Salute to New York City

NYC Skyline

In memory of the events of 9/11, I’d like to share a quote from one of my favorite novels:

I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline. Particularly when one can’t see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? … When I see the city from my window—no, I don’t feel how small I am—but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would like to throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.

—Gail Wynand, from The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand

The attackers chose their targets for symbolic reasons. They chose the World Trade Center in New York City because it represents the greatness of human achievement, which the quote above emphasizes by asking “What other religion do we need?” The war they fight against us is a war against every value I hold dear: life—supported by reason, productiveness, and self-esteem.

Fight for these values explicitly, and we’ve already won the war of ideas.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Salute to Norman Borlaug

A great man has passed, and his name is Norman Borlaug.

I first became aware of his work via Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, in this following clip:

What this man did is great deed in promoting human life, and extending humankind’s understanding and control of nature. It also served as a direct counter to the ’60s era “panic” about mass starvation and famine arising from overpopulation. There’s still plenty of ingenuity and room left for people to live, and men like Norman Borlaug are the people who have seen the problems and solved them.