“Nevertheless, the fact is that there is nothing as dreamy and poetic, nothing as radical, subversive, and psychedelic, as mathematics. It is every bit as mind blowing as cosmology or physics… and allows more freedom of expression than poetry, art, or music… Mathematics is the purest of the arts, as well as the most misunderstood.” - Paul Lockhart
I know I’ve posted this before, but it’s always worth revisiting. So great.
Intelligence Squared U.S. sponsored a debate on the following bioethical dilemma:
What if, before your children were born, you could make sure they had the genes to be taller or smarter? Would that tempt you, or would you find it unnerving? What if that genetic engineering would save a child from a rare disease?
The experts in favor are Sheldon Krimsky from Tufts and Robert Winston of Imperial College London. Weighing in for the opposition we have Nita Farahany of Duke and Lee Silver from Princeton. Check out the audio from that debate here. It’s a conversation that we’ll continue to have for years to come. What are your thoughts?
With great scientific power comes great scientific responsibility.
I know you love fractals, because we’re friends, and all my friends love fractals. We’ve seen them in nature, in the recursive spindles of branching rivers, but they’re more rare in living things (although our blood vessels follow a certain fractal-like pattern as they spread to capillaries).
That’s why it makes me so happy to see fractals captured in an imaginative art/nature intersection. Silvia Cordedda uses fractal generation software to digitally draw fractal flowers. They are mystically unreal (unfortunately for us) but they remind me of several near-fractals in actual flowers.
That’s right, fractals (or at least near-fractals, because they aren’t infinite) DO exist in nature, and you’ve probably seen them. My favorite flower fractal? Romanesco broccoli (yep, it’s a flower!):