Lab experiments are invaluable in the hard sciences, in part because neutrinos and monads don't change their behavior when they are being watched; but humans do.
Several things ran through my mind when I read this sentence.
I kid my monad-loving friends; I kid. The rest of the book is pretty good, too.
Because we need it to tell better stories.
Ethan Zuckerman says that this is the reason people are addicted to big data, quoting Macej Ceglowski's wonderful The Internet with a Human Face But if you look deep enough, this is the reason that most of us do so many of the things we do. We want to tell better stories.
As I teach our intro course this fall, I am going to ask myself occasionally, "How does what we are learning today help my students tell a better story?" I'm curious to see how that changes the way I think about the things we do in class.
In her diary, Woolf once secured in words a state of mind that has waylaid me recently.
Still if one is Prometheus, if the rock is hard and the gadflies pungent, gratitude, affection, none of the nobler feelings have sway. And so this August is wasted.
And yet hope remains. August is but half past.
(From an entry dated Tuesday, August 18, 1921, in A Writer's Diary.)