Re: virus: Re: Congratulations! you found it!

ken sartor (
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 13:03:43 -0600

At 12:17 PM 12/16/96 -0600, wrote:
>On Sat, 14 Dec 1996, ken sartor wrote:
>> At 10:53 AM 12/12/96 -0600, wrote:
>> >On Mon, 9 Dec 1996, Richard Brodie wrote:
>> >
>> >> [RB: Zander inadvertently sent this reply just to me, and asked that I
>> >> forward it to the list. This is Alexander speaking:]
>> >>
>> >> Richard Brodie wrote:
>> >> > This is because it's usually (paradoxically) a very ineffective
means of
>> >> > communicating a new paradigm to come right out and say what you mean,
>> >> > which is why I try other methods. Smart people easily seize upon
>> >> > whatever conflicts with their existing world view and
>> >> > ridicule/marginalize the new perspective. But go on...
>> >>
>> >> On the other hand, in science rather than in marketing, saying what you
>2> >> mean is typically looked on in a more favourable light. I'd like to
>> >> think what we do on this list is more akin to science than salesmanship.
>> >
>> >Is this why science is inadequately funded?
>> >
>> Gee - i think that science is rather well funded (i was at the
>> Cape for the Mars launch 2 weeks ago - very cool) and that
>> scientists are rather well paid (but i would not turn down a
>> raise!).
>> On a somewhat separate subject, i am reading a book "The End
>> of Science". Its main topic is that most of the basic science
>> (e.g., evolution, quantum mechanics, relativity) has already
>> been discovered and all that is left to do is flush it out and
>> invent new gizmos. After all, once you find out the fundamental
>> forces of nature, what else is left to do? Thoughts?
>Since Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity are currently mutually
>incompatible, neither of these is *quite* the final theory yet.
>That book was equally current in 1890! Just change a few names....
>Seriously. The ideas in that book are quite old, and were part of the
>extreme opposition to Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity.

Hmmm... have you read the book? Or is the title alone causing your
reaction to it? BTW - the author wrote a short essay in the current
APS Bulletin which summarized his point of view. He specifically
discusses the late 1800's and presents two conclusions. 1) The
popular belief that scientists thought they had discovered everything
at that point is a modern myth; and 2) Theories like QM, evolution,
etc. are not likely to be usurped by drastically different theories,
ever. They may change some, but in relatively minor ways that will
not massively effect our perception of the universe.