Re: virus: Re: Congratulations! you found it!
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 14:34:22 -0600 (CST)

On Mon, 16 Dec 1996, ken sartor wrote:

> 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:


> >> 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.

I am reacting to your summary of it. There are several other plausible
contents of that book's title.

I disagree with his second point w.r.t. Quantum Mechanics and General
Relativity. When I say they are incompatible, I mean that the results
computed are *obvious* garbage. Stephen Hawkings' work, while
formidable, will almost certainly have to be revised because his
mixture of QM and GR is as hackish as Euler's and Gauss' manipulations of
infinite series two centuries before their proper definition and
delineation of computation rules. However, I hope that the revisions
will be minor, just as the revisions of Euler's and Gauss' work was minor.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd