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A Smoother Pebble, A Prettier Shell
Ken Stange
Published by Penumbra Press (1996)

Subtitled Art & Facts from a Computerised Expedition into the Surreal Land of Science, this is a startling collection of 47 art works inspired by science, with explications of the poems embedded in the images.  It also includes an introductory essay discussing the relationship of art and science—and the potential of the computer to bridge the gap between the “two cultures.”

"I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." Isaac Newton

Penumbra Press (1996)
ISBN: 0-921254-76-8
Softcover (6x9 inches) 72 pages
Signed by author edition: $25

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Link to publisher unsigned edition:  $12.95

A Smoother Pebble, A Prettier Shell (1996)

Excerpt (sample page)
The Bittersweet
The Bittersweet
The ultimate form of symmetry is entropy, a disorder so complete that it forms the final supreme order:  a randomly distributed, cold, dark uniformity.  That this is the inevitable fate of the universe is predicted by The Second Law Of Thermodynamics.

Evolution is sometimes naively considered to be an anti-entropic force, an empirical rebuttal of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a readily observed case of an increase in order and complexity.  However, just as there are islands of order in the midst of chaotic systems, so too evolution and life itself are only temporary, albeit wondrous, digressions from The Path that leads to a uniform universe of a few degrees above absolute zero, a cold, dark place, devoid of life and structure and consciousness, but perhaps beautiful in a way we will never have the opportunity to appreciate.

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