"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is Our Future Happiness Subject to the Whims of Mere Chance?

When a promising, brilliant youth is struck down by what seems to be the indiscriminate scythe of our earthly scourge, it is only natural that we question whether justice is an but an illusion. Yet, if we look to the lights bequeathed us from the best minds humanity has had to offer, we may not only draw solace, but redouble our own dedication to make this brief lifespan mean more than the passing alternation of ephemeral joy and sadness.

Look in your heart at the scene, if you will, of Socrates becalming the tearful dread of his acolytes at the approach of the quickening poison which ended his journey among us. You will see there that the tyranny of the mob which sentenced him could not quench his perfect equanimity at the prospect of the beneficence of a knowable goodness that will forever spur mankind on to discover the ever elusive fruits of this creation. This future is so designed as to permit us to pass on something to our posterity of lasting and continuing goodness. If only we heed that challenge, then our contribution however passing cannot be for naught. For the great tapestry of civilization's delicate woof allures and encompasses all our best endeavors. And we may let our fairest Adonais be grieved to the requiem of this our imperfect inkling of immortality.

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