August 20, 2008

My Collection of Collections

Mitra MitraI decided to put photos of my seashells and minerals online. Since they reside in Stockholm and I reside in Oxford this makes it possible to refer to them.

The day I get ridiculously rich I will start building a big library with cabinets of natural curiosities. And hire somebody to dust them for me.

The psychology of collection is curious. It is more interesting to acquire than to own the stuff, whether it is chemical formulas for acids, mathematical paradoxes, minerals, seashells or scientific papers (all past or present obsessions of mine). Maybe it is just a hoarding reflex, but I think it has more to do with the dopamine kicks we get when we acquire. There seems to be plenty of books and studies already written on the subject, but I feel no desire to get them right now. I do not need to know why I tend to collect things, I just enjoy doing it - and thank everybody who has collected and organised before me, since they have helped science so much. Without the Rothschild Collection of Fleas, where would we be?

Posted by Anders3 at August 20, 2008 09:47 PM