G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”
Albert Einstein: “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.” (To P. Moos, March 30, 1950. Einstein Archives 60-587)
Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”
Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”
John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."
Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”
विलास सारंग: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Monday, February 18, 2008
It has reported how in year 2004 a team of Indian scientists from ISRO filmed an alien in Himalayas. It claims this is first such shooting of its kind.
No word of doubt or skepticism as always. See a related previous post "Dark Side of the Moon" here.
In January 2008, there was a report:
“The photo of what looks like a naked woman with her arm outstretched was among several taken on the red planet and sent back to Earth by NASA's Mars explorer Spirit.”
James Lovegrove wrote excellent review of science fiction books in FT on February 9, 2007.
“…Contrary to received opinion, science fiction’s preoccupation has always been the here and now. Its far-flung planets and future timelines are merely a way to analyse the contemporary. In this respect, it is the most politically engaged of all literary genres. Motifs that may appear trashy to the uninitiated - space exploration, extraterrestrials, futuristic technology - can in fact be surprisingly sophisticated tools for dissecting and examining the world as it is…
… The search for aliens, then, has turned inward. The Other is no longer up there in the stars. He’s our neighbour with the faith-based dress code. She’s the person with the tinted skin and unfamiliar accent. Modern science fiction is putting out the unexceptionable message that we should gladly embrace him or her, if we are to have any kind of future.
Someone else’s Other, after all, is us.”
“…Which, then, is more likely that we're undergoing a massive but generally overlooked invasion by alien sexual abusers, or that people are experiencing some unfamiliar internal mental state they do not understand? Admittedly, we’re very ignorant both about extraterrestrial beings, if any, and about human psychology. But if these really were the only two alternatives, which one would you pick?
And if the alien abduction accounts are mainly about brain psychology, hallucinations, distorted memories of childhood, and hoaxing, don’t we have before us a matter of supreme importance, touching on our limitations, the ease with which we can be misled and manipulated, the fashioning of our beliefs, and perhaps even the origins of our religions?…”
(“The Dragon in My Garage” from “The Demon-Haunted World” 1996)
For me, ISRO scientists are as fallible as anyone when it comes to “brain psychology, hallucinations, distorted memories of childhood, and hoaxing.” I am fallible even to an attack of acidity after eating too many peanuts.
See below how a group of scientists and technologists are resorting to astrology for rocket launching.
Artist: Rowland Wilson The New Yorker 14 August 1965
Naked Woman on Mars and Yeti-Alien in Himalayas.
My fantasy: Will they mate?