Infrastructure: result of love- or power-knowledge?

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Science and Art. Infrastructure and Culture.

Bertrand Russell might have said that the link between these two nodes is the pursuit of knowledge. It is “love of knowledge to which the growth of science is due,” he writes, and “the mystic, the lover, and the poet are also seekers after knowledge.”

Maria Popova writes a beautiful reflection on Russell’s memoirs, saying:

Russell cautions that this shift from what he calls “love-knowledge” to “power-knowledge” is the single greatest hazard in the future of science, which is implicitly inseparable from the future of humanity.

What type of knowledge is Infrastructure the manifestation of? It might be easy to default to power-knowledge. But, what about love-knowledge?

Bertrand Russell on Power-Knowledge vs. Love-Knowledge, the Two Faces of Science, and What Makes Life Satisfying

Author: Maria Popova



Nearly a century later, The Scientific Outlook remains an immensely insightful read. Complement it with astrophysicist Janna Levin on what motivates scientists and philosopher of science Loren Eiseley on the relationship between nature and human nature, then revisit Russell on freedom of thought, what “the good life” really means, why “fruitful monotony” is essential for happiness, the nature of time, and his remarkable response to a fascist’s provocation.
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