Voltaire’s Sirian giant Micromégas comes across a battalion of humans at war, and finds himself shocked at the barbarity of what he sees. He asks a philosopher: What is going on, here?
“It is a matter,” said the philosopher, “of some piles of mud as big as your heel. It is not that any of these millions of men that slit each other’s throats care about this pile of mud. It is only a matter of determining if it should belong to a certain man who we call ‘Sultan,’ or to another who we call, for whatever reason, ‘Czar.’ Neither one has ever seen nor will ever see the little piece of Earth, and almost none of these animals that mutually kill themselves have ever seen the animal for which they kill.”’
“Oh! Cruel fate!” cried the Sirian with indignation, “who could conceive of this excess of maniacal rage! It makes me want to take three steps and crush this whole anthill of ridiculous assassins.”
“Do not waste your time,” someone responded, “they are working towards ruin quickly enough. Know that after ten years only one hundredth of these scoundrels will be here. Know that even if they have not drawn swords, hunger, fatigue, or intemperance will overtake them. Furthermore, it is not they that should be punished, it is those sedentary barbarians who from the depths of their offices order, while they are digesting their last meal, the massacre of a million men, and who subsequently give solemn thanks to God.”
The voyager was moved with pity for the small human race, where he was discovering such surprising contrasts.
How this relates to scent? It doesn’t. But it relates to our scary world, which we hope to make better, one friendly group of curious minds at a time.
On that note: July brings us scent robotics with Machine Project, an aromatic concert by Snowblink, a talk about the practices of ‘genius’ in perfumery, an exhibition by Micah Hahn in our experimental project space, and classes galore.