Never seen a book so thoroughly shit the bed before.

This is actually a representation of a hypercube.

I recently read the book Art & Physics by Leonard Shlain.  This was a book I’d picked up years ago on a whim, and because it was cheap, at a used bookstore in New Jersey.  It was an interesting book, for the most part.  The subject was about the correlation between movements in art and scientific understanding of the world and universe.  It played out as a very informative, if disjointed, holistic history of civilization by always relating back to the art of the time (although the author also addresses literature and music briefly.)  However, the correlation is sometimes muddled as the artistic movements used to illustrate certain scientific discoveries sometimes predated the discoveries, or if they occurred more-or-less concurrently there is no real mechanism given to explain how the artist was aware of or understood the related science.  For the majority of the book I just took it as the author presenting these coincidences as just that; science and art inexplicably developing along similar paths, but illustrating such a development in such a way so as to use the art to explain the science in layman’s terms.

Actually, I think this could be a very interesting way to present history and science to students in this world of

Up until the last couple of chapters.  Those were where the author attempted to give a causation to the correlation.  How?  Oh, simply by invoking an all encompassing collective human consciousness that spread knowledge among the population–even to the past (because time isn’t linear at the speed of light)–and since artists are so unique they’re able to tune into this collective consciousness, subconsciously, and be influenced by it even if they don’t fully understand the knowledge it imparts on them.

It was a good book up until that point.  I wish the collective consciousness had warned me not to read through to the end, though.

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