Thursday, December 9, 2010

On why I am an artist not a scientist*

I can think of an infinite number of things I would rather do than study science - for example - watch the life cycle of the grass.

And yet, I find myself faced with the dilemma of being labelled an idiot if I don't show some sort of competency in a "real subject". My ego always takes a slight knock (and by slight, I mean as extraordinarily un-slight as possible!) when someone starts talking about something vaguely mathematical or scientific and assumes that pink-loving, headband-wearing little me couldn’t possibly understand.

So when someone asks me, in a tone that suggests they're looking forward to the moment when I am forced to admit confusion and defeat, to explain Inertia (basic physics principle) I find myself in a fix.

See, the artist in me would like to tell you exactly where you can shove your physics principles - I'm thinking of a not particularly sunny place and the current location of your head. BUT..

There's this other side of me. She hates being defeated , by any thing. She's stubborn beyond belief. And she will go to any length to make a point. So instead of just throwing out some poorly phrased retort (mostly because I'm too annoyed to be bothered with syntax and grammar) I make it my mission to answer this question.

And after googling it (and rolling my eyes at the complex language used to describe something I could have figured out in the tenth grade) I can.

The concept of Inertia contributes sweet bugger-all to my life. Now more than ever, I can remember why I dislike science.. None of the equations and theories and laws help me understand what's really important to me. Sure, they've made our world the place it is. But we're running out of oil, our ice caps are melting, our population has been and is growing at a rate too high for us to match with food production. And for all of our science, we can't solve our problems.

Art solves problems. It creates hope. It breathes love. It opens minds. It connects people. Scientists go home to people too. Science isn't going to help anyone raise a teenage daughter.

Inertia – without the science – is the theory that any common object moving at a constant speed in a straight line will continue to do so. It will not spontaneously speed up, slow down or change direction. Also, any common object that is still, will remain still if left to itself. Some force must move the object along. 

Community Child sticking her tongue out
Taken from -- community child sticking tongue out by upturnedface. the response the next person to ask me a science question will get. 

Science figures out what moves common objects along?
Art moves life along. 


  1. I thought I'd post comment. Well done Patricia. I whole heartedly agree. Faye

  2. I heartily agree. Science bores me to tears. There is no equation to show us how to live a fulfilling life.