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#Nobel Prize Winners 2017:
Why we need scientists, peace activists, writers more than ever
Thanks to these scientists, researchers, activists and one writer, we can now enjoy advances and new inventions very soon in a variety of areas.
—With the “dumbing down” of the USA and many other places due to climate science-deniers, creationists and other cretins, we are indeed fortunate that scientific advancements are still being honored, supported and achieved around the world.
—Living in our current dystopian reality, we desperately need creative writers to help us understand where we went wrong and how to improve things before it’s too late.
This year, unfortunately, the winners were all men (big surprise, there) and one group. Check out their accomplishments!
2017 Nobel Prize Winners
Kazuo Ishiguro: “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”
Kazuo Ishiguro is probably best known to USA citizens because he wrote the book, The Remains of the Day, which was turned into an award-winning movie (starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson) in the early 1990s. He refers to this process of creating Hopkins’ character and much more here, when he delivered his Nobel Lecture, “My Twentieth Century Evening – and Other Small Breakthroughs,” on 12/7/17 at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. Watch/listen to it here: https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2017/ishiguro-lecture.html
Or, read it, here: https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2017/ishiguro-lecture_en.html
My favorite parts:
I could suddenly see an exciting, freer way of composing my second novel; one that could produce richness on the page and offer inner movements impossible to capture on any screen. If I could go from one passage to the next according to the narrator’s thought associations and drifting memories, I could compose in something like the way an abstract painter might choose to place shapes and colours around a canvas. I could place a scene from two days ago right beside one from twenty years earlier, and ask the reader to ponder the relationship between the two. In such a way, I began to think, I might suggest the many layers of self-deception and denial that shrouded any person’s view of their own self and of their past.
and, I can relate to this next part very strongly, myself:
I should say here that I have, on a number of other occasions, learned crucial lessons from the voices of singers. I refer here less to the lyrics being sung, and more to the actual singing. As we know, a human voice in song is capable of expressing an unfathomably complex blend of feelings. Over the years, specific aspects of my writing have been influenced by, among others, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Emmylou Harris, Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen, Gillian Welch and my friend and collaborator Stacey Kent. Catching something in their voices, I’ve said to myself: ‘Ah yes, that’s it. That’s what I need to capture in that scene. Something very close to that.’ Often it’s an emotion I can’t quite put into words, but there it is, in the singer’s voice, and now I’ve been given something to aim for.
…all good stories, never mind how radical or traditional their mode of telling, had to contain relationships that are important to us; that move us, amuse us, anger us, surprise us….[I]n the end, stories are about one person saying to another: This is the way it feels to me. Can you understand what I’m saying? Does it also feel this way to you?
Best of all, and making my own points so well:
It’s hard to put the whole world to rights, but let us at least think about how we can prepare our own small corner of it, this corner of ‘literature’, where we read, write, publish, recommend, denounce and give awards to books. If we are to play an important role in this uncertain future, if we are to get the best from the writers of today and tomorrow, I believe we must become more diverse. I mean this in two particular senses.
Firstly, we must widen our common literary world to include many more voices from beyond our comfort zones of the elite first world cultures. We must search more energetically to discover the gems from what remain today unknown literary cultures, whether the writers live in far away countries or within our own communities. Second: we must take great care not to set too narrowly or conservatively our definitions of what constitutes good literature. The next generation will come with all sorts of new, sometimes bewildering ways to tell important and wonderful stories. We must keep our minds open to them, especially regarding genre and form, so that we can nurture and celebrate the best of them. In a time of dangerously increasing division, we must listen. Good writing and good reading will break down barriers. We may even find a new idea, a great humane vision, around which to rally.
Thank you, Kazuo Ishiguro, for your insights, emotional authenticity, creativity and ongoing contributions to our literary and emotional lives.
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN): “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”
ICAN is needed more than ever, it seems. Sigh.
Find out more, here: https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2017/ican-facts.html
Kip Thorne, Rainer Weiss, and Barry Barish: “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”
Following up and proving one of Albert Einstein’s more “wacky” theories (about the existence of gravitational waves), these scientists and their teams have done some extraordinary work, here.
Jacques Dubochet, Richard Henderson, and Joachim Frank: “for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution”
So, freeze stuff and we can see it better. Cool.
- The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel; Economic Sciences
Richard Thaler: “for his contributions to behavioural economics”
In addition to being brilliant and innovative, Thaler is very funny! Check out some of his humor, here: https://quotefancy.com/richard-thaler-quotes
Like, “The assumption that everybody will figure out how much they have to save and then will just implement that plan is obviously preposterous.”
And, “I’m all for empowerment and education, but the empirical evidence is that it doesn’t work. That’s why I say make it easy.”
For sure, this: “I think the people who’ve been the most overconfident in our business in the last decade have been the people that called themselves risk managers.”
My favorite: “When an economist says the evidence is ‘mixed,’ he or she means that theory says one thing and data says the opposite.”
- Physiology or Medicine
Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young: “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm”
If it helps people sleep better, I’m all for it!
Jeffrey C. Hall
Michael W. Young
Get more info here:
All info, above, from: http://Nobelprize.org Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 11 Dec 2017.