Should an engineer attempt to prove the assertion that beauty is truth, truth beauty? I say yes even after realizing that the term negative capability also comes from the same source, the poet Johnâ€¦

Source: Of Beauty and Truth, Denied

## Categories

- 3D
- A.E. Stallings
- Aerogel
- Analog
- Andre Breton
- Anne Stevenson
- Biology
- brain
- chemistry
- Chiracity
- Colors
- Cooking
- Deborah Digges
- Digital
- Edward Hirsh
- Emily Dickinson
- Ethics
- Fibonacci
- Fonts
- FPGA
- Galileo
- Gardening
- Geometry
- Golden Ratio
- Greece
- Heather McHugh
- Heliosphere
- James Wright
- Jane Cooper
- Jane Hirschfield
- Jay Gatsby
- Jay Wright
- John Richardson
- Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff
- Kay Ryan
- Keats
- Kim Addonizio
- Laplace transform
- Lynn Powell
- Marianne Moore
- Marie Ponsot
- Math
- Merwin
- Mobius strip
- Moon
- Multi dimensions
- neurons
- Ordinary differential equation
- Physics
- Robert Frost
- Sleep
- summer
- synesthesia
- Tides
- Time
- Topology
- Transformation
- truth
- Uncategorized
- Van Gogh
- Visual
- Yeats

## Archives

- March 2018
- July 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- July 2016
- November 2015
- August 2014
- January 2014
- April 2013
- September 2012
- July 2012
- February 2012
- December 2011
- September 2011
- July 2011
- May 2011
- March 2011
- January 2011
- November 2010
- October 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009

## Subscribe

Posted by xbanguyen on November 27, 2016

Should an engineer attempt to prove the assertion that beauty is truth, truth beauty? I say yes even after realizing that the term negative capability also comes from the same source, the poet Johnâ€¦

Source: Of Beauty and Truth, Denied

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by xbanguyen on November 27, 2016

Should an engineer attempt to prove the assertion that beauty is truth, truth beauty? I say yes even after realizing that the term negative capability also comes from the same source, the poet John Keats, and to possess negative capability is to be able to contemplate the world without the desire to reconcile the contradictions it contains. Given that to be dispassionate is to have no desire at that moment, to see an engineering problem clearly it helps to be dispassionate while examining the problem from different angles. Any contradictions observed are to be noted because they may contribute to the solution.

The subjective nature of beauty may be bounded if we postulate that elegance is beauty. Among the sciences, theoretical physics stands out in its use of elegance as a criteria when evaluating a physical theory. In this application, elegance is defined as “*the principle that postulates the adequate representation of a physical problem in mathematical formulae that bestow unity, symmetry and harmony among the elements of the problem.*” The Euler equation that encapsulates the pure nature of the sphere comes to mind, as does Eisntein’s special relativity equation that shows how time dilates.

The purpose of science is to build true knowledge of the cosmos. If elegance is synonymous with beauty in this discourse, and if elegance is a criteria to weigh the validity of scientific theories then yes beauty is truth. As I attempt to prove that the converse is true, I struggle still with the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. I have not been able to come to terms with the evidence that truth can be ugly, and worst of all, truth did not matter to many of my species who processed the same stimuli using similar faculties. We all heard and saw the same events. There was only one frame of reference. There is only one truth. Furthermore, there are no other words in this bountiful language of ours that are synonymous with truth because it is unique. So why did many people pay no heed to truth? Every action will reap a reaction. In this case, the equal and opposite part of Newton’s third law is not adequate because the magnitude of the consequence of not paying heed to truth is far worse. Our collective past is now marred with an ugly enormity that will have a profound downward influence on our future. Unlike the expanding universe, our earth is finite. For the good of our species, we must recover from this lapse of judgment. We also must transcend narrow nationalism so that our species will survive.

While we find our ways, and we will, to move forward, solace can be found when turning to poetry, at times.

Not unlike Keats’s urn, the vase on my desk, empty now from the roses of summer, remains stoic as it is meant to be and I must find that stoicity comforting. Or I could turn to Dylan Thomas’s Fern Hill to find beauty in his remembered childhood even as he was chained by time. In the presence of such beauty, I must believe in truth, in the many kindred spirits who share the same vision and prevail by steadfastly refusing to normalize untruth.

Thank you for the prescient observation, dear muse.

**Acknowledgements**

- The weeping Statue of Liberty image is from https://americaniconstemeple.wordpress.com
- The Grecian urn image is from

https://wordsworth.org.uk/blog/2014/09/10/romantic-readings-ode-to-a-grecian-urn/ - The beautiful equation images are from

http://www.livescience.com/26680-greatest-mathematical-equations.html - The definition of elegance as quoted is from “Simplicity And Elegance in Theoretical Physics” by John D. Tsilikis

%d bloggers like this: