Wednesday, 23 December 2009

galileo galilei

Image: The Sun | © NASA

G A L I L E O (Scene I)

"Walls and spheres and immobility! For two thousand years people have believed that the sun and all the stars of heaven rotate around mankind. Pope, cardinals, princes, professors, captains, merchants, fishwives and schoolkids thought they were sitting motionless inside this crystal sphere. But now we are breaking out of it, Andrea, at full speed. Because the old days are over and this is a new time. For the last hundred years mankind has seemed to be expecting something.

Our cities are cramped, and so are men's minds. Superstition and the plague. But now the word is 'that's how things are, but they won't stay like that'. Because everything is in motion, my friend."

Image: Jupiter's Four Satellites (Moons) | © TRACE

G A L I L E O (Scene 4)

"Truth is born of the times, not of authority. Our ignorance is limitless: let us lop one cubic millimeter off it. We try to be clever now that we at least have a chance of being just a little less stupid? I have had the unimaginable luck to get my hands on a new instrument that lets us observe one tiny corner of the universe a little, but not all that much, more exactly. Make use of it."

Bertolt Brecht's
Translated by John Willett
(London: Methuen, 1955/1980/1986)

in preparation for...

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