Three Considerations on the Asteroid Flyby and Meteor Strike

Drawing 10
Edward G. Nilges, “Study for an Apocalyptic Dancer”, pencil, pen, 2010:moral rights asserted

The asteroid event known as 2013 DA14 and the meteor shower experienced in central Russia are unrelated events but we tend all the same to link these dramatic, once in a lifetime events:

* The Greeks generated the meaning-creating idea of the “constellation”. Merely because in the paper of the sky, a group of stars could seem to be an artist’s preparation for a drawing of a god the god’s image was said to exist. Artists, in Greece and in the Renaissance, would poke holes on sheets of paper to plan their drawing.

* But as needed the old gods would to be replaced later on by new gods…new holes, perhaps circled in a different color

* Years later Adorno used this term to connect the otherwise disconnected in riposte to the claim that (for example) Baroque esthetics had nothing to do with today’s issues such as a (now forgotten) Vietnam-Krieg.

* Ordinary people, and in relation to the expertise in and knowledge of astronomy, scholars outside astronomy are men on the street, can be forgiven for being struck by coincidences and for linking the events after all.

* In Adorno’s Dream Notes he recounts being asked to speak about a portent. Three stars (let’s say of measurably the same brightness) appear. Since for all intents and purposes all stars are white, the only way ordinary stars can differentiate themselves to the viewer is by measurable brightness

If a star, brighter than all other stars seen at a particular moment in time, were to appear only scholars and Magi (whether modern or the “Three Wise Men”) would take an interest. UNLESS the times were also troubled times such as the early mediaeval epoch so that the bright star could be read as an explanation for our tsuris. Augustus Caesar’s and Hadrian’s periods were not considered times of trouble.

But if two stars formed a “shape”, that is a line, parallel to or perpendicular to, the horizon, the calm scientific and hysterical demotic freak out would commence. This line would have to be at zero or 90 degrees relative to the horizon since in all other cases any two stars form a “line”.

And then stepwise this freakout would ascend if the pattern complexity and star count increased.

The thought-experiment represented in Adorno’s Dream proves the existence of yet differences between junk and real science. “Creationism” sees a rainbow in an oil slick. Responsible earth science sees the oil slick. Everybody else fails to note or is silent about the phenomenon. Last week’s phenomenon, like my pain as I write, was mildly disturbing. Thinking helps.

Faith! is a fine invention!
When Gentlemen can see…
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency.

I replace the staid punctuation that is found in Gutenberg’s Todd/Higginson edition with the loud opening of the above, and its gradual calm around the ellipsis simply because this would be my canonical oral interpretation of the poem.

Microscopes are prudent. I am experiencing a great deal of leg and hip pain and it is fortunate that I get scans this week and it’s cancer followup day. All one does is search for a comfortable position (a constellation).

One takes an interest and is not lulled by the singing of anthems or hymns construed as tickets to heaven. We have no algorithms for resolving whether we shall go to heaven. But if we had a good time without unduly harming harming others that’s a start.

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One Response to “Three Considerations on the Asteroid Flyby and Meteor Strike”

  1. History of Capitalism Says:

    I fear this is a bit more terrific in scope even than the cunning of reason. Adorno? As my friend likes to joke:

    Adorno this
    Adorno that
    Theodore can’t rap
    Cause he don’t like Jazz

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