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Some Media January 1, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in economics, politics, science.

The Time Magazine has a series of 10 best political cartoons of the year here. This one is my favorite.

I recently sat through and watched the first 8 of the 10 videos from “Free to Choose” by Nobel Laureate Economist Late Milton Friedman. Each video has a 30 minute documentary followed by a 30 minute debate on that. Highly recommended. In particular, watch the 2nd one – the panelists include a young Jagdish Bhagwati and even younger Donald Rumsfeld. [ Recorded in 1980 ].

Yet another series of videos can be found here. This time its physics, sport, astronomy, religion, philosophy etc. I watched this one from Richard Feynman – The pleasure of finding things out. It starts off with an interesting video segment – a transcript of which I found here.

I have a friend who’s an artist and he’s some times taken a view which I don’t agree with very well. He’ll hold up a flower and say, “look how beautiful it is,” and I’ll agree, I think. And he says, “you see, I as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing.” And I think he’s kind of nutty.

First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too, I believe, although I might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is. But I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower that he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside which also have a beauty. I mean, it’s not just beauty at this dimension of one centimeter: there is also beauty at a smaller dimension, the inner structure…also the processes.

The fact that the colors in the flower are evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting – it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question – does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms that are…why is it aesthetic, all kinds of interesting questions which a science knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.

I dont either :).


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