Ayten Aydin, former writer for The Gordian, has died in Rome aged 92 after a short illness.
Ayten was born in Turkey and started her career in Istanbul where she had graduated as a civil engineer in 1951. She worked as a hydraulic engineer, mainly with the State Hydraulic Works, improving the infrastructure relating to land and water development throughout the country. In 1966 she joined the United Nations and worked at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome on global projects relating to urban development.
After her retirement she became involved in various humanitarian and cultural causes, both individually and in partnership with international organisations, working until the end of her days with undiminished fervour. As a celebration of her life, her is a selection of quotes taken from the above-mentioned book:
“[M]arginalised and exploited people start entrenching themselves blindly to ideologies, ethnic and/or religious identities and hiding gradually in their ghettos, creating slowly but surely impermeable closed systems to live in. The real result is hatred, struggle and war among people, nations and other groups with different identities.”
“The single, unifying principle encompassing all aspects of natural change is the concept of energy flow as guided by the second law of thermodynamics – energy movement. It may be one of the candidates responsible for change. Necessity and Chance interplay in the process of evolution. Thus it is a process of determinism and chance.”
“Art and culture are positive forces in the evolution of empathy, by telling at their core, stories about the human condition, thus feeding our basic instinct for empathy.”
“Human life, which was governed for millions of years, was governed by natural selection. It is now almost totally governed by artificial selection with its many accompanying real and ethical problems, requiring remedial actions and alterations before things spiral out of control.”
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