For a time I’ll try writing my work logs in the morning, as Morning Pages. The reason is simple: in the morning I prepare coffee, sit down and ‘idle out’ on useless information while I come into my senses. These things are like moving furniture to a different place: the fist few days it may seem uncomfortable, but the validity of the solution reveals itself after some time.
Yesterday I came in early into the office, and we saw the revision of the revision, but in the end Javier proposed an entirely different solution which grew on me. It was a novel, original solution and I was more enthusiastic on implementing it rather than patching up what the work I had done the day before. It made more sense. Doing work which you don’t believe is correct is the most difficult thing in the world, but when you are executing in the name of a different entity (company or person) it’s a necessity. So I was relieved to align on an alternative vision where things aligned better.
In the evening I received an invitation to attend a lecture on the astrophysical properties of light, which I enthusiastically accepted. It was a good counterpart to Goethe’s Theory of Colors, as this would be a Newtonian approach to color (wavelengths, color signatures, etc).
The study of color illustrates a blind spot of modern science: it attempts to remove human perception from the equation, so when the speaker was mentioning “light”, he would often remark that “what I mean by light is not only visible light”. Goethe would remark that “if it cannot be seen, then it’s absence of light”. In Goethian Science, human experience is at the center of observable phenomena. In Modern Science this subjective experience is proactively discarded. Each has its use. A designer who arranges colors to produce affective results will learn very little from the Newtonian approach, and an Astrophysicist who studies the colors of celestial bodies to understand their properties will get nothing from Goethe. The great mistake, I think, is to make these realities exclusive. Modern science (or should I say: scientific materialism) tends to dismiss the subjective experience as a hallucination, what is real is what remains after our interpretation is dismantled.
This is why science has such uninspired things to say about the human realm: emotions, art, love, health and self-realisation are seen from the outside, where we can only see the slightest material correlate in the form of brain activity. ‘Love is in the brain’ the scientist will claim, yet the person in love will feel it with his entire body and spirit. Science has some crude instruments to measure self-reported subjective experience (Likert scales), yet we cannot compare our experience to other human beings. If you are asked “In a scale of one to five, how intensely are you in love?” the only benchmark is former experience. You may observe that some people seem to be “crazy in love” more than you are, yet you don’t know if they’re just exteriorizing it more. You can feel very intensely, yet keep it to yourself. Behavior is not an accurate scale for the subjective experience.
I have more questions than answers on this issue, but the topic has stayed with me long enough to know that I’ll keep placing attention on it for a while. So many things could be said about it, but I’ll keep it as this for today.
I had a major sidetrack here. I’ll just add that I felt great intellectual stimulation by the talk, then we had dinner at an Ecuadorian place and it was delicious.