“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but someday the piecing together of disassociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”
– H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)
And if Howard Phillip Lovecraft could only see us now. Just eighty-some years later – the Mars rover, Hubble images, full-color portraits of black holes, stem cells, 23andMe. He’d probably ask, “Interesting, but show me that little telephone again?”
Regarding the state of man living, “…on a placid island of ignorance,” he’d likely not be surprised by today’s reportage from Fox News and The Guardian having seen what happened in Russia during his life. Wars, disease, famine, the uprising of the impoverished congregating at the walls of the entitled whose nattily-dressed congressional servants propose to charge the peasants camping fees.
And, he may have had a pretty clear view of us as far as the “…piecing together of disassociated knowledge…” opening, “…terrifying vistas of reality…” Do the melting of the poles and superbugs ring a bell?
But, seriously, being from Rhode Island, he’d probably be depressed over The Celtics and this year’s NBA playoffs.