So here’s an idea I’ve been thinking about lately.
The ways we see things are dependent on the ways we do things.
Not just on the kinds of structures in our heads or the kinds of scales at which we tend to observe our world, but also really deeply on the projects we take up and the reasons we have for doing those projects. The things we create, and the paths we take to create them, become integral parts of the world we live in. I want to prove this point by telling stories about chemistry.
In these stories, the fruits of studying, manipulating, and ultimately using a material are not dictated by a disinterested world, but by the procedures used to investigate and employ the thing. The combination of procedures used makes the material by defining a framework in which we can separate that stuff from the rest of the stuffs in the world.