Reading: The Conquest of Abundance

October 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

“The world we inhabit is abundant beyond our wildest imagination. There are trees, dreams, sunrises; there are thunderstorms, shadows, rivers; there are wars, flea bites, love affairs; there are the lives of people, Gods, entire galaxies. The simplest human action varies from one person and occasion to the next—how else would we recognize our friends only from their gate, posture, voice, and divine their changing moods? Narrowly defined subjects such as thirteenth-century Parisian theology, crowd control, late medieval Umbrian art are full of pitfalls and surprises, thus proving that there is no limit to any phenomenon, however restricted. ‘For him, ‘ writes François Jacob of his teacher Hovelaque, ‘a bone as simple in appearance as the clavicle became a fantastic landscape whose mountains and valleys could be traversed ad infinitum.’ Only a tiny fragment of this abundance affects our minds. This is a blessing, not a drawback. A superconscious organism would not be superwise, it would be paralyzed. ” – Paul Feyerabend, The Conquest of Abundance

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