Today swedish national radio ran an interview with literature researcher Martin Kylhammar about knowledge, general knowledge and culture. One of the questions he answered was "What qualitative differences do you see between humanities and natural sciences?". Martin described one difference:
- In natural sciences new insights replace old ones and therefore the latest insights are the important insights.
- But in humanities... insights in a book written a hundred years ago can be as good (often better) as in the books written today.
No wonder people from these sciences don't get along, insights are made under very very different conditions and in very very very different ways.
This is something to remember and use when we encounter new fields of expertise. How are new insights connected to old ones? Do they replace the old ones or can they co- exist?
Take network sciences as an example. How are new insights connected to old ones? Did Metcalfe's law replace some old crap? Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
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