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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

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: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Not with a Whimper but a Bang

T S Eliot wrote “The Hollow Men” in 1925.

The poem ends with following much quoted and copied words:

“This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”


This blog has already visited starless sky on October 2, 2007. Read it here
I Should Learn to Look at an Empty Sky unless……..


(Please note I took some liberties with that post because “What will the scientists of the future see as they peer into the skies 100 billion years from now? Without telescopes, they will see pretty much what we see today: the stars of our galaxy. The largest and brightest stars will have burned up their nuclear fuel, but plenty of smaller stars will still light up the night sky. The big difference will occur when these future scientists build telescopes capable of detecting galaxies outside our own. They won’t see any!”)

Scientific American India March 2008 has cover story: “The End of Cosmology”.

Authors Lawrence M. Krauss and Robert J. Scherrer claim:
“…Thus, observers of the future are likely to predict that the universe ultimately ends with a localized big crunch, rather than the eternal expansion that the cosmological constant produces. Instead of a whimper, their limited universe will end with a bang…”

Ironically, according to Wikipedia, when asked if he would write these lines again, Eliot said ‘no’:

“One reason is that while the association of the H-bomb is irrelevant to it, it would today come to everyone's mind. Another is that he is not sure the world will end with either…”



100 billion years in the future |
Successor to the Milky Way is a ball-like supergalaxy. Earth floats forlornly through its distant outskirts. Other galaxies, moving away from us faster than light, have disappeared from view.


Picture courtesy: Scientific American