Friday, 12 October 2012

science: then and now

if i have seen farther, it is because i have stood on the shoulders of giants. i believe that's what sir isaac newton said (though i paraphrase because i cannot be bothered to really look it up in detail right now). the caveat of this is that, for the more shoulders to stand on, the larger our range of views. and thence, to see beyond that becomes an infinitesimally more complicated process. exponentially, i should say, but for effect, let's say infinitesimally.

in any case, when i started becoming interested in science, the days were such that an experiment was 'simple and elegant'. hey, let's knock out this gene and see what happens. let's gather a significant number of statistics on an anomaly and see what the maths says. let's try putting x and y in a box for z time, and see what happens in the end. the world was new and exciting and enigmatic, and it was all in discovery to see even the slightest into the dark.

but, i reckon, 50 years from now, the argument will be just as compelling. oh, man, in the 2010's, they had it so easy, experimental design was pretty straightforward. just as how we would compare whichhunting in the dark ages as uncouth and unscientific to todays' methods, so will they with our LHCs and space voyages. i jump in arguments, but i am limited on time.

i suppose, it's all a state of mind - if you are gifted (or lucky) enough to be in the one that fits the age (and this being neither ahead or behind the times), you will be there, at the frontier, a giant of sorts, standing upon others. as for myself? i find that my time would have been in the 80's, possibly 90's. and now, the thrill of science is all too dull and delusioned for me to make much of. i would argue i should have gone into the arts, but we all know where that would end - somewhere unwell like a grotto or in my head.

No comments: