Monday, August 29, 2005

Clearing the slate

I'm feeling blocked. I have a lot to say, to share, to vent, to dump, but this mass of tangled extension cords isn't showing any viable ends to pull at.

There are tens of things I've started to write and never finished. I've collected links, quotations, commentaries, skeletons of ideas. In an effort to shake the debris out of my head, this week (and maybe next) I'm culling, purging, editing, if not entirely finishing, some of my drafted thoughts.

In February I read something somewhere about The DaVinci Code, leading me on an Internet trail about Templars, noting how stories about Templars bring out the lunatics (or maybe the lunatic in all of us). I promised myself to reread (and, this time, to understand) Foucault's Pendulum (not yet attempted).

Umberto Eco on cultural anthropology.

Umberto Eco on science:
Modern science does not hold that what is new is always right. On the contrary, it is based on the principle of "fallibilism" (enunciated by the American philosopher Charles Peirce, elaborated upon by Popper and many other theorists, and put into practice by scientists.

According to this principle, science progresses by continually correcting itself, falsifying its hypotheses by trial and error, admitting its own mistakes — and by considering that an experiment that doesn't work out is not a failure but is worth as much as a successful one, because it proves that a certain line of research was mistaken and it is necessary either to change direction or even to start over from scratch.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Liz got me started on Foucault's Pendulum back in December. I'm still reading it.

Granted, I'm one of those guys that reads four and five books at a time (like he did in college), but that's exceptionally slow for me. By comparison, I just wolfed down The Demon in the Freezer in two days.

At the moment, my goal is to finish it by the end of the year. Since I'm only halfway through, I think I'm going to have to re-double my efforts.