Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No, the other way.


What a vivid memory. When the light was low, one could see a forest of spikes on the oscilloscope. As the light increased, they smoothed out into a horizon like trace. The adventure of seeing phenomena BEFORE he understood the theory seemed to access a part of his mind that felt complex relationships without sacrificing the sophisticated implications. Concrete leading to the abstract. He was lucky to be their then. Few were so fortunate at a time when the data was far less accessible than now.

Spoiled as a young researcher because he did not have to rigorously pour through the literature? Perhaps not anymore than those who could afford to be where such literature was concentrated and had followed a prescribed path to be entitled to access it and the 'librarians' that guarded the gate?

The groove seemed to work well, it was a standard. But in far too many cases, it led away rather than to the better new. He had discovered a path less accepted, and less traveled. A high road through the mountains of wonder rather than the valley of low risk.

Some would see but imagination could lead them astray. Others could not see because there was measurable doubt. The trained eye could split the difference. And with a little technological magic, even more.

After that really big war, cool stuff was everywhere and there were many smiling at what could be done with it. Over the decades since, it was not so much that we could see aspects of nature better than ever before as it was that doing so had fulfilled the implicit promise that we too would begin to create just about everything.

Is there a narrator whose voice we trust? That can tell a story of epic discovery as it happens? Does something dip its finger into the soup tasting just enough to describe its culinary essence in a language that nearly all can understand? Is the chronology of physical events, reality or is it just how the memory seems to a critical mass that really matters?

"These dyads … many flavors. When she was little, what looked good was assumed to taste good. Ahh… but what 'looks good' is so malleable. Is that what makes it appealing? It is symbolic of the change we value … is it life?", a father speaks of a mind emerging.

"Rules of Chaos. Chaos of Rules. How 'bout we build a bridge and call it the Middle Path?", was written on the 'subway walls'.

1 comment:

  1. Farnsworth, photo-multiplier, applications driven.

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