Sunday, April 3, 2016

Assignment 1- Week 1: Two Cultures

  Hello all, I am an American Culture and Literature major and I found myself leaning more towards the literary intellectuals throughout lecture and this weeks readings. I found it very interesting how in C.P. Snow's "The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution", he talked a lot about how the education system is too specialized. (Snow, 19) There is a large separation between literary intellectuals and the scientific intellectuals, even in the physical sense for example UCLA's campus is designed that way with the South and North side of campus, one being for the arts and the other for the sciences. I play on the women's soccer team at UCLA and even my teammates will get into arguments about the arts and science and which has more meaning or relevance between our individual majors.
  In the first video of this weeks lecture, professor Vesna brought up Aldous Huxley and his view that scientists want to purify common language to avoid any ambiguity, where as poets and literary intellectuals purify common language to express the inexpressible. I found this to be extremely true which I believe is partly due to the severity of miscomprehension between the two. Thomas Kuhn was also brought up in lecture about the paradigm shift in the revolution which tied into the fourth video about how the two reasons 1. the economy and 2. cultural. We need to shift from this model of the education system of being focused on the industrialization, and expand the arts and creative thinking. I do agree with Professor Vesna and her take on artists working with technology I believe that this is helping bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences. In Kevin Kelley's article on "The Third Culture", he also talks about how computers and art have manifested the new culture, scientists created radios, computers, and various types of technology where pop culture is involved allowing people to share and express their creativity and art with the world. I'm a pop culture freak and didn't even realize the connection between the art and sciences until I read Kelley's article and how large of an influence science has on films, music, television, GCI, science fiction films etc.

C.P. Snow "The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution"
Aldous Huxley (lecture)
Thomas Kuhn
Professor Vesna "Toward a Third Culture: Being In Between"
Kevin Kelley "The Third Culture"


  1. I also found detail in lecture regarding the view that "scientists want to purify common language to avoid ambiguity, while poets and literary intellectuals purify common language to express the inexpressible" to be pretty fascinating. I personally don't identify scientists as translators of the common language. In contrast, I feel that for people who are not well-versed in scientific terminology or even if they were familiar with elementary scientific knowledge, most scientific findings would sound like scientific jargon and would not be colloquially expressed—bringing in more ambiguity to the average Joe that may exist even in the realm of science in itself. However, I do agree with the statement that poets and literary intellectuals may convey more wholesome and perhaps even more accurate depictions than the common language may offer. Their tactful manipulations of diction, metaphors, syntax, etc. may provide more colorful illustrations or descriptions people may relate to and discover personal meanings to.
    I also liked the images and videos you selected to demonstrate how the artistic and scientific communities work together often to create some of the most famous and appreciated pieces of work.

  2. D-
    I also never gave enough thought to how much connection there was between art and science in pop culture. We see it in movies (I love the Avatar picture), just seeing how animation has progressed from putting together scenes of hand drawn cartoons like the original Mickey mouse to the Disney animation we have today and the CGI that we see in almost ever pop culture movie we see today. It is amazing to see these connections. It will only keep getting better, soon enough we won't be able to tell the difference between what is real and what is not, it's already hard enough to tell.

  3. I as well agree that the connection between the sciences and culture is unnoticed but prominent. It is fascinating that the things we take for granted such as music, movies, and advertisements, take an incredible amount of planning and technology to accomplish. These things can take us to other worlds that we could never even imagine, such as the movie Avatar that you mentioned, or other movies such as Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. Technology has enabled us to visualize and experience new realities, and has expanded our imagination exponentially.