Manage episode 298153340 series 2938738
“They sang as they lifted the children into the ship. They sang old space chanteys and helped the children up the ladder one at a time and into the hands of the sisters. They sang heartily to dispel the fright of the little ones. When the horizon erupted, the singing stopped. They passed the last child up into the ship.
The horizon came alive with flashes as the monks mounted the ladder. The horizon became a red glow. A distant cloudbank was born where no cloud had been. The monks on the ladder looked away from the flashes. When the flashes were gone, they looked back.
The visage of Lucifer mushroomed into hideousness above the cloudbank, rising slowly like some titan climbing to its feet after ages of imprisonment in the Earth.
Someone barked an order. The monks began climbing again. Soon they were all inside the ship.
The last monk, upon entering, paused in the lock. He stood up in the open hatchway and took off his sandals. ‘Sic transit Mundus,’ he murmured, looking back at the glow. He slapped the soles of his sandals together, beating the dust out of them. The glow was engulfing a third of the heavens. He scratched his beard, took one last look at the ocean, then stepped back and closed the hatch.
There came a blur, a glare of light, a high thin whirring sound, and the starship thrust itself heavenward.”
-A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter Miller
“Linear perspective is a celebration of the eye of distance, a created convention which not only extends and elaborates the natural power of vision to survey things from afar, but also elevates that power into a method, a way of knowing, which has defined for us the world with which we are so readily familiar. It is the transformation of the eye into a technology and a redefinition of the world to suit the eye, a world of maps and charts, blueprints and diagrams, the world in which we are, among other things, silent readers of the printed word and users of the camera, the world, finally, in which we have all become astronauts.”
‘Space capsules built for zero gravity, astronomical equipment for demarcating so-called black holes, atom smashers which prove the existence of anti-matter—these are the end products of the discovered vanishing point.’
Linear perspective ‘made possible scale drawings, maps, charts, graphs, and diagrams—those means of exact representation without which modern science and technology would be impossible.’
‘Many reasons are assigned for the mechanization of life and industry during the nineteenth century, but the mathematical development of perspective was absolutely prerequisite to it.’
-William Ivins Jr