Photography as an extraterrestrial invention | The stone ax Science

 Photography as an extraterrestrial invention |  The stone ax Science

A few days after his suicide attempt, Edgar Allan Poe showed up at the daguerreotype studio of Samuel Masury and SW Hartshorn in Providence, ready to capture a picture that would become part of our collective imagination. It was the beginning of November 1848. At that time, the daguerreotype had been in circulation for about ten years and Allan Poe, sick with curiosity, allowed himself to be carried away by the strange mixture of science and fantasy that surrounded the photographic process. . . And he faced the goal of an invention that he himself would celebrate as “the greatest triumph of modern science.”

Because, without a doubt, photography and its developments are the result of the scientific method. It is a technique that, in its first years, combines metals and chemical elements – mercury, silver, iodine, bromine or chlorine – and that will improve over time thanks to the development of the development process . Noteworthy is the improved process introduced by Kodak in the early seventies and known as C-41; a scientific method in which several layers of emulsion are covered with film acetate, each layer sensitive to a specific color. If we do not lose the poison of the chemicals applied to the photo, we will reach the territory of the fable to continue to invent a film that is not ordinary because it is a film that does not need an emulsion.

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It is a self-explanatory film marketed as Worldcolor based on Walter Tevis’ novel The Man Who Fell to Earth (Alfaguara), a science fiction read first published in the early 1960s and which, in soon, will become a fundamental piece of. the genre of anticipation. What Walter Tevis has done in this amazing novel is a futuristic interpretation of Christ’s arrival on Earth, a new twist on Judeo-Christian mythology with science fiction techniques, where the chicken is none other than the way it has an egg. himself.

The new Messiah comes from a distant planet. He is albino, thin and drinks dry gin. When Walter Tevis wrote this novel, he did not imagine that chemistry would be replaced by electronics, because, for its protagonist, Thomas Jerome Newton, chemistry is the physics of the complexity of matter, just as an egg is to heat. of the chicken and not the other way around.

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If he had known how science and technology progressed, the writer Walter Tevis would not have hesitated to change the direction of the inventions in which the extraterrestrial Thomas Jerome Newton would become a millionaire on our planet. Because, in addition to the invention of Worldcolor, Thomas Jerome Newton created a three-dimensional television and there is no gadget that does not bear his mark.

Finally he becomes drunk, enveloped in a sadness similar to that suffered by Allan Poe when, after trying to reduce the demons of pain with laudanum, he survived his own death and appeared in the daguerreotype studio in Providence, deciding that his sad and dark countenance came down through the generations.

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The stone ax is a section where Montero Glez, with a penchant for prose, uses his particular twist on scientific truth to show that science and art are complementary forms of knowledge.