I’ve been viewing this work as that of an artist that plays with ideas.  As an artist, I change or modify my perspective on a sweep of data until I acquire a position (have an experience) that suggests beauty, subtlety and complexity.  I then evaluate those ideas based on how potentially useful they are.

In other words, I am looking for useful stories.

I am coming to the conclusion that the world is so complex and so gorgeously constructed that any theory–that is what I specialize in, creating theories–can only be a temporary, partial explanation.  It feels obvious that the universe was created by god as artist.  It is while deeply engaged in the artistic process that the universe feels most understandable.

So, I look for patterns.  If I had been trained in music, I would be composing and playing tunes.  That not being the case, I compose and play the patterns evident in the world around me.  Theory formation is so like music because those patterns I draw out from my environment are so deeply influenced by my culture, the information available, my sense structure (sight, feeling, hearing, taste and smell) and my personal experiences.  The theories I come up with are not arbitrary, but they are deeply informed by my place in space and time.

Whereas a musicians works with notes, bars, phrases and musical sentences, I as a theorist play with fads, trends and transformations.  I parse out time by examining social pattern durations and look for the beautiful, subtle and complex larger patterns evident in this world that I see, hear and feel.

There is as much truth in a theory as there is reality in a song.  Every song serves to communicate emotion and create a consensus about how the world works.  Every theory seeks to consolidate structure long enough to make it useful to perform predictions.  Time is an issue.  Reality changes as time flows, and a theory can grow dissonant, like a song developed for ancient ears.

I am an artist playing with fads, trends and transformations, constructing melodies that make it easy for listeners to feel how the music sounds in the moments coming up.

The narrative fine arts (music, dance, song, storytelling) often allow the participant to predict the future in a fashion that makes it feel like what is being created is by both artist and participant.  The artist sets up a structure that allows specific futures to unfold.  The performer and the audience member experience closure at the conclusion of one of the many predicted pathways.

Concluding that reality is so deep, subtle, complex and ever changing as to be ungraspable except by works of art, I would suggest that science might be usefully redefined as art.  Let’s give up this idea that something can be known.  Reality can only be romanced.


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