13.0483 science

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Mon Mar 13 2000 - 07:53:27 CUT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 483.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 07:24:26 +0000
             From: "Osher Doctorow" <osher@ix.netcom.com>
             Subject: science

    In Humanist 13.478, Willard McCarty mentions that we might have friends
    among the philosophers, historians and sociologists of science and
    indicates his hope that humanities will be studied via a philosophy or
    sociology or history of the humanities now that research in the humanities
    is externalised via the computer.

    It is my conjecture that love, friendship, hope, kindness, responsibility,
    knowledge are eternal, and so there probably will be some day an
    interdisciplinary study of humanities, science, philosophy, sociology and
    anthropology, history. I think that the universe distinguishes between
    positive events which benefit it and its subsystems and negative events
    which detract from these, and I have elsewhere called this the
    Nonnegativity/Positivity and Asymmetric System conjectures and argued that
    they follow from LBP. Nothing benefits the universe more, I think, than
    great literature, music, art, and the emotions that I have mentioned. They
    touch the heart of the universe as much as the heart of humanity. The
    closest that we can come in academia to this is the interdisciplinary
    study, to cross the boundaries of ourselves and others out of hope,
    responsibility, friendship, kindness, love, knowledge. We keep our minds
    open in this endeavor, changing our own ideas as much as we change
    others. We create, discover, invent, intuit, synthesize, analyze, think
    and feel more than within our narrow boundaries or even the narrow
    boundaries of our departments and of publishing versus perishing. We will
    discover that in science and philosophy, in sociology and anthropology and
    history, the same factors are at work and are central. In a sense, only
    the details differ. The computer can help us immensely to cross these
    boundaries, but we must explore ourselves as well because the computer has
    never felt the emotions and the motivations and, if Professor Sir Roger
    Penrose is correct, never will.

    As for myself, I must give at least half the credit for anything that I
    have discovered to the interdisciplinary dialogue which I have had for over
    30 years with my wife, Dr. Marleen Josie Doctorow, a clinical psychologist
    and partisan of Shakespeare. But that is a story for another time.

    Yours truly and sincerely,

    Osher Doctorow

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