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."

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Shit Happens: History, Science, Mythology...

Mr. Chtan Bhagat tweeted on October 30 2015:

"What do historians do? I am genuinely curious. This happened. Then this happened. Then this. Ok work done for the day."

This made a lot of people angry.

If you too have a view on the above, you may find following interesting.

John Horgan is writing about the late Stephen Jay Gould, November 2 2015:

"....Gould noted during our interview that many scientists do not consider history—which resists reduction to general principles, such as evolution by natural selection--to be a science. "I think that's a false taxonomy. History is a different type of science." Gould found the fuzziness and contingency of history exhilarating. "I love it! That's because I'm an historian at heart."
By transforming evolutionary biology into history--an intrinsically subjective, interpretive discipline, like literary criticism--Gould makes it uniquely suited for someone with his vast rhetorical skills. If the history of life is a bottomless quarry of largely random events, he can keep mining it, verbally cherishing one odd fact after another, without ever fearing that his efforts have become trivial or redundant.
Whereas most scientists seek to discern the signal underlying nature, Gould keeps drawing attention to the noise. After all, punctuated equilibrium is not really a theory; it is a description of noise. Gould’s view of life can be summed up by the old bumper-sticker slogan: Shit happens."

Mr. Horgan calls history  "an intrinsically subjective, interpretive discipline, like literary criticism".

And what about science?



Freud to Einstein: “...Does not every natural science lead ultimately to this—a sort of mythology? Is it otherwise today with your physical sciences?...”


Artist: Warren Miller,  The New Yorker, March 9 1963

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