Steve Harden was one of my best friends in high school and college. We were in many of the same science and math classes, although he had a very strong artistic streak. When it came time to get serious about actually graduating, Steve declared a double-major in Chemistry and Art.
One of my other friends (who had a penchant for asking rather snotty questions) posed the following: “What are you going to do with that? Draw illustrations for science textbooks?”
Steve answered “No. I may go the other direction, and get involved with art restoration.”
I’ve always thought the most interesting niches develop at the intersections of different disciplines. That’s where the concepts of one dovetail with the uncertain problems of the other and reveal a new way to solve. Fermat’s Last Theorem tied mathematicians up in knots for centuries, until a topologist translated the problem into his field and attacked it in a new way.
While the intersections can provide insight, you must be careful not to jump to hasty conclusions. That intersection that you view from directly above might just be an overpass. In Steve’s case, it was the chemist’s knowledge that enriched the art, rather than the artist’s touch helping the chemist communicate.
Are you making unnecessary assumptions about which road’s on top?
[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, science, communications, philosophy, art, Fermat, mathematics, topology[/tags]