[AZ-Observing] Re: Beautiful Universe

  • From: Joe Orman <joe.orman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 20:06:58 -0800 (PST)

I know this thread is a year old, but recall that Stan wrote "As we get to a 
larger scale some of the astronomical objects we see we perceive as being 
beautiful, but again it is only in the eyes of the beholder ... Yes, we like to 
think the Universe is beautiful, but this is strictly a human perspective.  In 
reality it is a mess and not that beautiful at all."  I just came across the 
following 400-year-old words and was struck by how they mirror the online 
conversation; human nature never changes:
"There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so."
"I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all 
custom of exercises; and indeed it goes heavily with my disposition that this 
goodly frame the earth seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent 
canopy the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical 
roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and 
pestilent congregation of vapours."
     -- both from Act 2, Scene 2 of Hamlet by William Shakespeare
--Joe Orman

--- On Mon, 12/31/07, Joe Orman  wrote:

From: Joe Orman <joe.orman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [AZ-Observing] Re: Beautiful Universe
To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Monday, December 31, 2007, 5:06 PM

As someone who has devoted considerable effort to showing people the beauty of
the sky, I struggle constantly with this fact of human nature: to some, beauty
is found wherever one looks; others are blind to it or see only ugliness.
  This dichotomy is exemplified by this quote by Werner Herzog, one of my
favorite film directors: "I believe the common character of the universe is
not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder."  Yet, Herzog's films are
known for containing some of the most beautiful images of nature ever captured
on film.
  And from chaos theory, I've learned that seemingly random,
"messy" behavior can result in beautiful patterns when observed at
different scales.  So even in chaos can be found harmony.
  --Joe Orman

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