"The design of a book is the pattern of a reality controlled and shaped by the mind of the writer. This is completely understood about poetry or fiction, but it is too seldom realized about books of fact. And yet the impulse which drives a man to poetry will send another man into the tide pools and force him to try to report what he finds there..."
-- John Steinbeck
Monday, May 23, 2016
Friday, May 20, 2016
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
"Science remains the author of our major problem, in its gift of tremendous power that has been terribly abused; but for the wise use of this power we need more, not less, of the objective dispassionate scientific spirit. For our philosophical purposes we need more of its integrity and its basic humility, its respect at once for the fact and the mystery."
"In short the Greeks were cribbed and cabined by their ideal of excellence...they lived in a tidy Euclidean world, finite, static, complete. They had no feeling for horizons, prospects or backgrounds, [having] such a horror of infinity that the idea was taboo...their colonies clung to the Mediterranean...Their ideal of excellence was a design for living in this small world, and included elements unsuited to our life as the Greek cornices on our early skyscrapers...In particular the city-state was a very small affair, whose administrative problems were negligible...We have not only created great nations but sought to enable the whole population to participate in the whole life of the nation. Now we have set up the idea of a United Nations...We are dealing with problems the Greeks hardly thought of."
And part of a review of one of his later books:
"[Muller argues that] the literary resentment of science is based on the belief that science conceives a universe of brute fact in which the sole principle of explanation is mechanism, in which the conception of human free will is impossible, in which mind is but the passive recorder of events and—perhaps most important of all—in which “values” have no validity. The literary philosophers conceive the alternative to scientific naturalism to be some form of religion, although in practice this is usually no more than a religiosity which takes its chief impulse from the ingrained, unconscious pragmatism of the “believer”—he needs a faith and will have it, for it does him good. At first glance, this literary hostility to science seems the continuation of a crisis in culture which began early in the nineteenth century. In actual fact, however, it is merely the vestige of that historical situation, ritualistically continued and maintaining the appearance of life by feeding on ignorance: Mr. Muller is polite but blunt in saying that literary men of philosophic bent know little about science. What they so courageously defy is the science of Tennyson’s “The Two Voices,” not science now in use." That review excerpt is from this source.
Monday, May 9, 2016
In the photo, Ben is contemplates the framework, and we stand in the gondola frame with two (of four) fuel tanks. Ben has been with the project ince 2013 and has work the pressurize suit for some 22 hours in many tests.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
"Space settlement will require novel biological and cultural adaptations to support populations of humans, on multigenerational timescales, in environments so far unfamiliar to our species even after 100,000 years of human cultural and biological adaptation to myriad Earth environments. The new field of anthropology that studies such adaptive efforts is space anthropology or exoanthropology, exo- referring to 'beyond Earth', in the same way it is used in the term 'exobiology'."