Mostly photography and some other musings.

Posts tagged skepticism

Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— The demon-haunted world: science as a candle in the dark, Carl Sagan.

There must be millions of pictures of this place already. But I wanted to visit it since I was a child. You know, when I was a child I was a firmly believer in UFOs, paranormal activities, conspiracy theories. You name it. Stonehenge was the subject of a lot of books and documentaries I read and watched as I child. I really was into it. Most of the reasoning behind the mystery was, we don’t know how they could raise those blocks of stone, so it was made by aliens. As usual, covering our ignorance with a magical answer is the easiest way of dealing with this things. At some point, possibly during my teenager years, after having some really good physics and philosophy teachers at school, possibly after some vital experiences, my interest on these things vanished. But when I came to the UK almost five years ago, I though.. I need to visit that place.

To be honest, it’s been a bit of a disappointment. The place to me, doesn’t have that aura of magic some people want to believe in. It’s full of tourists (myself included). You cannot walk into the circle of stones, I imagine there is a real danger of people deteriorating the monument. Yesterday they were preparing  celebrations for the winter solstice and I’m sure today it will be full of people dressed as druids (which have nothing to do with Stonehenge origins and its possible uses when it was built). One thing I liked thought, was the weather. It was cloudy, perfect for some contrasty black and white processing. Also, the exhibitions in the new visitors centre were interesting and fascinating enough, without the need of aliens. At least, I managed to fulfill one of my childhood dreams, a very simple one. Here, some news about the celebrations today. I told you, didn’t I?