April 27, 2009

A Dwarf Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Dwarf Standing on the shoulder of giantsA few weeks ago, I pleaded that I be added on @sciencebase's list of Scientwists because I love science and the people that make it so. Sometime later, this visualization was created by 2020 Science via IBM's "Many Eyes" interface. Curious, I searched where I was on the bubblechart, and I pleasantly found myself on that yellow spot resting atop giant circles. Happily I said to myself that I am a "dwarf standing on the shoulder of giants."
I don't exactly remember from which book I read that phrase, but for my case I know that it is true. Specially that I have immersed myself in what many calls the Hive Mind. Many great ideas are being shared in this medium called twitter and I am just humbled by the fact that a swarm of scientists is my teacher. I learn profound things because of them.
Although I already subscribe to the interpretation of "standing on the shoulders of giants" as "one who develops future intellectual pursuits by understanding the research and works created by notable thinkers of the past", I would like to think that in the age of Science2.0, the thinkers of the present can have a much greater influence on the current generation than ever before.
Now if only more of them will twitter...

"Bernard of Chartres used to say that we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants...so that we can see things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size."
--John of Salisbury (Metalogicon, 1159)