Monday, June 30, 2008

Dumbing It Down

There's really no attempt in these articles to discuss Synergetics in any way, the invention behind the inventions. And yet it contains such simple breakthroughs: a way to think more coherently about gyroscopes, a way to organize polyhedra in a memorable manner, lots of cool graphics.

But given the colleges and universities have this anti-Bucky boycott going, it's not surprising that journalists haven't the time or wherewithal to ponder deeper questions, such as why aren't we sharing any of this information on television?

Headline: ancient Greeks made some wrong turns, Euclideans especially, getting all rectilineal in their analysis, whereas nature is more into triangles, so now we've got some serious "bugs" in our "western civ programming" that make us awkwardly incompetent. Will we fix them in time? Will we give our kids a clue?

Too hot potato maybe, not topics the news editors are prepared to tackle, given the pressure of deadlines. Anyway who has the authority to question the ancient Greeks and two thousand years of follow-on flat earth thinking? There's a lot of inertia here, and if you start thinking more like Bucky did, they'll likely brand you a failure won't they? Safer to just toe the party line and be a dweeb, a square. Or was Bucky wildly successful, compared to most of us?

Focusing more on the octet truss, less on the dome, and making the connection to Alexander Graham Bell, another great American, might add some missing depth to this story. More focus on Applewhite as the Synergetics collaborator might also add some useful spin, but this requires mentioning Synergetics in the first place, which so far these editor-censors are loathe to allow, perhaps under pressure from antediluvian math teachers.