I’d like to split the difference with Maria Konnikova in this insightful essay about why the scientific imagination has so often lost the plot with the humanities.
“Here’s the truth: most of these disciplines aren’t quantifiable, scientific, or precise,” she writes. “They are messy and complicated. And when you try to straighten out the tangle, you may find that you lose far more than you gain.”
I agree, except that science and technology may be savvy enough now to examine the knot in place. For example, I appreciate what neuroscience is doing to account for the ephemera of thought. Acute subjectivity (that awful hunch that it’s really just you) turns out to be much more common a human experience than heroic character writers would have us believe. The implications of creativity as a human trait make me think the science is worthwhile.