On Human Nature
"All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.”
- Benjamin Franklin
"Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group. Initially our loyalties were to ourselves and our immediate family, next, to bands of wandering hunter-gatherers, then to tribes, small settlements, city-states, nations. We have broadened the circle of those we love. We have now organized what are modestly described as super-powers, which include groups of people from divergent ethnic and cultural backgrounds working in some sense together — surely a humanizing and character building experience. If we are to survive, our loyalties must be broadened further, to include the whole human community, the entire planet Earth. Many of those who run the nations will find this idea unpleasant. They will fear the loss of power. We will hear much about treason and disloyalty. Rich nation-states will have to share their wealth with poor ones. But the choice, as H. G. Wells once said in a different context, is clearly the universe or nothing."
- Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
"The whole idea from the start was just to sort of amplify my movements to the point where really I’m just a small part of what you’re seeing … I might be the source of whatever is going on, but I’m not the visual focus. Because visually, I’m not that interesting to look at."
- Amon Tobin
When I was born…
"Humanity was 95 per cent illiterate. Since I’ve been born, the population has doubled and that total population is now 65 per cent literate. That’s a gain of 130-fold of the literacy. When humanity is primarily illiterate, it needs leaders to understand and get the information and deal with it. When we are at the point where the majority of humans them-selves are literate, able to get the information, we’re in an entirely new relationship to Universe. We are at the point where the integrity of the individual counts and not what the political leadership or the religious leadership says to do."
- Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)
The Kepler Exoplanet Candidates for Life
Each of us is one of six billion people on a planet circling one of 200 billion or so stars in the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of 100 billion or so galaxies in the observable universe, which many physicists believe is but one of a near-infinity of alternative realities in the multiverse. If the Earth were the size of a grain of sand, then our Milky Way galaxy would be 5,000,000 miles across. There are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe. What we see of the cosmos when we look up at the night sky is essentially nothing, just a few thousand stars that lie near us in our corner of a single galaxy.
- Dr. Christian Jarrett
"We cast this message into the cosmos… Of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, some — perhaps many — may have inhabited planets and space faring civilizations. If one such civilization intercepts Voyager and can understand these recorded contents, here is our message: We are trying to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope some day, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of Galactic Civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination and our goodwill in a vast and awesome universe"
- Jimmy Carter (via the Golden Disc aboard Voyager)
Illustrations by Ulku
"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big."
- Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect. (1846-1912) (via Ian Crombie)
Internet Access: A Basic Human Right
"Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all states"
- United Nations Report (“Internet access is a human right.”)
On Future & Efficiency
"Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, consuming myself."
- Bruce Lee
Paintings by Andreas Nicolas Fischer
“There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
- Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
"The harmony of the world is made manifest in Form and Number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty."
- Sir D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (1860-1948, Scottish zoologist)
Good - And - Evil
"There is only one good, namely knowledge, and only one evil, namely ignorance."
Photo Credits: The Boston