Cormac McCarthy (RIP) and Werner Herzog Talk Science and Culture

To kick off this won­der­ful episode of Sci­ence Fri­day (lis­ten below), physi­cist Lawrence M. Krauss sug­gests that sci­ence and art ask the same fun­da­men­tal ques­tion: Who are we, and what is our place in the uni­verse?

Over the next hour, Krauss is joined in his explo­ration of this ques­tion by the great film­mak­er Wern­er Her­zog (Griz­zly Man, Encoun­ters at the End of the World) and 2000 Pulitzer Prize win­ner Cor­mac McCarthy (The Cross­ing, The Road, No Coun­try For Old Men). Much of their dis­cus­sion revolves around Her­zog’s lat­est film, the 3‑D doc­u­men­tary The Cave of For­got­ten Dreams, but they also address bot­tle­neck the­o­rycom­plex­i­ty sci­ence, the his­to­ry of paint­ing, and the upcom­ing rise of the machines.

High point: Her­zog reads a pas­sage from McCarthy’s All the Pret­ty Hors­es (38:00).

Low point: Her­zog asserts that Star Trek lied — human beings will nev­er learn to instant­ly trans­port from plan­et to plan­et. Krauss con­firms, and Trekkie hearts all over the world break into tiny unbeam­able pieces (17:00).

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Cor­mac McCarthy’s Three Punc­tu­a­tion Rules, and How They All Go Back to James Joyce

How Cor­mac McCarthy Became a Copy-Edi­tor for Sci­en­tif­ic Books and One of the Most Influ­en­tial Arti­cles in Eco­nom­ics

Nov­el­ist Cor­mac McCarthy Gives Writ­ing Advice to Sci­en­tists … and Any­one Who Wants to Write Clear, Com­pelling Prose

via Metafil­ter

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

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