Why Hello There, World!

Isaac Newton supposedly named the colours of the rainbow by distinguishing between seven different wavelengths. But if you’ve ever seen a rainbow, you’ll know that though there are several particularly pretty colours, there aren’t necessarily seven. It has been said, in short, that Newton’s fascination with the number seven stemmed from his belief that seven was a Biblical, powerful number. Newton, in fact, was not a cold and logical calculating machine, but a man as deeply devoted to the mystical as to the material.

And science–or at least, the way we use it, discover it, and are continually befuddled by it–works in the same intersection between logic and society. We do try to generalize and quantify it, but at the same time, we impose upon it our personal views and interpretations of what science is or should be. And when we do have a hard and fast scientific rule, it’s not always clear that we’re applying it in the right–logically and morally speaking–way.

I’ve been interested in science ever since I won a bunch of science books in a storytelling competition. Paradoxical, but true. I love solving problems immensely and I love watching the way the world works. I also love explaining things, and I find it incomprehensible that not everyone is nerdy.

At the same time, I love writing. I like expressing my ideas clearly, concisely and convincingly, and on a large variety of subjects. But I’m particularly interested in the intersection between science and writing. A lot of people tend to regard science as boring, difficult, to grasp, abstract, or any combination of the above. I sincerely believe that this is not true, and I want to help destroy that preconception.

So the aim of this blog, in short, is:

a) To explain some of my favourite scientific concepts (and perhaps the readers’ as well, if I actually pick up any of those) in an interesting and comprehensible way

and

b) To sharpen my skills as a science writer, because it’s a field I want to enter some day.

I have some other writing that’s over in another, more personal blog that I’ll be porting over here, stuff that needs to be polished up but which I’d like to keep here as a record of my geekery. (To be honest I need to remind myself of some of the scientific concepts I come across every now and then, so I like looking back at these things.)

Now, think about this website. Think about bank upon bank of servers, all the information in the world coded into neat impersonal little 1’s and 0’s — from government secrets to sleepy chat conversations. Think about the millions of light signals, hurtling down miles of cables buried under a cold and wild ocean, connecting the world in a web of light and information called the Internet.

That’s science.

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