Wednesday, January 03, 2007

One Sentence Challenge

Cosmic Variance posted an exchange between two other bloggers attempting to reduce their field of knowledge to a single sentence. I found the concept rather intriguing.
From Paul Kedrosky, via Rebecca Blood, an excellent challenge:

Physicist Richard Feynman once said that if all knowledge about physics was about to expire the one sentence he would tell the future is that “Everything is made of atoms”. What one sentence would you tell the future about your own area, whether it’s entrepreneurship, hedge funds, venture capital, or something else?

Examples: An economist might say that “People respond to incentives”. I had an engineering professor years ago who said all of that field could be reduced to “F=MA and you can’t push on a rope”.

There’s lots of good and diverse responses out there…

People power culture with the tools they have at hand.
The future is built by the curious — the people who take things apart and figure out how they work, figure out better ways of using a system, and explore how to make new things fit together in unexpected ways.
The only freedom that can never be taken away from us (and hence our only area of true control) is our response to a situation.
The Secret to Existance is Movement.
Whatever else you do, don’t skimp on backups or fire extinguishers.

This actually relates to a project I’ve been thinking about a bit, which maybe I’ll say more about later. Anyways, here’s my summary of the Universe in a sentence.

The Universe began, about 13.7 billion years ago, as a hot, dense soup of elementary particles, and has been expanding, cooling, and clumping ever since.

The comments section is filled with readers adding their own sentence to the mix. Some of them are interesting, some not so much.

So I'm trying to think of my own one sentence summations.

For poetry:
The flesh of the imagination speaks through the heart.

For Buddhism, The Heart Sutra nails it:
Form itself is emptiness; emptiness itself is form.

What are your one sentence summations in your fields of knowledge? How about integral, does anyone want to take an attempt at that?


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