Tension Quotes (9 quotes)
A great discovery solves a great problem, but there is a grain of discovery in the solution of any problem. Your problem may be modest, but if it challenges your curiosity and brings into play your inventive faculties, and if you solve it by your own means, you may experience the tension and enjoy the triumph of discovery.
Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self.
Contingency is rich and fascinating; it embodies an exquisite tension between the power of individuals to modify history and the intelligible limits set by laws of nature. The details of individual and speciess lives are not mere frills, without power to shape the large-scale course of events, but particulars that can alter entire futures, profoundly and forever.
It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.
That mathematics do not cultivate the power of generalization,; will be admitted by no person of competent knowledge, except in a very qualified sense. The generalizations of mathematics, are, no doubt, a different thing from the generalizations of physical science; but in the difficulty of seizing them, and the mental tension they require, they are no contemptible preparation for the most arduous efforts of the scientific mind. Even the fundamental notions of the higher mathematics, from those of the differential calculus upwards are products of a very high abstraction. To perceive the mathematical laws common to the results of many mathematical operations, even in so simple a case as that of the binomial theorem, involves a vigorous exercise of the same faculty which gave us Keplers laws, and rose through those laws to the theory of universal gravitation. Every process of what has been called Universal Geometrythe great creation of Descartes and his successors, in which a single train of reasoning solves whole classes of problems at once, and others common to large groups of themis a practical lesson in the management of wide generalizations, and abstraction of the points of agreement from those of difference among objects of great and confusing diversity, to which the purely inductive sciences cannot furnish many superior. Even so elementary an operation as that of abstracting from the particular configuration of the triangles or other figures, and the relative situation of the particular lines or points, in the diagram which aids the apprehension of a common geometrical demonstration, is a very useful, and far from being always an easy, exercise of the faculty of generalization so strangely imagined to have no place or part in the processes of mathematics.
The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place. All through the long history of Earth it has been an area of unrest where waves have broken heavily against the land, where the tides have pressed forward over the continents, receded, and then returned. For no two suc-cessive days is the shore line precisely the same. Not only do the tides advance and retreat in their eternal rhythms, but the level of the sea itself is never at rest. It rises or falls as the glaciers melt or grow, as the floor of the deep ocean basins shifts under its increasing load of sediments, or as the Earths crust along the continental margins warps up or down in adjustment to strain and tension. Today a little more land may belong to the sea, tomorrow a little less. Always the edge of the sea remains an elusive and indefinable boundary.
The joy of suddenly learning a former secret and the joy of suddenly discovering a hitherto unknown truth are the same to meboth have the flash of enlightenment, the almost incredibly enhanced vision, and the ecstasy and euphoria of released tension.
There are various causes for the generation of force: a tensed spring, an air current, a falling mass of water, fire burning under a boiler, a metal that dissolves in an acid—one and the same effect can be produced by means of all these various causes. But in the animal body we recognise only one cause as the ultimate cause of all generation of force, and that is the reciprocal interaction exerted on one another by the constituents of the food and the oxygen of the air. The only known and ultimate cause of the vital activity in the animal as well as in the plant is a chemical process.
We live in an essential and unresolvable tension between our unity with nature and our dangerous uniqueness. Systems that attempt to place and make sense of us by focusing exclusively either on the uniqueness or the unity are doomed to failure. But we must not stop asking and questing because the answers are complex and ambiguous.