and go in the night sky. Men, troubled at last by the things they build, may toss in their sleep and dream bad dreams, or lie awake while the meteors whisper greenly overhead. But nowhere in all space or on a thousand worlds will there be men to share our loneliness.There may be wisdom; there may be power; somewhere across space great instruments, handled by strange manipulative organs, may stare vainly at our floating cloud wrack, their owners yearning as we yearn. Nevertheless, in the nature of life and in the principles of evolution we have had our answer. Of men elsewhere, and beyond, there will be none forever."
"As with all knowledge, once you knew it, you couldn’t imagine how it was that you hadn’t known it before. Like stage magic,knowledge before you knew it took place before your very eyes, but you were looking elsewhere."
‘The Information’ - Margaret Atwood p 322
"Man will never penetrate outer space."
Albran, August 1942
"Man will never penetrate outer space without a rocket."
Albran, August 1962
"The belief in god is an example Dawkins offers - an ancient idea, replicating itself not just in words but in music and art. The belief that the earth orbits the sun is no less a meme, competing with others for survival. (Truth may be a helpful quality for a meme, but it is only one among many)."
‘The Information’ - p312
"We come into being as a slight thickening at the end of a long thread. Cells proliferate, become an excrescence, assume the shape of a woman or man. The end of the thread now lies buried within, shielded , inviolate. Our task is to bear it forward, pass it on. We flourish for a moment, achieve a bit of singing and dancing , a few memories we would carve in stone, then we wither, twist out of shape. The end of the thread lies now in our children, extends back through us, unbroken, unfathomably into the past. Numberless thickenings have appeared on it, have flourished and have fallen away as we now fall away. Nothing remains but the germ line. What changes to produce new structures as life evolves is not the momentary excrescence but the hereditary arrangements within the thread.
We are carriers of spirit. We know not how nor why nor where. On our shoulders, in our eyes, in anguished hands through unclear realm , into a future unknown, unknowable, and in continual creation, we bear its full weight. Depends it on us utterly, yet we know it not. We inch it forward with each beat of heart, give to it the work of hand, of mind. We falter ,pass it on to our children, lay out our bones, fall away, are lost, forgotten. Spirit passes on, enlarged, enriched, more strange, complex."
The Mind’s Eye D.R.Hofstadter Excerpt from “On knowing how to live” Alan Wheeler