Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Noncomputable

One of my favorite blogs to read is at the Resilience Alliance.

Recently it directed my attention to the abstract for a paper in Ecology and Society called Resilience: Accounting for the Uncomputable:

Plans to solve complex environmental problems should always consider the role of surprise. Nevertheless, there is a tendency to emphasize known computable aspects of a problem while neglecting aspects that are unknown and failing to ask questions about them. The tendency to ignore the noncomputable can be countered by considering a wide range of perspectives, encouraging transparency with regard to conflicting viewpoints, stimulating a diversity of models, and managing for the emergence of new syntheses that reorganize fragmentary knowledge.

(Here’s a link to the paper.)

It made me think that poets and artists and dancers could provide that counter since surprise and the noncomputable are often comfortable places for them to reside as it is integral to their discipline.

Again and again I hear that artists are the ones who can benefit from a collaboration with scientists, but I believe scientists can benefit too. This would be one concrete way.

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