Upstream Quotes (displaying: 1 - 18 of 18 quotes )
Why travel to the Moon or Mars if we only continue our wars there with Russia or China or Africa? Why build rockets at all? For fun? For adventure? Or is this the same process that sends the salmons back upstream year after year to spawn and die - a subliminal urge in mankind to spread, in self-preservation, to the stars? Are we then secretly fearful that one day the sun might freeze and the the earth grow cold or the sun explode in a terrific thermal cataclysm and burn down our house of cards?
Thank you for inviting me here today " I said my voice sounding nothing like me. "I'm here to testify about things I've seen and experienced myself. I'm here because the human race has become more powerful than ever. We've gone to the moon. Our crops resist diseases and pests. We can stop and restart a human heart. And we've harvested vast amounts of energy for everything from night-lights to enormous super-jets. We've even created new kinds of people, like me."But everything mankind" - I frowned - "personkind has accomplished has had a price. One that we're all gonna have to pay." I heard coughing and shifting in the audience. I looked down at my notes and all the little black words blurred together on the page. I just could not get through this. I put the speech down picked up the microphone and came out from behind the podium. "Look " I said. "There's a lot of official stuff I could quote and put up on the screen with PowerPoint. But what you need to know what the world needs to know is that we're really destroying the earth in a bigger and more catastrophic was than anyone has ever imagined."I mean I've seen a lot of the world the only world we have. There are so many awesome beautiful tings in it. Waterfalls and mountains thermal pools surrounded by sand like white sugar. Field and field of wildflowers. Places where the ocean crashes up against a mountainside like it's done for hundreds of thousands of years. "I've also seen concrete cities with hardly any green. And rivers whose pretty rainbow surfaces came from an oil leak upstream. Animals are becoming extinct right now in my lifetime. Just recently I went through one of the worst hurricanes ever recorded. It was a whole lot worse because of huge worldwide climatic changes caused by... us. We the people." .... "A more perfect union While huge corporations do whatever they want to whoever they want and other people live in subway tunnels Where's the justice of that Kids right here in America go to be hungry every night while other people get four-hundred-dollar haircuts. Promote the general welfare Where's the General welfare in strip-mining toxic pesticides industrial solvents being dumped into rivers killing everything Domestic Tranquility Ever sleep in a forest that's being clear-cut You'd be hearing chain saws in your head for weeks. The blessings of liberty Yes. I'm using one of the blessings of liberty right now my freedom of speech to tell you guys who make the laws that the very ground you stand on the house you live in the children you tuck in at night are all in immediate catastrophic danger.
Michael Heseltine, a wild-haired visionary, Klaus Kinski to Margaret's Thatcher's Werner Herzog, pushed Docklands across the Thames to the East Greenwich Peninsula. The Millennium Dome concept was a remake of 'Fitzcarraldo', a film in which suborned natives (expendable extras) drag a paddle steamer over a hill in order to force a short cut to more exploitable territory. The point being to bring Enrico Caruso, one of the gods of opera, to an upstream trading post. An insane achievement mirrored in the rebranding of the Dome, after its long and expensive limbo, as the O2 Arena, a popular showcase for cryogenic rock acts: Norma Desmond divas and the resurrected Michael Jackson, whose virtual rebirth, post-mortem, gave the shabby tent the status of a riverside cathedral.
Two chemicals called actin and myosin evolved eons ago to allow the muscles in insect wings to contract and relax. Thus, insects learned to fly. When one of those paired molecules are absent, wings will grow but they cannot flap and are therefore useless. Today, the same two proteins are responsible for the beating of the human heart, and when one is absent, the person’s heartbeat is inefficient and weak, ultimately leading to heart failure. Again, science marvels at the way molecules adapt over millions of years, but isn’t there a deeper intent? In our hearts, we feel the impulse to fly, to break free of boundaries. Isn’t that the same impulse nature expressed when insects began to take flight? The prolactin that generates milk in a mother’s breast is unchanged from the prolactin that sends salmon upstream to breed, enabling them to cross from saltwater to fresh.
Time is like a river flowing endlessly through the universe. And if you poled your flatboat in that river you might fight your way against the current and travel upstream into the past. Or go with the flow and rush into the future. This was in a less cynical time before toxic waste dumping and pollution filled the waterway of Chronus with the detritus of empty hours wasted minutes years of repetition and time that has been killed.
We are swimming upstream against a great torrent of disorganization... In this, our main obligation is to establish arbitrary enclaves of order and system... It is the greatest possible victory to be, to continue to be, and to have been. No defeat can deprive us of the success of having existed for some moment of time in a universe that seems indifferent to us. This is no defeatism... The declaration of our own nature and the attempt to build up an enclave of organization in the face of nature's overwhelming tendency to disorder is an insolence against the gods and the iron necessity that they impose. Here lies tragedy, but here lies glory too... All this represents the manner in which I believe I have been able to add something positive to the pessimism of... the existensialists. I have not replaced the gloom of existence by a philosophy which is optimistic in any Pollyanna sense, but... with a positive attitude toward the universe and toward our life in it.