In 1961 C.P. Snow wrote an essay called, “The Two Cultures,” in which he described a separation between those in science and those in artistic intellectual pursuits. He didn’t see either side as being concerned with his fellow man and bettering their lives. He said that science without the input of humanities lead to the gates of Auschwitz. It is possible to justify that thinking as we witnessed science developing efficient gas for the slaughter that took place there and their describing the genetic defects in the Jews, to be solved only by their extermination.
At he same time American scientists are working on building an atomic bomb, which would be so powerful that by using it and destroying a huge population we would bring an end to the war we were in with Japan. To consider the previous statement as being true for all scientists would be false. At the same time destruction was occurring there were scientists working on discovering penicillin. World War II brought about so many wounded and losing limbs it caused scientists to improve medical knowledge and humanistic purpose.
The existence of the times of the suffering of millions through disease, war, water shortage, and starvation elicited creative writers to state that life is a tragedy. “We live alone and die alone.” We think of ourselves and our little problems while others starve. There were scientific literary references such as “the world ends not with a whimper but with a bang,” There is an effort for the two groups to try and understand one another but the differences don’t disappear. In religion and politics they go from irreligious and liberal to religious and conservative. Snow feels that emotionally they are more alike. He stated that they younger ones see social progress through science.
The elimination of Polio is an example as is the doctors and nursed working with Ebola patients in Africa. Five doctors have died by treating the disease. The potential is there for repairing the world. Unfortunately the ability to cause more brutal harm and destruction by using chemicals and unmanned drones is also there. The hope for peace never dies. The struggle goes on. As does the dreams of the young person off to college for the first time, trying to decide what he or she will do with their lives. How will they specialize? Does this specialization deepen the rift between science and art? Certainly there is a need for the two to learn from one another. Leaders who are sensitive to the need for both sides to pool their skills will help solve the separation.
Snow saw into the future understanding the need for scientists and writers to join in their dedication to social needs. Since he was part of both worlds he had an insight that wasn’t available to those who participated in only one of the professions. Rather he found a lack of communication that was practically ignorance in relation to one another.
One has to wonder why Snow’s lecture has continued to draw flagrant responses over the last fifty years. The lecture is fairly impertinent and opinionated and rather than propose ways in which on can bridge the schism between the humanities and sciences, it quite blatantly pits the intellectuals from science against whom he calls natural Luddites, the literary intelligentsia. What did he unearth with this debate that gets the blood boiling and why is it still relevant today?
One has to see the lecture firstly from within context that it was written: Post war England. Snow’s vision was shaped by the fact that he saw himself as “being in a country sliding economically downhill.” He believed that the success of the future of Britain lay in technological investment and scientific thinking and that the conservative traditionalists and intellectuals were not supportive in embracing these new ways of progressing an economy. He went as far as calling the Literary intellectuals backward looking as apposed to the field of science that he saw as more than just a profession, but “something more like a directing class of a new society.”
He blamed these intellectuals for throttling what he believed could alleviate world poverty and stimulate national growth, and what he believed in was progress.
Thus I think the reason why this lecture is still relevant today is not because it applies to the cultures of science versus the culture of the literary intellectual, but rather about an attitude towards progress: the culture that knows the power of it versus the culture that chooses to stay ignorant.
It was also highly likely that his outburst came from a place of frustration in seeing his cronies in the literary world being ignorant about the potential difference that new technology would have and not only on industry, but on education as well. He saw education as a way to alleviate poverty and grow the national wealth.
“There is no excuse for letting another generation be as vastly ignorant, or as devoid of understanding and sympathy, as we are ourselves.”
He was further also fighting for a philosophy that embraces advancement as a group and not only for the benefit of the individual. And I don’t think he was asking for a turf war, but rather for the two cultures to consider collaboration for a more multi-dimensional perspective and stressed the importance of sharing knowledge to keep the group prosperous and secure.
His thoughts are almost more relevant today, fifty years on, where we are indeed approaching a new industrial revolution that really embraces this third culture he was hoping for. Concepts like open-source are advancing technology exponentially through a collective pool of knowledge.
Academic interest in the importance of science in the humanities and arts is seen not only in the industry’s demand for science and technology professionals, but also in the push it is receiving within the education system towards STEM education.
Snow speaks of the sheer force of science that cannot be restrained and will keep changing the world and if we can harness the joint knowledge of two cultures, embrace new technology and educate the next generation we have the power to change the world.
Closing the gap between [the two cultures] is a necessity in the most abstract intellectual sense, as well as in the most practical. When those two senses have grown apart, then no society is going to be able to think with wisdom. For the sake of the intellectual life, … for the sake of the western society living precariously rich among the poor, for the sake of the poor who needn’t be poor if there is intelligence in the world, it is obligatory for … the whole West to look at our education with fresh eyes.
the solution that came up to my mind after visiting NYU optical school and calling my doctor in Los Angeles:
The cornea is taking a blurry image into the eye, so if I can manipulate the image before entering the cornea in a way that would match with the blurry pattern of the Low Vision, I may solve the problem for the correct projection.
this video is the latest solution used by my doctor —-> Introducing the Telescope Prosthesis: Mechanism of Action
The Re:Cell mobile lab is a system that tests disaster areas for useable materials and byproducts to re:purpose for the rapid and sustainable re:building of the affected zone.
The mobile testing facility functions on two levels:
Level 1: Testing for biological, chemical and material waste and byproducts that can be re:purposed.
Level 2: Protection and Sustenance of the First re:sponder
The Re:Cell Testing Unit
The Re:Cell unit is a wearable device consists of the following parts:
The Re:Sense glove tests the environment for the following conditions:
- Carbon Monoxide
- Liquid Petroleum Gas
- Hall Effects Sensor
- Ph Litmus
- Geiger Counter
- Soil Moisture Sensors
- Dust Sensor
Once the conditions are established, it will calculate the potential hazards and reusability of the found condition ie. The PH test will signal acidity. This acidity can be used to breakdown the cell walls of chitinous plant or animal life that can then be re:used for a superconductor or bioplastic.
This is where level two comes into play. The wearable device itself will function as its own ecosystem to refuel the device as well as provide the first re:sponder with necessary nutrition and detoxification.
It will feature elements such as an algae bioreactor, mycelium detoxification dome, bio-litmus PH detector and vitamin deficiency meter.
The process is as follows:
SENSOR => DETECTS ENVIRONMENTAL FACTOR => REACTS ON GARMENT => FEEDS RESULTS OF USABLE SUBSTANCE => PROVIDES SUSTENANCE TO THE RE:CELL GLOVE
Examples could be:
Air quality Sensor => Senses CO2 => (LEVEL 1:AREA) CO2 is used in preservation and can be used to preserve materials so that they don’t rot. => (LEVEL 2: USER) Feeds plantlife on lives on garment that could be a source of food(mineral)
PH Sensor =>Changes color of litmus on suit => (LEVEL 1:AREA) Find acids (Used to make supercapacitor) or Alkali => (LEVEL 2: USER) Balances users internal PH
Methane Gas Sensor => Senses decay and potential energy source => (LEVEL 1:AREA) Source of energy => (LEVEL 2: USER) Decay feeds Mycelium in Suit for food to user.
Once the elements are identified and the user is safe, the Re:Build can proceed. The Re:Cell suit will store the protocols and necessary trace elements and chemicals to produce the biomaterials required.
We will be experimenting with chitin to create a superconductor to support this step in our research.
|Week 1||Order Parts + Code Aduino||Prototype Garment Design||Protoype biobuilding materials|
|Week 2||Assemble HardwareBuild Geiger Counter||Test hardware with Garment||Bioreactor + Superconductor|
|Week 3||Assemble hardware into Garment||Assemble hardware into Garment||Decellularization|
The Nanotech Cookbook:
We will be working with an Arduino Uno and various sensors built into a garment with visible response outputs. We will also be building biomaterial into the garment itself that will either test or provide for the system.
Ali, Annelie & Wes