Richard Halliburton was a misfit, a rebel, in an America that was coming of age in the world. In the 1920s and 1930s he was one of the most famous persons in America, even more than Amelia Earhart, and today he is forgotten.
He knew many people who would not fit in the handy boxes society offered them. Paul Mooney sailed across the Pacific with him in a Chinese junk. Moye Stephens flew as a stunt pilot in Howard Hughes' silent movies. Elly Beinhorn was Germany's Amelia Earhart. Pancho Barnes founded the Happy Bottom Riding Club. Halliburton met history makers like Lenin's widow and the man who shot the Czar. He chatted with Herbert Hoover, was friends with F. Scott Fitzgerald.
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Thomas Merton: The Only Known Photograph of God
An avowed rationalist, W.C. Fields was reading a Gideon Bible in a hotel room when his manager entered. "Bill," said the manager, "What the hell are you doing? I thought you were an atheist."
"Just looking for loopholes," said Fields. "Just looking for loopholes."
Zen & the Art of Chicken SexingIn Japanese commercial hatcheries when chicks are born, sex spotters divide them into males and females. This is known as chicken sexing. It is very effective and it involves a "Zen" element as nobody knows how it is done or why it works.
Bats & Echolocation: Ben Underwood Clicks His Tongue To See"To society he's blind," said Ben's mother, "but that doesn't make him handicapped. He just can't see."
My soul is like a hidden orchestra; I do not know which instruments grind and
play away inside of me, strings and harps, timbales and drums. I can only
recognize myself as a symphony.
—Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
Counter Fugue: What I cannot build, I cannot understand. —Richard Feynman, physicist. as quoted by Craig Venter & encoded as a watermark in DNA of the first ever synthetic organism.
Clouds & Clocks All they have in common are the first three letters. You can disassemble clocks. You can reduce them to their parts, then put them back together. You can't do that with clouds. Therein lies the difference between reductionism and emergent systems, as well as reductionism & the unnameable. It depends on your point of view.
More Is Different: Emergence As P.W. Anderson had it, here is a broken symmetry. A new level of understanding must be created before we can move on to the next level. You cannot be explained in terms of the particles which compose you.
You are here in the Milky Way Galaxy, 1 of about 100 billion in the visible universe. This is not science-fiction.
We are all conceived in close prison, and then all our life is but a going out to the place of execution, to death. . . But we sleep all the way. From the womb to the grave, we are never thoroughly awake.(John Donne, Sermons)
Foucault PendulumIn 1851, Jean Bernard Léon Foucault (1819-1868) demonstrated the Earth turning. At the Paris Pantheon, the pendulum revealed reality not as it seems. Human kind cannot bear very much reality, said TS Eliot. People are comfortable in the way things seem. Some guests in 1851 thought the pendulum moved with Earth stationary. But gravity kept it moving in the same plane as Earth turned along with the building from which it hung. They felt none of it, just as we feel none of the following phenomena. Earth rotates about 1000 mph (1680 kph) on its axis. At 66,000 mph it fully orbits the sun once a year. With Earth & other planets in tow, the sun orbits our Milky Way galaxy at 483,000 mph, completing the orbit every 230 million years. Somehow the pendulum ignores these "local" motions and aligns with its original orientation. How can this be? Nobody understands why it swings relative to the universe as a whole, but that seems to be the case.
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Like a long-legged fly upon the stream His mind moves upon silence. W.B.Yeats
I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Iv, i.  On John Van Druten's gravestone
Martians are discussing humans, after one of them has visited Earth:
"These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they're made out of meat. . . .They're meat all the way through."
"Oh, there is a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat."
"So . . .what does the thinking?"
"You're not understanding, are you? The brain does the thinking. The meat."
"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"
"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal. Are you getting the picture?"
(From "They're Made out of Meat" by Terry Bisson. Of such a contention, Colin McGinn says we are not equipped to explain the experience of consciousness.)
David Bohm & KrishnamurtiQuantum Physicist & Nondualist Meet
Douglas Hofstadter:What Do We Mean When We Say "I"?
I Am A Strange Loop
Pain & Pleasure
God and the Devil are talking, looking down at the desert where one of God's chosen is having a sacred vision. "You see," says God.” Now you will be out of business because my child has realized the Truth."
Not at all," says the Devil. "I will help him organize it."
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower/ Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees/ Is my destroyer./ And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose/ My youth is bent by the same wintry fever. Dylan Thomas
When Is A Head Like A Rock?Beaurieux and Languille: A Strange Experiment With The Guillotine in 1905
It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time. Quite the contrary, time is an abstraction at which we arrive by means of the changes of things.
I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after. Ernest Hemingway
I can imagine Jack The Ripper also saying this. John
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