Archive for November 2nd, 2008

While Werner Heisenberg mathematically arrived at the uncertainty principle our intellect faces similarly an uncertainty. It would be rather tedious to go into the details but let me cite an example from the most familiar object that I can think of. My face on the bathroom mirror. If I take a picture of half of my face and duplicate it to make up my full face it shall not be same. It will be something unfamiliar to my friends.  I may ask them to give a rational explanation. They will be at a loss to explain from the composite photo exactly where it ceases to resemble me. What is uncertain for them needn’t be so in my case.
On the other hand I can just draw a bowler hat and beneath that paint in two eyes deeply marked. All I now need to give is a toothbrush moustache. Will you not identify it as a caricature of Charlie Chaplin? How is that given so few clues we are able to reconstruct the whole persona of another?
Our mind prefers order to chaos .
All our fine theories and suppositions merely show a characteristic of our innate sense of order. Even so uncertainty still rules the roost in the very mind that we employ for abstract thinking.  We haven’t understood its nature in its fullness. Its ability to heal the body and sicknesses belong to a field which quite unfamiliar to science. Nature of miracles is one such. (I do not mean ‘miracles’ that are practiced by some in order to hoodwink others. I mean the genuine article that can be independently verified by impartial witnesses.) How the body can be healed in some cases by mind? When it happens we call it a miracle. Whereas  in others the mind seems not to effect a cure. Miracles we often explain from inadequate understanding.
Uncertainty principle is what works on this side of the Absolute.


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Broadway Blues

GEORGE S. KAUFMAN , playwright, wit and critic ( 1889 – 1961)

Though critics hailed him as a genius he modestly considered his gift as merely a knack. He used to debunk talk about ‘art’ in the theatre, Ruth Gordon an actress once raved to him about a script. “There is no scenery at all,” she explained, “the audience has to imagine, I ‘m eating a dinner in a crowded restaurant. Then in scene two, the audience imagines, I’m home in my bed room.”
“And the second night,” said George, “you have to imagine there’s an audience.”

He once reviewed a bad Broadway comedy thus, ”Judging by the laughter at the rear of the house, someone back there must have been telling jokes.”

Shocked at the exorbitant prices at a certain New York restaurant Harpo Marx turned to George who was studying the menu, and said,” What the hell can you get here for fifty cents?”
Kaufman’s reply, ”A quarter”.

Kaufman was an avid bridge player. One afternoon following a particularly devastrating defeat, his partner got up and announced that he was going to the lavatory. “Fine,” quipped Kaufman, “this is the first time this afternoon I’ll know what you have in your hand”.

When Edna Ferber, the novelist and George were collaborating on the smash hit play ”Dinner at Eight” much of the work was done in Miss Ferber’s room at Hotel Algonquin. The hotel’s famed proprietor Frank Case who was a stickler for conventions and propriety, made no exceptions even for his celebrated guests. Once at 2.30 a. m he phoned Miss Ferber’s room and asked, “do you have a gentleman in your room?”
“I don’t know”, she said, “wait a minute and I’ll ask him.”


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