What causes burn out? Is it the path to competency?
It seems the world is full of paths to follow, many of which leave us isolated from different modes of thought. Different points of view.
When your right brain and left brain argue interesting things develop.
Was reading October’s copy of Smithsonian while baking in the Community Center sauna, one of the few places I’m still tethered to paper, when I read of a meeting between Margaret Geller, David DeVorkin, Atesh Sonneborn, and Mickey Hart.
“So what?” you might ask.
Better said, this was a meeting between an astrophysicist, a science historian, an ethnomusicologist, and, wait for it…. a drummer for the Grateful Dead.
Ideas from strange places. Ya gotta love them. Ya gotta be open to them. All members of the meeting are at the top of their game, simply different games.
Hart, of the Dead, called the meeting. He was looking for ways to perceive and record the ‘music’ of the universe. They’re going to work together.
“Good, Good, Good, Good Vibrations…” played in the background. (Sure Truckin’ would have been a better coincidence, but I’m not sure the Community Center will play the Dead no matter how long baby boomers rule the world.)
Continuing our random walk, Gil Alterovitz of Harvard is developing sounds of gene expression as they differ between a normal cell and a cancer cell. Gene Expression is a way to see what is genetically going on in a particular bit of tissue or blood. Results provide lots of difficult to analyze numbers driving scatter-plots and Excel tables. A company I work for, GenUs BioSystems, specializes in pulling accurate, reliable gene expression data from just a few cells, they talk in terms of picograms. A few factors smaller than the cosmos – but music connects.
Music moves mankind in mysterious ways that have been studied forever. The ancient Greeks were among the first to connect the mathematics of sound to good music and some would say Mozart perfected it – but then along comes Muddy Waters or The Black Eyed Peas and it turns out we know nothing.
When the world of mathematics and music collide, normal cells and cancer cells sound different. Is that true of black holes, binaries, big bangs? Does that mean anything?
A while back Paul C commented: “When students from different subject areas see that there are common threads to learning and collaboration it becomes energizing and empowering.” And in a recent Quoteflections post on lessons from 10 students he asks: “Did I provide enough encouragement to all my students and provide them with meaningful connections to every day life?”
Connections between real life and real study. Broaden the focus and gain deeper understanding?
Or as Dr. Robyn McCallister, of the MITA Brain Based Center, said “While innovation taps into logic and scientific facts of the left brain, it’s supercharged by our right brain’s ability to synthesize ideas, see the big picture, create and design.”
When right and left brains argue. Ideas follow.
I’ll admit, it’s hard to think that music will help us understand the cosmos or the intricacies of genetics, but maybe the cosmos and genetics can lead us to new forms of music. (Neutron Star Rap?) The path goes in both directions when you’re open to it.
Or at the very least. Imagine being a fly on the wall of a meeting between Geller, DeVorkin, Sonneborn and Hart discussing cutting edge astronomy and music.
Hart’s reaction: “Exciting…As Soupy Sales would say, ‘My brains are falling out.'”