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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Monday, May 25, 2009

That's Not How You Play The Violin!

Here's a classically trained violinist, Alex Mitchell, playing the violin in a decidedly unclassical way...





Some people spend years and years learning from the establishment so that they can emulate them exactly and perpetuate the tradition forever.

Some other people spend years and years learning from the establishment so that they can evaluate them, transcend them, and sometimes even consign the useless bits of tradition into the giant trash heap of history.

As the great non-scientist/non-engineer Tay Ping Hui once said on TV:

"Scientists ask 'Why?'. Engineers ask 'Why not?'."

Actually, scientists MUST ask "Why not?" - at the minimum, to examine alternative explanations to their pet ideas to avoid getting shot down by their peers, to say nothing of scrutinizing established theories.

And did you think engineers have the luxury of asking "Why not" if scientists never asked "Why"?

Did you think that James Clerk Maxwell, Michael Faraday, Hendrik Lorentz and André-Marie Ampère were electrical engineers?

Did you think that Erwin Chargaff, Rosalind Franklin, Francis Crick and Jimmy Watson were biomedical engineers?

If the science stuff doesn't exist, then what would engineers engineer on?

A magic voodoo chant?

Hugh Laurie knows that playing a doctor on TV doesn't make you a doctor. Maybe Tay Ping Hui doesn't.

3 Comments:

Edgar said...

Whoa dude, you sound angry.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Oops, I was trying to sound funny; guess I should take it down a notch.

angry doc said...

Science bloggers read all the nonsense in the blogosphere, and ask: WTF?