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Leonardo Gallery 233 Scientific Delirium Madness 4.0 Gallery Transformative Overconfidence Adria C. LeBoeuf The mortal Leah displayed hubris in trying to understand how the brain controls itself. Athena punished her by transforming her into a multielectrode recording rig in a lab where she remained for eternity without a brain. Science and art both rely on grand leaps of innovation. Art and science can and must push boundaries to be recognized as significant. Why then are ideas about science and society so fraught with the accusatory concept of hubris? Hubris is characterized by extreme confidence in one’s abilities. It is stepping into the realm of the gods, and it is consequently punished. Myths about the hubris of mortals—Daedalus, scientist; Marsyas, artist; Arachne, artist—discourage innovation with religiosity to preserve the status quo. The gods punish the offenders to maintain their own delicate reign of control. A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. — Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers (1949) Transformative research requires imagination beyond the current state of the world and subsequent study of that possibility. This requires deep confidence in one’s vision. Such confidence is cultivated through rigorous examination of data paired with profound self-trust. When you don’t feel confident in your own abilities you more easily take bad advice. — Characters from Unsupervised Learning, a play in progress DROUGHT Even the gophers struggle Tunneling in dense caked dirt. Fissures grow deeper Widening the space between the plaques of dry brittle grass The matter straining, stiffening, As each molecule of water evaporates. [This is the work of self-doubt.] Dig, plant, nourish, Listen, prune then flourish. Remember. We need some flux For anything to thrive. Adria C. LeBoeuf Email: Adria C. LeBoeuf, Flourish, photograph of wood, tile, paint and earth. From a collective installation by the Band of Six, “The Unknown: A Journey,” 2017. (© Adria C. LeBoeuf) ...


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