13 January 2012

Spirals and Fibonacci Series and Pine Cones

This is so freaking cool:

And part two:


How is it that the world works like this? How awesome is it that the world works like this?

I remember once being criticized by a more touchy-feely friend who specialized in the humanities, for being a reductionist, too scientific. By wanting to break everything down into its component elements and understand how they work, he contended, we rob them of their mystery and their beauty. This video, I think, is a wonderful refutation of that contention. I get so much more satisfaction and joy out of understanding on a deeper level how the world works, and how deeply simple mathematics are embedded in the design of life. This is where the wonder and mystery reside, and this is why I will always love science and math, even when I'm not actively engaged in research myself any more.

7 comments:

  1. Most excellent Friday night video viewing; thanks.

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  2. If you're a big fan of corn on the cob, and maybe not too quick on the uptake, you can spend maybe 20 years counting the rows of kernels on every ear of corn you ever eat looking for an ear with an odd number of rows, completely convinced that you'll find one and get that 100 bucks your Pop promised you if you ever found one. You know, if you find one, send it to me and I'll split the 100 with you.

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  3. I would tell that friend that robbing things of their mystery does not rob them of their beauty, rather understanding those things increases their beauty.

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  4. My 9 year old did a project on Fibonacci numbers last year, so I shared this with him over the weekend. He spent a large part of Saturday making doodles. :)

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  5. One of the coolest things I have seen in a long, long time. Thanks very much for sharing!!

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  6. This is an incredible feat of explaining, photography, imagery, artistic representation, and just the joy of beauty and symmetry. Thanks so much for the work in putting together a gorgeous fun learning, thinking, celebrating video!

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  7. Shadowfax, this is why the scientific method was invented -- so we could gawk in wonder at the world in which we live, and perhaps gain some limited insight into the mind of its Creator. The notion that Science must serve Man and make him immortal is an Enlightenment perversion.

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