Keep Me Away From Wisdom


A child is attracted to the lights and fountain.

I wish I could keep a sense of wonder like this child’s.

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”

Was it Socrates or Aristotle who said it? I was led to this discussion on Reddit and found it quite ironic — as the experts weighed in, literally it started to feel heavy.

I would rather not be led to that kind of wisdom.

True wisdom leads back to wonder — maybe someone else said it, but it doesn’t matter who did.

To be able to marvel at a toothless smile from a baby, a ray of sunlight through a window, the smell of rain on the soil, the melody of chirping birds — that would be enough.



Michelangelo on the Pavement


“The Creation of Adam” at Sydney Harbour.

The original work by Michelangelo has of course been hailed as a masterpiece, painted by the artist on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Much has been written about the genius of the composition and the originality of its vision.

It’s one of the most replicated works of art in the world, inspiring many artists — including this would-be Michelangelo — to create more than “pedestrian” art.


Vienna Waits for You

The best way from Vienna to Salzburg is by train; it’s convenient and you see a bit of the Austrian countryside.


Though photography through the window of a moving train can be a challenge, I managed to snap a few.

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As the trip progressed and the city faded in the distance, I was reminded of the song “Vienna” by Billy Joel.

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“Slow down, you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you.”

And the alps.


Billy Joel continues.

“And you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want or you can just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get half through
Why don’t you realize, Vienna waits for you
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?”


Mystery of the Wheel on a Window Sill


I found this window in a pub in Cesky Krumlov (Czech Republic) intriguing because of the wheel. For some time it was a mystery to me what the wheel was for.

After some research, I now believe it’s a spinning wheel, used to spin thread or yarn from natural fibers. Invented in India, it was widely used in Europe until it was displaced during the Industrial Revolution.

The mystery is probably solved, but now it takes on a different meaning, evoking the old days before electricity when people were spinning threads near windows.

A window to the past.


Are These Two Pictures or One?

“Every act of perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some dergree an act of imagination.“
– Oliver Sacks (neurologist, naturalist, historian of science, and author)


It is an accepted concept in psychology that the human brain seeks patterns. We see a face on the moon, a rabbit in the clouds, and we complete a semi-circle in our mind. Part of this may be related to our prehistoric survival, when it was important to identify a hidden predator or find partially hidden edible fruits. It is even believed that our superior pattern processing is the mark of an evolved brain.

But sometimes this pattern seeking can go overboard, and we see patterns even in coincidences.

It was by coincidence that I was browsing thumbnails of some photos I took sometime ago when I saw this pair side by side. They seemed to form two parts of a picture, waiting to be stitched together. Look closer to see if they are.

The human brain is a smart thing, but sometimes it can be too eager.


Will the Printed Book Be Irrelevant in the Future?

Some say “books are dead” and it’s time to ditch 15th-century technology.

There’s a detailed explanation on why they are now irrelevant, including space, cost, and readability.


But there are those who say doomsayers are wrong. Many of the reasons given are related to the tactile experience, the option to personalize, and the emotional attachment.

They are not only for showing off, says another.

My take is that they won’t totally die, but will most likely be limited to those who really appreciate them for what they are — physical objects to own. After all, one can put a value to the first copy of the first edition of Isaac Newton’s first book. I wonder if we can value the first ever digital “publication” of an e-book?

As a carrier of content, there are means that are faster, cheaper and more accessible than the printed book. But like playing music through vinyl records, there is joy in holding it, appreciating the cover art and spending time to enjoy it.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other. One can get a daily dose of content from an e-book or tablet, and also enjoy a hard cover once in a while.