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Deliberatepixel / Einstein & Dali

Einstein & Dali

When I talk about the need to break down boundaries in technology and related fields, it generally involves issues of gender and occasionally race. But there is another barrier that I think deserves a good smashing just as much as the others, and that's the barrier we set up between art and science.

I've spoken before about how me being a naturally bookish and artsy chick in technology has often worked in my favor (although not without its attendant pains), but this is an issue that also works in the other direction - I feel certain that if scientists and tech people can benefit from a little right-brain thinking, artists and creative folk can learn from logic, rationality and scientific discipline. We tend to look at those two fields as worlds apart, each one unfathomable to those who don't "belong" to it. But how much sense does this actually make?

Some of my favorite pieces of art are those that can bridge the two worlds, from the brilliant twists of logic in the otherwise anarchic Alice in Wonderland to the clean lines and organization of minimalist painters like Mondrian. And not only do I appreciate more those bits of technology that incorporate good visual design (Apple products, or a particularly lovely bit of code) I adore the work of scientists like Carl Sagan, who were gifted writers and who expressed all the imagination and emotion they used in pursuing their work.

So I of course jumped on this article from a biology teacher describing how he teaches using dual examples of Albert Einstein and Salvador Dali. He wraps up with a much better summary of what I just rambled on about for three long paragraphs:

Our world might be a better and more enlightened place if all of us dropped the whole supposed left-brain/right-brain dichotomy and opened our whole minds to the full realm of human imagination as he did. The art world, the humanities world, the science world — ultimately we all live in one world, and it’s worth trying to understand each of the perspectives in it.


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todd a · 5 December, 01:21 PM · #

interesting post, jen. heard of the book, Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer? :)

Jen · 5 December, 01:23 PM · #

I think I’ve heard of it, but I haven’t read it. I assume you think I should ? :)

todd a · 6 December, 10:55 AM · #

I haven’t read it yet either. The author was recently interviewed in Wired. This post just made me think of it.

Jen · 6 December, 10:59 AM · #

Maybe that’s where I heard of it. I’ll put it on my to-read list.



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