Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Universe And Trump

Pen And Ink Fine Art By Doug Ashby
I have always been a bit of a science geek. Early on I was obsessed with watching, and reading, Carl Sagan's Cosmos. It simply is fascinating. As I got older a dear friend, who is a bit of a scientist, was always willing to indulge my curiosity and share his knowledge. Today that interest manifest itself in the consumption of many audio books about science. These are more global perspectives, as clearly my chief love in the world of brain growth lies in the humanities, nevertheless the learning continues. It was while listening to one such book, I listen when I draw, that this piece was conceived and rendered.

However while doing it I kept thinking how the universe in many ways is like Donald Trump. More accurately how he is like the universe. Trump is an ever expanding ego force in our world. I have known of him since I was a boy, and now nearly thirty years later he continues to dominates our media and our consciousness more then ever.

Science has come to understand in the last hundred years that our universe is expanding. For a time it was speculated that it would at some point contract under its own gravity. The anti Big Bang if you will. However recent inquiries and research has shown that is unlikely. The universe will continue to expand indefinitely and one day will be a cold, and nearly dead place.

Trump seems to have no bounds within his own expansion. It is very perplexing given the inordinate amount of stuff he comes up with that should slow it down. For reasons unknown, he doesn't stop expanding. This is also similar to the universe as science has barely scratched the surface as to why the universe is expanding. There must be an energy that is driving it ever outward, but as of yet we have been incapable of grasping this. Speculation lies in the realm of dark energy. If this is true the universe would be abundant with this dark energy. Research and experiment is underway attempting to detect it, but to this point this has not happened.

One could simply say that Trump's energy is the fact that America is ripe for a demogogue. And many have made references to historical moments when such people have seized power. Hitler being the prime example. But this is not Germany in the 1930's. This is America where we have seen nearly two hundred and forty years of a peaceful transfer of power with no significant repercussions. In all of history that is truly unprecedented. So what is it about this moment that is driving so many to follow a man who seems to defy all norms of decency. What is it that is allowing them to be caught up in Trumps ever expanding narcissism?

And more frightening, what further dark energy might we discover as this demagogue continues to expand. Perhaps a reckoning is coming. Perhaps Trump will experience a Big Crunch as was once thought our universe will endure. Or maybe he will expand indefinitely and simply fade as his energy weakens from over reach. Time will tell. However we do not have billions of years as the universe does. The urgency is now.

I hope you enjoy the art and thoughts.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

An Ethical Dilemma

Pen & Ink Illustration By Doug Ashby
Firstly, sorry for being gone so long. Life simply has been busy. However recent improvements in technology should help a bit.

This image has caused a bit of confusion for those who have seen it. Often people do not know what to make of the left side. When I inform them that it is a human embryo at day 9 after conception they simply go, Oh. I think they wonder what would compel me to illustrate such a thing.

The idea came from a serious of books I listened to about how science is ever improving our lives and making the whole world generally a better place to live. I know that is a bitter pill for many to swallow, for varied reasons. Some simply watch to much news and can not believe the world is a better place then it ever has been to live. I do agree there is much work to be done. Many see the embryo as a battle line in an moral war. One that I believe is being wrongly fought at the expense of advances that could have profound implication for all of humanity.

I wish the world we lived in was one where all human life conceived lived an ideal existence and that all had an opportunity for success. However that is overly ideal and the reality is many are born into situations that are anything but conducive to well being. Some choose, I believe wisely, to abort their pregnancies and spare the person a life that begins moving against terrible odds. The truth is those aborted fetuses could posses the requisite material we need to solve some of our most vexing medical issues and provide those alive with much less misery.

That again is a hard pill to swallow. But if any of you have seen the devastation that demntia brings to those living with it, and around it, you might want to see what scientist can accomplish to treat it with those embryo's. And that is just one possibility in many. The ethical debate on this matter, that has prevented so much movement in this country towards such research, should be debated more openly and politicians should not fear an ignorant electorate when the potential is so great. Other nations will not have these dilemmas and could potentially reap the benefits of such advances first. Then we will buy it from them. That is also economically unsound for our future.

There is so much to this debate, on many fronts. Ignorance must be combatted with the same fierceness, and hopes in educating, that the ignorant bring to the table. That is difficult however for the pragmatic type. 

I hope you enjoy the art and thoughts.