Perceptions of Disparate Fields of Interest

In summary: I don't know what I miss about Michigan, but I do miss the shows. In summary, I often straddle two very separate worlds. I am a musician and a mathematician, and I think that both fields are important and have their own benefits. I sometimes have difficulties understanding people in the sciences, and vice versa. I also have difficulties with people who only focus on one side of the field, and I think that both sides are important and should be respected.
  • #36
DoggerDan said:
zoobyshoe, I'm with you on that one. I dated a handful of artists. Even married one. A couple of them were adept at science, but most weren't.

Likewise, I've met many scientists, and a few of them were adept at music... but most weren't.

While it is possible to become 'adept' at both, it shouldn't be a requirement of anyone except those that want to. However, it excuses neither side for ignorance concerning a specific field.

Also, just because someone is a musician, artist, or designer, doesn't mean that he or she couldn't have become a mathematician, scientist, or engineer... they just didn't. Obviously, that applies the opposite way around, too.
 
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  • #37
turbo said:
I can tell you that her husband does not shoehorn into that dichotomy.

What dichotomy? Did you read the rest of my post?

When I was on week-long recurrent jobs at clients' locations, I often had to pay a bit extra to the airlines to take along a decent acoustic guitar, in a case-in-a-case enclosure that would help ensure that the guitar actually got there with me with little chance of damage. If I had to do it over again, I'd try to figure out a way to buy a guitar in my most frequent work-places and store it with someone that I trusted. I bought an abused Alvarez in a pawn shop in Paducah, KY, and spent most of a weekend fixing it up (neck-relief, fret-dressing, new nut and bridge, etc) and by the time I took it back home, my best (musical) friend just "had" to have it, so I sold it to him. I wanted the guitar because I am an artist. I only bought the guitar (in that crappy shape) because I'm a tech-geek and craftsman who had confidence in my ability to fix all of its problems with minimal tools, living in a motel no less.

Nice! I bought one second-hand a couple of years ago, and picking up and playing a few of my friends' guitars, I realize mine's pretty crappy. If I don't finger the strings just right, there's a lot of buzz! When I play my friends' guitars ($ to $$$), they're far more forgiving.

I'm taking it as a sign I need to perfect my fingering so that if I ever do step up to something less buzzy, I'll have already risen to the challenge! I think I have a couple more years to go, though. I did write my first song, today. Sounds 70-ish, but God has graced me with a singing voice (think Mac Davis), which goes a long way towards covering up my mistakes on the frets.

I like your comment, "I wanted the guitar because I am an artist." I've been into photography for years, but headed down to a store near the local college to buy some paints (yow$er!) and a couple of canvases. They've been prepped, and after I bought them I discovered it has something to do with eggs, which I'll probably Wikipedia over the weekend and start doing myself. Canvas is cheap. So are eggs. In the meantime, I'm saving the paints until I find my style, and I'm dabbling in watercolor on a newsprint roll. It doesn't like the wet, so I don't linger in my brush strokes, but my stuff at the 17 foot mark looks a lot better than my stuff at the 2 foot mark.

I've always loved music. I think most people enjoy music. I used to have symphonies dancing in my head, but these days they've subsided to simply melodies. I hope I can learn enough to capture them and be able to play them so that others can hear.

I only bought the guitar (in that crappy shape) because I'm a tech-geek and craftsman who had confidence in my ability to fix all of its problems with minimal tools, living in a motel no less.

I'm very mechanically-minded when it comes to diving equipment. Perhaps I simply had to. Lot's of "had to's" behind progress. I've done some woodworking, but I haven't a clue as to how to rework a guitar! Any links? I could probably build one, but I'd start with a steel I-beam and electric pickups... Not exactly fine craftsmanship.

What do you think of Ovations? Inspiration or marketing hype? I've heard a few, and played one. I'm impressed at the quality, but not the price. Get what you pay for?
 
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  • #38
I came across this quote today, made me think of this thread.

There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous. -Raymond Thornton Chandler, writer (1888-1959)
 
  • #39
DoggerDan said:
I'm very mechanically-minded when it comes to diving equipment. Perhaps I simply had to. Lot's of "had to's" behind progress. I've done some woodworking, but I haven't a clue as to how to rework a guitar! Any links? I could probably build one, but I'd start with a steel I-beam and electric pickups... Not exactly fine craftsmanship.
Look up Stewart MacDonald.

http://www.stewmac.com/

They have tons of books on how to choose the proper neck-tension for the strings that you want to use, and how to trim nuts and bridges, how to level frets, and much more. Most guitars don't need much more than these basic setup techniques.

I have patched some badly worn acoustic guitars, re-figured fingerboards, and totally refretted them, afterward. It's a whole lot easier to dive into a restoration if you don't have a lot of $$ tied up in the initial investment. If a guitar has a special place in your heart, and you don't want to compromise its sound and feel, then you might want to hire a pro to do the work, BUT if you have done enough set-up and minor repair work, you might be the best person do do the restoration and get it the way you want it.
 
  • #40
I am kind of like what the OP talks about, I love both engineering and the sciences and the arts. I cannot do one without the other. If I am doing engineering or science, I have to work on artistic things of some type as well. On the other hand, if I am doing the artsy-stuff, I have to work at engineering or science later on.

I agree that there is a perception that engineers and scientists are not creative and artists are not intelligent, but I also know that many arts are very technical and much engineering and science requires high levels of creativity.

The OP should also know if he doesn't that music and mathematics are very intertwined, Google it up. Here is a free PDF book called "Music: A Mathematical Offering" you might be interested in: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/~mth192/html/maths-music.html
 
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  • #41
CAC1001 said:
I am kind of like what the OP talks about, I love both engineering and the sciences and the arts. I cannot do one without the other. If I am doing engineering or science, I have to work on artistic things of some type as well. On the other hand, if I am doing the artsy-stuff, I have to work at engineering or science later on.

I agree that there is a perception that engineers and scientists are not creative and artists are not intelligent, but I also know that many arts are very technical and much engineering and science requires high levels of creativity.

The OP should also know if he doesn't that music and mathematics are very intertwined, Google it up. Here is a free PDF book called "Music: A Mathematical Offering" you might be interested in: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/~mth192/html/maths-music.html


Indeed, I do know how related they are. So I guess when stating that I'm caught between two worlds, it's a bit disingenuous. Nevertheless, I'm glad you understood what I was trying to say.

I always love books about music and mathematics. I actually just finished reading a couple papers about group theory in Bach. I'll give this one a look! Cheers!
 
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  • #42
As an IT consultant, I left the job for a couple of years due to stress. During that time, I drove taxis for a year. The perceptions people have of taxi drivers had me shaking my head at least once each week. I did it because I enjoy driving and people. But according to some, people drive taxis because they are poor, of low intelligence, have no other skills, or are incapable of doing anything else. I've known many university students and professionals who drive or have driven taxis, for a variety of reasons, but the perceptions remain the same with many.
 
  • #43
"I came across this quote today, made me think of this thread."

-lisab

There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous. -Raymond Thornton Chandler, writer (1888-1959)



That's a wonderful quote. It says more succinctly what I was trying to say. Yay for writers! We all have our place.
 
  • #44
narrator said:
As an IT consultant, I left the job for a couple of years due to stress. During that time, I drove taxis for a year. The perceptions people have of taxi drivers had me shaking my head at least once each week. I did it because I enjoy driving and people. But according to some, people drive taxis because they are poor, of low intelligence, have no other skills, or are incapable of doing anything else. I've known many university students and professionals who drive or have driven taxis, for a variety of reasons, but the perceptions remain the same with many.

That's unfortunate. I'm sure we all make these assumptions, though. Sometimes it's hard to remove ourselves from the societal malaise of judgment that is so forcefully thrust upon us through the media and other forces. All it amounts to is labeling people whom we do not know. If the labels are correct, it usually does us little good. And if the labels are wrong, we get a false picture of the person which can then hamper our interactions with him or her from that point on.

Some people like to live in their boxes.

Are you back in the consulting world now, or do you do something completely different?
 
  • #45
I like to consider myself a "wannabe" Renaissance man. I love science, but also art, music, philosophy, and even religion (comparative, not any specific). I probably could have enjoyed getting my degree in any of those (I have double B.S. in math and physics and M.S. in Nuclear Engineering), though I'm not sure about the job prospects for some of them. I can't read music, have tried to learn to play both piano and uitar several times but can't manage to develop the patience to make my hands/fingers do the right thing. I can however, sing like a mutha (just over 4 octave range), from operatic to hard rock, and had little training in it. So, I guess I'm one of those that sort of straddles between two worlds (if I had discovered singing a lot earlier in life I probably would have gone that career route as a professional opera singer).
 
  • #46
kings7 said:
Are you back in the consulting world now, or do you do something completely different?
I've left the world of consulting behind. I went back and did it part time for a while but decided I'd had enough, despite the wonderful $$. The thing I enjoyed about it was, being creative - creating networks, intranets, environments that enhanced business needs. I also enjoyed giving the client knowledge and control over their environment - unlike many in the game who over complicate things, making the client dependent on them.

I enjoyed the training side so much that I got my teaching qual's and now teach. I train people in certificate courses in IT, but also spend a lot of time at a community school for disconnected teens, the ones who feel alienated by the high school system or have conformity issues. The pay is not good, but it's far more rewarding than anything I've done in 30+ years of working.
 
  • #47
kings7 said:
"I came across this quote today, made me think of this thread."

-lisab

There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous. -Raymond Thornton Chandler, writer (1888-1959)
See, this is absolutely not true. Sounds all happy and stuff, but not true. I can't pretend. Science is about facts, art doesn't need facts. Science and art do not need each other.
 
  • #48
.. and I came across:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcvjoWOwnn4

Our knowledge as made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
(http://home.datacomm.ch/rezamusic/chaplin_speech.html )

I found the speech bit rosy and all but I really loved the part I quoted here.
 
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  • #49
Evo said:
Science and art do not need each other.
In and of themselves they may not need each other, though they can and do provoke, evoke, stimulate and inform each other. In one sense, they do need each other. As just one example, science fiction has prompted a lot in the world of science and visa-verse, without which the other would be lessened in some ways. I've heard it said that music is an expression of mathematics. To me, science begins in the world of the imagination, the realm of the creative.

As human beings, we need both.
 
  • #50
narrator said:
In and of themselves they may not need each other, though they can and do provoke, evoke, stimulate and inform each other. In one sense, they do need each other. As just one example, science fiction has prompted a lot in the world of science and visa-verse, without which the other would be lessened in some ways. I've heard it said that music is an expression of mathematics. To me, science begins in the world of the imagination, the realm of the creative.

As human beings, we need both.
But curiosity and imagination are not art. To say that curiosity about science is in any way connected to art leaves me drawing a blank. People can make all sorts of connections that in reality do not exist.

Just because some people that do science also have talent in some aspect of the arts does not mean that the two are in any way dependent on each other. I was just pointing out the error in that quote.
 
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  • #51
Evo said:
But curiosity and imagination are not art. To say that curiosity about science is in any way connected to art leaves me drawing a blank. People can make all sorts of connections that in reality do not exist. I was just pointing out the error in that quote.

Just because some people that do science also have talent in some aspect of the arts does not mean that the two are in any way dependent on each other.

I don't see any dependency between arts and science. I think it is bit too wishy washy to see connections between science and arts. But I do see dependency of humans on both arts and science.
 
  • #52
Need creates a portion of science, more especially in medicine I expect, but art often prompts stones to be turned that may be left unturned. Art is often a conduit of ideas that inspire curiosity and further imagination. Without the likes of Jules Verne or Isaac Asimov, we may still be years from going into space or robotics. There is a definite disconnect in many respects, but there are also connections which prompt curiosity and imagination. Perhaps they do not need each other, in the sense that each would arrive at where they are at without the other, but if the pace of advancement is part of the equation, then "need" takes on extra meaning.
 
  • #53
narrator said:
I've left the world of consulting behind. I went back and did it part time for a while but decided I'd had enough, despite the wonderful $$. The thing I enjoyed about it was, being creative - creating networks, intranets, environments that enhanced business needs. I also enjoyed giving the client knowledge and control over their environment - unlike many in the game who over complicate things, making the client dependent on them.

I enjoyed the training side so much that I got my teaching qual's and now teach. I train people in certificate courses in IT, but also spend a lot of time at a community school for disconnected teens, the ones who feel alienated by the high school system or have conformity issues. The pay is not good, but it's far more rewarding than anything I've done in 30+ years of working.

That's far more important. I'm glad to see you're doing well. Keep up the good work! I'm sure, even if they don't show it all the time, all the kids you spend time with appreciate your talents.
 
  • #54
kings7 said:
That's far more important. I'm glad to see you're doing well. Keep up the good work! I'm sure, even if they don't show it all the time, all the kids you spend time with appreciate your talents.
Yes, it does get challenging at times. Thank you for the encouraging words. :smile:
 
  • #55
rootX said:
I don't see any dependency between arts and science. I think it is bit too wishy washy to see connections between science and arts. But I do see dependency of humans on both arts and science.

Indeed, the quote seems to be directly dependent on the notion of arts and science in terms of the human experience. What I mean is I believe the author of the quote meant it more as humans needing both, not so much the two needing each other.

If the two needed each other, then we wouldn't have a cognitive division of "arts" and "sciences".

But I also disagree you with and Evo slightly. I would view them more as two circles of a diagram overlapping slightly. Each with its distinct purposes and intent, do every once in a while stimulate and support each other.

If we were to homogenize them into one thing, it would probably look something like "art + science = life". Not a single human can live sanely without both. If you think you can live without science, well, you shouldn't be using a computer to respond to this message. If you think you can live without art, well then you should put away all music, video games, movies, books, and a multitudinous number of other things and never look, listen, play, or use them again. I don't think anyone would last one day (minus the days in graduate school where you spend 16 hours writing proofs and/or in the lab. that's a little different lol).
 

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