Science Is Seriously Useless
Why do we need to know what’s behind the black hole? It helps nothing, at least at this moment. We may acknowledge that science is useless, but we could not ignore the power of knowledge. Think about a hundred years ago, no one really needs electricity, and we all know the following story in the past century. A salute to curiosity and imagination, which always push us higher in our civilisation progress.
Forget its Hollywoodised epic storytelling, or breathtaking visual effects on IMAX 70mm film, Interstellar represents the popular way to admire astrophysics with built-in hardcore space science. Sometimes we treat science as a myth, because it’s not easy to explain. Wormhole, black hole, relativity… Not everyone would be interested in scientific theories for long. Maybe we just need popular science to raise awareness. Technology doesn’t equal science. Skimming Wikipedia articles on your latest iPhone won’t make you closer to cracking quantum mechanics, although it helps more or less in understanding. Comic strips may work even better, so we got xkcd.
Recently I visited ArtScience Museum for Codex Atlanticus exhibition. Simply, it’s just Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, which include his drawings and writings on subjects from mathematics, engineering, botany to musical instruments. Yes, he’s the same Da Vinci who painted Mona Lisa and The Last Supper hundreds years ago. I was heavily influenced by The Two Cultures coined by C. P. Snow, and thus in the past I didn’t believe there is a good way to harmonise sciences with humanities. Now with a close look at Da Vinci’s extraordinary ideas, I realised a genius polymath could draw out any incredible thoughts precisely. How valuable this is for one to articulate those abstract concepts in his mind! Then we really should promote science this way.
When we find science is more than a sci-fi blockbuster, it may seem less attractive without superheroes, aliens, or time travel in a faraway galaxy. Then think about those anti-ageing products we applied on our faces, no matter SK-II or Estée Lauder, all about using chemicals to fight time and gravity. That’s pretty interesting science in our universe, isn’t it?