16 March 2009

Quote of the day: Anders on the "perfect throw"

In a flashback before the nuclear bombing of the Twelve Colonies, Anders, a star professional athlete, is interviewed by a news reporter. She congratulates him on his Hall-of-Fame worthy career. Then she asks him about how he feels about the fact that he hasn't won a championship yet.
If you want to know the truth... I don't really care about the stats. Or the cup, or the trophy, or anything like that. Um, in fact, even the games aren't that important to me, not really. What matters to me is the perfect throw... making the perfect catch... the perfect stepping block. Perfection is what it's about. It's about those moments when... you can feel the perfection of creation. The beauty of physics, the wonder of mathematics. And all the relation of action and reaction. And that is the kind of perfection I want to be connected to.
- Samuel T. Anders, "Daybreak, Part I," Battlestar Galactica
I love this quote. It's beautiful. It encapsulates how I feel about life. The moments matter more to me than the end result.

I play hockey for that magical moment when I see the puck, I know I'm going to get it, I know what I'm going to do, and everything happens the way I planned without conscious thought.

I do physics for that moment when I'm working with a colleague and I'm overwhelmed by the spiritual experience of sharing such intellectual passion.

This is a tangent, but I thought I'd mention a special moment for me. Many of my undergraduate physics classes were taught by these brilliant particle theorists. I remember one day, sitting in class, tuning out the lecture and just marveling at the professor's genius, passion, and gifts of communication. But it wasn't just that one guy, there were four of them!

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