Ignorance Does Not Mesh

The Guardian has an excellent article that is very relevant to the Mesh Belief posts:

We take our young children to science museums, then as they get older we stop. In spite of threats like global warming and avian flu, most adults have very little understanding of how the world works. So, 50 years on from CP Snow’s famous ‘Two Cultures’ essay, is the old divide between arts and sciences deeper than ever?

“The new age of ignorance”

via reBang who fingers two key quotes

Ordinary people have to keep up. In the world we live in, the new economy, you have to become scientifically literate or you will fall quickly from view.

We no longer make and mend, so we no longer know how anything works.

I would note too that this isn’t just about money – science plays key roles in health, global warming and art too. We don’t have to have an age of ignorance but to stop this trend we need to focus more on people(yet another reason to use the term meshverse) and lots of good simulations and visualizations aimed at making complex phenomena more comprehensible to non-experts. The emphasis is because this cuts both ways – the scientifically literate need to be literate in the arts as well. A number of posts here in the MJ deal with education and there are many examples in Croquet.

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3 Comments »

  1. […] Ignorance Does Not Mesh […]

  2. Nelson said

    Standing still or resting on one’s laurels in today’s world means that one is going backwards at an ever increasing rate. Why are people clinging to conservatism when we live in such a magical time of innovation? The science of 100 years ago is incorrect but so is the science of 2 years ago. However, the art of 1000 years ago is as valid today as ever. What have we done by taking art away from our children and why are we surprised that achievement levels are dropping?

  3. Laurence said

    “Standing still or resting on one’s laurels in today’s world means that one is going backwards at an ever increasing rate. ” – nice observation. One of the casualties of radical scientism is that true science gets co-opted to serve the religion. For example, Newton’s laws of motion are valid within an inertial frame of reference but when extremists put forth the notion that science is the only way, it fosters the idea that scientific laws are always final and complete expressions. This notion is both untrue and unscientific. By definition, good science has to establish the bounds of it’s validity. Scientists come up with theories all the time but not all are widely accepted by other scientists. Priests of scientism will often overstate the validity of their theories. As with art, there’s a range of quality in science. In the end, I think science and art may be two sides of the same coin of life.

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