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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bucky Group 30 - Leonardo Da Vinci

I am not in this Bucky Group session yesterday, Saturday 26th July 2008. I was about 13,000 kms away but yet able to write something about it. Well, thanks to one of our regular attendees who prefers to be called WhatIDiscover, who has contributed the following email; and thanks also the technology that makes it all possible.

Hi Bucky Fellows
Today we watch part 1 of the Leonardo da Vinci documentary by BBC.
Thanks for lending us the video, Michael. It shows the life and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci. It was cool and interesting.






[End of Part 1]
During the discussion, Eric asked why is it that Leonardo da Vinci is usually associated with the man in the circle logo (the Vituvian Man) ? If any one knows the answer, please let Eric know.
[Note: The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing with accompanying notes created by Leonardo da Vinci around the year 1487[1] as recorded in one of his journals. It depicts a nude male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man.
See Wikipedia]
After that, Joo Hock introduced a book - "How to think like Leonardo daVinci". The book is about the Seven Principles Leonardo had lived by. As Joo Hock was introducing the book quickly, I think many of us could not remember them. So, I had borrowed the book and list the principles out below.
Seven Leonardo da Vinci principles
  1. Curiosita - An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.

  2. Dimonstrazione - A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and willingness to learn from mistakes.

  3. Sensazione - The continual refinement of the senses, especially sightas the means to enliven experience.

  4. Sfumato – ( literally "going up in smoke" ) A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.

  5. Arte / Scienza - The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination. "Whole-brain" thinking.

  6. Corporalita - The cultivation of grace, ambi-dexterity, fitness, and poise.

  7. Connessione - A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena. Systems thinking.


How to think like Leonardo DaVinci, by Michael Gelb
Page 9, Delacorte Press

ISBN: 0385323816

Regards :)

What is the meaningful connection I can make between what you are curious about and what I know?


My Comments:

While Googling around, I found this other text on "How NOT to think like Leonardo DaVinci". The most prominent being that,

"There is something ironic about the fact that the Mona Lisa was painted by a man with no women in his life. Leonardo da Vinci never married, and he never had any children. Most historians agree that Leonardo was gay, but that doesn't explain why he didn't have some long-term companions other than a 10 year-old boy he adopted."

It has the following advice about Leonardo's Seven Mis-Steps:

  1. Don't procrastinate. Finish all projects.
  2. Communicate your ideas to others using standard notation.
  3. Develop some long-term relationships.
  4. Study basic math even if you are an art student.
  5. Do not over-engineer your inventions.
  6. Avoid fads in most things but especially intellectual pursuits.
  7. Don't work for the military industrial complex.

For more info, click here

What I find most amazing...

Despite being born a bastard, Leonardo grew to be one of the greatest in his time, ironically because of his lack of education and therefore could not understand the Greek or Latin which all books were written in at that time. He therefore couldn't refer to those books initially and had to rely on his endless curiosity and fresh observations of nature to know the truth.

Have you ever wondered why most prophets in history were illiterate? :)

As what Mike George in one of our post "Hunting Life's Oxymoron", puts it:

"One oxymoron that influences us all is the idea of 'academic learning'. Our academic education is called learning but its mostly memorising, which is not learning, it's memorising. It's also the memorisation of other peoples memorisations, people who are positioned as authority figures of the past. Their ideas are held in the highest esteem and passed on as 'authority'.

But real learning can only happen when the 'self' recognizes itself as its own authority in the universe of its own consciousness. Only then is real learning possible, which is learning what the self is and how the self works and how the self relates to other selves and how the self creates their world and why the self is here. This cannot be learned by a process of memorization, only from personal experience or what is sometimes called self realization. And if there is one subject in life that can never be academic it is that of the 'self'. " For the full post, read here

I also note that he was an expert salesman who could communicate his ideas through to his sponsors and wouldn't mind working for what most people would consider as 'pain-in-the-ass' bosses. Instead of complaining about them (well may be he did), he made what good he could get to test his ideas and inventions.

Our Bucky Group is composed of people from many different walks of life. Some of us have postgraduate degrees some barely making secondary school education. I think for those of us who are highly educated, it is time to throw all aside and observe all afresh. For those less educated, seeking the mathematical and analytical aspects from observations will further their awareness.



Anonymous said...

Good suggestion, Michael.

I like to add that the two groups ( highly and less educated ) can observe and learn from each other.

Remember what Bucky says:
Do your own thinking.

michael said...


More accurately, we learn from each other independent of educational levels, age, backgrounds and even people who disagrees with us. That's the beauty of the Group, it is an open learning experience.