The Unquantifiable

Schools teach that hard ‘knowledge’, determined by rationalism and so-called objectivity, is more important than the self-expressive activities that induce self-esteem; that what ‘counts’ in life are facts and information, the measurable and quantitative, the critical and analytical, rather than the imaginative and personal.

Timeless Simplicity, John Lane

The Industrial Revolution gave birth to the idea that the world which lay before us was fertile, rich, vast and ours for the taking. Where before nature had been sanctified and it’s boundaries respected, it was now within our domain to extract every ounce of profit from it we could.

Over the many years since, this had led to a social mindset that has produced a system in which the only knowledge that is highly valued and aspired towards is that which can be quantified. If it can be counted, measure it. If it cannot, make it measurable at any cost.

With this perspective however, we have lost the nuance of appreciation that humans throughout time have always had for the arts. Whether it’s the lack of aesthetic value in today’s modern art, or the lack of objective beauty in modern architecture, elegant form seems to have been relegated to an afterthought in most of our lives.

Is it time perhaps to bring ourselves back to a time where we valued and believed in that which evades our measurement? Must we once again place creativity, imagination and beauty at the forefront of our lives?

I believe so.

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