The benefits of playfulness

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I love the Nobel prize committees comment on the work of new Nobel physics laureates Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim, granted the prize for creating wafers of carbon that are a single atom thick.

As the Nobel committee said of the two scientists in its press release: "Playfulness is one of their hallmarks. With the building blocks they had at their disposal they attempted to create something new, sometimes even by just allowing their brains to meander aimlessly."

Of course, such research would be considered utterly pointless under a neoliberal cuts regime. It will go. No time for such frivolity: only proven commercial applications must be allowed.

But that’s because neoliberals don’t understand the true nature of the human condition. Or creativity.

And that lack of understanding; their incomprehension of the capacity to make a mistake and learn from it; their inability to see anything except an absolute cash value will be their downfall, at cost to us all.