September 13th, 2006

breaking bad

'All living things are born at random, and will die by chance'

Recently the Pope has been openly critical of evolution. According to Ratzinger he doesn't accept that the universe is 'the random result of evolution and therefore, at bottom, something unreasonable' (of course that isn't what evolutionary theory says at all, but never mind).

Meanwhile on Dalziel and Pascoe on Monday, Dalziel was guilty about pressuring another cop to take a risk which resulted in his death. Pascoe said 'All living things are born at random, and will die by chance'. It's a quote from Sartre 'Being and Nothingness'. It stood out from the script, as a beautiful sentence.

I like it because it's true. Is it a more beautiful idea too? If you had the choice between being a random fluctuation of the universe, and a creature made by another entity, which would you prefer? I honestly think I prefer to be born by chance than to have been made. Or perhaps I just like that idea because I think it's true.

ETA the full quote from Sartre is something like 'all living things are born at random live in weakness and die by chance'. Is this sadder? Better? I prefer the short version I think.
breaking bad

10 unread books I own

From languagehat, who I am sure has no idea I exist, a meme.

Frau Kohlehydrat has sent me a meme, or as the Germans call it ein Stöckchen, or as the Austrians including Frau Kohlehydrat call it, ein Steckerl: to list the ten books that are gathering dust on my shelves because I bought them but haven’t read them.

When I was money-poor and time-rich I always had more reading time than access to books. When I started to get sick around 2002-3 I found it harder to read, never really caught up, and these days I have several unread or partly-read books lurking about the place.

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