Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday Miscellany

This week's miscellany ... hmm ... a little bit of science and a little bit of poetry.

First the science (see I don't always torture my gentle readers with math).

Take a look at this explanation of why we have so much trouble with the concept of evolution as presented at Mixing Memory: Thinking About Evolution: Cognitive Factors That Get in the Way. I'd call this a definite "must read."

Then there is poetry. I grew up in the Northeast at the end of the 60s. It seemed that we were all either writing poetry, writing songs, or writing both. When the theme wasn't the evils of war, the poetry was pretty self-consciously arty. You can, however, breath a sigh of relief. The poetry is not mine, but William Blake's. This is just one of my favorite poems and has been rattling around in my head all week.

The Tyger
William Blake

Tyger Tyger. burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye.
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears:
Did he smile His work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

On that note, Happy St. Patty's Day and enjoy your weekend.


Johnny - Oh said...

Thanks for putting up that link to Mixing Memory's post. Definately interesting stuff. I'd be interested in seeing more on your idea's about "folk Math" as well. Neato stuff!

MathCogIdiocy said...

Glad you enjoyed the link. Mixing Memory along with Developing Intelligence and Ars Mathematica are my almost daily blog readings.

I have to take a look at the concept of "folk" math. It may actually fold in really well with my primary interests. But in the meantime, I have to do a major rewrite/expansion of my research project paper (courtesy of my advisor who is on my sh*t list right now) so new stuff is on hold.

Johnny - Oh said...

Ah well, keep doin' what you're doin' then. I'll wait for the Folk dissertation. In the meantime, I'll have to check out DI and AM a little more in depth. Seems like there's good food for thought on their sites. Thanks again, and good luck with the paper.