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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mullah Nasrudin on what to believe, Science or Arts?

Though there are differences in approaches of, what art is? Almost every artist has his/her own personal definition of art depending on their personality and personal inclinations. However, the definition of art becomes interesting when we see  compared with that of Science. I came across a comparison by Claude Bernard ( 1813-1817)that is more than one and half century old. He says,

“Art is “I”; Science is “we”……………………..

The difference seems like those of monarchy and democracy…. However, knowing the definition is belonging to earlier periods of Science....... (to period of Baby Science; as Bob likes to call the introductory Science material).............., so I like to share few centuries earlier's demonstrative comparison of Science and arts by a famous character of Central Asia,........ “Mullah Nasrudin”;

“A neighbor came to Mullah Nasrudin, asking to borrow his donkey…….. “It is out on loan,” Mullah Nasrudin replied. At that moment donkey brayed loudly from inside the stable…….. “But I can hear it bray, over there.” Said the neighbor……”Whom do you believe, asked Mullah Nasrudin, “Me or a donkey?”…………..”

Science says, “Believe the evidence” and arts say, “Believe me” that is the difference…. What to believe? I would say, “Take the advice of Mullah Nasrudin seriously :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Procrustes and his bed

Procrustes (means stretcher… was his nickname; his original name was Damastes) was notorious for his strange sense of hospitality. He owned an estate in Corydalus in Attica on the way between Athens and Eleusis, where he abducted travelers, provided them with a generous dinner, and then invited them to spend the night in his special bed. He wanted that his guests fit perfectly in the bed. Those who were taller than the bed, had their legs cut to fit the bed and those who were short for bed were stretched to fit to the bed.
Theseus (one of the fearless hero of Greek mythology; who killed Minotaur) was abducted like other travelers on passing near the Procrustes estate and offered the generous dinner. After dinner, knowing the intention of the Procrustes, Theseus made him lie on the bed, finding him taller than the bed, beheaded him…………………
Procrustes was obsessed with size of his guests and wanted them to fit to his measuring bed (assimilate)… Though this is a legend but the fact is a lot of people still carry the “bed of Procrustes”. It is natural to find variation in every sphere of life. We appreciate diversity in animal and plant world but when it comes to variation among humans, we lose the sense of appreciation to our version of likeness. This legend has a beautiful message (I let you to conclude by yourself)…………………