Sunday, February 21, 2010

Perhaps, perhaps

Astronomy is perhaps the science whose discoveries owe least to chance, in which human understanding appears in its whole magnitude, and through which man can best learn how small he is.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)


  1. Small does not mean insignificant, though...

  2. Let the astronomers debate...When it comes to size, or importance, it always depends where I stand in my own universe.

  3. If I study quantum mechanics, does that help me realise how large I am? The study of the universe, whether large or small, fills me with joy at the thought of humankind's intellectual achievement...

  4. Everytime you quote Lichtenberg, I go into deep thinking. And, somehow, I feel a bit sorry for him. I don't know why but he always reminds me of a (sort of) poem I copied in a notebook, years ago, without the writer's name, alas!


    Somebody told me about two men
    Who were taking LSD--and maybe were a little drunk---
    Who spent most of the night
    Thinking they were supporting a bridge across the river.
    It was a great responsibility,
    A great strain on the muscles,
    And think of all those cars
    And all the pedestrians
    Who might have fallen to death
    If the men had dropped the bridge.

    I laughed, but next day
    Stayed home from work
    And rested my back from supporting
    My share of the world.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    RIP, Georg Christoph. Not to worry...I've taken over your job!

  5. D.E.,
    The more when one's intellectual achievement's don't let her/him overvalue her/his significance. :)

    may I attract your attention to the three 'perhapses'. :)
    Of course, one can also agree to Brillat-Savarin: "The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star."
    If only I think of the piece of banana bread that I am eating, right now. :)