Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The true Copernican revolution

A slightly abridged version of this should probably have gone on Twitter, but I don't have an account there. Why? Because I don't want to generate "content" for yet another smug internet zillionaire; and because I would probably have 3 "followers" there. Anyway, I was in Torun a few days ago, in Poland. The old city there is quite impressive - in fact, the English adjective "impressive" doesn't quite begin to convey the feel of it. Ouitside of the old town there is, though, a big glitzy mall named after Copernicus - who was born here 540 Earth rotations around the sun.

At first I thought naming a tacky shopping center after the great astronomer was something approaching sacrilage. But then it struck me - it was, after all, his discovery that triggered the avelanche which has brought us here. And, as another fitting celebration of Copernicus’s contribution to Western civilization, there is the portrait above which hangs in Torun's - well, "impressive" does seem to cut it here - Center for Contemporary Art. I am not sure who produced it - perhaps the Zeitgeist.