In Science The Stabilizing Objective Tendency Predominates

Conversation In Thin Air Continues

July, ’80

“You see, it’s all about time and place,” the Philosophy Professor said, “a time to move forward and a place to rebel, a time to attack and place to settle down. Einstein had to reject the Newtonian paradigm before he could move on, and according to Cassirer, that process is inherent in the functioning of symbolic forms. In the relation between the symbol and its significance a polarity exists. In symbol formation there is a tendency toward stabilization and a tendency toward the breaking apart of permanent symbolic patterns. Myth explains new phenomena in terms of past origins. Language conforms to rules, yet over time, phonetic and semantic change takes place. Art inspires, but as a cultural phenomenon, it always remains in communication with its traditional forms. In science, the objective, stabilizing tendency predominates, but innovation and change will never be completely subsumed under determinate concepts. That’s where Einstein…”

“Maybe Noel,” Tony interrupted, “you’re referring to a different Einstein. The one that I thought we were talking about is the one who eliminated the confusion concerning space and time. We have known for a long time that people in other cultures experience space and time differently. But that’s the beauty of Einstein’s work; now we can all agree that space-time intervals are the same for everybody, even for space aliens traveling at close to the speed of light. We now know that the length of a space-time interval between any two events is the same for everybody.”


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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One Response to In Science The Stabilizing Objective Tendency Predominates

  1. bwinwnbwi says:

    Einstein believed that scientific knowledge ennobles true religion—not the religion that inspires fear in God, but rather a religion “capable of cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself.” For Einstein, “the grandeur of reason incarnate in existence” was the highest religious attitude.

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