Cycle World

STRANGE PARTNERS

The artist, scientist, and engineer influence one another because they share the same world. Physicists of 1900 were nervous because theory and experiment could not in important respects be reconciled without making upsetting assumptions. Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, and others earned their places in history by resolving some of the inconsistencies, but only by accepting the unacceptable—that space, time, and even causality are not absolutes. Every cellphone depends for its operation on their conclusions. In art and music, the “absolutes” were human conventions such as the French Academy or wealthy patrons. Approved art came in a frame and hung in

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