Bits and Tips from an Old Man

Eight years ago (2011) a dear friend, Amichai, read an article I wrote. On the basis of that article (and select others) he suggested that I should have a website featuring my articles. When I told him that I liked his suggestion but hesitated to create and maintain a website because of my lack of computer acumen he surprised me with a website a day or two later! He enhanced that surprise with the maintenance of the website for a decade since.

About five years ago he surprised me again. This time he had a book of my articles published! Since the website format is strictly a succession of ongoing articles, Amichai has provided two editions of the original book, each of which includes all past as well as new articles that had accumulated since their preceding edition.

The current edition has an exquisite cover depicting the Hubble Deep Field, that incomparable voice of the universe. Moments before I turned the cover of this new addition, the voice spoke to me: “This better be good!” (I’m always apprehensive when I read something I’ve written which is in print─ the bane of immovable type.) But, as I leaf through this latest edition, I am relieved to discover that I am not at all disappointed with it. It might have been written by a professional author. Certainly, the content is as valid as it was when I wrote it.

Instant electronic text is amazing, but a book exudes a quiet sense of intimacy between author and reader that can’t be rivaled by the Internet. I’m comfortable with the book replica of my website and am very grateful to Amichai for the realization of it in book form. Although I have “no name” (as they put it), I now have a ‘legacy’ (for want of a better word). The book is a faint whisper amid the turbulent din of social media, but will be slightly more visible in some corner of a bookshelf before bookcases are obsolete.

Having no “name,” I don’t expect more than a handful of readers at best. But my website often appears on the same page as a website maintained by an Italian (film) director who does have a name that is exactly the same as mine. The double coincidence of our sharing the same occupation as well as the same name has been a source of temporary confusion. The chances are that several seekers for his website have begun to read an article I’ve written before they’ve notice that I’m the wrong Mario Martone. On my home page that other director is referred to as “the other guy.”

The original purpose for the creation of my website was to write articles that provide readers with facts and opinions that are not necessarily reflected in mainstream media. More often than not, my articles are counter to the beliefs of most people. As events unfold and discussed on social media, I am often compelled to express my views about them in the context of larger issues that are incompatible with the current dominance of relativism. For example and despite the chagrin of militant determinists, I firmly adhere to the concept and inviolate reality of free will when making moral judgments.

The generic premise of my divergent articles is never intrinsically determinist. Determinism dominates the inanimate world (perhaps even within the chaotic inanimate counterintuitive quantum world), but free will prevails in the realm of intelligence. Consider the following.

I recently viewed an excellent documentary on Einstein, Hawking, and Black Holes. Despite the documentary’s excellence, the commentator’s culminating words powerfully implied that the universe is deterministic. Although there was no hint that human beings are an integral part of determinism, his tone and the author’s placing of that comment at the very end of the documentary powerfully imply that we too are deterministic. I’ve made this point many times in different articles that highlight science, art, and philosophy, the triumvirate of intelligent thought. Now, thoroughly satisfied by an exquisite book, I should probably consider quitting while I’m ahead, at least in my self-judgment.

But there’s a problem: At ninety-two, my synapses are still robustly firing. That compels me to go on with the website despite my obscurity in a colossal sea of words we call the Internet. (I hesitate to ask what the “cloud” does or is about to do!)

But now that I have a book as my ‘legacy,’ perhaps I’ll ask him if I might relieve him of his part in maintaining the site. I can just add new, dated articles that appear only on this document before each article and tuck it into my book, thanks to Amichai!

Comments Off on Bits and Tips from an Old Man

Filed under Uncategorized

Comments are closed.