Archive for February 2015
Leonard Nimoy is dead—and unlike his alter ego, Spock, he is unlikely to be miraculously restored to life.
This might seem a sad day for Trekkies everywhere, but I suspect that both Leonard and Spock would have considered sadness “most illogical”:
He, by human standards, lived long and prospered, his body of work remains even in the absence of his physical body, and his age and relative inactivity makes it unlikely that he would have made any major further contributions to the world, even had he lived for another few years. Sadness would be better directed at the limitations that aging ultimately places on us.
Instead, I suggest that we see this day as an opportunity:
An opportunity to celebrate a wonderful actor, the iconic character that would not have been without him, and the positive influence on several generations of nerds that both of them had.
An opportunity to remember, in these times of growing anti-Semitism and absurdly loop-sided views on Israel, how much good the Jews (to whom Leonard belonged) have done for the world through their entirely disproportionate accomplishments, be it with regard to science (Einstein, Feynman, …), movies (Spielberg, Mel Brooks, …), music (Mendelssohn, Mahler, …), and virtually any other area short of sports. Indeed, if asked at fifteen who my favourite (for want of a better word) “celebrity” was, it would likely have been a toss up between Einstein and Mel Brooks, with Spock being a strong candidate for favourite fictional character. They currently have provided roughly a quarter of all Nobel laureates.
The analogy between the benefit of the small minority of Jews to this world is comparable to the benefit of the one-man minority Spock to the Enterprise.
An opportunity to remember that life is short and that we should make good use of it. We may only have limited control over how long we live, but whether we prosper is mostly up to ourselves in today’s Western world.