and open the door.
Even if there's only
the darkness ticking,
even if there's only
the hollow wind,
go and open the door.5
As a scientist, Holub is concerned not only with asking questions,
but also with methodology: how we try to answer those questions. In
"Brief Re-flection on Cats Growing on Trees," Holub de-scribes how
a kingdom of moles investigated the unknown world above ground.
They elected a committee to supervise the project.
sent up a quick and clever mole who, when he left the
underground, spotted a bird sitting in a tree.
And so a theory was established; up there birds are growing
Holub cautions against easy or obvious answers. His background as
a scientist compels him to make the reader acutely aware of the challenges
of science and of seeking knowledge. For example, in "Brief Reflection
on Accuracy," Holub relates how two local timekeepers-one a clock
maker and the other a soldier who fires a cannon at "six o'clock sharp"
each day-unwittingly rely on each other for an authoritative time
Also, he notes how slow and piecemeal intellectual progress can prove.
In "Brief Reflection on the Theory of Relativity," the French poet
and penseur Paul Valéry asks Einstein how he approaches new
ideas. The re-nowned physicist replies: