Chomsky on culture; Scientists on acid

Two snippets from the new Scientist this week create an interesting apposition: New Scientist (meeting Chomsky to PR ...

March 18, 2012

Two snippets from the new Scientist this week create an interesting apposition:

New Scientist (meeting Chomsky to PR his new book):

In your new book, you suggest that many components of human nature are just too complicated to be really researchable.

Chomsky

That’s a pretty normal phenomenon. Take, say, physics, which restricts itself to extremely simple questions. If a molecule becomes too complex, they hand it over to the chemists. if it becomes too complex for them, they hand it over to the biologists. And if the system is too complex for them, they hand it to the psychologists…and so on until it ends up in the hands of historians or novelists. As you deal with more and more complex systems it becomes harder and harder to find deep and interesting properties.

The second snippet that struck me was a five page article, speculating on improvements to the  Standard model of physics.  Stringballs, Tetraquarks, Glueballs, Inflatons, Pomerons, Leptoquarks, Winos and Anyons are all speculated as additions to our basic model of Physics, which already explains – (drumroll) nothing. Even if the Higgs Boson is found and we finally understand why things we can see have weight; even is String theory is proved and we understand how weight leads to gravity; even if supersymmetry is proven and we understand where 80% of ‘other inert stuff’ comes from that doesn’t fit the model. Even if I could understand what any of this meant…

Chomsky is still right.

We must respond as humanly and obscurely as possible…

Over to Basho:

“Furu ike ya

Kawaza tobikomu

Mizu no oto”

Translations here: including from Allan Ginsberg

Tagged as: Science



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