With my education, being that in Computer Science and Chemistry, one learns to think like a scientist. The secrets of the world need to be unveiled, there’s an explanation to everything….you get the picture. Then there’s the small matter of my job in which on one hand I get to do fun stuff like solve problems, but on the other hand it’s accounting for and measuring everything in order to keep everything in conformance.
Now the problem comes when you take these a limited rule set, and apply them to life. Science for all good purposes is great when dealing with a piece of the puzzle, but in the simple definition of science that I’m using here. The science of life doesn’t have rules or measurements; we need these to stay sane.
No my first example of why thinking like a scientist is bad. I use to do a little gymnastics and some diving when I was a bit younger. Flipping above bars or 3 inches from hitting ones head and not giving it a second thought. Could you imagine if between the ages of 8-12 years old you knew that you are playing with the laws of inertia, momentum, and gravity (just to name a few). One release move a second too soon, and you’d go and hit your head, neck, back, or some other body part on the bar with the force you shouldn’t think about when you’re a pre-teen, and go sailing as gracefully to the mat, basically enduring a bitch-slap from what ever higher force in which you choose to believe. Can’t you just see the commentator narrating your life saying “Damn, that must have sucked.”
There are so many other examples, can you imagine flying after knowing exactly to tenths place what needs to be overcome to get a multi-ton piece of steel up in the air and keep it there? Or how bout having a random fling with some boy you met in a bar after knowing the exact amount of germs that will be shared in that escapade or the chances, based on how many people he slept with. It boggles my mind to think what foreplay would be if everyone thought about and were affected by the science of stats.
I can go on and on, naming endless examples but I think I’ve proved my point. So now how does one think less like a scientist? First of all science applied to life, from what I’ve seen is mainly negative, the words, you can’t you must not, you shall not….come to mind in the feeble attempts to explain the world. So let’s go back to when you first learned how to do anything as a kid. I go back to gymnastics only because it was the most terrifying learning experience I have ever had in my life. Before I was traumatized off the team, the process for learning was doing whatever element with a spot or two, and then gradually having the spots disappear. The main point of this is experiencing and trial and error.
As a kid I read constantly, as well as my siblings. There was a Mickey Mouse Encyclopedia set that talked about ancient Rome. In this particular article there was a picture of a goat pulling a cart. My sister had this bright idea that her goat could pull the red flyer wagon that we had. So she found two ropes and tied them to the goat and the wagon, then convinced my brother and me to get in the wagon. This was a very old wagon that squeaked in protest to this idea. Needless to say the goat was like “screw you guys, I’m going home,” and she took off with the wagon in tow. We went around the swing set, behind the water heater and some point when the goat cleared the water heater, my brother and I went flying into the fence on the other side of the yard. I think I was about 7 and I still remember lying on my back looking up at the sky not being able to breathe. The thing is that was an experience with good lessons. Lesson one being never listen to an older sister when she has an idea she read about in a Mickey Mouse Encyclopedia. Lesson two being Goats and red flyer wagons don’t mix.
I miss living like that, having vivid experiences like that. I think that is why after living so long doing things to prove or disprove an end result, I am going back to going, hey that looks cool I’m going to try it. Grant it I like limits as much as the next guy, but on my way home today I was looking out the window from the cruising altitude of a Super 80 thinking next time I get the chance to jump I’m going to jump. Sometimes the science of living is throwing the rules of what shall and what is out the window.