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A Dear Old Friend Got Lost in the Intricacies of the Planet (or of his Mind)

E8 beautiful geometry. Click for source.

This, together with this music, is to commemorate Angelo, colleague and friend, systems & networking engineer, mathematician and physicist as well as passionate linguistic, a totally eccentric, harmless and absent-minded individual who since the end of the 80s onwards did violence to a nature inclined to quiet studies, as if to test himself – his father had been very successful internationally as a hydraulic engineer – and embarked on deeds greater than him.

A quiet and shy person, he was deprived of both that minimum knowledge of men and those qualities required for planning and successfully implementing solutions in troubled regions of the earth.

He worked here and there as if bitten by an incurable malaise, eager to explore languages within dangerous areas of Africa, the Middle East and South America. His inadequacy produced in him an anxiety which kept growing in the course of the years – some of his projects turned out to be unrealistic  – and which we clearly felt in his letters, which became more and more sporadic although no less significant.

Ψ

When one day mails from him arrived more bizarre than ever and written in a patchwork of languages, of which a few artificial and invented by him, we clearly understood that something was wrong.

No more than ten, these letters are all we know of the apparently most difficult period of his life. A sort of final communiqué? Gods only know. They have been exchanged as relics among relatives and friends, their delirious depths plumbed in search of secret signs or revealing thoughts. They are too private to be published, but if I did you’d probably understand how interesting, ingenious, defenceless, crazy, tormented, adorable he was, without any doubt one of the weirdest and best persons I’ve ever met.

Extropian, another sui generis (and fortunately sedentary) character, and the friend possibly closest to him, keeps on saying he started to get worse the day he discovered Garret Lisi’s theories on quantum mechanics and stubbornly tried to give a contribution to them, although, knowing Extropian too well, I doubt this to be much more than a jest to play things down a bit, or, as we say, per sdrammatizzare.

His last mail, written on October 21rst not many years ago, is absolutely incomprehensible.

Searches conducted by relatives, friends and the institution he was working for in the country where he was operational at that time produced no results. He seems to be vanished.

Ψ

If you are still alive, Angelo, why don’t you contact us, dear friend? In which meanders of this planet (or of your mind) did you lose your path?

About Man of Roma

I am a man from Rome, Italy. I’m 60 and a Roman since many generations. In my blog, manofroma.wordpress.com, I’m writing down my meditations. The idea behind it all is that something 'ancient' is still alive in the true Romans of today, of which few are left.

19 responses »

  1. Once we have bitten the quantum apple,
    our loss of innocence is permanent.

    —R. Shankar, Principles of Quantum Mechanics

    Sad to hear about your friend. Hope he contacts everyone soon and I hope he is well.

    Reply
  2. Paul Costopoulos

    I know nothing of mechanics and much less about quantum mechanic. What I do know, however, is that the way you write about your friend shows that he is not gone. He is very present in your mind…thus he lives and is present with you whatever happened. Could be what afterlife really is.

    Reply
  3. I hope your friend finds his way to you and his family. My best wishes!

    Reply
  4. @Poonam

    Thank you Poonam! You are such a dear woman to say that and your support is heartily welcome.

    Reply
  5. Sad, but a touching portrait of your friend. At least you have had the happiness of knowing him.

    Reply
    • @Lichanos

      The thing is he was shy but had wit and humour. We had fun together. Intricacies of mind … Extropian might be right when he says we should make the human mind better (whenever we have the means to do it).

      Reply
  6. Paul Costopoulos

    Well, MoR, we do have the means to do it and blogs such as this one is one of these means. Now having the means is not the same as having the will to use them or to profit by them. This is where freedom of choice and responsibility come into play.
    Buana notte, carissime.

    MoR: Buona notte caro Paul.

    Reply
  7. This is poignant. Special.

    One of the most touching I’ve seen.

    I like how Paul interpreted Angelo’s presence.

    Angelo does seem to live on.

    Reply
  8. @Paul Costopoulos
    @The Commentator

    Thank you my dear Canadian friends!!

    I believe that philosophy, ethics and also non fanatic religion can help the minds of men to improve etc.

    My blog is just a dilettante’s blog, a retirement hobby.

    Yes, Angelo is still alive in us.

    I am not an Extropian, or maybe a very moderate one. I believe advances in science and technology will make human life better and longer. I also believe that some diseases or just tendencies, when they are genetic, will be cured proactively via some kind of action. That all this ‘improvement’ could escape control scares me, but I doubt it can be stopped, the desire of living a better life being too strong.

    Although I love to live in this age where things are the way they are. A chacun son époque. A ciascuno la sua epoca.

    Reply
  9. I hope Angelo finds his way back home.

    I don’t know what to call this, but you have written it in such a way that it touches the heart directly.

    May the angels watch over him.

    Reply
  10. Wow. He sounds a fascinating guy and someone who was (is) loved by a lot of people. A very nice but sad read. But, as has been said by others, he lives on through your remembering. This, for me, is immortality.

    Reply
  11. @Ashish
    @Andy

    I thank you both for your words. Of course we remember him so much!
    More than one year ago we talked a lot here (or in Ishmeet’s blog, Ashish?) about the dangers of thinking too much. The thing is that to Angelo everything was introspection, even moving from one place to another. Which, to a certain extent, is true for anybody: travelling is exploring both the world and ourselves. But he went too far on that, he wasn’t but a prisoner of himself wherever he went. Only very few tough men can bear such stress and confinement for a long time.
    But this is only one aspect of what happened. Angelo’s personality is way too complex. A bit I’ve already said in this post, though I’ll say no more for privacy reasons, my dear friends.

    Reply
  12. Algernon’s principle might be relevant here. It says that “Any simple major enhancement to human intelligence is a net evolutionary disadvantage.”
    Named after Algernon, the mouse from the novel ‘Flowers for Algernon’, written by Daniel Keyes Moran, it states that human intelligence is at its optimal level. Not maximal, but optimal for our survival. Higher intelligence could be dangerous!

    Reply
  13. @scerir

    Welcome to my blog scerir. I see, interesting comment. Yes, it might be that Angelo was too intelligent. On the other hand we often hear that human intelligence is only utilized at its minimum, which is probably just a myth. Although what I mostly meant was that some diseases or fragilities, like dementia praecox, cognitive disintegration, extreme anxiety disorders etc., could be cured proactively. I’m just wondering.
    Daniel Keys Moran seems to be a very influential SF writer from California, or am I wrong?

    Reply
  14. Aloa my Romano friend. This is a touching story I didn’t know about.
    We are too logical and ethically constricted to lose ourselves somewhere, isn’t?
    On the other side I think that everyone, sooner or later, had the strong desire to disappear from all this.
    May your friend find himself anyway.
    Ciao

    Reply
  15. @Milanese

    Aloa Milanese. Happy you’ve come here friend. Yes, we have ties, responsibilities, people we love deeply. Angelo instead was alone, and he got more and more lonely in the course of the years. Plus his mind was special in his own way, which made him sensitive and fragile. Yes, the desire to disappear somewhere can arrive, but we should understand that happiness is often so near, and it is sweet to get old with the people we’ve shared life with.

    Reply
  16. Pingback: Too Much Vacation « Man of Roma

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