The Artful Universe Expanded
John D. Barrow
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Our love of art, writes John Barrow, is the end product of millions of years of evolution. How we react to a beautiful painting or symphony draws upon instincts laid down long before humans existed. Now, in this enhanced edition of the highly popular The Artful Universe, Barrow further explores the close ties between our aesthetic appreciation and the basic nature of the Universe.
Barrow argues that the laws of the Universe have imprinted themselves upon our thoughts and actions in subtle and unexpected ways. Why do we like certain types of art or music? What games and puzzles do we find challenging? Why do so many myths and legends have common elements? In this eclectic and entertaining survey, Barrow answers these questions and more as he explains how the landscape of the Universe has influenced the development of philosophy and mythology, and how millions of years of evolutionary history have fashioned our attraction to certain patterns of sound and color. This second edition features eight fascinating new sections covering such topics as the recent discoveries of extrasolar planets, the fashionable postmodernist rejection of science, and the discovery of the underlying mathematical structure of Jackson Pollock's work.
Drawing on a wide variety of examples, from the theological questions raised by St. Augustine and C.S. Lewis to the relationship between the pure math of Pythagoras and the music of the Beatles, The Artful Universe Expanded covers new ground and enters a wide-ranging debate about the meaning and significance of the links between art and science.
"Traverses an enormous range of material, treating the reader to extended riffs on everything from non-Euclidean geometry to Stravinsky's theories on music."
--The New York Times
in the cosmic drama could dawn only when we had the technological sophistication to survey and appreciate the structure of the Universe. It comes as a by-product of those same advances in scientiﬁc capability that tempt us into a dangerous over-conﬁdence in our powers to control, or ignore, the forces of Nature. The pursuit of pure and applied science is more than simply a matter of balance; ‘blue skies’ research is more than just a prudent investment in things that might unexpectedly change into
composed of huge numbers of atoms and molecules, held together by a lattice-work of interatomic bonds, are therefore living rather dangerously. Put them where it is too hot, and their complex molecular bonds will be cooked into immobility. Put them on a planet that is too big, and they will be crushed by the overwhelming strength of gravity at its surface. Habitable planets must therefore be neither too big, nor too small. Only the in-between worlds, like the Earth, combine the possibility of
about to discover. 4 The heavens and the Earth Science is spectrum analysis. Art is photosynthesis. karl krauss The remains of the day: rhythms of life Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. Oscar Wilde Every month, faceless organizations send me bills. Every quarter, others join them. And, as the New Year begins, another coterie of computers resolves to display my address through the windows of manila
geometrical and optical knowledge. This emphasizes the gulf that lies between the process of seeing the world clearly and accurately (which most of us believe we do), and producing an accurate drawing of what we perceive. We lose sight of the real image and add all sorts of changes and corrections to the message our eyes are trying to give us. If we look at some very early art-forms, we get the impression that the idea of trying to match the image with reality never came into play and all that
Pole Star (Polaris) marked by its companions, the two ‘pointers’, is a very close approximation to the true position of the exact celestial Pole. By contrast, there is no conveniently placed star in the southern sky to mark the South Pole’s direction in the sky. ‘Polaris’ is the Latin for ‘of the Pole’, and derives from the Greek word polos meaning a pivot or an axis, although this was not used by astronomers until the Renaissance. We are rather fortunate, because Polaris is one of the brighter