Monday, November 23, 2009

Different Aspects of a Unified Whole

One of the things I like best about cognitive science articles and textbooks is that the authors are as likely to use female as male pronouns when referring to characters that don't have a specific gender such as "the reader" or "the average person" or "the main character of the story", it's refreshing and exciting.

I also like the silly examples they use. In a recent paper Daniel Dennett, a highly influential figure in the field, made a lengthy example of his vacuum and then descibed "Dennett's lost sock center: the point defined as the centre of the smallest sphere that can be inscribed around all the socks I have ever lost in my life."

I also find in the writing moments of insight into the incredible beauty of the world, "The most admirable and crucial feature of human intelligence that I see around me is not any ability to be right all the time, but an amazing competence in getting things on the right track once our beliefs, plans, or actions, have gone astray. As Joerg Siekmann once said, the most admirable moments in a mathematics seminar are not when someone presents a well-oiled proof, but when he discovers a mistake and recovers on the spot." My favorite moment of any ballet performance I saw was when Rex Herrington lost his balance doing fouetté pirouette and rolled out of it to come up on one knee, arm extended to his beautiful leading lady as if he was about to propose. Now that is grace.

My essay for a cognitive science course, is not coming together as I would like; but on the bright side, when I wrote to Code Yeller in alarm "I started talking to Mum about my essay and suddenly realized I am fucked. Oh shit."
Code Yeller wrote back, "Awesome. You are closed to finishing then. :) You've reached a critical stage, just pass it and you're done!"
So basically, I have to be like Rex Herrington, roll up onto one knee and extend my arm to my leading lady. No probbrem.

1 comment:

Filly said...

LOVE the Rex reference:)