The working title of the personal writing project I've decided to pursue is going to be The Starship and the Museum;
short for the underlying question, "Why do the Guggenheim Museum and the starship Enterprise look like each other?"
Meeting with Joanna today was helpful--and fun.
I was doodling the shape of the starship and the museum--both top-heavy circular objects, and musing what else looks like that.
Joanna said my tornado-like doodle reminded her of starlings in flight.
I'd never heard of this phenomenon before--its called "murmuration." Here's an amazing video of a starlings over Gretna, Scotland.
(The music is Jan Garbarek, from the album Officium.)
And here's an [easy] article from the Telegraph (UK) on the subject:
"The Mathematics of Murmurating Starlings"
A possible subtitle for The Starship and the Museum is
Or, Why Things Look Like Other Things.
I suspect that things may look alike--at least sometimes--because they are responding to the same forces.
The forces of physics, like gravity, say, or emotional forces, like fear; or biological forces, like reproduction.
I really don't know.
But I do know the starlings, the starship, and the museum all are engaged in or suggest the idea of flight.
Joanna told me that when she was writing her dissertation, she kept "idea files,"
into which she tossed anything that related to her research.
I thought I'd use this blog for that-- a place to gather cool stuff I run into
that may or may not directly answer my questions.
Like I did when I was working on Finland and posted all sorts of delightful tidbits I found, almost none of which made it into the end book (no room).
A magpie nest.