Quote of the Day
Even a clock that doesn't work,
is right twice a day
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
Observation of the Day
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
—Attributed to both Albert Einstein and to Edmund Burke
"Humor is something that thrives between man's aspirations and his limitations. There is more logic in humor than in anything else. Because, you see, humor is truth." — Victor Borge (?)
ROSA PER ALIUD NOMEN OLFACIES UT DULCIS
Αισθάνομαι οίκτο για εκείνους που θα ανταλλάξουν την ελευθερία τους για μια έννοια της ασφάλειας.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
— Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Letter to Josiah Quincy, September 11, 1773.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Be who you are and say what you will, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind. — Dr Seuss
Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation—and their ideas from suppression—at the hand of an intolerant society.
Don't be afraid to go after what you want to do, and what you want to be.
But don't be afraid to be willing to pay the price.
Small fish grind their teeth in impotent rage.
— E2D2, what do you make of this motto: "SIC SIC MORI"?
— pomegranate: I like to socialize.
— E2D2, do you speak latin?
— pomegranate: No but I know a few phrases like "et cetera" and "cogito egro sum" (sic).
In a free society, the government's job is simply to protect liberty.
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. — George Bernard Shaw
It will never cease to amaze me how foul language and scurrility can grab the masses and hold their interest in a way that true art rarely can...
I guess some of those "fine" gentlemen in Germany in the 1930s had really figured human nature much better than we dare admit to ourselves. A sobering thought. And one we should possibly explore. — pomegranate
"Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle,
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi
Mais mon amour silencieux et fidèle
Sourit toujours et remercie la vie."
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. — Kahlil Gibran
A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.
Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvellous it becomes. — Charles Lindbergh
The late Dr. Richard D. Passey of London's Chester Beatty Research Institute had spent twenty years investigating smoking and cancer. 'In Russia, China, Formosa, and other countries where cigarettes are made of air-dried tobacco (three months in a barn, allowing fermentation of sugars, and thus resulting in no sugar content) - close to the kind the American Indian used before the invention of sugar sauces (usually with many additives) - they are unable to find any correlation at all between smoking and lung cancer.' (Sugar Blues, 1975)
"Thirty thousand years ago, when men were doing cave paintings at Lascaux, they worked twenty hours a week to provide themselves with food and shelter and clothing. The rest of the time, they could play, or sleep, or do whatever they wanted. And they lived in a natural world, with clean air, clean water, beautiful trees and sunsets. Think about it. Twenty hours a week. Thirty thousand years ago."
Scientists have an elaborate line of bullshit about how they are seeking to know the truth about nature. Which is true, but that's not what drives them.
Nobody is driven by abstractions like 'seeking truth.'
Scientists are actually preoccupied with accomplishment. So they are focused on whether they can do something. They never stop to ask if they should do something.
We must institute far more stringent requirements for what constitutes knowledge. I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren’t true. In the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better. That’s not a good future for the human race.
The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts,
they alter the facts to fit their views...
This point is so crucial to the debate over global warming, that how water vapor is or isn't factored into an analysis of Earth's greenhouse gases makes the difference between describing a significant human contribution to the greenhouse effect, or a negligible one.
American and British history is riddled with examples of valid research and inventions which have been suppressed and derogated by the conventional science community. This has been of great cost to society and to individual scientists. Rather than furthering the pursuit of new scientific frontiers, the structure of British and American scientific institutions leads to conformity and furthers consensus-seeking. Scientists are generally like other people when it comes to the biases and self-justifications that cause them to make bad decisions and evade the truth. Some topics in science are 'taboo' subjects. Two examples are the field of psychic phenomenon and the field of new energy devices such as cold fusion. Journals, books and internet sites exist for those scientists who want an alternative to conformist scientific venues.
Although some scientific ideas are truely unfounded, the author of this paper will explore instances when valuable scientific ideas were unfairly reviled and rejected. This author will discuss the cognitive processes, including cognitive dissonance, conformity, and various biases which contribute to such suppression.
— Cognitive Processes and the Suppression of Sound Scientific Ideas, J. Sacherman 1997
Antoine Lavoisier, the science authority for eighteenth and early nineteenth century Europe and father of modern chemistry, assured his fellow Academicians in 1790, that meteorites could not fall from the sky as there were no stones in the sky (Milton,1996). In spite of first-hand reports of meteors falling from the sky, Lavoisier was believed. Nearly all of the meteorites in public and private collections were then thrown out. Only one meteor that was too heavy to move was saved, so today the world has few specimens that predate 1790. Meteors were not commonly collected again until mounting evidence for their extraterrestrial origin predominated about 50 years later.
During the years, between 1903 to 1908, Wilbur and Orville Wright repeatedly demonstrated the flight capability of their invention, the airplane. Despite these demonstrations plus numerous independent affidavits and photographs from local enthusiasts as well, the Wrights' claims were not believed. Scientific American, the New York Herald, the US Army and most American scientists discredited the Wrights and proclaimed that their mechanism was a hoax. Noted experts from the US Navy and from Johns Hopkins University decried "powered human flight . . .absurd."
In a similar vein, the inventors of the turbine ship engine, the mechanical naval gunnery control, the electric ships telegraph, and the steel ship hull all initially met with disinterest, disbelief and derision by the British Navy of the nineteenth century (Milton, 1996).
What is now considered a very ordinary object, the light bulb, was initially mired in controversy and disbelief. When Thomas Edison was finally successful in finding a light bulb filament which could glow while sustaining the heat of electrical conduction, he invited members of the scientific community to observe his demonstration (Milton 1996). Although the general public traveled to witness his electric lamp, the noted scientists of the day refused to and claimed the following about Edison:
"Such startling announcements as these should be deprecated as being unworthy of science and mischievous to its true progress." -Sir William Siemens, England's most distinguished engineer.
In the book, The Coming Energy Revolution, the author, Jeanne Manning (1996), told of how the treatment of Tesla contrasted with that of his contemporary, Edison. Tesla did not bother as Edison did, to "play the game" (p. 24) with the U.S. science establishment, the media and the investors. Manning (1996) continued with explaining that even though Tesla was the main trail-blazer of the age of electricity, his almost inaccessible brilliance, his lack of interest in publishing, and his wish to give everyone free electric power may have caused substantial professional jelousy. Manning (1996) further postulated that this jealousy and Tesla's non-conformity were responsible for the lack of support and acknowledgment he received. Moreover, Manning (1996) continued, even though other inventors were often credited for them, many of the products that came out of the age of electricity were directly due to Tesla's concepts. These were inventions such as Marconi's radio, which was presented to the public in 1901 and used 17 of Tesla's patented ideas. In 1943, the Supreme Court had, in fact, ruled that Tesla was the radio's inventor (Manning,1996). Unfortunately for Tesla, that was some years after his death. After the US science community and investors turned their back on Tesla, he descended "into wild eccentricity"(p. 26). However, Manning (1996) asserted, his research on wireless power conveyance, bladeless turbines, excess-output energy machines and other futuristic devices are still being marveled at and studied by those that have rediscovered this unappreciated genius.
Other innovators who were described by Milton (1996) as victims of the insults of the skeptical scientific power elite, were such men as John Logie Baird, inventor of television. Baird had been described by the British Royal Society as "a swindler" (p. 19). Likewise, Wilhelm Roentgen's discovery of X-rays was decried as an "elaborate hoax" (p.22) by Lord Kelvin, the most influential scientist of Europe in 1895. Scientists of Roentgen's day produced film fogging X-rays on a substantial scale but were unwilling to consider the wide ranging implications of Roentgen's work for 10 years after his discovery (Milton, 1996). Another example of such victimization, presented by Dean Radin (1996) in his book The Conscious Universe, involved the theory of German meteorologist, Alfred Wegener. This theory which Wegener developed in 1915, contended that the earth's continents had once been a single mass of land which later drifted apart. Although Wegener carefully cataloged geological evidence, his American and British colleagues ridiculed both him and his idea (Radin, 1996). Although Wegener died an intellectual outcast in 1930, every schoolchild is currently taught his theory which is known as continental drift.
"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." -Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology France, 1872 (p.30)
"Fooling around with alternating current in just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever." -Thomas Edison, 1889 (p.207)
"I laughed till. . . my sides were sore." -Adam Sedgwick, British geologist in a letter to Darwin in regards to his theory of evolution, 1857 (p.9)
"If the whole of the English language could be condensed into one word, it would not suffice to express the utter contempt those invite who are so deluded as to be disciples of such an imposture as Darwinism." -Francis Orpen Morris, British ornithologist 1877 (p.10)
"Airplanes are interesting toys, but of no military value." - Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre (p.245)
"To affirm that the aeroplane is going to 'revolutionize' naval warfare of the future is to be guilty of the wildest exaggeration." -Scientific American, 1910 (p.246)
"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" - H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers Studios, 1927 (p.72)
"The whole procedure of shooting rockets into space. . . presents difficulties of so fundamental a nature, that we are forced to dismiss the notion as essentially impracticable, in spite of the author's insistent appeal to put aside prejudice and to recollect the supposed impossibility of heavier-than-air flight before it was actually accomplished." -Richard van der Riet Wooley, British astronomer (p.257)
"The energy produced by the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine." Ernst Rutherford, 1933 (p.215)
"Space travel is bunk" - Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of Britain, 1957, two weeks before the launch of Sputnik (p.258)
"But what hell is it good for?" -Engineer Robert Lloyd, IBM 1968, commenting on the microchip (p.209)
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Corp. 1977 (p.209)