The Two Cultures and The Scientific Revolution
In 1961 C.P.Snow gave a now famous talk at Cambridge called "The Two Cultures and The Scientific Revolution" . In it he postulated that western culture had forked into distinct literary and scientific cultures which no longer shared a common language, approach, technique or motivation. He described the way in which the literary school thought the sciences were full of careless optimism which suggested a failure to understand the human condition, while the sciences saw saw the literary school as standing by while things could be done to materially benefit millions. The split is reinforced by a number of factors, but Snow lays primary blame to early specialisation in education.
In terms of building a VRE to span academia, there are some lessons here:
Relevancy is ultimately decided by the user, not the information system.
- Success is dependent on motivation and motivations are not uniform
- Words which we use every day have a very different meaning to some just down the road
- Priorities vary
-- StuartYeates 2006-04-03 10:44:58
See also my article ["From two cultures to digital culture: the rise of the digital demotic"; http://users.ox.ac.uk/~lou/wip/twocults.html]