Re: MD Truth

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Fri Oct 24 2003 - 22:37:15 BST

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    Hi Mark,

    > To get back onto what i had in view, it was Concorde's last commercial
    > flight today. People talk about the beauty, grace, aesthetic of this
    > aircraft. It obviously has a dynamic impact on a number of levels,
    > social and intellectual. I say intellectual because it is the art of
    > this technology that i feel has a great deal to contribute to any
    > discussion of truth. Theoretically, Concorde's technology is the sum
    > total of its mathematical modelling? The designers probably understand
    > that Concorde is as much a process of discovery than anything else; a
    > discrimination of values. The startling thing is, for an aircraft to
    > travel at Mach 2 the resulting design is a work of high aesthetic value.
    > I feel it is aesthetic value - preselected on the basis of Quality -
    > that determines what we take to be truth.

    I also "feel it is aesthetic value - preselected on the basis of
    Quality - that determines what we take to be truth." What's more I
    believe we possess a physical sense of aesthetic value to go along with
    our other senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell -- a sense
    of value we call truth that can be scientifically proven in the
    laboratory with predictable results. As Konrad Lorenz once observed,
    "What an organism learns about its environment can be expressed in the
    simple phrase, 'It's better here' or 'It's not so good here.'" Through
    evolution this basic instinct for truth has been broadened and deepened
    until now in man it can be recognized and expressed as beauty alone.

    As for the relationship of beauty to truth, David Gelernter has
    written, "The beauty urge has always been a driving force in science
    and mathematics." And in a direct slap at pragmatists, the physicist J.
    R. Pierce wrote, "To anyone who is motivated by anything beyond the
    narrowly practical, it is worthwhile to understand Maxwell's equations
    simply for the good of his soul."

    Yes, the Concorde is high art and, like all high art, expresses
    profound truth. Thanks for reminding us of that, Mark.


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