Awhile back, I attended an event called Mindshare in Los Angeles. That evening, one of the guest speakers was Garrett Lisi, a theoretical physicist who did a 20 minute session on the geometry of particle physics.
Essentially, his entire presentation was built to show us pictures of the fascinating geometric patterns particles make at the most subatomic level.
What I found most interesting was that throughout his talk, he kept judging the patterns on their physical attractiveness. “This particular one is nice, but not very pretty, not very symmetrical” — that kind of thing. “This one is better. Lovely and balanced.” By the last diagram he drew our attention away from the screen, puffed out his chest and showed us his t-shirt — which had a screened-on print of an admittedly gorgeous geometrical representation of theoretical particle physics.
For a long time (read: many centuries), we’ve been judging the world based on science. Arguments have been won or lost based on their rigor and testability in a laboratory. Facts have always trumped instinct. The linear, rational, and mechanical triumphed over the holistic, intuitive, and organic.
This is all changing.
We’re moving into a world that is more artistic than scientific.
As Mr. Lisi shows us, even the most science-y science is becoming art.
P.S. Obviously we’re just scratching the surface here; I will be exploring this transition in much greater detail in the new book.