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    • Pegeen
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      This is such a captivating read on so many levels. Highly recommend. How did I never hear of such an outstanding human as Kepler? His vision amazing, tenacity astonishing.

      • thorgalle
        Scribe
        2 weeks ago

        Thank you for scouting Pegeen, this was a rewarding read. I learned that a name I only associated with stellar (pun intended) achievement was also asking pertinent cultural questions & writing sci-fi. Life expectancy was clearly lower in his time, but even then he must've gone through an unusually large sum of suffering.

        • Pegeen
          Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
          2 weeks ago

          Thanks Thor! Didn’t a few of his kids die? That would give me several lifetimes of suffering! It always blows me away when I read an article like this that is about a super human and I never heard of him! I like The Marginalian and it founder, Maria Popva. Discovered her by Googling something else. Love when that happens.

          • thorgalle
            Scribe
            2 weeks ago

            Yes, they did :( And his wife died of the same disease as the last kid I think (and, as Maria writes, of the sorrow too). It’s hard to imagine for me… I somewhat cruelly wonder if it was psychologically any easier to process such terrible events when death was more common. More likely it’s not, and we’re just very lucky to have modern medicine and a high quality of life that has highly reduced premature death.

            You made me discover her too now! Word-of-mouth amplified by technology is real and awesome indeed.

    • thorgalle
      Scribe
      2 weeks ago

      Great read. Not long ago I attempted to start listening to an audiobook version of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. The partial attention that comes with audiobook listening wasn't cut out for the book though; soon it brought up concepts where I needed to pause, rewind and ponder for a while to really grasp them. But I got through the first chapters. The familiar Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton made quick appearances - too quick maybe.

      Here Kepler’s thoughts and life story are carved out deeper, and not just his legacy to science. It is a dramatic story of the interplay between science and cultural change. Some problems are timeless.

      Kepler was unconsoled by the decree — perhaps he knew that policy change and cultural change are hardly the same thing, existing on different time scales.

      Galileo, who was right about so much, was also wrong about so much — something worth remembering as we train ourselves in the cultural acrobatics of nuanced appreciation without idolatry.

      PS: did Kepler really draw those illustrations of the moon? Without a telescope? Artist-scientist. They're gorgeous.

      1. Update (11/21/2021):

        PS update: Kepler did not. It was a Readup image metadata bug 🤦‍♂️. Maria Clara Eimmart (1676-1707) did, according to another article.

        Another thing to add: I really liked Maria's leaps into the future in this article. A dozen times, she uses wording like "a quarter millenium later”, “two centuries later", … before a sentence to show a milestone related to Kepler’s work. A good way to show the web of invention.

      • Pegeen
        Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
        2 weeks ago

        Great comments. I also was wowed by the pictures but did not think to look them up! Great sleuthing!

        • thorgalle
          Scribe
          2 weeks ago

          Thanks! I’m so wowed I think it would look great on the wall of my bare apartment actually 👀

          but did not think to look them up! Great sleuthing!

          I think I’m wired that way - curiosity is almost compulsive for me, it’s urgent and not easy to quench. Often that’s fun. Other times it leads to flow-like rabbit holes where other important matters fade away.

    • DellwoodBarker
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      Start to Finish - A++++ Read.

      “Fantastical.” (Yes, I am re-watching the Greatest TV Series in history or at least Top 5, imho ~~~~~~ RECTIFY)

      …and Fuck, this did not put tears in my eyes…. Eddie Izzard head nodshakenodshakenod:

      A few months after his mother’s death, Kepler received a letter from Christoph Besold — the classmate who had stuck up for his lunar dissertation thirty years earlier, now a successful attorney and professor of law. Having witnessed Katharina’s harrowing fate, Besold had worked to expose the ignorance and abuses of power that sealed it, procuring a decree from the duke of Kepler’s home duchy prohibiting any other witchcraft trials unsanctioned by the Supreme Court in the urban and presumably far less superstitious Stuttgart. “While neither your name nor that of your mother is mentioned in the edict,” Besold wrote to his old friend, “everyone knows that it is at the bottom of it. You have rendered an inestimable service to the whole world, and someday your name will be blessed for it.”