Martin Hairer :”Researchers should follow their hearts, not fashion “

The Fields Medal is the highest accolade a mathematician can receive. As someone looking back from a high point in his career, what advice would you give to a young mathematician who was just starting out?

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Prof. Martin Hairer : ‘The first thing they should honestly asses is what are the things that they like to do. I think they should really work on the things that they actually like and enjoy, and they shouldn’t try to just pick a subject because they have the impression that it is fashionable and that if it is fashionable they might be able to win a big prize.

‘At the end of the day there is a much greater chance that they will make some real progress if they think about something that is interesting to them. If you are generally interested in a problem then you always have it at the back of your mind, and that is the way you make progress on it. Whereas, if you work on it because you think you should work on a fashionable problem you wouldn’t actually always keep it at the back of your mind. Then it’s much less likely that you would make genuine progress on it.’

Source : https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/researchers-should-follow-their-hearts-not-fashion-2014-fields-medal-winner-prof-martin

 

 

 

Rahul Dravid :”There are a lot more disadvantaged people than you and you can’t really be complaining about small things”

Q: Do you sometimes feel that you have not got enough accolades? Does that drive you to do better?
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Image source : Internet
Dravid: I’ve never really worried about that. People keep telling me that maybe you don’t get the recognition you deserve, but I think I’ve got enough. In my own mind I’m very comfortable. I think I’ve got a hell of a lot of recognition. When I look around me and I look at the other cricketers of India who’ve also done well, the number of guys who play first class cricket for years, there can be no complaint. Outside of cricket, you look around and see so many guys who struggle day and day out and get nowhere near the reward for the effort they put in. Living in India you just see it every day, it’s in your face. There a lot more disadvantaged people than you and you can’t really be complaining about small things. I’m very comfortable and happy with what I’ve got. I think I’m recognised and rated for my work by colleagues and peers. A lot of nice things have been written about me in these 15 years and I’m very comfortable.

Gulzar :”You have to protect what you love”

Q: What draws you to children’s literature?

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Image Source :internet
Gulzar :One of the reasons I left film direction was my work for children. I may not get a chance later. I wasn’t born with innumerable years and this is what I want to do with the years I have left. In India, we love our children, but we haven’t done enough for them. At least where literature’s concerned, we have only provided books and translations from the West, or adapted texts for them. These are not very good efforts. In fact, it lacks genuine affection and responsibility. You have to protect what you love, but we haven’t done enough to protect our children. We leave a lot of our responsibilities to teachers, maidservants, ayahs. In joint families, grandparents would come forward and take care of children; nanas and nanis, dadas and dadis would tell stories, hum folk songs and perform small mimes for them. Especially now, when parents are working and there are no joint families anymore, parents have to ask themselves if they are satisfied with the extent of their own involvement. What we do is, we make them sit in front of the television and watch Tom and Jerry and other inane shows. Inevitably, the child is becoming more and more lonely.

Source : https://csbhagya.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/interview-gulzar-3-2/

 

Kurt Vonnegut : “One thing I hate about school committees today is that they cut arts programs out of the curriculum”

Q: Tell me the reasons you’ve been attracted to a life of creation, whether as a writer or an artist. 

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image source : internet

Kurt Vonnegut : I’ve been drawing all my life, just as a hobby, without really having shows or anything. It’s just an agreeable thing to do, and I recommend it to everybody. I always say to people, practice an art, no matter how well or badly [you do it], because then you have the experience of becoming, and it makes your soul grow. That includes singing, dancing, writing, drawing, playing a musical instrument. One thing I hate about school committees today is that they cut arts programs out of the curriculum because they say the arts aren’t a way to make a living. Well, there are lots of things worth doing that are no way to make a living. [Laughs.] They are agreeable ways to make a more agreeable life.

Source : http://tim.blog/2007/11/29/lack-of-seriousness-the-last-interview-with-vonnegut/

 

 

 

Svetlana Alexievich :”the official version has little to do with how ordinary people see things.”

AL: How different is the story that you heard from the people from the official version and the one in the media?
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SA: The stories are completely different. We’ve always had this situation in Belorussia, and partly in Russia too, that the official version has little to do with how ordinary people see things. What is the main aim of the authorities? They always try hard to protect themselves. The totalitarian authorities of those days demonstrated it vividly: they were afraid of panic, they were afraid of the truth. Most people had little understanding of what was going on. In their attempts at self-preservation the authorities deceived the population. They assured the people that everything was under control, that there was no danger. Children were playing football in the yard, they ate ice cream in the street, toddlers played in sand boxes, and many people even sunbathed on the beach. Today hundreds of thousands of those children are invalids and many of them have died. Faced with the nuclear disaster at the time, people found themselves alone with the problem. People saw that the truth was hidden from them, that no one could help, neither scientists nor doctors. That situation was completely new for them. Take for example the firemen—they had themselves become like little reactors. Doctors undressed and examined them manually. Those doctors caught lethal radiation doses from them. Many of the firemen and doctors died later. The firemen did not even have special protection suits. They simply did not exist at the time. They arrived as if it were a usual fire. No one was prepared for this sort of thing. My interviewees told me real-life stories. For instance, in the few multistory houses in the town of Pripyat, before the evacuation started, people stood on their balconies watching the fire. They recall what a splendid sight it was, all crimson fluorescence. “It was the sight of death. But we never thought that death could look so beautiful.” They even called their children to admire the sight: “Come have a look. You’ll remember it to the end of your life.” They admired the sight of their own death. Those people were teachers and engineers from the nuclear station. People I talked to provided many such details about the scene of the disaster.
I remember two years later one helicopter pilot phoned me: “Please come and see me as soon as you can. I have little time left. I want to tell you what I know.” He was a doomed man when he was telling me his story. He said: “I’m glad you’ve come. I can talk to you about it. Please write it all down. We did not quite understand what was going on, and even today they still don’t understand.” I lived with the feeling that I must write it all down. Maybe people still don’t quite understand what happened then and that’s why it’s so important to record the actual evidence, the real history of Chernobyl, a history that hasn’t quite sunk in to this day.
Svetlana Alexandrovna Alexievich:-  (born 31 May 1948) is a Belarusian investigative journalist and non-fiction prose writer who writes in Russian. She was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time” She is the first writer from Belarus to receive the award.

Anish Kapoor :”there are good artists and bad artists, or not-so-good artists”

Q: One of my professors at University in Delhi said that the difference between Eastern art and Western art, meaning literature as well, was that the Indian artist, in following a tradition, was making work for the audience, to please his audience. Whereas Western art was an expression of an individual experience.

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AK : I don’t think that’s true at all. Because there are good artists and bad artists, or not-so-good artists. This kind of East-West stuff is rubbish. I mean, for me, being an Indian artist is not important. What is interesting is that there have been a significant number, since the mid-19th century—everyone from Van Gogh to Picasso—of European artists who have been able to look East. Van Gogh was hugely influenced by Japanese prints. Evidently, Matisse was, and Picasso by African art. They’ve been able to look to the other world and make that part of the Western tradition. It’s never happened the other way around. Not significantly, other than Tagore, who we think of as one shining example, but it’s almost never happened. I think there’s actually a prejudice there. I don’t think it’s allowed to happen which is why it doesn’t happen. Every time there is some move by an Eastern artist, or a non-European artist making something which uses some kind of Western idiom or some combination of the two, it’s always seen as influenced. This is a way of putting things down. It’s only recently, really recently, Salman Rushdie and others now, are beginning to deal with something which allows for a real opening up of both traditions. Traditional art, Eastern or Western, can’t happen any more. What’s got to happen is something else. Folk art really only happens in very closed societies, like the work of Tibetan monks, folk art, or tribal art, in India or in Africa, in closed circumstances. I think that’s a battle that really has to be fought hard.

It’s something I’m trying to do myself, in making my work more than stones with holes in them. How does one bring in all sorts of other things which aren’t represented by the matter that’s there?

Source : http://bombmagazine.org/article/1273/

 

 

Stanley Kubrick:”modern art’s almost total pre-occupation with subjectivism has led to anarchy and sterility in the arts”

Q: What is your own attitude towards modern art?

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Kubrick : I think modern art’s almost total pre-occupation with subjectivism has led to anarchy and sterility in the arts. The notion that reality exists only in the artist’s mind, and that the thing which simpler souls had for so long believed to be reality is only an illusion, was initially an invigorating force, but it eventually led to a lot of highly original, very personal and extremely uninteresting work. In Cocteau’s film Orpheé, the poet asks what he should do. ‘Astonish me,’ he is told. Very little of modern art does that — certainly not in the sense that a great work of art can make you wonder how its creation was accomplished by a mere mortal. Be that as it may, films, unfortunately, don’t have this problem at all. From the start, they have played it as safe as possible, and no one can blame the generally dull state of the movies on too much originality and subjectivism.

Source : http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/interview.aco.html