Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ready for Winter!

Hooray for new winter boots!!! The lighting in these pictures make them look more green than they really are..
But, they're from a Canadian company and we'll see how they hold up to a Maine winter.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This is totally me!

I saw this comic in another grad student's cubicle and it's totally me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Today my green tea bag told me:

To learn, read.
To know, write.
To master, teach.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rediscovering that Proust was a Neuroscientist

It was over a year ago I believe that my mom recommended a book to me called "Proust Was a Neuroscientist". I was immediately intrigued by the book and its exploration of 19th century creatives as individuals who discovered truths about the human brain that neuroscience is now only rediscovering. Nonfiction however, sometimes has a tough time holding my attention and although I started the book, I never finished it. As these things always go, I was working on school stuff at the local coffee/burrito/hangout and sitting next to me on the bookshelf was the book. It's funny how things surface and resurface in life. So, inspired again, and feeling more ready to really read it at this point in my life, I bought it (and at $6 it was a bargain).

I told you all that to share with you a passage from the Prelude to the book. It's about art and science, two very important topics/concepts to me and things I continually strive to integrate.
Here it is:

"Unfortunately, our current culture subscribes to a very narrow definition of truth. If something can't be quantified or calculated, then it can't be true. Because this strict scientific approach has explained so much, we assume that it can explain everything. But every method, even the experimental method, has limits. Take the human mind. Scientists describe our brain in terms of its physical details; they say we are nothing but a loom of electrical cells and synaptic spaces. What science forgets is that this isn't how we experience the world. (We feel like the ghost, not like the machine.) It is ironic but true: the one reality science cannot reduce is the only reality we will ever know. This is why we need art. By expressing our actual experience, the artist reminds us that our science is incomplete, that no map of matter will ever explain the immateriality of our consciousness.

The moral of this book is that we are made of art and science. We are such stuff as dreams are made on, but we are also just stuff. We now know enough about the brain to realize that its mystery will always remain. Like a work of art, we exceed our materials. Science needs art to frame the mystery, but art needs science so that not everything is a mystery. Neither truth alone is our solution, for our reality exists in plural."

Hopefully that gets you thinking. Perhaps I'll find another good artistic outlet soon...but for now, back to science.