Things by Ricardo Vilar


A collection of some captivating words, poems, book excerpts, quotes, etc…

“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.”

― Herman Melville

Things remote.

Here and now.

We did not ask for this room or this music. We were invited in.
Therefore, because the dark surrounds us, let us turn our faces to the light.
Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty.
We have been given pain to be astounded by joy.
We have been given life to deny death.
We did not ask for this room or this music.
...But because we are here, let us dance.”

The open road softy calls…

Ad Eternum…

In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of -- moments when we human beings can say "I love you," "I'm proud of you," "I forgive you," "I'm grateful for you."

That's what eternity is made of: invisible imperishable good stuff.

A Simple Cards Game

If you shuffle a deck of cards correctly, you will have created a configuration that has never existed before. There are 8.2 x 10 exponent to 67 different combinations, and it would take longer than the current life of the universe to see them all. I've given this concept some thought, and I think it's a little bit scarier than many people realize.

See, according to mathematics, as many as 91.5% of Solitaire games should be winnable... and yet, in spite of this, people who have actually played the game report that only 8% of games result in a win. Now, given that shuffling a deck of cards almost always results in a new configuration, and given that approximately 90% of those configurations should result in a winning game of Solitaire, we're forced to conclude that somehow, we're seeing less than 5% of the available configurations for a deck of cards.

By a strange coincidence, it turns out that less than 5% of the universe is comprised of normal matter and energy. The rest of it is dark matter and dark energy.

What does this mean?

It means that when you shuffle a deck of cards, you're only going to wind up with observable configurations. 95% of that 8.1x1067 can be classified as "dark configurations." However, mathematically speaking, the more you shuffle a deck of cards, the more likely it is that you'll stumble on one of those "dark configurations."

In other words, it's only a matter of time before someone answers some major astrophysics questions using only a deck of cards.



We are the only superpredator known to exist. Our best friends are apex predators we allow to live in our homes and treat like children, and we are sufficiently skilled at predation that we have allowed them to give up hunting for survival.

We accidentally killed enough of the biomass on the planet that we are now in the Anthropocene era, an era of earths history that marks post-humanity in geological terms. We are an extinction event significant enough that we will be measurable in millions of years even if we all died tomorrow.

We are the only creature known that engages in group play fighting. Other animals play fight, but not in teams. This allowed us to develop tactics, strategy, and so on, and was instrumental in hunting and eventually war.

We are sufficiently deadly that in order for something to pose a credible threat to us, we have to make it up and give it powers that don't exist in reality. And even then, most of the time, we still win.

Consider with the perspective of animals: "They can kill at a distance. They can control fire. They can camouflage themselves. They can mimic our noises. They can track you, can chase you for days until you drop down dead, can sometimes survive lethal doses of poison to come back again later. They have warped, hyperintelligent, fanatically loyal, physically deformed versions of us as their battle thralls, and often those thralls harbor an intense hatred of their original species. They move around in metal beasts that can crush you without slowing down, and if one of us happens to somehow kill one of them anyway? That's when the rest get real interested."

The beauty we seek...

There are moments when we stop doing whatever it is we were doing and take a look at things of beauty and not realize the beauty we seek is already inside of us. Each and every single one of us is special in a sense that you don’t have to do anything sensational to be loved. 


He always thought of the sea as 'la mar' which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats, bought when the shark livers had brought much money, spoke of her as 'el mar' which is masculine. They spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy. But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favours, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought.

— Ernest Hemingway in “The Old Man and The Sea”.

If there is one excerpt of words that has echoed through the last millenia and has been repeated by many like Einstein, Newton, Galileo and such it is one that first started with Bernard de Chartres and he used to say that we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants — So that we can see more than they — and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness or sight on our part or by any physical distinction — But because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.