Monday 15 September 2008

Gregory Bateson

'Everything is connected': an article about Gregory Bateson in Saturday's Guardian.

The article about Gregory Bateson (1904-80) - who famously defined information as 'a difference that makes a difference' - says things that capture something I've been increasingly conscious of.
[Gregory Bateson] reflected on the advantages of a novelist's eye when it came to describing a foreign culture: "The artist . . . can leave a great many of the most fundamental aspects of culture to be picked up not from his actual words, but from his emphasis." He can "group and stress" words "so that the reader almost unconsciously receives information which is not explicit in the sentences and which the artist would find it hard - almost impossible - to express in analytic terms. This impressionistic technique is utterly foreign to the methods of science." [...]

Dreams, religious experience, art, love - these were the phenomena that still had power.

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