The truth can come in many forms. It can be demonstrated with precision with logic, math, and science, or it can radiate in a glowing haze through aesthetics, stories, gestures, and so much more. I think that both can be beautiful in their own ways, and that both can convey as much wonder and mystery as they do information.
Sometimes I feel caught between these two modes, but I don’t think I need to. I’m including here two articles that speak to the creative process in strikingly similar ways, even though one talks about science, and the other art. The first is a post by Callum Hackett from A Primate’s Manual, “A Writer and a Physicist Talk Creativity“, and the second an article and radio program on NPR by Bob Mendello, titled “Behind Great Art, The Artist’s Painstaking Process“.
Together they make for a thought provoking comparison, contributing to the argument that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) should really be STEAM (adding Arts to the acronym). While I think there’s a lot to be gained by the modern notion of academic specialization, there’s a point at which we would wish to stop and retain some awareness of what other disciplines have to offer. Too often I feel like I experience these divisions as hierarchical rather than lateral – those who favor the arts and humanities allow themselves to be “bad” at math and ignore science, and those who favor math and science see the arts and humanities as “soft” or “fuzzy”. Nobody wins that game.