Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows quotes George Dyson (author of Darwin among the Machines), who was invited to give a talk at the Googleplex – Google’s corporate headquarters. George Dyson found the experience troubling. It made him recall a remark made by a perceptive friend who had visited the Googleplex. Said Dyson’s friend: “I thought the coziness to be almost overwhelming. Happy Golden Retrievers running in slow motion through water sprinklers on the lawn. People waving and smiling, toys everywhere. I immediately suspected that unimaginable evil was happening somewhere in the dark corners. If the devil would come to earth, what place would be better to hide?”
Nine-Eleven is observed again today, this time with as much or more politics and contention as ever before. It’s regarded by so many as such a defining moment in U.S. history that it’s hardly possible to be unaware of the date. It IS possible to welcome a reminder that this day is a part of the human world, not apart from it.
I have a perpetual calendar with a quote for every day of the year. I’ve kept it since the 1990’s, because I like most of the the quotes (and have replaced the few I don’t like.) For September 11, the calendar’s quote is this:
“What is Love? I have met in the streets a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, the water passed though his shoes and the stars through his soul.” – Victor Hugo.
“The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman, senior pastor of Christ Church (United Methodist), New York City.