June 9, 2010

Sense and Sensibilities of Science

If you want to understand process formalization, read Jane Austen.

As James Collins wrote [comments added] in the Wall Street Journal,*

Austen’s emphasis on good order and propriety [process definition] can seem dry and stiff. But anyone who reads Mans?eld Park will feel the same relief that Fanny does at the change from the rackety disorder of her family’s house in Portsmouth [current drug research] to the order of the Park [process-oriented research]. Similarly, Austen’s regard for self-control, especially as expressed in Sense and Sensibility, can seem hard, but it must be remembered how the author clearly regards Marianne’s emotionalism [science as an artistic endeavor] with the greatest compassion. Austen is not advocating a suppression of the feelings [creative efforts] themselves— despite her faultlessly correct behavior, Elinor undergoes great suffering and feels every bit of it. What Austen is saying, as a modern psychologist might urge, is that one should try to prevent the disintegration of one’s personality [endless kerfuffles].

If that knocked your socks off, take a gander at our next cool topic: Life’s Too Short. And if you want to peruse all of the previous sock-knocking blog entries, visit the Knocked My Socks Off archive.

*Collins J. What would Jane do? Wall Street Journal. Nov 14, 2009. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703683804574531863687486876.html?KEYWORDS=jane+austen KEYWORDS%3Djane+austen.  Accessed May 12, 2010.


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Sense and Sensibilities of Science

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In another piece about Jane Austen, Jerram Barrs* speaks of a transformation that I think the pharmaceutical industry might consider [comments added]:

In several of her books, the main characters [pharmaceutical companies] have experiences of a profound and permanent transformation . . .when they ‘see’ their own blindness, moral failure and lack of self-knowledge [disordered processes]. This is true of both Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, of Marianne in Sense and Sensibility, and of Emma in Emma . . . It is the individuals [companies] who fail to come to this realization of their own folly (who do not ‘repent’), whose lives [new products] come to ruin and disgrace, or increasing shallowness and perpetual self-indulgence . . .

*Barrs J. Jane Austen - great Christian novelist. bethinking.org. http://www.bethinking.org/culture-worldview/intermediate/jane-austen-great-christian-novelist.htm. Accessed June 15, 2010.

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June 15th, 2010 at 2:19 PM