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robertogreco : galileo   6

The image of Galileo Galilei has been inflated... • see things differently
"The image of Galileo Galilei has been inflated like a dirigible airship that floats above the early modern period obscuring the efforts and achievements of all the other scientists, his shadow only being broken by the light of that other g-d of science Isaac Newton. Unfortunately this image is total bullsh__ and its propagation leads to a major distortion in our understanding of the historical development of science. […]

Central to this image of Galileo is his supposed uniqueness; through his ‘once in human existence genius’ he single-handedly created modern science, the scientific method, observational astronomy and physics. This view is … only possible if one totally ignores his contemporaries. Of these Johannes Kepler, Thomas Harriot, Christoph Scheiner, William Gilbert, Christoph Clavius, Francoise Vieta, Isaac Beeckman and Simon Stevin are all scientists who are on a level with Galileo both from their abilities and also from their scientific achievements and contributions.

…David Fabricius, Harriot, Simon Marius, Christoph Scheiner and another boat load of so called minor figures [do not get the credit they deserve.] […]

Galileo … is supposed to have been the first to note that bodies of unequal weight fall at the same speed in a vacuum when in fact this was first noted by Simon Stevin. […]

In truth Galileo was canonised by the Catholic Church! The inflation of his image was a result of Galileo being declared the main scientific martyr in the greatest myth of the history of science, the totally fictitious ‘War Against Science’. Galileo’s inflated image is largely a product of the 19th century and the perception that he had been sacrificed on the altar of religion."

—Thony Christie [https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/extracting-the-stopper/ ]
galileo  religion  science  thonychristie 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Pretty Ramp Machine — Weird Future — Medium
"Unlike its siblings, which must rotate or be used as an active tool to perform work, the plane lies still. It barely seems like a machine at all. “I’ve been calling it a ‘sleeping machine’ for that reason,” says Hendren, who focuses her work on disability studies. It’s “a static object, deceptive in its simple geometry.”

Hendren calls herself a public amateur. Her research and practice, documented on her website, is a riot of associations that cross the lines between high-end design, architecture, medical theory, prosthetics, and cybernetics. Spend some time with Hendren and you’ll find yourself in a conversation that veers wildly between fashionable hearing aids, Braille tattoos, the design of space suits, the relation of curb cuts to gentrification, and the origins of the smooth curves of the Eames Chair in the lacquered wooden leg splint that Charles and Ray designed for the US Navy.

Her own projects tend toward the informal and the temporary. She seeks out what she calls the margins of design: work that’s happening away from the spotlight of the mainstream tech and design press, “either because they’re made of low-cost materials, or in informally organized settings, or because they happen in the context of, say, special education.” Her low-tech approach allows her to intervene and launch discussions in graphic design, architecture, and prosthetics.

“All of these fields are professionalized for good reasons — standardization of practice and form,” she says. “But you can easily get some calcification around the ‘proper channels’ for the way things are done.”

“Defining what counts as health, as normative experience, as quality of life — these are easily as much cultural questions as they are about statistics and data,” she says. “I want the latitude, as an amateur, to also ask those questions in public, to engage with specialties as much as possible as an outsider.”



"She explains that in disability studies, there is a growing distinction between the medical model of disability and the social model. In the medical model, people with atypical bodies are seen as being impaired. In the social model, the problem isn’t with the bodies, but with the environment that was built around them.

After all, the environment we live in didn’t just leap out of the ground from whole cloth. Cities were designed and then built a certain way; they could have been built differently. In the social model, “people are disabled, but by the built environment, schools, transportation, economic structures having evolved to offer only the rather narrow goods that a late capitalist culture presumes,” says Hendren. “So we nurture some bodies, and we tolerate others.” If stairs were 5' tall, just about everyone on earth would be disabled."



"In the social model, disability is a matter of circumstances rather than a fundamental diagnosis about any particular body. It’s a state that we pass into and out of depending on what’s going on with us and the environment we’re in. If you are in possession of a relatively typical body and have found yourself blocked by a door because your arms were full, you’ll have a sense of what it means to be temporarily disabled.

If, laden by packages, you’ve ever hip-checked one of those buttons adorned by a wheelchair logo, you’ll have a sense of the degree to which the environment plays a role in enabling or disabling you. The automatic door is not an accommodation for special cases but a useful feature for everyone."



“What I want is much more energy and imagination given to questions of access and use — not tiresome and medicalized ‘accommodations,’ but edited cities where alternate bodies are assumed to be part of the landscape, and where the use of structures and tools might be less scripted,” she says.

Hendren reads a passage from Susan Wendell’s The Rejected Body.
Not only do physically disabled people have experiences which are not available to the able-bodied, they are in a better position to transcend cultural mythologies about the body, because they cannot do things the able-bodied feel they must do in order to be happy, “normal,” and sane…
If disabled people were truly heard, an explosion of knowledge of the human body and psyche would take place.

“I would take out ‘physically’ from the first sentence and add cognition/development to this idea as well,” Hendren says.

In the medical model of disability, this attitude is almost impossible to understand and feels pretty patronizing. After all, aren’t people with disabilities missing out? In the medical model, resistance in the deaf community to cochlear implants seems incomprehensible.

The point, says Hendren, is that we all get the same number of hours per day. “It’s as simple as: some experiences you’re having, and some you’re not,” she says. “You are not having rather more or rather less, unless you arrange your metrics in a lazy way.”

Hendren thinks designers and architects can do better. “It’s possible to have a very ‘correct’ idea about accommodations, provisions for schooling and such, and still presume a medical model,” says Hendren. “You can carry around the notion that a democratic society is one in which everyone thrives — regardless of productivity, regardless of capacity — and want to provide for those ‘needs.’”

“But it’s a much more radical notion to start to think about the ways structures have been un-imagined or preemptively imagined without much variation in body or mind. What would it mean to really profoundly undo our sense of which bodies count?”
sarahendren  timmaly  disability  disabilities  design  amateurs  amateurism  professionals  professionalization  imagination  access  cities  health  society  education  art  democracy  architecture  ada  capacity  productivity  davidedgerton  chrisdowney  bodies  diversity  assistivetechnology  susanwendell  galileo  ramps  inclinedplanes  standardization  brianglenny  blind  blindness  urban  urbandesign  urbanism  body 
december 2013 by robertogreco
But it moves: the New Aesthetic & emergent virtual taste | metaLAB (at) Harvard
"It’s not totally unreasonable to suppose that *something* is going on in nature, that its constituent objects have some kind of motivation, even if they’re composed of mere chemical gradients or pressure differentials or quantum states. The computer opens up a special case because we made it, and yet it manifests itself in all kinds of ways that seem like a nature—another nature—a little nature, perhaps. There is a strong sense that with computers and their networks, something is going on in there, something emergent and radically other, which nonetheless does begin to infiltrate our edges."

"I don’t think the New Aesthetic is heralding the approach of the Singularity’s event horizon, where computers will vault into consciousness and begin writing a sui-generis literature that drops fully formed from the brow of Stanislaw Lem. The New Aesthetic is making a much humbler move: pointing out these feral phenomena erupting into our midst and saying, but they move."
galileo  jgballard  berg  metalab  theory  technology  2012  jamesbridle  brucesterling  matthewbattles  newaesthetic  thenewaesthetic 
april 2012 by robertogreco
NOVA | A Radical Mind
"You’ve been interested in the revolution in thinking that took place during Renaissance. I love the term “natural philosophy”…

It is lovely indeed. Too bad it hasn’t been used since 18th century.

What does that term mean to you?

Before Galileo, philosopher was somebody who studied great books. Many of those people were extraordinarily brilliant, but their absolute obedience to books was destructive. What Galileo did was to say natural philosophy is written in the Great Book of Nature & one must move from reading books in library to reading books around us—that is, use experimental method & believe in power of the eye. That was the big thing. Newton was called a natural philosopher. & in 18th century, professions of mathematics & physics were not deeply distinguished, but now they are.

I’m certainly a philosopher entranced with unifying ideas. However, I don’t only study books; I study nature. Also art of the past, for purpose of finding artifacts that I could embrace."

[Interview with Benoit Mandelbrot via: http://preoccupations.tumblr.com/post/1334513534/benoit-mandelbrot-1924-2010-nova-a-radical ]
benoitmandelbrot  math  philosophy  nature  thinking  renaissance  books  observation  scientificmethod  galileo  noticing  naturalphilosophy  interviews  mathematics  science  fractals 
october 2010 by robertogreco
LRB · Steven Shapin · The Darwin Show
"Darwin insisted on his intellectual ordinariness. He wanted it publicly understood that his native endowments were no more than average, that he had to overcome a youthful tendency to sloth and self-indulgence, that he had wasted his time at university, that becoming a serious naturalist owed much to good luck, that he had achieved what he had mainly through close observation, discipline, hard work and a genuine passion for science. ... Newton is ascetically ‘wholly other’, bent on destroying intellectual competitors; Galileo is a manipulator of patronage...Einstein is a man who loved humanity in general but treated his wives and his daughter as disposable appendages; Pasteur is a Machiavellian politician of science...Feynman is a philistine, a sexual predator, an over-aged adolescent show-off. This is what has now become of towering genius, of those who discover nature’s secrets. First we make them into icons and then we see how iconoclastic we can be. Darwin alone escapes whipping."
darwin  evolution  science  history  biology  discipline  observation  work  workethic  cv  sloth  laziness  intellect  serendipity  luck  chance  life  biography  galileo  richardfeynman  newton  genius  louispasteur  alberteinstein  philosophy  culture  slavery  amateur  amateurism  money  influene  compromise  personality  charlesdarwin 
december 2009 by robertogreco
The Walrus » The Glad Scientist
"Galileo affair may be seen as historical relic...evolution...still faces fierce resistance...Vatican has also found itself caught up in the controversy. Pope JP II embraced evolution as “more than a hypothesis,” but current pope has referred to universe as “intelligent project,” leaving some people to wonder if he is less committed to science...Consolmagno has little patience for intelligent design. “Science cannot prove God, or disprove Him. He has to be assumed. If people have no other reason to believe in God than that they can’t imagine how the human eye could have evolved by itself, then their faith is very weak.” Rather than seeking affirmation of his own faith in the heavens, he explains that religion is what gives him the courage & desire to be a scientist. “Seeing the universe as God’s creation means that getting to play in the universe - which is really what a scientist does — is a way of playing with the Creator,” he says. “It’s a religious act. & it’s a very joyous act.”"
catholicism  religion  science  galileo  evolution  universe  belief  tcsnmy 
september 2009 by robertogreco

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