The Third Culture
2002 Juni specce at professor Ib Madsens 60 birthday
Dear mathematicians, dear friends, dear friends of Ib and
What I am going to say now is not scientifically proofed
It's hands on experience
It's lived life- 33years and it's interpretations of what great
men and women have saidIn 1959 in Cambridge CP Snow held some famous
lectures called " Two Cultures
He said: The number two is a very dangerous number, and that's why
dialectic is such a dangerous proces, but he insisted in giving
a picture of the divided educational system, that he thought brought
divided knowledge to our world.
What I think he had was a tremendous intuition and understanding
was the rise of, what years later was to be called the Third Culture,
that science need to know Humanities and Humanities need to know
science. And thereby get rid of our pole-thinking, and according
Snow in order to make the resources of the world available for all.
A divided worldconception just makes us more dull than we need to
be, CP Snow ,
Or let me bring your attention to Richard P Feyndman, from his book
Surely your joking Mr. Feyndman; he kept looking up different worlds,
the deaf party, the biologists at Caltech, the philosophers, the
psychologists, the artists, the drummers and of course the women
always in order to expand his different lives or say perspectives
which according to himself inspired his ability to create and see
forth new solutions and answers to his own field of physics.
I Don't know much about infinite loop spaces,
I don't no much about high dimensional spheres,
I don't know much about equivarians,
I don't know much about finite groups that act freely and liniarly,
but I do know that I like the taste of these words in my mouth.
when I on Tuesday left, this world of not knowing, I felt blessed
that exactly that crowd of people, exactly those areas of the
mathematical world , that exactly that science is in these worlds
Surely you people are just doing your job as mathematicians,
but for me your expanding the infinite field of knowledge.
For that I am grateful.
In times of complexity and unpredictability like the one we are
conscious of living in these times,
I keep seeking in my most inner and my most outer beliefs for a
of seeing, hearing, touching, dancing, mentally coping with,
emotionally dealing with ways of getting through to the other side
any complex equation I stand in front of in my all so tiny life.The
other day when I joined Gunner's lecture on the mathematical
conquests co-created by Ib and several others of his colleagues,
had this very immense feeling that I was participating in another
world, I didn't get much of it.
To put it honestly, it bothered my deeply, especially when four
even five of the people attending the seminar suddenly started
laughing at a point Gunner made.
I was definitely in another world.
A different language, a different style different clothing- and
wasn't streetstyle ruling here, different presentation techniques
a different ambience.
That Tuesday night I was sitting in my sofa feeling very lucky and
fortunate to know Ib. Because I suddenly understood that knowing
created the possibility, among all possibilities present in this
universe, for me to attend a different world than my own that day.
A dear friend of mine said to my for some time ago: we need not
the same in order to understand the same!
That lecture by Gunner made me think the following thoughts:
We conceive and attract different kind of knowledge in our way through
the crux of matter for me though is that when we dig into this
infinite pool of knowledge we do it in order to expand our mental
And maybe one of the reasons why we don't have to say the same in
order to understand the same, is that the essence of what knowledge
is about, is that all knowledge might be connected in an yet unseen,
unknown, un-equatinized field- of all knowledge. And that the purpose
of the process of knowing is, maybe, as humans to enable our souls
live more lives atthe same time.
And again that made me think that:
I know that I need more than one reality to cope with life and
therefor need more than one knowledge.
And how knowledge maybe the main ingredient in the ability of
sampling our realities into a new wholeness.
And thereby we enable ourselves to live our lives with broader
minds, an open hearts and with the ability to grab the responsibility
that knowledge brings.
We can not escape the mere fact that knowledge will make us free,
even though we at times feel more captured and more disillusionized.
My parents said to me, quoting the Coran, you can do a lot of things
with knowledge you can even misunderstand and misinterpret it, but
you can also do and be in your life at your fullest, so get down
the 'home work now- later they shorten it and just said: take a
and free your mind-I was in fifth grade and din't get it!
My point is that as humans in this world in this universe we do
more lives at the same times, simultaneously, and I strongly believe
that we need to be conscious about it in order to achieve from it
use it. We need to expand our mental bandwidth.
And that our capacity as humans to deal with a multidimensional
every second is our chance to enhance, to develop, to create new
thinkings and new perspectives on our civilizations.
The third culture for me is a state of mind- its away of being.
It's a a way of living life at it's most beautiful, most lively,
demanding form, and by bringing the field of mathematics into mine
and other of the friends here today, lives -
you Ib have a certain ability of bringing forth what I would call
the third culture.
I feel blessed as a human being taken part of this world creation
having the possibility, and the chances in the infinite space to
experience, not-understand, hear and sense different worlds at one
time.So for me this celebration to day is a celebration of the possibility
that more worlds than two can be present at the same time, that
can add value of infinite quality, and for that I thank you Ib who
brought this group together this week.
Simply you are ever enlarging my lives
Ladies and gentlemen let's broaden our minds!