Budaya

January 17, 2009

Modernitas

Perjumpaan kaum muslim dengan modernitas adalah tema literer yang dalam sekian dekade terakhir, tampak tumbuh subur bagai kurma di sisi oase. Tema ini banyak dijumpai dalam karya-karya sastra kontemporer para penulis yang berasal dari, atau yang dekat dengan, wilayah kultural Islam, yang umumnya mewarisi pengalaman kelam kolonialisme dan kepahitan pelapukan imperial.  Nada utama dalam banyak karya ini adalah  juga kegetiran, dan tak jarang kemarahan, dalam berbagai takarannya. Kegetiran itu mungkin mudah menyeret orang karam pada pandangan bahwa Islam dan Barat adalah dua entitas yang sulit, bahkan mustahil, berpadu. Jika kedua entitas ini bertemu di satu ruang, maka pilihan yang tersedia seakan-akan hanyalah variasi dari dua kutub besar: mengislamkan Barat — kalau bisa sampai Barat-nya hilang; atau membaratkan Islam — sampai Islamnya lenyap tak bertilas.

ziryab

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Transhumanism

January 11, 2009

This Universe of Mankind?

Human–Made Universe!

In every “real” encounter with science and technology, one will always experience a kind of revolution. In Indonesian literary history, very few writers are well versed in exposing the dramatics of the encounter, and the impact that leads to the birth of a new awareness: an era unimaginable before. Among the few is Pramoedya Ananta Toer, a victim of the New Order regime and the most famous Indonesian prose writer in the 20th Century. In the second page of This Earth of Mankind, the first book of ‘Buru Quartet,’ Pramoedya presents Minke’s confession, the protagonist, that, “I was still very young, just the age of a corn plant, yet I had already experienced modern learning and science: They had bestowed upon me a blessing whose beauty was beyond description.”[1]

Detail terbalik "Penciptaan Adam" Michelangelo

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Conjecture

January 11, 2009

Supercosmos Re-Creation?

Employing the evolution-given brain, humanity has succeeded so far in accumulating extraordinary amount of knowledge, including that of the natural universe. But that abundant pile is always haunted by epistemological anxiety regarding the truth, the consistency, and the completeness of the knowledge.

godel_einstein_1950

Kurt Gödel and Albert Einstein, 1950. IAS Archives

Along with its assertion that the Platonic mathematical universe can never be reduced into a finite set of symbols and a bounded group of axioms, Gödel Theorem shows that a consistent knowledge is incomplete and a complete knowledge is inconsistent. For any consistent formal, recursively enumerable theory that proves basic arithmetical truths, an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory, can be constructed. That is, any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both simultaneously consistent and complete.

How can humanity be rested assured of the accumulative knowledge on universe’s birth, when the incredibly vast distance of space and time makes it impossible for humanity to directly witness the birth of the universe?

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J. B. S. Haldane, 1941. Photo: Hans Wild/LIFE

“Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” — Possible Worlds and Other Papers (1927), p. 286, J. B. S. Haldane.

How can human race complete the knowledge of the universe and all within, being aware of the impossibility of gaining complete knowledge of an object for one who is entrapped inside of it, while realizing the improbability of going outside of the universe he lives in?

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