Today’s awesome morning meeting was directed by Mabe Fratti. First, she asked for 4 volunteers and she gave each of them a piece of paper with a feeling or emotion that they had to portrait only by making one sound. Isa, the two Javiers and Kata volunteered and illustrated sounds of nostalgia, sadness, happiness and anger. It was very fun and cool that we guessed the word or something related to it. Then, Mabe played 7 tracks of classical pieces and we had to write down the feelings that we were getting from listening to these tracks. It was very cool to listen to real music and to let our feelings evolve and our imagination flow. When we shared what we got we discovered that many times we had written similar things and some people even imagined sort of the same story.
Epicycle on Consilience by Edward O. Wilson: During my individual time I was taking notes on my reading on Consilience and I’ll share them right here, and then I’ll share what we discussed in the circle (dialogue).
Theories: are a product of informed imagination.
Science: is the organized systematic enterprise (def. undertake, new project) that gathers knowledge about the world and condenses the knowledge into testable laws and principles.
Reductionism: Looking for the right questions and then finding them solutions or experiments. This is the primary and essential activity of science.
19th century: Rekindle of the idea of achieving objective truth.
• Positivism: Only certain knowledge is the exact description of what we perceive with our senses.
• Pragmatism: Truth is what consistently works in human action.
Tautological: Every conclusion follows completely from its own premises, which may not have anything to do with the real world. (Mathematics is tautological).
An idea that I got from reading this chapter and one that I will mention in the dialogue part is that maybe an objective truth will never be able to be defined, but we still have to try. Trying is the only way of knowing if we will be able to do it or not.
Chapter 5 starts with an analogy of the Greek mythology’s labyrinth and consilience. Now I am glad for the course I took on mythology and vampires in EPRI some months ago because I can understand the references Wilson makes with Greek mythology (this is the 3rd time he mentions something related to the Greeks and this chapter is named after Ariadne’s thread).
Consilience among the branches of learning is the Ariadne’s thread needed to traverse it. Theseus is humanity, the Minotaur our own dangerous irrationality. Near the entrance of the labyrinth of empirical knowledge is physics, comprising one gallery, then a few branching galleries that all searchers undertaking the journey must follow… While there is an entrance, more or less, there is no center, only an immense number of end points deep within the maze. In tracking the thread backward, from effect to cause, assuming we have enough knowledge to do so, we can begin with only one end point. The labyrinth of the real world is thus a Borgesian maze of almost infinite possibility. We can never map it all, never discover and explain everything. But we can hope to travel through the known parts swiftly, from the specific back to the general, and—in resonance with the human spirit—we can go on tracing pathways forever. We can connect threads into broadening webs of explanation, because we have been given the torch and the ball of thread.
Wilson also shared that he had a project once, he is a biologist, and he asked for help from a chemist and a mathematician. He was practicing what he preached, solving a problem of biology with physics and chemistry.
Wilson also talks a lot about going from a level of specific organization (like an organism) to a more general level (like a molecule). He also mentions this structure: superorganism—-organism—-glands & organs—-molecules. He describes this in page 93 as the challenge of scientific holism (going from general to more specific levels of organization). About this I feel like he is talking about going from the micro perspective into a macro one. By examining the macro we can learn more not only about one organism in specific, but also about many, many other which are obviously composed by molecules. We have been working on the micro perspective for years and we still have no cure for cancer which is only incrementing. Maybe we should try to go on and change a little on the process and methods we are using to achieve what we want to achieve.
Discovering stuff in any field, according to Wilson, will help us to get to the objective truth. He believes that there is only on truth which we can achieve or know starting from any branch of knowledge. Then, Wilson goes on talking about truth and he asks this question: “How can we know that nature’s algorithms are the same as our own?” Which leads to:
Complexity theory: Born in the 1970s. Searches for algorithms used in nature that display common features across many levels of organization. The opposite side argues that everything is too complex to be reduced to elementary processes. The opposite side also says that there can be no matter that predicts the wholes.
Fervent advocates: Believe in complex laws. They believe the can leapfrog conventional science. The opposed to this believe that there is not enough information yet and that their conclusions are vague.
Dialogue on Consilience:
Marce mentioned that what if the scientific method is wrong? Then, all the things that have been proven by it will not be true anymore. Wow, how can we be sure that we know? How do we know that what we know is the truth? How can we know that we are not mistaken?
Wilson believes that there are laws that guide both science and human society. For example: math and physics relate to the collection of men. He also believes that the celestial bodies discovered by astronomy and physics could serve as a model for human society.
Performing Arts: We discussed the play of Macbeth by William Shakespeare ♥. We’ll have auditions for the play characters and we will probably be playing it either this or next year. Here is a link where you can look for the characters in the play: http://nfs.sparknotes.com/macbeth/characters.html. Sounds like a lot of fun. I will be auditioning for Lady Macbeth role and since there are more men than women on the play and since in the MPC we have more women, I will also be auditioning for Macduff role. I love Shakespeare’s plays and I’ll really like to act in one of them. I hope that we get more into Shakespeare, there are some books that mention him. I love the Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet. I haven’t read Hamlet yet.
During our programming class we gave or “one minute” pitch on our app ideas. I had many of them and people had very cool ideas. Some ideas where kind of difficult to program, so Kyle told us to re-think and re-organize our ideas or to try to make things simpler or to set up a small goal that we can be able to finish before this year ends.