Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Lightman cometh

This week the Sunday Globe Arts and Ideas section ran an interview with Lightman, who recently wrote about the 25-some-top scientific miracles of the 20th Century. Among the types of discovery, he notes, is One kind that is just an accident! Penicillin is always the big [exemplar - templar] there. Of course you have to have developed receptivity to appreciate the value in the mistake. In Lightman’s words, “You have to have a prepared mind and be open.” XRays would have been discovered earlier had a certain decaying process not been overlooked. Anyway, according to Lightman,

First you work hard on a problem and have what I call a prepared mind. You've done your homework, you've defined the problem. Then you get stuck. But getting stuck is a very important part of the process. It's a good thing, not a bad thing. It catalyzes the creative imagination. There is a change in perspective, a shift in thinking, and you see the problem in a different way. That leads to discovery.

Besides an open and prepared mind, you need that shift in perspective. These so often come, it is noted, away from the lab. Scientists make “breakthroughs while driving, walking in the snow, and even dreaming.” It’s a tale oft told in the story of scientific miracles.

Alan Lightman will discuss ''The Great Scientific Breakthroughs of the 20th Century" at the Museum of Science in Boston at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec 2.. For more information, call 617-723-2500

Miracles of science - The Boston Globe
There are six or seven categoies of discovery, says Lightman, one of which is accident. Getting stuck is an important part of the process

Also noted – Fuzz tonics
History of fuzz –Tripod
Did Link Wray invent fuzz tone. Here’s one vote yeah.
Rock steady - The Boston Globe
Includes this on Hendirx: “Stylistically, Hendrix music is where the old embedded sadness and defiance of the blues meet a furious stream of information from the future -- ethereal static, new weapons and chemicals, technology's song to itself. Voodoo Child Harold!

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