Sentient in San Francisco – 16 December 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 16 December 1956 – Nina Hamnett, a Welsh painter.

Below – “The Student”; “Two women with a child”; “Portrait of a Woman”; “Dolores”; “Canal”; “The Stairway.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 16 December 1917 – Arthur C. Clarke, an award-winning British science fiction writer and co-author of the screenplay for the influential 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Some quotes from the work of Arthur C. Clarke:

“Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”
“One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn’t require religion at all.”
“In my life I have found two things of priceless worth – learning and loving. Nothing else – not fame, not power, not achievement for its own sake – can possible have the same lasting value. For when your life is over, if you can say ‘I have learned’ and ‘I have loved,’ you will also be able to say ‘I have been happy.’”
“I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here.”
“Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.”
“The object of teaching a child is to enable the child to get along without the teacher. We need to educate our children for their future, not our past.”
“When you finally understand the universe, it will not only be stranger than you imagine, it will be stranger than you can imagine.”
“Civilization will reach maturity only when it learns to value diversity of character and of ideas.”
“A wise man once said that all human activity is a form of play. And the highest form of play is the search for Truth, Beauty and Love. What more is needed? Should there be a ‘meaning’ as well, that will be a bonus? If we waste time looking for life’s meaning, we may have no time to live — or to play.”
“Getting information from the internet is like getting a glass of water from the Niagara Falls.”
“A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.”
“The more wonderful the means of communication, the more trivial, tawdry, or depressing its contents seemed to be.”
“The future is not to be forecast, but created.”

This Date in Art History: Born 16 December 1937 – Edward Ruscha, an American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas”; “Hollywood”; “The Back of Hollywood”; “Box Smashed Flat”; “Give Him Anything and He’ll Sign It”; “It’s a Small World.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 16 December 1928 – Philip K. Dick, an award-winning American science fiction writer, novelist, short story writer, and author of “The Man in the Hight Castle” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

Some quotes from the work of Philip K. Dick:

“Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.”
“The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.”
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
“The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.”
“It’s not what happened but how it is told.”
“Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.”
“Grief causes you to leave yourself. You step outside your narrow little pelt. And you can’t feel grief unless you’ve had love before it – grief is the final outcome of love, because it’s love lost. […] It’s the cycle of love completed: to love, to lose, to feel grief, to leave, and then to love again. Grief is the awareness that you will have to be alone, and there is nothing beyond that because being alone is the ultimate final destiny of each individual living creature. That’s what death is, the great loneliness.”
“Everything in life is just for a while.”

This Date in Art History: Born 16 December 1937 – Edward Ruscha, an American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Coyote”; Untitled; “A Particular Kind Of Heaven”; “The Mountain”; “Tulsa Slut”; “Boss.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 16 December 1965 – W. Somerset Maugham, an English playwright, novelist, short story writer, and author of “The Razor’s Edge” and “Of Human Bondage.”

Some quotes from the work of W. Somerset Maugham:

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”
“The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.”
“Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.”
“Why should you think that beauty, which is the most precious thing in the world, lies like a stone on the beach for the careless passer-by to pick up idly? Beauty is something wonderful and strange that the artist fashions out of the chaos of the world in the torment of his soul. And when he has made it, it is not given to all to know it. To recognize it you must repeat the adventure of the artist. It is a melody that he sings to you, and to hear it again in your own heart you want knowledge and sensitiveness and imagination.”
“Only a mediocre person is always at his best.”
“The complete life, the perfect pattern, includes old age as well as youth and maturity. The beauty of the morning and the radiance of noon are good, but it would be a very silly person who drew the curtains and turned on the light in order to shut out the tranquillity of the evening. Old age has its pleasures, which, though different, are not less than the pleasures of youth.”

Contemporary German Art – Irina Laube

Below – “Soft light”; “In the evening”; “Blue Canyon”; “Nature spectacle”; “Blue bay”; “Summer song.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 16 December 2012 – Jake Adam York, an award-winning American poet.

by Jake Adam York

Forgive me if I forget
with the birdsong and the day’s
last glow folding into the hands
of the trees, forgive me the few
syllables of the autumn crickets,
the year’s last firefly winking
like a penny in the shoulder’s weeds,
if I forget the hour, if I forget
the day as the evening star
pours out its whiskey over the gravel
and asphalt I’ve walked
for years alone, if I startle
when you put your hand in mine,
if I wonder how long your light
has taken to reach me here.

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