My perfect day is sitting in a room with some blank paper. That’s heaven. That’s gold and anything else is just a waste of time.
Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.
Jerry Mander on the replacement of human images by television (1978)
“The power that television images have to replace imaginary images that you created yourself operates in all realms of external-image information. All of our minds are filled with images of places and times and people and stories with which we’ve never had personal contact. In fact, when you receive information from any source that does not have pictures attached to it, you make up pictures to go with it. They are your images. You create the movie to go with the story. You hear the word “Africa” and a picture comes to mind. (…)
The question is this: Once television provides an image of these places and times, what happens to your own image? Does it give way to TV image or do you retain it? (…) China, Africa, Borneo and the moon. How about life under the sea? Life in an Eskimo village? A police shoot-out. (…) Dope smugglers. A Russian village. A preoperation conference of doctors. An American farm family. The war room of the Pentagon. Ben Franklin. The Battle of Little Big Horn. The FBI. The Old South. (…) Ancient Greece. Ancient Rome. The Old West.
Were you able to come up with images for any or all of these? It is extremly unlikely that you have experienced more than one or two of them personally. Obviously the images were either out of your own imagination or else they were from the media.
Can you identify which was which?
Most of the people in America right now would probably say that the images they carry in their minds of the Old South are from one of two television presentations: Gone With the Wind and Roots. These were, after all, the two most popular television shows in history, witnessed by more than 130 milion people each. And non of the 130 million was actually in the Old South. (…)” “
We balance probabilities and choose the most likely. It is the scientific use of the imagination.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.
The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.
A concept is a brick. It can be used to build the courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.
I think we should - we need to recognize also that sometimes the actual universe is more fascinating than even our imagination, and it can spur - it can spur our imagination not just as scientists, but I also, I suspect, as - for artists.
Thoughts are real’, he said. ‘Words are real. Everything human is real, and sometimes we know things before they happen, even if we aren’t aware of it. We live in the present, but the future is inside us at every moment. Maybe that’s what writing is all about, Sid. Not recording events from the past, but making things happen in the future’.
— Paul Auster
, American author known for works blending absurdism, existentialism, crime fiction and the search for identity and personal meaning, Oracle Night
, Henry Holt, 2003
What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness.
— M. C. Escher
, Dutch graphic artist. He is known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints (1898-1972)