While his words are largely true – especially as far as the developing world is concerned – a slow but tangible change is still making its presence felt on the internet. I am specifically going to talk about the trend of musical acts feting scientific ideas in different ways. The Symphony of Science project has gained a fair amount of popularity in the last year or so, with its awe-inspiring videos set to electronically engineered voices of renowned scientists, giving the amusing impression that the people are actually singing songs in praise of Science. Poetry of Reality is a personal favorite while the following is the latest in their ventures, a unique arrangement marveling at the complexity of human brain.
A more entertaining embodiment of the skeptics’ thought can be found in Gogol Bordello’s Supertheory of Supereverything. Again, the condescension towards religious sources of knowledge is obvious (something that I don’t approve of despite my own skepticism) – the song is amusing to the core.
Again, our philosophical bends of mind may not appreciate the particular ideas being discussed in a song - for instance I do not buy that the anthropic principle possesses any explanatory power whatsoever – the purpose behind this post was to solely discuss the approach of modern music and poetry towards science. Speaking of poetry, here’s an interesting one where the poet actually finds emotional respite in the existence of black holes. Courtesy 3quarksdaily:
Crumb of Light
Black holes are not completely black.
One physicist says they leak light
so even in deepest space
where nothing breathes
where you couldn’t be more alone
where stillness is not peace but ice
where distance between entities
makes the idea of neighborhood absurd
where utter is deepest and space is most profound
where moons can’t kiss and the closest thing to embrace
is to orbit which is not an encircling of arms
but a constant falling away,
where the inertia of origin commands
that all things separate, expand,
proceed apart day after day.
—even from the black eye of a black hole
a crumb of light is tossed
and the chance of seeing you again
is not forever lost
(by Jim Culleny)
Unfortunately, artists in Pakistan have not yet given themselves the creative room to produce music linked to Science. However, there are signs of an indie/post-rock culture gradually finding a niche in the local music scene; and who knows, in a few years we may have genuinely progressive music, celebrating inquiry and enlightened thinking in Pakistan too. After all, that’s one cultural ideal Faiz pinned his hopes on when he said,
Jin ka din pairvi-e-kizbo riya hai unko
Himmate kufr mile, jurrate tahqeeq mile
(And may the followers of the religion of lies, find the courage to deny and the mettle to research)