The five most interesting things I’ve learnt about - Zsa’s choice
What are the five most interesting things you’ve learnt about?
Hello, I’m Zsa and I do most of the lyrical waxing on this blog and over on the 42courses site. This week I get to take you on a totally unbiased tour of the five most interesting things I’ve learnt about, which are definitely the best ones. Let’s go.
Music theory - The best of both art and science, I love the way music theory explains creative expressions in logical terms. Being able to understand the elements of rhythm, pitch, and timbre open up the experience of listening to music the way a telescope opens up the night sky. Studies even show that musicians’ brains are more cross-hemispherically connected than non-musicians!
Typography - Did you know that there’s a science behind the words, letters and paragraphs you’re seeing on your screen right now? Typography is the design of typefaces, or fonts, and like music theory, there’s a logic behind this art. Caslon, Bodoni and Garamont were early legends of the trade who knew that tiny links between letters (serifs) would help the eye slide more naturally over the words, and each set out to design the best one.
Game theory - This branch of economics is made up entirely of thought experiments that mathematically explain how different groups compete or co-operate with each other. That sounds vast because it is. Game Theory can explain any interaction from a date to intergalactic war. For example, the famous Prisoner’s Dilemma is a model that actually explains the Cold War - the wonderful Simon Sinek walks us through it here.
The origins of English - Ah that beautiful bastard of a language. English is often criticised for not following a pattern and being quite hard to learn. This is because it has roots in many other languages, (Germanic, Saxon, French, Celtic, and more) and kept them all instead of booting words out. That’s why we can say “cow” and “beef” with slightly different meaning, and “demand”, “request” or “ask” where the French would just use “demande”.
The origins of humans - Between 100 000 and 70 000 years ago, a kind of Homo Sapiens evolved that would be biologically indistinguishable from anyone you know today. What followed this cataclysmic event was an age of storytelling and mass destruction: Homo Sapiens groups of unprecedented size cooperated through language and a unified belief in mega-myths. Imagination and communication allowed us to literally take over the world, then and now. And that’s why I tell stories.