Introduction: Engaging Doubt
When I was a boy of eight or nine my parents gave me a microscope. For several months I spent a good deal of time preparing and examining slides. Most of what I looked at was unremarkable: flattened mosquitoes, dog saliva, egg yolk, blood. But what amazed me — what I still remember vividly — is that as I adjusted my focus on a given slide, or shifted the level of magnification, I brought utterly different worlds into view. It was like passing through adjacent but unrelated galaxies. With time, of course, the amazement wore off: I took for granted what had begun as a revelation. But when I think about it now, it still strikes me as extraordinary that an apparently perspicuous surface can harbour astonishing depths — that it may hold in suspension wildly disparate phenomena.
KeywordsEurope Assimilation Sponge Posit Topo
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