In the outskirts of the Atacama Desert, far from the light-polluted cities of northern Chile, the skies are pitch-black after sunset. Such dark skies allow some of the best astronomical observing to take place — and at an altitude of 2400 metres, ESO’s La Silla Observatory has an incredibly clear view of the night sky. However, even such a remote, high, and dry location cannot always escape the weather that sometimes comes with the winter months, when blankets of snow can cover the mountain peak and its telescope domes.
More information: www.eso.org/public/images/potw1319a/
ESO/José Francisco Salgado (josefrancisco.org)
"One by one I drowned all the people I’d been."
Conor Oberst (via jujutsu-with-zizek)
"Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it.
If you could just persuade people of this,
but they insist on amassing information."
"I believe when humans can be so close together to become one flesh, or spirit, they transcend the human into the divine."
Lenore Kandel (via fernsandmoss)
What if simply being human is being divine? This question gets to the heart of the individuality vs. plurality/communalism conflict. Perhaps being human alone is not enough. Perhaps a human, an individual entity, must fuse with another entity to become divine. Perhaps divinity is found in the connection or fusion of the two entities (humans). As long as we have no absolute knowledge, we will need each other for legitimation/plausibility of the beliefs we hold.
So the question becomes, is absolute knowledge attainable? Does absolute knowledge exist?
"Have regrets. They are fuel. On the page they flare into desire."
Geoff Dyer (via jujutsu-with-zizek)
“white people steal your culture and sell it back to you.”
a wise man
And then you buy it from them.
"A man must dream a long time in order to act with grandeur, and dreaming is nursed in darkness."
Pride comes before the fall
which comes before more pride
My (non)Contribution to Black History Month
These things are significant:
These things are insignificant:
The former are emotions/states of mind that we all experience. They’re significant because they are real problems that need confronting. Emotions are traceable to specific chemical reactions and electrical signals in our brains. Ignorance is a state of mind that displays a lack of information (whether it’s something unobserved, or inaccurately understood).
The latter are constructs of our perception, stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Story-telling is a form of art. Stories can be happy, sad, dramatic, humorous, scary, fun, boring. But no matter how our stories make us feel, they’re just stories. Just art. Nothing to be scared of or hate, and nothing to use as a means of segregation. In fact, stories should be used to bring people together.
The differences between humans are as significant as any other form of art. They’re important because they’re extra little details for our art. Not important in deciding who should be in control, who should have food and access to clean water, who gets to sit in the front of the bus, who gets accepted to the university, who gets hired for the job.
That is why “privilege” of any kind is unfounded - “white” privilege or “black” privilege. Yes, “black” privilege, along with “gay” privilege, “straight” privilege, “Hispanic” privilege, “Chinese” privilege, etc. Privilege is privilege and it is exercised in different ways by all people. Yes, there are majority groups who have more power, minority groups who face oppression and social systems of racism and prejudice founded on old, ignorant ideologies. Those things should be fought. But the way to fight is not through pandering to oppressed groups, reinforcing the barriers that have been built between us. If we continue to highlight the insignificant differences between us in that way, we only serve to reinforce the walls that segregate us. We only perpetuate the problem. The most important group is the human group as a whole, not the oppressed group or the oppressors. There are endless ways of separating ourselves from one another. Let’s make progress and start dismantling them one by one. Most people I come across are stuck in a kind of proverbial “Dark Age,” ignorant of the fact that all humans have the same basic needs.
I love heritage and ancestry. I love being mixed-ethnicity. But every human is a little mix of different things. Heritage and sense of identity should be fostered and celebrated. But not in a way that singles out any one group. We are too many, and too well equipped now to remain stuck in the Dark Ages. We’re quickly becoming a globally conscious human race, and we’ll destroy ourselves if we don’t know how to handle that. It’s time for humanity to grow-up; be big-girls, and big-boys, and big-queers and start doing some big-picture thinking. There is a larger story - the human story - that needs attention. Every group has an integral part in that story, so let’s point our smaller stories toward it.
In light of that, this is my (non)contribution to Black History Month. I refuse to participate in any group or event that reinforces walls between people. I will not align with any group that isolates itself, or excludes other groups, perpetuating ignorance and thus racism and thus oppression. And I will not celebrate one side of my heritage any more than I do the other side (as if there are only 2). I’m too busy creating my own heritage. I will distance myself from anyone that asks me to lay a brick on the walls they’ve built to isolate themselves from others. The only group I want to be in is the human group.
Racism will only end when the desire for differentiating ourselves from one another (which comes from ignorance) ends.