收藏与浪漫

Mark Miodownik 在《迷人的材料:10 种改变世界的神奇物质和它们背后的科学故事》(Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World)的导言中,讲述了他一生中收集了许多种不同材料,最后足以建成一个不同材料的图书馆的事

Along the way, my fascination with materials has continued to grow—and with it my collection of extraordinary samples of them. These samples have now been incorporated into a vast library of materials built together with my friends and colleagues Zoe Laughlin and Martin Conreen. Some are impossibly exotic, such as a piece of NASA aerogel, which being 99.8 percent air resembles solid smoke; some are radioactive, such as the uranium glass I found at the back of an antique shop in Australia; some are small but stupidly heavy, such as ingots of the metal tungsten extracted painstakingly from the mineral wolframite; some are utterly familiar but have a hidden secret, such as a sample of self-healing concrete. Taken together, this library of more than a thousand materials represents the ingredients that built our world, from our homes, to our clothes, to our machines, to our art. The library is now located and maintained at the Institute of Making which is part of University College London. You could rebuild our civilization from the contents of this library, and destroy it too.

让我想到一个人投入现实性学科的人对家庭的可能造成的独特影响。

他可以带回家许许多多的东西形成有趣的收藏集,比如军人带回家的子弹壳、地质学家家里的矿物标本、动植物学家家里的动植物标本、工程师家里的图纸,乃至画家家里的画、收藏家家里的古董等等,这些小玩意儿都会对不小心地影响子女一生,成为家族性的遗产。许多少年少女的爱好,也将能从此肇始——倘若生活在这样的家庭当中,将会是何其幸运的事。然而一些从业于信息化行业的家长似乎就显得没有那么幸运,虽然教电脑等等也是一件有趣的事,但若给子女留下几万行代码供他/她观赏就多少有些荒谬。

从这种意义上来说,最美的故事还是发生在人与自然之间的,这大概就是现实中的浪漫吧。

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