Which leads me to my selection of James Balog as my rational hero this week. He embodies the true spirit of this bloggers philosophy, that human beings need to be persuaded, not only on the logical, scientific, level, but the emotional level also. Passion is not driven by logic, but by feelings. Logic and feelings intertwined and synergized can lead to amazing progress and meaningful change. James Balog uses his medium, nature photography and film making, to breathe life into the dull ramble of statistics and charts. His film "Chasing Ice" uses time lapse photography to document the rapid (unbelievably rapid, really) retreat of glaciers in northern climes. This film, now available on DVD, had a strong, almost visceral, effect on me. I highly recommend it. I watched a DVD, but recommend seeing it on the big-screen if possible. Glaciers, wow!
Below, are two videos that will introduce you to his work. The left, is the trailer for the film, the right is the TED talk by Balog that I highly recommend, especially, if you think it unlikely that you have time to watch the film. I love Balog's introduction to his TED talk, quoted below, which artfully expresses my own philosophy.
"Most of the time, art and science stare at each other across a gulf of mutual incomprehension. There is great confusion when the two look at each other. Art, of course, looks at the world through the psyche, the emotions -- the unconscious at times -- and of course the aesthetic. Science tends to look at the world through the rational, the quantitative -- things that can be measured and described -- but it gives art a terrific context of understanding."
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