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."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hurry to proclaim Victory in the face of Failure?

Recently, in August 2009, I watched a program on Discovery Channel about the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

It was done candidly. There was no attempt to hide any fact or to protect any one.

No surprise that heads rolled at NASA after the inquiry into the disaster.

Recently former Defence Research & Development Organisation scientist K Santhanam claimed that the 1998 Pokhran-II test was a ‘fizzle.’

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: “A wrong impression has been given by some scientists which is needless. Mr. Kalam has clarified that the tests were successful.”

Homi Nusserwanji Sethna: “What did he (Kalam) know about extracting, making explosive grade? He didn’t know a thing. By being a president, he appeared to wear the stature. He relied on atomic energy to gain additional stature.”

On India's moon mission, The Hindu reported on August 29 2009:

'Ten months after it was launched, India’s maiden moon mission, the ambitious Chandrayaan-1, came to an abrupt end today after ISRO lost communication with the spacecraft, cutting short the dream odyssey that was expected to last two years.

"The mission is definitely over. We have lost contact with the spacecraft," Project Director of the Chandrayaan-1 mission, M. Annadurai, told PTI.

However, he said: “It (Chandrayaan-1) has done its job technically...100 per cent. Scientifically also, it has done almost 90-95 percent of its job"'.

Why this hurry to proclaim victory in the face of possible failure?


Artist: Tony Auth