“There is nothing more wonderful than a list, instrument of wondrous hypotyposis”*…
Da Vinci would carry around a notebook, where he would write and draw anything that moved him. “It is useful,” Leonardo once wrote, to “constantly observe, note, and consider.” Buried in one of these books, dating back to around the 1490s, is a to-do list. And what a to-do list…
Check it out (if not off) at “Leonardo Da Vinci’s To Do List (Circa 1490) Is Much Cooler Than Yours.”
* Umberto Eco,
As we prioritize prioritization, we might spare a thought for Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger; he died on this date in 1961. A physicist best remembered in his field for his contributions to the development of quantum mechanics (e.g., the Schrödinger equation), and more generally for his “Schrödinger’s cat“ thought experiment– a critique of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics– he also wrote on philosophy and theoretical biology. Indeed, both James Watson, and independently, Francis Crick, co-discoverers of the structure of DNA, credited Schrödinger’s What is Life? (1944), with its theoretical description of how the storage of genetic information might work, as an inspiration.
It seems plain and self-evident, yet it needs to be said: the isolated knowledge obtained by a group of specialists in a narrow field has in itself no value whatsoever, but only in its synthesis with all the rest of knowledge and only inasmuch as it really contributes in this synthesis toward answering the demand, “Who are we?”
– from Science and Humanism, 1951