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Aug 19, 2019 04:21:22

Let's stop separating science and art

by @basilesamel PATRON | 403 words | 597🔥 | 648💌

Basile Samel

Current day streak: 597🔥
Total posts: 648💌
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It's commonly assumed there are two kinds of people in the world: those who do science and those who do art. 

The dichotomy is ingrained in our minds as early as primary school. You have a math class, then a plastic arts class. The former weighs more in your trimestrial evaluation. 

Then, in high school, the best students go to the Science branch while the marginal ones are told to integrate the Literature branch or to drop out to find a specialization program. 

In college, the inequalities grow even more apparent. You assign yourself a label and a tribe you proudly proclaim. Differences are mocked, and it goes on throughout adulthood. We all probably know someone who likes to label himself a pure-blooded scientist and never misses an opportunity to mock liberal arts majors. The opposite happens as well: self-proclaimed artists taking immense pleasure in denigrating nerds and technologists.

This artificial border between science and art, between the rational and the creative, is utterly ridiculous. 

I always loved both literature and maths throughout my formative years. You can learn a lot about maths by reading the philosopher Spinoza, how he uses a demonstrative approach in his writings. Similarly, you can learn a lot about linguistics by studying mathematics. Unlike English, a "natural language", maths (just like programming) use a formal language, a subset of our natural languages, to reason. Separating the two is just destroying opportunities for cross-domain thinking. 

We can find similar examples with biology and art, or philosophy and physics. The maker/hacker community embodies this duality perfectly: making is half engineering, half art. We like things that look good and allow us to express ourselves (art), but we also like to understand how things work to answer a particular problem (engineering).

I have a picture of a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci in my bedroom. Da Vinci was probably among the original makers, a great example of a mind who completely ignored labels to let his curiosity guide his steps. What if we stopped focusing on the differences to build cross-domain expertise instead? We need this diversity to grow further. This one-dimensionality is the death of the soul: we can do so many great things by combining two distant domains to come up with a new one. All it takes is enough courage to abolish those cognitive walls.

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    @basilesamel couldn't agree more. Mastery really highlighted to me how many great ideas came from exploring seemingly incompatible fields.

    Keenen Charles avatar Keenen Charles | Aug 19, 2019 19:14:38
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      @keenencharles One of my inspirations exactly!

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Aug 20, 2019 05:31:05
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