Human beings are rule-following animals by nature; they are born to conform to the social norms they see around them, and they entrench those rules with often transcendent meaning and value. When the surrounding environment changes and new challenges arise, there is often a dis-junction between existing institutions and present needs. Those institutions are supported by legions of entrenched stakeholders who oppose any fundamental change.” (The Origins of Political Order + Political Order and Decay – Francis Fukuyama )
The universe is humbling. Nature hides many of its most interesting mysteries.
The word [Sublime] precisely captures what makes the universe so wonderful and so frustrating at the same time. A great deal seems beyond our reach and our comprehension, while still appearing to be close enough to tantalize us — to dare us to enter and understand. The challenge for all approaches to knowledge is to make those less accessible aspects of the universe more immediate, more understandable, and ultimately less foreign. People want to learn to read and understand the book of nature and accommodate those lessons into the comprehensible world.
The sublime offers scales and poses questions that just might lie beyond our intellectual reach. It is for these reasons both terrifying and compelling. The range of the sublime changes over time as the scales we are comfortable with cover an increasingly large domain. But at any given moment, we still want to gain insights about behavior or events at scales far too small or far too large for us to readily comprehend.
“In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.”
Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.
— Mandelbrot, in his introduction to The Fractal Geometry of Nature
“Nature is more complex than anything humans could imagine, but nature is precisely as complex as it needs to be and not one bit more, which makes it simple.”
Via Jonathan Harris