"[M]en are always powerfully affected by the immediate past:
one might say that they are blinded by it."
-- Hilaire Belloc
Unless you are fractal, scale matters. Percival
Lowell thought he saw canals on Mars. Partly, this was because he
wanted to see canals on Mars; but partly too it was because at the scale
his telescopes could resolve a bunch of otherwise unconnected dots
seemed to form lines.
Consider Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It is no coincidence that quantum mechanics developed not too long afterwards. Quanta were in the air, so to speak and artists often intuit before scientists think.
|Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte |
(Un dimanche après-midi à l’Ile de la Grande Jatte),
Georges Seurat, 1884-1886.