Science or Square Watermelons?

9 May

As Scientific Transfer progresses at such a dramatic rate we may start to wonder, how will we be? Maybe a selfish question, but with all this change, how do we identify ourselves anymore. The solution to all this self-doubt it maybe this is the way this have always been. Constantly changed, constantly evolving. The only difference is now people have learned the skills in order to track that changed. It’s really down to how we as people relate to our humanity. If we look to hierarchy the consensus maybe that we are created for a perform and what we can do is limited. Whether a evolutionist or creationist, in my opinion both a not useful ways of looking at it, we all have an opinion. What is exciting here, is all this scientific progress is screaming out to as learn, but learn from one another then you will learn who you really are… maybe. If I was sure of this, I would be sure of a lot. But is that not the very beauty behind the Media itself, uncertainty. It means we must keep offering data, innovation and data that assert themselves in the content we see all around today. Science pushes us to questions and pushes us to change. It is a beautiful confidence to always be moving forward I think. Something I love about the Media, especially in film, is the way images on a screen with sound, allow the audience to enter a story, go through it, and feel moved on. It is a beauty and a gift to be moved. Even if that experience is simulated, it still moves us and if we choose we can go forward.

So the readings of the week are all about science, about the way the collection of knowledge and expertise is moving forward dramatically. The question that remains though is are we, moving forward, and if not that too must be o.k. . My mind keeps focusing on the advent of the square watermelon in Japan. Farmers in the Zentsuji region started the process by growing watermelons in glass boxes which would allow them, as they grow to be the square shape naturally. Now I see how this is great for the people paying to ship watermelons. They can cut costs as the melons are much easier to stack and store, however that said on the market in the price often doubled. A fun ‘new’ thing for the customer is a marketing genius for the producer. Is this positive change? I’m not sure, maybe it is just more of the same, and another dead-end.

In Greg Fish’s article on DNA for the blog Weird Things, he notes interestingly that DNA is much more dynamic and evolving system than not. He argues that we are not a static tool created to perform,  with a limited amount of tasks available. He acknowledges that a biological system’s purpose is to “evolve for change and propagation” (Fish, 2009). This is great from Media as it means current systems can constantly evolve, and Web 2.0 for example is just another step forward, and ultimately is good for Media, and actually in the long-term will produce more work if we allow it. Step forwards in Media though it has to be said need periods on down time, and that down time ultimately is part of the moving forward, so a very positive experience ultimately. Bottom line, the changing face of Media has nothing to worry about. And any worry is part of the process.

Further building on Fish view of DNA, Craig Venter’s creation of a synthetic genome, from bacteria, is key our understanding of any Media flux and change. What Venter sees he is doing in creating a genome from chemicals in the lab is creating a life form that could not have existed naturally. This is as much a revolution for science as the rectangle shape building block was for the building industry. This genome is a building block though for creating life. Venter’s creation is greatly influenced by the way science is changing the way it conducts itself. Kevin Kelly in his article “The evolving scientific method” sees science as moving for merely facts, to methods. These help us to use the facts to discover and hypothesis. In order to be useable though they most be found to be repeatable under controlled conditions. For Media this is exciting as with “nature in flux” we are always now “discovering new ways to know” (Kelly, 2010). This means, for Media, that knowledge is accelerated, information available is ten fold, and the rates of progress can increase hugely. All this means we must now allow for constant modification and editing. For science that means reports can’t be fixed, computer proofs can be reliable and can trusted, and scientists will have to publish negative results, as well as positive. For Media this means open sourcing, which ultimately should enable for many new ways of structuring information through scientific innovation, that allows Media a opportunity to evolve and actually “enter into a new way of knowing. ” (Kelly, 2010). Elizabeth Pisani sees some of these ways in the data sharing revolution. She notes that today’s gene sequences are now all posted online and daily, and allow for great opportunities for building on each others work. Pisani notes that this will increase the pace of discovery and allow for much more clear diagnostics and ultimately cures. By sharing in successes and mistakes, Media can learn a lot for science in the way this gives rise to a “curation of data” (Pisani, 2011), that produces a new infrastructure. By making others less other we can actually learn from one another.

Bibliography

Pisani, Elizabeth (2011) ‘Medical science will benefit from the research of crowds’, The Guardian, January 11, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/11/medical-research-data-sharing>

Kelly, Kevin (2010 ‘Evolving the Scientific Method: Technology is changing the way we conduct science’, The Scientist <http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/57831/>

Fish, Greg (2009) ‘Why your DNA is nothing like a database’, Weird Things <http://worldofweirdthings.com/2009/10/21/why-your-dna-is-nothing-like-a-database/>

Sample, Ian (2010) ‘Craig Venter Creates Synthetic Life Form’, The Guardian May 2, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/may/20/craig-venter-synthetic-life-form>


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