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"chance favors only the prepared mind"
April 6, 2013 1:25 PM   Subscribe

"The Art of Observation and How to Master the Crucial Difference Between Observation and Intuition"
Lessons In Mindfulness And Creativity
posted by the man of twists and turns (7 comments total) 75 users marked this as a favorite

I read the second article with great pleasure and found this a wonderful cherry on the top: the gender-gap-defying public domain images of women in science courtesy of the ever-wonderful Flickr Commons archive used for illustrations.
posted by layceepee at 1:46 PM on April 6, 2013 [5 favorites]

Why genius lies in the selection of what is worth observing.

Lest we forget: Full text of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (PDF).
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:30 PM on April 6, 2013

Does anyone know who this woman is/was ? the last picture, if the link fails

I would swear that she was the woman who taught my pre-calc class when I started college - albeit much older. The resemblance is uncanny.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:00 PM on April 6, 2013

Does anyone know who this woman is/was?

Mary Blade, apparently:

"In 1946, when this photograph was taken, Mary Blade was the only woman on the Cooper Union engineering faculty ".

A lot (maybe all) of these pictures seem to have come from the same Flickr set.
posted by Mercher at 6:16 PM on April 6, 2013

Pogo_Fuzzybutt - That is Mary Blade from Cooper Union. See this.
posted by carmicha at 6:17 PM on April 6, 2013

The second article ("How to Master") is a quick look at Beveridge classic The Art of Scientific Investigation.

Along those lines another (forgotten?) classic is Jacques Hadamard's 1945 An Essay on the Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field.
WP:"He describes his own mathematical thinking as largely wordless, often accompanied by mental images that represent the entire solution to a problem." Hadamard names several well-known scientists (capable of introspection) who report similiar processes.

Possibly the best-known example of the fruits of intuition is Kekule's discovery of the benzene-ring structure. He reported that "he had discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail... "

This record of self-observation has been precociously ignored by most materialists, as Paul Feyerabend was always only too happy to point out. Maybe when the war of The Two Cultures ends, we can get around to reconciling these records.
posted by Twang at 8:47 PM on April 7, 2013

How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:49 AM on April 8, 2013

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