Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman is a novelist, essayist, physicist, and educator. Currently, he is Adjunct Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I got interested listening to him being interviewed, with the first part of the interview mainly about the relationship between art & science.

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Kim Hill last week

Heartening because he & Kim were able to broach this interrelationship at all. That is what makes this such a treat to listen to. He is a writer & a scientist. He is married to a painter.

Frustrating because he sees a gap between the sciences and the arts, creativity, that need not be there at all. I am thinking of the science that Moreno advocates, and I write about in my paper, see this post & link here.

He speaks about how the idea is more important in science than the presentation. But is it? Beauty & truth are more interrelated than that. Also the expression about the world is always a map, the nature of the correspondence between the map & the territory is varied but at this level e=mc2 is a map in much the same way as the Mona Lisa.

True, the terms are defined in scientific language. But language itself is also defined, with more fuzzy, and hence often more effective rules. Science has not learned the sociometric method yet. Just wait till it hits the world! The sociometric revolution is yet to come.

Beauty is Truth

Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Ode on a Grecian Urn – John Keats

I just listened to a

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TED talk by Murray Gell-Mann

He is eloquent about how beauty works in the investigation of truth in science. Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, there is pattern in nature, there is symmetry and self symmetry.

Why this is such a great talk for me is that it ties in with an essay I wrote a few years ago (and it is still under construction) about practice based evidence in psychotherapy. I write about a profound knowing that happens in psychotherapy that is scientific, and not at all like the physical sciences. Nor is it part of the social research that looks scientific but is just pseudo science.

Psychotherapy & Science

especially the section on Alice that concludes:

Finding repeating patterns in what might at first glance appear to be unrelated material is very like the scientific endeavour in the physical world. Once a pattern is clearly seen then we have established a law of nature. To think of the work with Alice – which is typical of our psychotherapeutic work – as a form of research requires a shift of perspective, but it is clearly in a similar realm.

The dynamics that repeat independently of the content are understood through a visceral experience, tears and laughter. When yet another instance of the pattern is spotted it corroborates and often extends the understanding. When the dynamic is evident, though in a minor way in the psychotherapy itself it is a full experiential knowing that is shared in the psychotherapy space. Both the psychotherapist and the client can easily use such words as knowing, understanding which are the very things that scientific research aims for.

Psyberspace Podcast – Reviews & reflections on success gurus

A mix of stuff in this 35 min podcast.

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Psyberspace Podcast 19 May 2008

Review: Digital Art Studio – Techniques for combining Inkjet Printing with traditional media Amazon

Reflection: “limited editions” in the digital medium.

Review: The Brief Wonderous life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Loved it. Amazon

Review: New Dimensions Podcast – Innovate Like Edison

This is followed by some thoughts about success gurus.

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Covers:

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New Dimensions audio

Bought & download these four items.
Will review any I like later.

EXPANDING CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE INFOSPHERE

Guest: Steven Vedro
Program #3235

REV UP YOUR CREATIVE GENIUS LIKE EDISON

Guest: Michael Gelb
Program #3234

Host: Michael Toms
Interview Date: 1/8/2008

THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF BEAUTY

Guest: J. Ruth Gendler
Program #3232

Host: Justine Willis Toms
Interview Date: 12/6/2007

Media: MP3 Download

THE EVOLUTION OF DARWIN’S MESSAGE

Guest: David Loye
Program #3230

Host: Michael Toms
Interview Date: 12/3/2007

Matthew Collings, deep and shallow

I listened to a podcast today for the second time – Kim Hill interviewing Matthew Collings. I realised I had blogged it before in Thousand Sketches, and there is a link there too – I recommend it.

If this is an age of shallowness then it is sort of deep to be shallow. Kim: “Shallow is the new deep”.

I don’t buy that though. It is an age where we are more conscious than ever and we flee. There are oceans of depth and we flee to the shallow. But not everyone. The “long tail” comes into play. At the top of the zeitgeist it may be shallow, ironical & tabloid, but down the tail it gets more interesting, there are activists, thinkers, and people having real relationships.

Anyway, it was a good listen even for the second time, happened cause I was cleaning up after re-installing a backup.

Great podcasts – Friendship

BBC – Radio 4 In Our Time – Philosophy Archive

This is a treasure page. I have to be in the mood for this rather heavy stuff, but they are worth the effort. I have subbed to them and have a back log on my player. Unfortunately they are only streaming them there at the moment – Total Recorder would get them though. I particularly enjoyed the history of friendhip one today.

Friendship

It seems that with Imago we have a philosophy and a practice of love, built on all the traditions before it, and still those old traditions, even on friendhip, can amplify our notions of love.

Joe Boyd on Kim Hill

Radio NZ – Saturday Morning with Kim Hill Podcast Feed:

Playing Favourites with Joe Boyd Legendary producer of key UK musicians during the 1960’s. This is a longer version of this interview than that broadcast and is without the music because of copyright issues. It includes the true story of Pete Seeger and the “axe incident” at the Newport Folk Festival, how Joe Boyd got into – and out of – scientology, and the story behind the song ‘Duelling Banjos’. (Sat, 19 Aug 2006 10:10:00 +1200)

Kim digs up these old boomers and I learn more about the era I grew up in than by being there. Great. He produced my then favourite band The Incredible String Band. I particularly like to hear the longer version of these interviews. By the same token – when I don’t like one I can skip. Pity the music is deleted – Request, please put up a list of the deleted songs on the show notes, one might have been by Nick Drake who I am now curious about.

The other thing that Kim Hill seems to be thriving on are scientists. Some very good ones on her show. For example: Brian Cox

The sad thing is that they don’t archive these shows. Criminal to have the asset, produced on public radio, hidden from future use. The chances are these links are dead by the time you read this.