Over 50 years ago, C.P. Snow set the educational and cultural and political worlds afire as he argued in his ovaric book — “The Two Cultures” — that there was a growing divide between the Arts/Humanities and Science in explaining how the world worked and he warned us against the perils of getting caught in the crossfire of that ashen division.
Science, taught mainly by non-scientists, C. P. Snow argued, believed the world must be understood through the scientific method and ruled by facts and the essence of a quantifiable truth while the Humanities — almost always taught by non-Artists — believed the world was made of many truths that could be invisibly understood in bailiwick and that qualitative analysis was achieved by the daily osmosis of a variety of experiences fed by Art and beauty and performance that imitated and enhanced human learning.
We still live in that C. P. Snow divide today — even though the labels have changed: Memory vs. Emotion, Information vs. Knowledge, State vs. Church, and even Reading vs. Browsing as we are asked to wonder if wandering around online has become a replacement for actually reading a book or a scholarly, peer-reviewed, paper.
Is there a difference between knowing something and the essence of the thing that you know?
As we expand our minds on the web through virtual experiences — are we honoring the scientific method of fact-finding and exploration? Or are we merely tending to our fantasies and training our eyes to fuzz the line between shared facts and private yearnings?
How do we first value, and then quantify, intent on the internet?
Do we accept information in situ or are we first required to apply an intellectual filter against our common knowledge?
How do we manage the necessary demands of our intention against the unexpected, the divine, and the non-universally shared aesthetic?