Keep on Trekkin

As I did at the end of 2013 & 2014, so I do again here at the end of 2015 to recount some travel experiences, which I don’t normally write about here. I need not give the whole setup again for the premise of such entries and see my blog from the end of 2013: Travels of Spocklogic. The notables this year (travel blogs I finished or made additions to) include:


Feature - Washington DC-1




That’s the summary for 2015. Some are carry overs from 2014, but I finished the blogs in 2015, after my last post on travels (see: Travels of Spocklogic II) in December 2014 or earlier if I made additions. As I alluded to in recent entries, I will take a break from this Cogito Ergo blog for a while in 2016. I’ve had 20 years of internet exposure and been blogging for 10 years (see: 20 Years of Internet and Mapping the Internet). I hope to return again with a fresh perspective down the line. There’s plenty to explore in the Cogito Ergo blog archives until then (see the link to: Browse Blog Posts). Best wishes for the New Year 2016! See you in the future…



As I did at the end of 2013, so I do again here at the end of 2014 to recount some travel experiences, which I don’t normally write about here. I need not give the whole setup again for the premise of such entries and see my blog from the end of 2013: Travels of Spocklogic. The notables this year are a couple of blogs I finished and some reviews that may be of interest:



That summarizes some travel selections for 2014. I did travel to Italy also in July 2014, and have some links to share for photo collections I put together for a special year in Erice to celebrate a 40th anniversary of the International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy (ISAMS):

Rino: 40 Year Erice Celebrations (2014) – Erice, Italy
2014 Erice Workshop: 30 July – August 5 – Erice, Italy
People (2014) – Erice, Italy
Places (2014)
– Erice, Italy

In addition, I traveled to China again this year in November 2014, but am still working on my travel blog for that, so it will have to wait until my 2015 account of my travels. I will make this type of entry something traditional at years end to cover where I have been and what I have done in travel ways. It’s all rather like the City on the Edge of Forever perhaps…





I don’t often write about my travels in this WordPress blog (Cogito Ergo) as I have another site for that (TravBuddy). In this year of 2013, I completed a number of travel blogs on that site that are worth noting and I give the links to them here. Mind you, I don’t know that any of my travel blogs are ever really completed. Each one is like a child I nurture and raise up, but always needs attention in future ways. Anyway, I suppose I list them here for my own reference and also to offer it to others who may be interested in my travels. There is some connection of the blogs, one to another in embedded personal ways, but are also self-contained. Here they are:




Spocklogic_Switzerland_Travel Blog.

Spocklogic_Germany_Travel Blog.



Some of these blogs have been posted for some years, and I either added to them, made them more complete, and/or formed connections between them. Some of them are entirely new in 2013. They do tell a story in total I suppose and maybe that’s why I decided to make a sort of review of the Travels of Spocklogic here. They were also all the blogs featured on TravBuddy for me this year. My Italy blog (L’Avventura Dell Italia) seems never-ending and I have some more work to do on it, but the majority of important events are there for the most part. The last one in this list, the blog on China, is something I am still working on too, but intend (or hope) to complete it before the end of 2013. I suppose this collection of blogs forms a personal journey of sorts that I tried to form this year regarding my life and relation to travel. When I finish the China blog, maybe I will know what I have been endeavoring to understand and ultimately discover in my life. It’s not a teaser, or cliffhanger, but maybe more a matter of what I will embrace. Sounds enigmatic I suppose, but not really. It’s my personal perspective, the choices I make and what is ultimately best for me in a world of possibilities…


salvador dali-inspiration

Salvador Dali – Inspiration in Many Forms

I will get right to the point and there is in this life that “inspiration in many forms” that makes a philosophy. We all have a philosophy, whether we know it or not, and the word comes from the Greek philosophia, meaning love of wisdom. If you don’t love wisdom then turn away now. Wisdom is sometimes too strong a word and I often like to call such fragments I have collected over the years by the name of Tenets (an opinion, doctrine, or principle held as being true by a person). Perhaps they are just lessons I learned. So, without further embellishment in wordage, here are my Fifteen Fragments of Wisdom, Tenets or lessons in life:

1.) Don’t ask for something if it will be a burden to you when you get it.
2.) The way you end something is almost as important as how you began.
3.) Wisdom is usually the difference between knowledge and experience.
4.) Mistakes made in life are not as important as lessons drawn from them.
5.) Many of the truths we cling to often depend on a certain point of view.
6.) Happiness depends not on circumstances, but your approach to life.
7.) To remember everything is almost as bad as remembering nothing.
8.) Collect your tomorrows because they will become cherished yesterdays.
9.) The heart has its reasons in life that reason cannot possibly know.
10.) The threads that connect us are not bound by the space between us.
11.) You are always as good as the best thing you have ever done.
12.) A cup half empty or half full matters not and endeavor to fill it.
13.) Time is the great moderator in life, so moderate your time well!
14.) Sometimes giving means more to yourself than those you give to.
15.) Take time in your life to write your own 15 fragments of wisdom.

In the beginning there was Socrates, Plato and Aristotle – the ancient development of Philosophy. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius in Roman times demonstrates the lasting power of that wisdom, and though Roman Emperors were generally a bad bunch, the fact that they adopted much from the Greeks speaks volumes. In Modern times perhaps Descartes stands out as the father of modern philosophy – Cogito Ergo Sum. Well, this is not a lesson on the history of philosophy, but just to say that Human History is full of inspiration in many forms. I just added a bit of my wisdom or set of tenets to the mix in the name of philosophy, that represent an accumulation of thought in my life that I think may ring universally true. It’s the kind of thought that lifts us all to the existential way of thinking towards experience in acting, feeling, living, being and all that is human inside of us. It’s not always about the rational, but sometimes about the irrational too. That is essential to existential ways.


I am sure I have much to thank in philosopher’s past in applying such wisdom on reflecting about my experience and sharing such thoughts here, and that is part of the natural course of development as passed on through the ages. We are all a sum of philosophy past & existential experience I suppose. This is jut my spin on things I guess and very simply what I wanted to present in this blog as an offering of some wisdom. In closing, I include a photo from the film Ben Hur, with the caption “Row Well and Live” that has some substance and meaning regarding my 15 Fragments and beyond too, though admittedly it’s an afterthought on my part here.


Ben Hur – Row Well and Live!

If you have never seen the film Ben Hur then you need to return to planet Earth 😉  I say that in jest, but seriously, see this film if you have not and it is a wealth of wisdom, tenets or lessons in life. As I said in the last fragment on my list, take time to write your own 15 fragments in life whether you call it lessons, wisdom, philosophy or tenets. They may have served you well, so serve them well, write them down and reflect on it – You may find it illuminating!

Perhaps some quotations for thought may delve deeper into the question posed in this blog.

Oscar Wilde said in his novel “The Picture of Dorian Grey”:

  1. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim
  2. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors

Anyway, there is value in perspective. I always retain a perspective as it does put things in context and offers some wisdom in going forward. Art is a kind of perspective. Tolstoy said:

The feelings with which the artist infects others may be most various – very strong or very weak, very important or very insignificant, very bad or very good: feelings of love for one’s own country, self-devotion and submission to fate or to God expressed in a drama, raptures of lovers described in a novel, feelings of voluptuousness expressed in a picture, courage expressed in a triumphal march, merriment evoked by a dance, humor evoked by a funny story, the feeling of quietness transmitted by an evening landscape or by a lullaby, or the feeling of admiration evoked by a beautiful arabesque – it is all art.

Gustav Klimt said:

Whoever wants to know about me as a painter – the only topic of any interest – should study my pictures with care, and try to draw from them what I am and what I am trying to do.

Klimt was part of a movement called the Secessionists. These artists made a search for new relationships to old material, especially Greek myth. The Secessionist motto was “To art its freedom!“. Klimt was particularly concerned with a large theme, the relationship of man to universe. Patterns were one way he used to portray his ideas.

Question for thought: How can patterns be used to make an artistic statement? Patterns themselves are not art, but how the artist arranges them gets closer to an answer I think. And it’s that arrangement that creates the perspective.

Consider this statement from the book “Presence: exploring profound change in people, organizations, and society” By Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers (2004), p. 51:

The problem-solving mind-set can be adequate for technical problems. But it can be woefully inadequate for complex human systems, where problems often arise from unquestioned assumptions and deeply habitual ways of acting. Until people start to see their own handprint on such problems, fundamental change rarely occurs.

Condider also this statement by Sigmund Freud, as written to his fiance Martha Bernays (Ref: “The Secret Artist: A Close Reading of Sigmund Freud” by Leslie Chamberlin, 2003, p. 66).

I think there is a general enmity between artists and those engaged in the details of scientific work. We know that they possess in their art a master key to open with ease all female hearts, whereas we stand helpless at the strange design of the lock and have first to torment ourselves to discover a suitable key to it.

These quotations encompasses some thought. I have seen other opinions as well. There is enmity between the ‘scientist’ and the ‘artist’. In my opinion, however, the scientist is also an artist, like the painter, musician, poet, etc. What does the painter, musician or poet try to capture? Perhaps a piece of nature or a sense of inner self based on experience. The scientist does this as well. A work of science tries to capture nature, or may express an inner thought based on observation. The difference between what people call ‘artist’ and the ‘scientist’, I believe, is a sensory difference. Music, painting, poetry, etc. are directly sensory in their expression. Science is taken as cold and calculating, only the facts of reality. To me, science is the greatest of the arts because it encompasses not just one or two senses, but all senses, although indirectly, by thought and reason based on observation and imagination. It is perspective really.

Artists are intriguing personalities for the ability to create a new vision and make us think in ways we have not explored before. Well, isn’t that what the scientist does too? So, why is the scientist not considered an artist? My instinct tells me that the reason is that science is not so easily absorbed as say, music, painting or poetry. It requires some explanation, and indeed, such explanation is demanded, instead of just acceptance as given to music, painting or poetry. Art has freedom of expression to go against establishment, but science does not? This is false. Science goes against establishment all the time. So, why does the ‘artist’ reach the ‘heart’ when science does not in romantic ways. Again, it is perspective. There is no separation of heart and mind really. It is an artificial separation based on emotional appeal.

The artistic expression of music, painting or poetry assault the emotions of the ‘heart’ directly, while science is more of the ‘mind’. I maintain there is no difference other than one of perspective. Are the paintings of Da Vinci or Monet more beautiful than the Hubble telescope pictures of the deep universe. Is the music of Beethoven or 50-cent more soulful than standing wave resonance or the 3 degree Kelvin  background radiation we all know a snow, hiss, static. Are the poems of Byron or Rumi more meaningful than Newton’s laws or Maxwell’s equations? Hmm…These are not easy questions. It is not a question of society, but a question of self and the perceptions we all carry entangled with emotion. It may be a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

I am not sure I have resolved the quotations any further, and have lectured on my opinion of art and science. So, what about this key and lock analogy concerning the female heart? Maybe that’s it, the ‘artist’ in action acts as a key, while the ‘scientist’ discerns the working of the lock to discover the key. A different approach indeed. Very intriguing, and in the end there is only one key that fits each lock. There is no master key, no universal lock. As Shakespeare said, “The play is the thing, wherein I’ll capture the conscience of the king“. This is closer to reality than any analogy of tool (key) or mechanism (lock). The emotions are one aspect of mind, thought is another. Behavior is an art and a science in itself, not always understood to ourselves, but a thing of great complexity to be sure.