Friday, August 27, 2010

The Big Within the Small

I was talking with a co-worker today after attending one of her hikes about...physics.

Specifically how to communicate the physics in nature as something awe-inspiring and interesting, without calling it physics.  Just...large-scale natural laws as they create smaller-scale systems.  Maybe the whole ecology is applied biology is applied chemistry is applied physics thing I mentioned yesterday.  There does exist a tiny branch of study called eco-physics, and it is easy enough to see plants and animals adapting to physical forces.  Some of the things plants and animals do to adapt are darn neat and innovative.

She called it the Big Within the Small, and she wanted me to make my ranger program about that physics-ecology connection.  (Ranger program, you ask?  I'm interning in a National Park for a very short while.)

The problem is sometimes I think too much in big-picture amorphous concepts instead of hard, concrete ones, at least when I'm first forming an idea.  So I can't tell if we are onto something that would be poweful and interesting to other people, or if I'm just trying to grasp at straws within that general sense of "wow the world is so darn cool" that I have long carried with me from ecology over to physics and now back to ecology again.

I mean, I think the world is so darn cool, but my darn cool world isn't exactly the same as somebody else's darn cool world, or at least it's not darn cool for exactly the same reasons.

So this is going to be a project, and I'm not sure if it will be a successful one.

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