“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Poet Drew Dellinger w/ Cosmologist Brian Swimme





6 responses to “Poet Drew Dellinger w/ Cosmologist Brian Swimme”

  1. Joe Avatar

    What’s wrong with working for Pilsbury? Sounds like he was making himself useful. Not everyone can be a cosmologist, that wouldn’t work. Swimme needs baker more than baker needs Swimme.

    1. Matthew David Segall Avatar

      I think Brian used that example of a friend of his, a promising chemist, leaving academia to pursue a career with a large corporation to make a larger point. Pillsbury is in the business of mass producing fake food. He is not hating on bakers. Lets be honest, no bakers work for Pillsbury: their dough is mixed in factories by machines. The larger point, one worth dwelling on because it is more insidious, is that most of his scientific colleagues in academia had their research funded by the military. Science in America was all but swallowed by the military-industrial complex after WW2. It has yet to find its way out of the belly of this beast.

      1. Joe Avatar

        It all just felt very self-congratulatory. Obviously ‘Pillsbury’ (thanks for correcting my spelling) and ‘a baker’ are very different things, so perhaps my argument was a bit metaphorical. I still think it is inappropriate to belittle this guy and laugh at his career choices. Maybe he chose to work at Pillsbury because it afforded him more free time to contemplate and connect with life in a non-scientific way. Who knows.

        I’m not sure science has ever been completely separate from military interests, even long before WWII. And on this point, I agree that thinking about our place in the universe in an open and comprehensive way, as Swimme advocates, is important if there is any remote possibility of overcoming our violent chimp-like ways. Sometimes there is a silver lining to things that seem obviously bad, though. The internet, for instance, has the potential to transform the globe. I’m sure you agree on this point. It was military interests that led to this development, so not all is black-and-white.

        There are other reasons people are disillusioned about doing science and end up leaving I think, though. Science is hard. It is very difficult to be clever enough to show something new and interesting in a way the is scientifically sound. Many people dream of being the next Einstein and are surprised about just how difficult something like that is.

      2. Matthew David Segall Avatar

        Yeah all very true. Heraclitus said “war is the father of all things.” We have only fragments of his writing, and Jean Gebser speculates (because of the polar and complementary nature of H.’s thinking) that there must have been another phrase, now lost, that said “and peace is the mother of all things.”

      3. Joe Avatar

        Great way to put it.

  2. […] Poet Drew Dellinger w/ Cosmologist Brian Swimme « Footnotes to … […]

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