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Martinez, Daniel J.

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Digital access to this material is pending artist's approval. Materials may be viewed onsite at the Goldsen Archive, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library, Cornell University.

Recently, at a lab in Cambridge, a physicist, aided by a computer, captured light and then released it. I began to wonder if Genesis would be less miraculous if "Let There Be Light and Darkness" could be replicated by intelligent machines? Light is precious, essential for life--from photosynthesis to epiphanous moments in the presence of the beautiful. When we wanted to name the time when we abandoned superstition and embraced rationality, we called it The En-light-enment. Perhaps human beings are responding to the great shift from the industrial machine to the intelligent machine by abandoning the principles of Enlightenment. Is the return to religious fundamentalism--whether manifested as the Jihad, the Falun Gong, the Faith-Based Government, or Madonna embracing Kabbalah--really a symptom of a collective yearning for a pre-rational innocence/ignorance? In our heart of hearts, do we long for the time when the earth was the center of the universe, when the grand Inquisitor told us the one truth, and when the boundaries of the known world were visible from our window?

 
 
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