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Which clippings match 'Albert Einstein' keyword pg.1 of 2
29 JANUARY 2016

Why Man Creates: the great (Western) progress narrative

"How unlikely that one of the least definable films from the last half-century would also be one of the most beloved. A favorite of classroom AV diversions, and an abridged presentation on the very first episode of '60 Minutes' helped make it the most viewed educational film of all time. 'I don't know what it all means,' Saul Bass himself admitted, and his 'Why Man Creates' (1968) is far more loose and playful than the rigid thesis its title might imply. In fact, it is the searching and open-ended nature of the various vignettes that perhaps makes the film resonate so strongly with viewers. Though an Oscar®-winner for Documentary Short Subject, the film is almost entirely invented, apart from recollections of old masters like Edison, Hemingway and Einstein, and brief encounters with scientists striving to innovate for the betterment of mankind. Creators invariably encounter problems, and have no choice but to persevere in the face of discouragement. If the film argues anything, it is that the unbridled pursuit of new ideas makes us uniquely human."

(Sean Savage)

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1968Albert Einstein • Alfred Nobel • American Revolution • Ancient Greeceanimated filmArab • birth of civilization • cancer research • cave painting • cavemen • celebrating human achievement • creative inspirationcreativitydark ages • development of writing • dynamite • early humans • Ernest Hemingway • Euclid • Great Pyramids at Giza • Greek achievements • hand-drawn animationhistory of ideashuman civilizationinvention of the wheelinventiveness • James Bonner • Jesse Greenstein • Leonardo da VincilibertyLouis PasteurLudwig van Beethovenman • mathematical discovery • Mayo Simon • Michelangelo • nature of creativity • nature of justice • organised labour • origin of the universe • Paul Saltman • pioneering mathematicsprogress narratives • pursuit of happiness • religion • Renato Dulbecco • Saul Bassscience historyscientific progressThomas EdisonvignetteWestern culture • Why Man Creates (1968) • zero

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 OCTOBER 2013

Modern medicine evokes a Cartesian mind-body dualism

"If we look at the history of medicine, we can see that it became what it is today because of a sweeping social transformation that modernized Europe centuries ago. Urbanization and commerce, along with Protestantism and the Catholic Counter–Reformation, encouraged new ways of conceiving and interacting with nature. It was within this context that 'scientific medicine' was invented and elaborated. The particular scientific model that became predominant in Europe in the seventeenth century accepted the mind–body dualism of René Descartes, for whom the human body is a self–contained, entirely material machine. His contemporary, Baruch Spinoza, on the other hand, elaborated a more relational view, stemming from a Jewish tradition that regards the body as essential to a complex and ultimately spiritual being, and all beings as mutually dependent.

Spinoza's perspective is no less compatible with scientific medicine than the Cartesian view. For science has two complementary ways of explaining: by taking apart–as atomic physics mainly does–and by bringing into relation–as Einstein's relativity theory does. Spinoza was quite aware of the power of the first approach, as elaborated by Descartes and advanced by technologies such as the newly invented microscope. Spinoza acknowledges that the human body is composed of parts, and those parts of smaller parts still. But he recognizes also that bodies are encompassed by, and can be adequately understood only in relation to, unities larger than themselves, until we reach the widest system of all, which is 'the whole of nature.' Spinoza was an early exponent of what is known today as 'systems theory.'

Medicine in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries could have taken a more integrative path, in keeping with Spinoza's insight that we are guardians not only of our bodies, taken individually, but of the entire domain of nature with which they are continuous. Instead–for reasons that this essay will explore – mainstream medicine adopted the Cartesian machine model."

(Raymond Barglow, Tikkun Magazine, March 2002)

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16th century17th centuryAlbert Einstein • atomic physics • atomisticBaruch Spinozabodybringing into relation • Cartesian machine model • Cartesian view • Catholiccomplexitycomposed of partscontingencydualismhealth carehistory of medicinehuman bodyintegrative practices • Jewish tradition • Judaism • mainstream medicine • man and nature • material machine • medicinemicroscopemind-body dualismnatureProtestantismrelational aestheticsrelational viewRene Descartessciencescientific medicine • scientific model • self-contained • social transformation • spiritual being • systems theorytaking apart • theory of relativity • urbansation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
04 MAY 2013

The talent myth: how to maximise your creative potential

"Most of us grow up being taught that talent is an inheritance, like brown hair or blue eyes. Therefore, we presume that the surest sign of talent is early, instant, effortless success, ie, being a prodigy. In fact, a well–established body of research shows that that assumption is false. Early success turns out to be a weak predictor of long–term success.

Many top performers are overlooked early on, then grow quietly into stars. This list includes Charles Darwin (considered slow and ordinary by teachers), Walt Disney (fired from an early job because he 'lacked imagination'), Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur, Paul Gauguin, Thomas Edison, Leo Tolstoy, Fred Astaire, Winston Churchill, Lucille Ball, and so on. One theory, put forth by Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford University, is that the praise and attention prodigies receive leads them to instinctively protect their 'magical' status by taking fewer risks, which eventually slows their learning.

The talent hotbeds are not built on identifying talent, but on constructing it. They are not overly impressed by precociousness and do not pretend to know who will succeed. While I was visiting the US Olympic Training Centre at Colorado Springs, I asked a roomful of 50 experienced coaches if they could accurately assess a top 15–year–old's chances of winning a medal in the Games two years from then? Only one coach raised his hand.

If you have early success, do your best to ignore the praise and keep pushing yourself to the edges of your ability, where improvement happens. If you don't have early success, don't quit. Instead, treat your early efforts as experiments, not as verdicts."

(Daniel Coyle, 25 August 2012, The Independent)

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TAGS

Albert EinsteinattentionCarol DweckCharles Darwin • coach • Colorado Springs • constructing talent • creative potential • early success • effortless success • Fred Astaire • inheritance • instant success • Leo Tolstoylong-term successLouis Pasteur • Lucille Ball • magical status • Olympic Games 2012 • Olympic medal • Paul Gauguin • perseverance • praise • precociousness • prodigy • risk averserisk-takingStanford Universitytalent • talent hotbed • talent myth • Thomas Edison • top performers • US Olympic Training Centre • Walt DisneyWinston Churchill

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 DECEMBER 2012

Billy Bragg: 'education reforms risk stifling creativity'

"Singer Billy Bragg has warned that the government's education reforms risk stifling creativity and leaving the pop charts the preserve of a well–off public school elite.

Bragg used a lecture in memory of broadcaster John Peel in Salford to criticise education secretary Michael Gove's plans to scrap GCSEs in favour of an English baccalaureate. He also turned his ire on and 'culture–clogging shows' such as Simon Cowell's The X Factor on ITV1.

The singer and leftwing activist said the government's proposed new education system threatened to exclude creative subjects from the core qualifications expected of 16–year–olds.

'At a time of cuts to the education budget, the pressure on schools to dump subjects like music and drama in favour of those that offer high marks in performances tables will only grow,' said Bragg.

He criticised the 'insistence that knowledge is more important than creativity', adding: 'As Albert Einstein said, imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the whole world'.

Bragg, delivering the second annual John Peel Lecture at the Radio Festival on Monday, said: 'Under the English baccalaureate, with its reliance on a single end of course exam, the child with the creative imagination will always lose out to the child with the ability to recall knowledge learned by rote."

(John Plunkett, 12 November 2012, The Guardian)

Billy Bragg "John Peel Lecture", photograph: Andrew Stuart/Radio Festival/PR.

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2012Albert Einsteinalgorithmic filtersart schools • Billy Bragg • coalition government • core subjects • creative arts • creative imagination • creative professionscreative subjectscreativitycriticism • culture-clogging • DIY ethicdramaeducation budgeteducation reform • education secretary • English Baccalaureateexamsfreedom of expressionGCSEimaginationITV1John Peel • John Peel Lecture • knowledge • learning by rote • leftwing activistMichael Govemusic • new education system • Notts Unsigned • performance tablesperformativitypolicy agenda • public school elite • Radio Festival • reality television • recall knowledge • rote learningSalford • Simon Cowell • singer • skiffle • Spotify • stifling creativity • X Factor

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 NOVEMBER 2012

Dara Ó Briain's Science Club: The Story of Physics

"Balls, pendulums, apples and magnets all played their part in the story of modern physics, but then things got weird. And when Albert Einstein combined time and space, things got even weirder – step forward quantum uncertainty, black holes and the Big Bang."

(BBC Two, UK)

Fig.1 this animation is from Episode 2 of 6 of Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Tuesday 13 November at 9pm on BBC Two, voiced by Dara Ó Briain, animated by 12Foot6, Published on YouTube on 13 Nov 2012 by BBC.

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12Foot620122D2D animationAlbert Einsteinanimated information graphicsanimationAppleballsBBC TwoBBC2 • Big Bang • black holecomic book artDara O Briaindiagram • Edmond Halley • Galileo Galilei • general relativity • gravityhistory of ideasillustrationillustration to visually communicate informationIsaac Newton • James Clerk Maxwell • magnet • magnetism • pendulum • physicspicture book • quantum uncertainty • radioactiveradioactivityscienceScience Club (tv)sequential art • special relativity • speed of light • story of modern physics • story of science • time and space • visual representations of scientific conceptsx-ray

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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