Connecting Coherence

flickr svklimkin publicdomain aug 8 2017There are two main ways that I know of to connect things: science, and art. Science tends towards linear connections, where one question leads to another and connects them. Art is not so constrained, allowing the mixing of things that aren’t necessarily the same but have some coherence. The image on the left that is titled ‘Neurons’ but is actually a picture of dandelion seeds, disconnected unlike neurons.

Scientifically, the two are not connected, but the representation allows us to ‘fill a gap’, to intuit something that is not there. While it’s wrong here – an important thing to note, since the dandelion seeds are not connected in the same way that neurons are – there is some coherence in how we perceive a flat image.  It also does something else. It opens our minds to the possibilities.

This is sort of like being comfortable or uncomfortable around people of the same skin color, culture, religion, gender and geography, regardless of how differently they view the world. Movements, even now, clash over these ‘meta’ commonalities allows us to settle into a false sense of coherence with people. The desire to fit in clashes with the desire to be an individual, and people sometimes prefer to simply ‘go with the flow’ rather than find others who are actually more coherent to who they are.

Consider this article on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, “Inside the Battle On The Eastern Front“, by David Patrikarakos (contributing editor to Unherd). A very great article that he ties together at the very end – I won’t quote it because to get the full effect you need to read the article – is a matter of coherence, of what connects humanity in a way that makes the entire invasion of Ukraine by Russia look incoherent in a new way. Humanity disconnected where it shouldn’t be.

Yet the article itself is based in fact, in linearity, scientific to a great degree in reporting the subjective while being objective. It’s a story in that regard, from the guy toting around an image of Jesus Christ (go on, read the article) to… well, Kit Kats? Little touches of the world, however surreal, that connect in ways that we may not have seen all because the right person with the right observation skills and the right ability to describe them coherently was there. 

This is the way we connect islands of coherence in this world of chaos. These connections are important in understanding and connecting our worlds and making them less worlds, closer to one world of perception. That’s the challenge of our time.

Making sense of babel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s