the endangered specie: part 1

After running a personal best over 5 Kilometers in a time trial on Monday (14:19), I’ve decided to take a few easy days and spend some extra time doing other things. I’m going to be writing about some “different” things the next couple days so for those interested strictly in running, I suggest you take the week off and come back in 7.

For today…

…his name is Jónsi and he is an endangered specie.


Hailing from the mystical land of Iceland, he is one my greatest inspirations.

I’ve been emailing back and forth with “his people” with regards to a project I’ve been wanting to do. We know fairly well how CEO’s, models, pop-stars and athletes spend their days, but we know very little about the day-to-day decisions and habits of The Poets. I wanted to move to Iceland for a month and document his daily occurrences and subtle traits that make him who he is. Like any endangered specie, however, Jonsi tries to stay out of the public view: on to plan B…

Chesterton described The Poets in the following way: “The poet only asks to get bis head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”

Whether they use colour and canvas, words and sentences, or strings and drums, Poets are rarely seen as anything other that pictures on our wall and music on our iPods: we rarely think of the truth and meaning which they provide to be as important and vital as what the scientist and logician provide.

On Sunday I went to the Mill and read through Hawkins, “The Grand Design”. It’s short book that introduces M-Theory , which, among many things, explains the universe as completely deterministic: you and every quark in the universe acts in a completely deterministic fashion under unchangeable and non-negotiable laws.

Under this explanation, the real reason you love your girlfriend/boyfriend is simply because certain chemicals are firing in a certain fashion: there’s nothing poetic, mystical or special about intimacy, meaning, destiny or anything else that we humans consider to be unique about us.

I read a lot of science because a) I find it fascinating and b) I think it is important. But the sort of contribution that The Poets make is on a completely different and deeper level.

To be continued…

Tags: , ,

Categories: bleak and beautiful, culture


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4 Comments on “the endangered specie: part 1”

  1. Eric
    November 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    I’m wondering if Hawkings work falls into this: “The… claims that empirical science is better able to explain human existence than religious faith. This is a fairly significant category mistake, for science has very little to say about “existence.” The mistake of this argument is that it thinks the question of “existence” is the result of various causes that led to our current order of things. In truth, the very possibility of the existence of those causes is an ontological question (a question of “being”), not a causal question.” Just a thought. (Quote from James Emery White: Church & Culture Blog)

  2. November 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Thanks for the contribution, Eric! White has a lot of useful things to say and I always enjoy reading his stuff.

    Hawking, however, is going to go further and say that even ontological arguments can be explained away with M-Theory, which he believes will answer both the “how” questions AND the “why” questions… According to Hawking, the questions that religious, metaphysical and philosophical folk have always said will remain unanswerable will soon be answerable…

  3. Javier
    November 30, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    That would be a very cool experience to see an artistic genius at work. The contributions that these people make are too often overlooked.

  4. December 1, 2010 at 5:27 am #

    Thank you for posting about Jonsi!

    His work withing Sigur Ros is amazing, and I’m constantly playing their catolgue while I’m working as the power combinations and thrilling voice just lifts me up.

    In regards to Hawkins; Science is intriguing, but how much of the microscopic aspect can we call known facts. The need to classify these daily-feeling, allow scientist to pin-point the very processes we’ve come to take for granted.

    Challenge our notions and give alternative explanations.


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