Thursday, June 14, 2012

the necessities of the struggle

The necessities of the struggle impel the workers to support one another across political boundaries and professions. The more active the struggle becomes, therefore, the stronger and more extensive this federation of proletarians must become. And some narrow-minded economists accuse this federation of workers, represented by the International, of instigating strikes and creating anarchy! This, very simply, is to mistake the effect for the cause: the International has not created the war between the exploiter and the exploited; rather, the requirements of that war have created the International.

~ Bakunin, 1869


What is life, if not lived?

Monday, June 11, 2012

discovery of photosynthesis

Flowchart of the history of developments in our understanding of the relationship between plants and the atmosphere from 1600 to 1804, from case 5 of the Harvard Case Histories in Experimental Science, 1952, by Leonard K. Nash.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

ray bradbury, rip

Ray Bradbury was the first major literary influence in my life. His stories captured my nascent imagination, and I obsessively read the 100 stories collected in The Stories of Ray Bradbury repeatedly (in addition of course, to numerous stand alone anthologies and novels—my collection is extensive). There's not much to say about the passing of someone who has spread their influence through text—one doesn't know much of what went on beyond the page. Luckily, the pages are still here, and Bradbury lives on through his stories, and I look forward to enjoying that life as long as I can see to read.

Other obituaries will mention Fahrenheit 451 and The Illustrated Man, The Martian Chronicles and even Something Wicked This Way Comes; but these by no means exhaust the genius of Bradbury's output. For the uninitiated, I want to emphasize the poetic beauty of "The Anthem Sprinters" and "The Big Black and White Game"; my introduction to chaos theory through "A Sound of Thunder"; the colorful portrait of childhood in Dandelion Wine . . . but really, there are too many to mention, too many for adequate words.