23:36 March 12th 2019
- I found a particularly useful passage in Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions , in the chapter titled "Progress Through Revolutions". It brings to mind the interests of Adorno and I had one of those moments where, after so much reflexive academic discussion of scientific development and paradigm shifts, I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing on the page:
"Can very much depend upon a definition of 'science? Can a definition tell a man whether he is a scientists or not? If so, why do not natural scientists or artists worry about the definition of the term? Inevitably one suspects that the issue is more fundamental. Probably questions like the following are really being asked: Why does my field fail to move ahead in the way that, say, physics does? What changes in technique or method or ideology would enable it to do so?"
The amazing thing about this quote is that the writer, a philosopher of science, takes this moment to consider the questions of artists in relation to physics, despite himself remaining in the field of science. The indefatigable leaps of scientific development critiqued in this book (did Joseph Priestley discover oxygen or dephlogisticated air?), which provide some comfort, given that art is not consistently spoken about in such terms. Kuhn points out that artists did once speak about advance of technique in, eg. painting, and this is what is lost now in with modernity. Function moves ahead, aesthetics float in a nebula of opinion.
- One of the reasons I've decided to write a blog from scratch is to keep in practice with HTML & CSS as well as other languages to come. It's a real pleasure to have total control over the structure of the project and intimate knowledge of the project from the foundations to the rafters.
- One presumption of our period is that we young adults of the millennial world will one day have to contend with the advances of technology, leaving us as baffled and angry as our grandparents. However, given the rate of development that we are accustomed to, it may be possible that either adaptation to inexorable technological advance becomes "second nature" to future generations, or that future technologies will be adapted to particular generations, with operating systems and ergonomic interfaces designed specifically for certain groups of age & ability. There will surely soon be an emerging industry in UX for "older adults".
"Apparatus for Breathing Dephlogisticated Air", Wellcome Trust