6 votes

Alone on a mountaintop, awaiting a very hard rain

2 comments

  1. [2]
    gpl
    Link
    I thought this was a beautiful portrait of solitude and science.

    I thought this was a beautiful portrait of solitude and science.

    2 votes
    1. Atvelonis
      Link Parent
      Beautiful, but also lonely, and a little sad. There's something eerily fascinating about seeing abandoned or dilapidated research bases and such, the prides of 20th century advancements reduced...

      Beautiful, but also lonely, and a little sad. There's something eerily fascinating about seeing abandoned or dilapidated research bases and such, the prides of 20th century advancements reduced almost to nothing, at least in appearance. An observatory this big looks like it should be filled to the brim with scientists, and yet there are only three.

      On Mount Aragats, that hero is Artash Petrosyan, 70, who has been cooking at the station for 32 years. Once, he served a crew of 100; now he often cooks for himself and two young technicians. The youngsters take turns manning the station 24-hours a day, every day of the year, year after year, Ms. Grigoryants notes, “wondering if one day they might find themselves like the old man who spent half his life here.”

      The scientist within me applauds the resolution that the people working at this station have; the human within me wants to say that they're wasting their lives. I like solitude—in small bursts. Perhaps more importantly than the duration, I also like to be able to control it. Here, there is no control; it's not just quiet, it's isolating. Clearly the work being done here is far from useless, but at a cost I'm not sure I could bear.

      But perhaps I am not in such a different position from them after all. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how much my agency has been reduced since the start of the pandemic. And, in a certain sense, we're always trapped inside our little bubbles somehow or other—maybe scientists like the above have simply chosen to accept that.

      2 votes