Monday, April 12, 2010

Sotigui Kouyaté

Un homme qu'il faudrait connaître mieux:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Living blind...

We are surrounded by what completely surpasses our understanding. In relation to cavemen and other animals we have gained more control over nature. but we cannot say we understand it better. First of all because understanding is of the individual and control is only possible for the society as a all. Certainly we have gained the ability to reproduce tested formulas: from mathematics to technology, whatever works as been well kept and reproduced in textbooks and practices transmitted from generation to generation. But, if any single individual was left to himself, he wouldn't even arrive at the rudiments of language. Of course, with such an inheritance, the individual does grasp more, on the shoulders of the rest of humanity. He understands that stars are distant suns, that he is just another infinitesimal small step in the history of life on this planet. He gets a glimpse of such explanation, because we were not made to conceive the vast distances that separate us from the other stars and galaxies or the stretches of time that make the history of life on our planet comprehensible. We cannot even understand a fly or a leave at the cellular or molecular level. Our brains are simply too rudimentary for that. We know that we could be good at maths, because, very rarely, humans are born with such abilities, we call them savants, but in fact it is us that can't discern what a simple calculator can do with absolute ease. How can we understand the universe then.

If there is one thing that science and technology have showed us (those willing to see it) is that we are very limited in our cognitive powers, and, because of our biological limitations, we will never be able to see the world that surrounds us as it really is.

So, we might say we are surrounded by mysteries, not so much because there are indeed mysterious or irrational, but mainly because, even if the world is capable of being rationally described (deterministic and well-defined, among other things) the ability to describe it is very far from our powers. At most we get a glimpse of how it works at different levels (atomic, molecular, cellular, organic, social, planetary, galactical, etc).

With so much uncertainty, blind would be a more appropriate word, being so blind to reality, and understanding that... how should we live? What implications does it have?

Well, it seems not too many. I feel like a blind fish that suddenly realizes that he can touch and smell but that there are many more things that he cannot phantom. So, what can he do? Well, he might be ready to be surprised, and he might maintain an open mind about the world. But not much else. Whatever he does in his life, he is confined to his own frontiers, to what he can see, imagine and understand. All the rest of existence, however beautiful and important and desirable, will forever remain out of his reach...