Last night I was thinking about ink. When rain falls on a handwritten page, the ink spreads out a bit, loses its crispness. It’s rarely pleasant. But every now and then, hidden colors emerge. Suddenly you discover that simple black ink is green and shades of blue and a fragile pink edge. If so...
If you enjoy this, you might also enjoy reading about the Social Text Affair , where NYU Physics Professor Alan Sokal’s brilliant(ly meaningless) hoax article was accepted by a cultural criticism publication.
In India, Rabindranath Tagore championed the same idealist model of world literature. Honouring the Ramayana and the Mahabharata , the two great Indian epics, Tagore nevertheless exhorted readers to think of literature as a single living organism, an interconnected whole without a centre. Having lived under European colonialism, Tagore saw world literature as a rebuke to colonialism. But he also saw it as a rebuke to those hoping to cherish only South Asian cultural traditions as the alternative. Like Goethe, he rejected both colonialism and nationalism, insisting on an international, interconnected world built on more just terms.
It is commonly written by maths physicists that the correct language for describing reality is mathematics (which is hardly surprising given their devotion to the subject). Thus they tend to be dismissive of philosophy / metaphysics and the belief of the ancients (Aristotle in particular) that we could directly describe reality with everyday language and concepts.