2023.17 : Aether : For Heaven's Sake

The Cosmos Circa At First Light

There is in IBM for example a phrase information overload produces pattern recognition. When you give people too much information they instantly resort to pattern recognition. In other words, to structures.


And, I think this is part of the artist world. The artist when he encounters the present, the contemporary artist, is always seeking new patterns. New pattern recognition, which is his task for heaven’s sake.


His great need, the absolute indispensability of the artist is that he alone, in the encounter of the present can give the pattern recognition.

— Marshall McLuhan, 1968

Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for “his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” This discovery, in effect, demonstrates that light is not only a wave but also a particle. I watched a video of another Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Richard Feynman, who described light as corpuscles — a term also known as photons, which lacks the imaginative quality of the former.


This idea ignited my imagination. What if light corpuscles (and most other similar types of quanta) are to the Aether as blood cells are to blood? They flow through the cosmos until they reach their individual final destinations where the deliver energy and illumination to the void.


These incredibly small packets of energy are the essence of life — an unimaginable number of these energy packets, which brings my mind to this week’s quote about information overload.


The companion video, by one of the best science communicators, Arvin Ash, articulates a nerdy appreciation of how profound light is.


This idea led me to a quote from the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, George Eastman: “Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” In other words, my fellow photographers, it is our task to find the patterns in the light.


This week’s photo captures the life-giving power of light, as well as the beautiful structures that emerge from the chaos of corpuscles.


And now … know the photograph.




Watch Marshall say the quote here.


Marshall McLuhan famous for the transformative quote, “the medium is the message”.


Other photo essay’s on the Aether:
Part I
Part II

Why Does Light Exist? What is Its Purpose?

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