Hewn from the World


Pomegranates at Alexine’s today. According to my research, pomegranates have various connotations of good luck in many cultures. The red color denotes life and fertility; their health and medicinal properties represent health; and their plentiful round seeds suggest wealth and prosperity.

After feasting on Good Luck food at my friend Alexine’s house, and sharing a walk around the city with Ann, on the drive home we listened to Robert Krulwich’s commencement address to CalTech.  (I truly have some of the coolest, geekiest, most inspiring friends, and I’m very grateful.)

Here’s one of my favorite parts:

And what scientists say is not their off-hand opinion, it’s hard-won information, it’s carefully hewn from the world. It’s not the bunch of ideas from a tribe of privileged intellectuals who look down on everybody, even though they are indeed up here looking down on you.  But it’s my sense that if more scientists wanted to, they could learn how to tell their stories with words and pictures and metaphor and people will hear and remember those stories, and not be as willing to accept the other folks’ stories, or at least, there’ll be a tug of war.

Oh, what the artworld could learn from science.  How to break free from that privileged, self-referential celebration of elitism and throw the doors of the party open to the rest of the society….

Oh, what the artworld and the science world can learn from compelling storytellers and cultural connectors like Krulwich!

Then I came home to find this video shared by a colleague, which sums up this line of thinking beautifully.  (The best part is when the cartoon scientist smacks the cartoon artist across the face.)

Bring it on, 2013.  Piles of work, feeling brave and inspired to tackle it.


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