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In Praise of the Telescopic Perspective: A Reflection on Living Through Turbulent Times
Perspective to lift the blinders of our cultural moment

Popova, Maria

Publisher:  Brain Pickings
Date Written:  21/12/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article

Maria Popova has found solace in taking a more telescopic view - not merely on the short human timescale of her own life, looking back on having lived through a Communist dictatorship and having seen poems composed and scientific advances made under such tyrannical circumstances, but on far vaster scales of space and time.



In the cosmic blink of our present existence, as we stand on this increasingly fragmented pixel, it is worth keeping the Voyager in mind as we find our capacity for perspective constricted by the stranglehold of our cultural moment. It is worth questioning what proportion of the news this year, what imperceptible fraction, was devoted to the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded for the landmark detection of gravitational waves -- the single most significant astrophysical discovery since Galileo. After centuries of knowing the universe only by sight, only by looking, we can now listen to it and hear echoes of events that took place billions of lightyears away, billions of years ago -- events that made the stardust that made us.

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