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poke comments on Joy in the Merely Real - Less Wrong

62 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 20 March 2008 06:18AM

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Comment author: poke 20 March 2008 09:06:48PM 13 points [-]

Studying biology gave me endless examples of reverse cases of this supposed phenomenon (call it "disenchantment"). When I first learned of the structure of the cell, I found it incredibly edifying, I remember walking home from school and seeing everything around me with "new eyes." Reality became "thicker."

Studying molecular and developmental biology later in life had a similar effect. Studying perception is an obvious example too; how many poets have found fascination in their blind spot or their peripheral vision? How many even have a good grasp of the size and shape of the world on which they stand or the vastness of the atmosphere when they gaze up at the sky (let alone its composition or the variety of atmospheric effects beyond rainbows)?

When I run in the morning, all of this is very apparent to me, I often gaze up at the vastness of the clear blue sky, watch cloud formations, muse on the differences in lighting, look at the various things growing around me, and so forth, it has become an unconscious part of my experience of the world. Without this knowledge the world would be for me, as it is for most people, merely a stage on which peoples' actions played out. As far as I'm concerned the poet can keep his insular enchantment; I'm here for the science.

Comment author: pnrjulius 05 June 2012 03:25:34AM 6 points [-]

In my experience, people who are disenchanted by science are people who don't understand science very well.