Tuesday, May 12, 2009

[Yasmin_discussions] One Two Three More Cultures


I enjoyed your story about random generators on computers
that in fact are pseudo random generators

the conclusion of your story was

¨""That's the story. Its point is that students usually have no way to
understand, let alone develop for themselves those transformations.
But they do need them now. C.P. Snow would treat this more or less as
a language problem. The two cultures cannot talk to each other. But I
have come to believe, it is a matter of attitude. What do you expect
and request from yourself!""

Frieder Nake

I think I agreee with your point= its what I call the burning issue problem.
When you really need to do something you dont ask the question what
university department teaches it, or which funding agency paid for it,
you work with the people who have the expertise you need whether they
have a phd or not or what profession they call themselves.

But the problem is quite deep, because depending on the way you
grow up, some things are natural and some things are really difficult;
I was just reading Alan Lightman's book of essays " a sense of the
mysterious" which is a great book on the two cultures debate

( there is an interesting interview of him on line

Lightman re iterates a " wisdom" that i remember my father telling me
as a kid= Alan Lightman makes the generalisation that there are
a number of good examples of first rate scientists who went on to
do good work in the arts and humanities, but there are almost
no examples of people who started their careers as artists and then
went on to make important discoveries in the sciences or engineering
or mathematics

If he is right= there is not only a matter of the attitude as you argue,
or of language problems as you quote Snow, but that in fact the way
we are trained as kids and young people actually changes your brain
and the way that you perceive the world; Someone with a strong
mathematical training as a young person, actually sees the world differently and
thinks differently than a person trained and who worked as a poet or painter
in their youth.

Is this true ? is this "asymmetry" true between how the arts and the sciences
as training affect a brain structure/cognition/perception differerence ?


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