Monday, September 13, 2010

The Finite is Mortal

Where one sees nothing else,
hears nothing else,
understands nothing else,
that is the Infinite.

Where one sees something else,
hears something else,
understands something else,
that is the finite.

The Infinite is immortal;
the finite is mortal.


Of Note: This past week two magazines have run "list" stories touting this or that. Apparently, readership loves short "sound bites" and not long stories. TIME magazine highlighted the 10 start-ups that will change our lives. In DISCOVER magazine's 30th Anniversary issue, accompanying the article "How Far We've Come," a time line that stretched several pages showed various scientific discoveries made since 1980. In both instances, the magazines wrote captivating vignettes of the particular person(s) and/or discovery featured. To be sure, such articles as "The Web Takes Over," "DNA Decoded and Reprogrammed," and "Physics Seeks the One" might lead us to agree with one theoretical physicist who proclaimed: "I'm on record as saying we're about to enter a new golden age." Hey, not so fast. What struck me is how few of these changes directly address global human need. One of the ten TIME accolades went to an entrepreneur who created a non-profit on a venture capitalist model to create drugs and delivery systems at the lowest cost while few of the featured discoveries in the DISCOVER line-up could be said to directly impact need based on right human relations. Where are the discoveries that followed the Green Revolution, for example, or the advancements in vaccine production for the third world (NYT, 8/3/10: "In a Meningitis Hotbed, A New Vaccine At a Price Governments Can Afford." ) These stories are out there but it is my guess that they do not make the big news because they are not sensationalistic enough. Technology is IN and making money. The bigger, the better. But Jacqueline Novogratz, author of The Blue Sweater claims that although technology is one of the greatest drivers of change, it is not the change itself. We can have a new hedonistic golden age of technology as the be all/end all or we can have a truly golden age where right human relations prevail augmented by technology. Which will it be?

Today's Weather Report: It has been several days without rain now. Feels strange. The big news here is a grandchild that is due at around 7:30 tomorrow morning in Denton, Texas. Technology has assured us that this is a boy, who already has the name of Noah. We are patiently awaiting the first pictures of the new arrival--again a product of the new age of technology. We love technology when it connects us and makes us more human. We are not as fond of it when people all over the world starve while we try to figure out how to send men to Mars. Let's feed everyone first, provide potable water and medical care, educate, shelter and clothe and then have a heyday with all the other fun stuff humanity might want. It's a matter of priorities.