December 11, 2013


What is this thing called life? Is it only transport of energy between tiny particles in the universe? Is it magnetism, or an ecosystem? Do we evolve through chance, through chaos? Atoms becomes molecules that becomes matter. The smallest parts only being movement, a constant tremble from the old big bang?

Is it a machine? Does chance really exist or is everything calculable? The human brain has its limits. How could we ever know more than the extent of the capacity of the human brain, and its most creative ideas ever imagined?

I mean, we can use philosophy, we can investigate, we can calculate, we can believe. And tho most probable truth is maybe where all these different systems collide.

To concretisize; math is a way for us to understand the infinite, to calculate the unknown. But math is still part of our human brains understanding. Human beings are perhaps the most intelligent creature that we know of, but what about the things we can not see, the things no person can even begin to think about. What would that be?

I am not religous, I believe in science, but that is still a sort of a trust in something I can not really understand, or explain. It is only the latest discoverings in our small period on earth, what we have come to understand, and to know.

What we keep on discovering, and new knowledge, it is what drives us, drives our kind of animal. We are curious, probably the most curious animal ever. We have to explain our life. Either by different religious belief systems, or by calculating, by researching the infinite, as far as we can see it, universe.

The smallest and the largest. Everything is made up by numbers. It starts with ONE, and from there, by multipliyng or dividing an infine number of times, we explain everything else.

We have to organize. Where is the place for human beings in this complex network of ideas about everything else? How could we ever see ourselves from outside of our own place? How could we ever explain a thing called life, without being limited by our imagination, our language, our history, and our biology?

Lets keep that in mind, when we try to fix the world.


/ Klara Östlund


After reading: Jane Bennett, ‘A Vitalist Stopover on the Way to a New Materialism’ in Diana Coole and Samantha Frost, eds. New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010, pp. 47-69.

One Response to “Limitations”

  1. nenander Says:

    I am constrantly getting back to the same line of thought, similar to what you are discussing, that no matter how extensive the results of scientific research are, we still know so little about the world we inhabit and are a part of. Wikipedia says that 72 % of the universe consists of dark energy, 26 % of dark matter and only 5 % of “ordinary” matter –which we do know a little bit about, while dark matter is one of the unresolved problems within physics.
    The reason for researching and trying to explain is obviously curiosity and also, it seems, a search for meaning or even moral guidance of how we should live our lives. I think maybe we could start in the other end and start discussing what kind of society we want to live in, instead of interpreting scientific results. What do you think, you’re reasoning is not far from this conclusion? If we cannot se ourselves without the context of our culture why search for some “ultimate truth”?
    Btw, beautiful illustration!

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