January 1, 2014

Touchstone 1 for 2014: "In skies infinitely remote, there is a small star"

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"Far away in some strange constellation in skies infinitely remote, there is a small star, which astronomers may some day discover. At least I could never observe in the faces or demeanor of most astronomers or men of science any evidence that they had discovered it; though as a matter of fact they were walking about on it all the time. It is a star that brings forth out of itself very strange plants and very strange animals; and none stranger than the men of science.

"That at least is the way in which I should begin a history of the world if I had to follow the scientific custom of beginning with an account of the astronomical universe.

"I should try to see even this earth from the outside, not by the hackneyed insistence of its relative position to the sun, but by some imaginative effort to conceive its remote position for the dehumanized spectator.

"Only I do not believe in being dehumanized in order to study humanity.

"I do not believe in dwelling upon the distances that are supposed to dwarf the world; I think there is even something a trifle vulgar about this idea of trying to rebuke spirit by size.

"And as the first idea is not feasible, that of making the earth a strange planet so as to make it significant, I will not stoop to the other trick of making it a small planet in order to make it insignificant.

"I would rather insist that we do not even know that it is a planet at all, in the sense in which we know that it is a place; and a very extraordinary place too." -- Chesterton, The Everlasting Man

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 1, 2014 10:21 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

It is 2014, I think you need to get rid of that "Add to Google Reader" text at the bottom of the side-lines.

Posted by: Potsie at January 1, 2014 12:46 PM

Right you are. Done. Thanks.

Posted by: vanderleun at January 1, 2014 1:45 PM
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