Thursday, February 08, 2007

Visualize Whirled Peas

Somebody recently asked me what I meant by the power of visualization.

Look at your thumbnail. Do you feel a rush of awe? No?

Well, now watch the video below keeping in mind that this is what goes on in the cells of your thumbnail, and in cedar trees, and brain cells, and babies, and sparrows, etc. etc.
Also consider that Science gave us this perspective. It is a visualization based on scientific data, not merely imagination.

If such a visualization can make you think twice about clipping your thumbnails, or at least help you appreciate their exquisite structure, imagine what it could do for your appreciation of a whole living thing... like a passenger pigeon, a polar bear, or a fellow human being. Imagine the effect of that kind of perspective on world peace (or whirled peas for that matter). So with a certain point of view, science is giving us reasons to respect and cherish each other that transcend the piddly political ones we've dreamt up for not.

This is about intrinsic value writ large. This is about celebrating where we have taken the primordial ooze. This is about seeing beauty where it REALLY is. The video above is an example from the microscopic, others are macroscopic, others still telescopic. Call me crazy, but I call this the omniscopic perspective and it sure works for me.

And I'm not the only one.
Probably all organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed. There is grandeur in this view of life that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved...

...When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.

-- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
Now with new science eyes, take another look at your thumbnail, at bacteria, at trees, at frogs, at porcupines, at babies born and unborn, at your neighbor, at your enemy, at yourself.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Please read

Over a decade ago, I founded and ran a small idealistic nonprofit called "Research Expeditions - Adventures with a mission" (this link points to an online web archive from the early days of the internet. I get all nostalgic as I explore it. Oh how naive :).

Research Expeditons was my way to bring people out into the natural world to experience it first-hand. I specialized in foot and sail powered adventures in East Africa and the Caribbean. The idea was that a scientifically-induced, viceral experience in nature would manifest as a new personal ethic - a new worldview, an "omniscopic" perspective.

Research Expeditions eventually became Omniscopic Productions and for many years now, Omniscopic has been my small one-man production company dedicated to producing media with the same basic goal.

It is still my guiding belief, that an omniscopic perspective is the best hope for a long-term sustainable human future. So I'm still dedicated to articulating and communicating the ideas, and making them accessible to all.

Omniscopic Inc. is now an umbrella entity from which I can launch a variety of educational projects (more on this later). But as I've been putting the finishing touches on the Omniscopic charter statement I have found myself returning again and again to a document I stumbled across years ago. The Earth Charter is such an eloquent and important document, I feel compelled to encourage you to read and endorse it. It clearly descibes my personal mission.

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