Tuesday 28 November 2017

Hard science, soft science and story.

There are many approaches to understanding anything, and for my own convenience, I separate them into hard science, soft science and story.

Hard science, in my view, would depend on closed systems of language known as jargon, and maths and statistics. As a field of study becomes more and more narrow and tested for validity, its language becomes more and more obscure to the layman. Physiological jargon, which comprises many other kinds of jargon, including chemistry, physics, anatomy and links to pharmaceutical jargon as well as statistical values is such an example.
The study of electricity can be complicated when you get down to the level of electromagnetic movement. My physics teacher at school taught me that electricity was measured going one way, but that it actually went the other way. Most of the time is doesn't matter. If you move the switch, the light comes on. But if you want to understand it properly, you need to learn the jargon and be able to speak it someone else who knows it.

Soft science is more interdisciplinary. It allows jargons to make friends. Take NLP, neuro-linguistic programming, for instance. This blends psychology, psychotherapy, neurology, linguistics and sometimes hypnosis, but they prefer not to talk about that, usually. Musicology links vibrational resonance with performance with theory of all kinds, including anthropological differences of taste, meaning and movement.

Story is what the neural system does in order to produce subjective stability, purpose and change.

Ever noticed how archeology finds a tooth, a bone and a fossilised dropping, and comes up with a story and a picture of a new cryptosaurus? I'm not poking fun: this is the best way to go to establish anything at all. Advocates have to test each others' stories in court, and the judge and jury decide who to go with.

So, to simplify, hard science locks you into jargon, soft science allows stories to mingle and story is what it is. Or, more significantly, what you declare that story to be. Neural activity is said to connect the dots, but the story I perceive is that it actually creates the dots and then connects them. Your subjective role is crucial. "Thoughts become things. Choose the good ones". Thanks, Mike Dooley. Choose your dots, because if you don't they will arise more likely to be your enemies than your friends.

There are obvious dots, such as finance, legal systems and contracts, but they are all man-made and mean nothing in the longest run. How to live, how to love and how to say goodbye are ways of creating the dots we choose to connect. There are even more dramatic dots such as earthquakes, floods, plagues and droughts. These are not man-made, and require a different kind of reading and connecting.

The head doesn't think, it merely houses the brain. To separate the brain from the neural network is to declare the lines and stations more important than the trains and passengers. What you feel is important to you, and so you will figure it out, like how to avoid the next earthquake. This is useful, like anaesthetics.

The point is not to judge or evaluate hard science, soft science and story. Each of these has a real role to play, and all knowing is incomplete until every story is known which is poor expression and incomprehensible language.

But one story to cover everything in this universe? Never.

Studying fingerprints, unique as each one is, is interesting, touching and being touched is exciting, negatively or positively. Each time you point a finger and create a dot, something becomes possible. The story is the next step.

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