Thursday, April 02, 2009

Blinding Me With Science

Blinding Me With Science: The two big scientific revolutions of our lifetimes are the understanding influence of evolutionary biology on behavior (and the reverse) -- which will upend the current social landscape in one way or another -- and the general acceptance of quantum entanglement (nonlocal or spooky action at a distance) with its implied rejection of Special Relativity (i.e. nothing can travel faster than the speed of light) -- which will upend our current understanding of existence, causality and reality.

Scientific American has an article on the latter about what an exceedingly bizarre place the universe is. Beyond the imagination of just about anyone but a madman.

In the former, a hot topic is something called Signaling Theory, which is covered decently at Wikipedia. Now author William Fleisch has produced a book entitled Commupance: Costly Singalling, Altruistic Punishment and Other Biological Components of Fiction (linked over to the left), which attempts to explain how humans can become so emotionally involved in stories that are known to be fictions. The practical applications are obvious for any writer (or filmmaker). Obviously, this is coming up fast on my reading list.

I point all this out not only because it is interesting but because -- cross referencing the above NYC post -- this is the sort of thing the American Museum of Natural History should be developing exhibits on, not rehashes of maudlin, malaise era, PBS pablum.