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So, are scientific theories poetic? Mary Midgley, with her deep care for poetry and literature, talked so clearly and freeingly about the patterns that frame different scientific outlooks, and how scientists need to be aware that they are imbued with metaphors, and other aspects of cultural life (which include poetry) that the question seemed pretty empty by the end.
I met a literary agent the other day. She told me that these days when you sell a novel to publishers, there has to be a USP. "A what?" I said. "'Unique Selling Point. You know, narrated by a hermaphrodite, or someone who has been repeatedly raped by their grandfather, that sort of thing.
For Man Like Me, finding direction is about the content of what gets laid down on the record. Take Squeeze, our current single. People say it's a song about sex or climax, but when I was writing it, it was more a case of looking for words to fill in the blanks and tell an unknown story, which would encourage our listeners to use their imagination.
I have been invited to take part in HowTheLightGetsIn, the music and philosophy festival, at Hay on Wye on 8 June. At first I said thanks very much but no, as I presumed they meant some kind of talking event, which would have filled me with dread, but they said I had the freedom to think of something creative.
ince my last post, things in the IAI office have been manic. Now in its fifth year, HowTheLightGetsIn has become the largest philosophy and music festival in the world. With 410 events, 6 stages, 165 speakers and 150 bands taking part in the 10 day extravaganza, the team have been furiously calling, emailing, drafting text and getting excited about what we hope will be our best festival yet.
In a way, everyone is a philosopher. We're all trying to work out what our lives are about. In this period of economic, environmental, and political transition, that is surely something worth embracing.
There is something peculiarly British about our love of festivals. Whilst European and American equivalents continue to flourish, the British are almost protective of their festival culture. We are joyous about our weekends of merriment, in which we forge transient friendships and resurrect long forgotten communities.
Another festival, another corporate cluster bomb. Or not, as I discovered at the Secret Garden Party.