An idealist, a romantic, a classical man in a modern world. He never found his place, never found himself. [Oscar Levant: It’s not what we are that hurts, it’s what we aren’t.] In the 20th C, especially in the latter half, the pace of scientific advances became inhuman, and science became inhuman, accumulating facts, but not understanding. Increasingly fragmented, increasingly specialized, a Red Queen’s Race. There is no time to understand the ramifications or the importance of a discovery, because a new one is just around the corner. Even the sciences are forgetting their history. The citations and references of research papers rarely go further back than a decade. Everything is compressed, eternally in the present. Without a past how can there be a future. Scientists need to ask why they are doing what they are doing, to what ends are they working, how will their knowledge be used.
Echoing Mitroff, Chargaff is a humanist scientist making a plea for the development of Dionysian science.
Hacker, Hack Thyself
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