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Things to explore?

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Things to explore?

#1 Post by Dave B » January 16th, 2016, 12:37 pm

A sentence in a Steampunk book made me stop and think a little. Probably a reiteration but fresh to me:
Science might save a man's life but his imagination makes it worth living.
As I said, made me think (must stop reading such things at 11pm!)

I thought about science, art. Imagination, genius, creativity. About Leonardo, Newton, Clarke-Maxwell, Faraday, Einstein and the rest. Not all true polymaths but with enough depth and breath to tackle the big questions.

Was a long time until I got to sleep, maybe I will write it up one day.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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John G
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Joined: February 3rd, 2016, 2:44 am

Re: Things to explore?

#2 Post by John G » February 22nd, 2016, 2:17 am

Is it possible to be a polymaths in our modern society. The information singularity that science spawns is growing at such a rate that I am not sure what that word would mean in our society.

Depending on which metric you use our science knowledge doubles ever year or every nine years. It exponential. If you look at science publication citations, the easiest way to access a researched subject, you get

The rate of growth in scientific publication and the decline in coverage provided by Science Citation Index]

[Images from Article]
The past.

Image

and then now and the future.

Image

I find it interesting that the paper is on citation services not being able to keep up. :)

The local university has a degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Science fuels the imagination. Otherwise, it's an illusion. :)

Dinner rolls are done. (The important things in life.)
A good learner is forever walking the narrow path between blindness and hallucination. ― Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm

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jaywhat
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Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:53 pm

Re: Things to explore?

#3 Post by jaywhat » February 22nd, 2016, 6:50 am

... and its only Monday morning !

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Things to explore?

#4 Post by Alan H » February 22nd, 2016, 10:24 am

That's fascinating, John G.

It must take years of study to get to any depth in, say, biochemistry. Given the rate of expansion, it must be difficult even for scientists in a narrow field just to keep up.

I know several people who trained as doctors who are now lawyers or vice versa. I can only call them sadomasochists - I cannot conceive of even getting through one of those, never mind having the drive or ability to change course so drastically (one friend who trained and practised as a lawyer and who is now training as a doctor is a single mum with a six year-old). It might be that skills gained from learning medicine can be applied to law and vice versa, but that is still a feat I am in awe of.

I'm not sure they are necessarily polymaths, but I think there are still some around, There is one in my mind who's fairly well known who has contributed in several completely different fields, but I can't have had enough coffee this morning yet to remember...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Things to explore?

#5 Post by Dave B » February 22nd, 2016, 11:39 am

Very interesting, John, the growth of knowledge seems to be getting out of hand at all levels, medical doctors certainly can't keep up in my experience!

Had probs on Internet connect, will read, digest and comment when stuffed with lunch, the one-glass bottle of vino a friend gave me and probably had a postprandial Zzzz.

Now it's time for a mug of spearmint & chamomile infusion...
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Things to explore?

#6 Post by Dave B » February 22nd, 2016, 1:43 pm

Be interesting to plot this out over historical events, year by year. Wars always sour (must check my typing! :laughter: ) advance technological development overall, the Age of Computer Games probably caused a pimple (plateau?) in computer science/technology along with a small spike in behavioural psychology, the latter feeding back into games development.

Feedback could be a bug factor here, if polymaths need a brain the size of a planet the multi-disciplinary environment is the next best thing with chemists spiking off physicists etc. Two small discoveries may invoke the Gestalt effect, making a huge one available. Feedback definitely grows exponentially!

What of pure, blue sky maths then? Fermat's Last Theorem was interesting, but... Suppose it might inform a physics maths type that something is possible, way above my GCSE grade!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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