In a major first, scientists have detected water vapor and possibly even liquid water clouds that rain in the atmosphere of a strange exoplanet that lies in the habitable zone of its host star about 110 light-years from Earth. (1)
Clouds far far away. But how can we detect clouds?
How can we detect rain if we do not get wet?
How can you know how a peach tastes if you do not eat it?
An ancient tribe still has a cult centered around a WWII American serviceman. (1)
It is the funniest things which show the way towards the most serious…
We once believed in us. But we needed to stop.
Because we were too appalling.
We had to turn to God. We had to turn to something else.
But God was also too hard to follow.
We hated Him. Because we hated our self.
So, we turned to nothing instead. We called it something. And yet we all knew that it was just another name for the abyss. We are drowning now. Deep inside the cosmos we have created. At some point though, a man will come. A simple man. Dressed like a beggar. We will God into that Man. We will see us into that man. And we will rise. And light will come out of nothingness. To cast the shadows away.
How ideas move through academia may depend on where those ideas come from – whether from big-name universities or less prestigious institutions – as much as their quality, a recent study from the University of Colorado Boulder suggests.
The new research borrows a page from epidemiology, exploring how ideas might flow from university to university, almost like a disease. The findings from CU Boulder’s Allison Morgan and her colleagues suggest that the way that universities hire new faculty members may give elite schools an edge in spreading their research to others.
In particular, the team simulated how ideas might spread out faster from highly-ranked schools than from those at the bottom of the pile — even when the ideas weren’t that good. The results suggest that academia may not function like the meritocracy that some claim, said Morgan, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science. (1)
Science progresses. But still, the more we discover the more we realize that what we know is void of any meaning. Once upon a time we used to believe we will prove everything. Then came Gödel. And we forgot about him. Now we still believe that what we say – regardless of whether it is proved or not – is related to reality per se. And yet, philosophy has for a long time clarified that any assertion related to ‘reality’ is a very dangerous one.
Humbleness was always correlated with wisdom. But today’s society has discarded that trait as a mark of weakness. And yet, it is only the strong ones which admit that they are the weakest of them all. Our world is full of people who speak loudly and yet they know nothing. And the humble wise men who once roamed the cities, have now left for the desert.
Nowadays we often talk about the arrogance of people in various fields. Arrogant scientists do things simply because they can do them, without thinking about the consequences. Arrogant priests are almost celebrating that they quit the church and “moved on”. Arrogant managers in companies behave unacceptably without any empathy for colleagues or customers. And the list goes on and on for ever. Many reasons lie behind such behavior. But few are the important ones. One being the most basic of them all: The ease with which we inherit power and knowledge. An ease that is increasing as the years go by and we ‘progress’.
You see the scientist today does not toil for what he knows. He just reads everything that his predecessors have discovered and by standing on the shoulders of giants he makes his own discoveries. By finishing university he already knows everything that the leading scientists of the last century knew without even sweating. With such power he feels intoxicated. He gets excited. He can go further! To create something else! It does not matter what! He does not even think about whether or not he should respect some limits because he did not go through years of difficulties to get where he is; time that would increase his humility at the same time his strength also increased. His knowledge increased exponentially along with his arrogance. Similarly, the priest today does not bother to be a ‘saint’ or does not spend years of pain and efforts to reach at new spiritual heights that will allow him to humbly guide others. He reads everything that the Fathers of the Church have written and in a few years he is ready to play his role, spreading the wise thoughts of old sages to his followers. The greatest difficuly he ever experienced? The exams at his school. And if he gets bored, well, he just leaves. But the holy people of the past went through hell to become what they became. For them it was not a matter of reading at a university but a matter of living. For them, it was a matter of life or death. And how can you give up your life or deny your death?
The examples do not stop here. As said above, we could go on listing cases of modern people following the easy path, accepting inherited power and being arrogant because of that. The right president of a company has gone through a lot until he reached his position. Years spent in low positions, years of effort and difficulties. He won his place. For such a president it does not even make sense to ask him if he is thinking of leaving and going elsewhere. Such president makes a great president. But to-day, people are just selected to be CEOs. In the same way you select to buy a gun from the super market. And with that gun you can kill. But the karate teacher who has learned after years of practice to kill with his hands, he never does kill anyone. Because the years that he spent to acquire this power made him the right person to use it wisely.
Alchemists had a reason for requiring years of silent apprenticeship to reach a minimum so as to begin doing your own experiments. Pythagoras the same. Be afraid of the easy way. It leads to monsters. Learn what you learn on your own. And only when you work hard enough to make it your own, dare to talk to others about it.
Discard your inheritance.
And shut up.
(Inspiration for the post from Ian Malcolm’s speech in Jurrasic Park novel, written by Michael Crichton)