Sunday, May 07, 2006

Artists and Scientists

Do you ever wonder about things? I mean really deep things, not how they figured out how to do all the industrial, micro-electronical, medical, higher educational or other silly intellectual stuff. More important things - like what it’s all about? I find my mind going there from time to time and I think that there is inspiration in those moments. It is the realm of the hunch, the intuition, the bright idea and the hypothesis.

Where did things like language come from? Some one had to think of it. There must have been a seed that was nurtured by untold generations of peoples until we arrived at the array of language we have today. What about the other social institutions… their similarities and differences? Moments of inspiration punctuated by flashes of brilliance over and over again for millennia. And then carried on to the next generation.

Origins and destinations. Where have we been and where are we going? It’s fascinating and bewildering. Any one of us could have that next hunch… that idea that will enable us to peer into a world beyond our four dimensions. The intuitions that will enable travel at light speed or even be able to manipulate time. Maybe less ambitious goals may be realized, perhaps by building a source of cheap, clean and unlimited energy. Remember, it was just one simple, beautiful equation by a man named Einstein that unlocked so much of the development that we take for granted today.

It starts, I think, with wonder. We have a curiosity about us, an ingrained thirst for knowledge. It is present in the artist; it is present in the scientist. It’s in all of us and at times the amazement is too strong to ignore. Yet, I’m afraid that the older we become, the more jaded we become and the less mesmerized we’re left. It becomes more about the next dollar rather than the next discovery. Being right becomes more important than finding truth.

Stare at the night sky. Study the ocean waves. Feel the quiet of the forest and the solitude of the desert. There is so much more. Doesn’t it just make you wonder? Tell me it doesn’t leave you in awe.


Saur♥Kraut said...

I agree, but there are so few thinkers now. Most of it is due to the government's de-emphasis of quality education in the public schools. Of course there ARE some privileged children that put learning first, and are interested in stretching their mind. But, it wouldn't be in the government's best interest to have a thinking population, so the importance isn't emphasized.

Those of us that stubbornly cling to such ideals solute you. I'm glad you're there, in Cali, writing for us.

As for where language came from: what, you don't believe the Tower of Babel story?

As a Christian, it's one of the things I wrestle with: how much of the Bible is true? There are stories like this which stretch my credulity. I can even buy the story of Noah and the Ark better than the Tower of Babel story, but I've never really delved into WHY one seems more believable than the other. The scholastic explanation is that God didn't want people to easily continue being co-conspirators. Of course that begs the question: why does he allow skyscrapers then?

Ah well, I digress. But what I like is that I can do that in here! Great post.

Saur♥Kraut said...

I used the word scholastic, but I should have emphasized that it's Biblical scholars who give that explanation. Common scholars generally see the Bible as a collection of fables, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Wow...what a great and thought provoking post. I found you via "Old Lady"
And yes, all of what you said makes more sense than much of what is going on in the world today. And the older I get, the more I appreciate and yearn for the true nature of things.
I'll be back to visit.

Bar L. said...

great post as always, Mike. My brain hurts from thinking too much sometimes. I try to do as little as possible these days.

mckay said...

"Stare at the night sky. Study the ocean waves. Feel the quiet of the forest and the solitude of the desert. There is so much more. Doesn’t it just make you wonder? Tell me it doesn’t leave you in awe."

it does. it does. the problem for me (and others in society) is that i don't take the time to stop and look and contemplate. there's too much noise, too many distractions. it seems i need to make a date to be silent and look at the beauty of this world and and think.

i feel the remote is #1 killer of contemplation...that and the earbuds people use to block out the world while walking around in it.

neal said...

I never actually thought about were languages came from but I have wondered how certain accents came from within a certain language. Like how the southerners drawl and the northerners pawk there caw.

I took a photography course once and the instructor asked us if we had ever seen how tourists run around shooting pictures of everything. He said they are seeing things that we see every day for the first time. To be able take photos of something we should look at everything as if we are seeing it for the first time. I think that is the mindset required to be able to question things and think of new answers or ideas.

Just my two cents...

awareness said...

I found you when I was searching for readings on the Butterfly effect........ and have read some of your more recent postings. Wow. When, I read about your reasons for starting up your own blog, I felt like I was reading my own testimonial. Interesting! I welcome you to check out my blog.........though I tend to jump into various topic venues, you will find my recent take on "Science and Art" and various serendipitous postings of trying to encapsulate awe and wonder.

BTW........I was up very early this morning and quietly watched a glorious sunrise over the river where I live. Monet must've done that himself many times, because he was able to capture one just like this morning's. Yes, lately I have realized it is time to stop and enjoy the creations around well as to share my thoughts, ideas, in a multi-sensory way with words to my peers.

I will peak into your blog regularly now that I have stumbled across it.

Enjoy your day................I send you a small but distinctive flap of a Canadian butterfly :o)