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What is the big deal? I have three degrees from MIT, a good 23 years career at Bose Corporation and fourty plus years and a good reputation as a photographer.

But it’s not enough.

I want to save the world.

Crazy? Utterly. But first my father (who thought I should be able to break the laws of physics) and then my mentor, Professor Amar Bose of MIT taught me that anything is possible.

So what do I do? I study religion, philosophy, psychology, but most importantly, cosmology.

I turn 80 (hopefully) on 9/11. My first job is to do what I can for my wife, my son and my friends.

But something screams in me: WHY?

I want to know why the universe was created and by what force and I come to this odd maybe crazy conclusion that we created each other for if there were no sentient beings then existence of the universe would be moot. It’s like Schrdinger’s cat. We turn on sentience when we open the box.

Some time ago when I was working my way through the time-line of the universe it struck me I was getting nowhere. So why not leap to the end and ask the obvious question: What is the best that we have? And the first words to come to my mind were beauty and joy and I felt a kind of elation for beauty and joy encompassed so much and could be quiet, grand, subtle, loving, sacrificial and on and on.

And what comes to my mind at such a time is always a particular piano performance. A pianist I discovered in search for an interpretation of something by Chopin that I play. Krystian Zimerman playing Chopin’s Ballade No. 1, Op 23, are perfections here.

Why do some descendents of hunter-gatherers end up playing Chopin and others declaring meaningless religious wars or just being Cheny and Rumsfeld.

Perhaps we have not progressed enough, but between Trump and the energy companies we may not have a chance.

As I sat in my otolaringologist’s exam chair I studied the llustration of the ear and marveled again at its engineering. I thought:

how the hell does the flapping of a small membrane (the ear drum) create the experience of this performance and all the other sounds I have heard.

It almost makes me want to forgive everyone. But no. Their crimes are beyond forgiveness and I remember an almost trivial comment by the chairman of my tiny art company: “The only thing that matters is shareholder value.” It took a while for the motto of American’s religion to sink in, for this is America’s REAL religion.

Just think of trickle-down economics and so licking the master’s boots for the crumbs left for us.

Could I end here? You can’t make me. So here a photograph I made of my piano, a Mason & Hamlin BB made in Boston in 1917. This is the same building in which I saw for the first time a dye transfer print being made.

An hour or so ago I recived an e-mail from a friend about the movie The Pianist the story of how a Polish pianist was saved from concentration camp death (he lost all his family) by playing at a German soldier’s request the Chopin ballade for which I provide a link. The soldier sheltered, fed and helped the Jewish pianist escape.

What We Know. What We Don’t Know.

What we should know.

I believe that the universe is defined by two things: the big bang and the human mind. Neither is understood by science, nor does there seem to be a path to understanding either. The first is to answer the question “Why is their something rather than nothing?” The second is to answer how the brain translates two little images on your retinas into the visual experience of life and perhaps even more remarkably how the flapping of a piece of tissue at the end of your ear canal can play any sound for you.

These are the end points: how it began and what it has come to. Yet how many people do you know who listen to classical music for its beauty and let it energize their souls. Even more important: WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD ANYONE PREACH JOY AS THE PURPOSE OF THE UNIVERSE.

Abraham Lincoln said a little prayer at the end of his Gettesberg Address that this government of, by and for the people not perish. It has perished. We live in a nation of the rich by the rich and for the rich and we need a rewriting of the Constitution and a recognition that the first job of humans is to teach humanity to each other.

Chopin Balade No. 1 Op. 23 played by Krystian Zimerman

My Piano

The Double Bee, 1917

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4

Mozart Rondo

Polish Krakovyak

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