Thursday, February 07, 2008

That and This

  • The European Commission is doing a study on European researcher mobility. They are looking for European researchers currently living and working in the US to fill our their survey, you find it here. According to their definition, I am apparently classified as a 'mobile experienced researcher'.


  • Have a look at this. Takes 30 seconds, gives you something to think about the next 30 years.


  • According to a study by the postdoctoral association of the Rockefeller University more than 90% of their postdocs are 'very concerned' or 'somewhat concerned' about their retirement savings (can't find an actual number on the diagram). Somebody wrote in the comments: "Postdoc should not be treated as 'temp' worker. We pour our souls into this university."


  • Quotation of the week:

    “A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude.”
    ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


39 comments:

Kris Krogh said...

Hi Bee,

Your quotation of the week reminds me of an item from the Feynman biography by John and Mary Gribbin:

"Feynman held up the pad he had been doodling on. In the middle, surrounded by all kinds of scribble, was one word, in capitals: DISREGARD. That, he told Goodstein, was the whole point. That was what he had forgotten, and why he had been making so little progress. The way for researchers like himself and Watson to make a breakthrough was to be ignorant of what everybody else was doing and plough their own furrow."

Cheers, Kris

Bee said...

Well, I am certainly very skilled in ignoring what everybody else is doing. Not sure though whether that's the way towards a breakthrough.

Uncle Al said...

Niger has 800,000 starving children. Supplying them all with sufficient protein and calories to become reproductive adults would cost $(US)20 million for Plumpy'nut. Tell Uncle Al how that solves the problem.

The vacuum could contain diluted remains of a chiral pseudoscalar background that powered inflation, chose matter over antimatter, handed the Weak Interaction, forced biological homochirality for protein L-amino acids and D-sugars... Achiral tests are inert. Shouldn't somebody take a chiral look? It has firm theoretical basis. At worst it isn't there to be seen.

Arun said...

I will think about the quote of the week in solitude.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude.”

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Yes Goethe, one of the more colourful figures of the Enlightenment ;-)


Regards,


Phil

Georg said...

Hello,
on this Charungs star-story:
He will get a Nobel Prize in Medicine
for that "virus of Malaria".
Do more than three quarters of Americans
know where iraqu is, really?
Georg

Anonymous said...

the pdf you provided is a blunt hypocrisy and a lie.

in first 7 countries there are privileged minority represented by stars , while in 8th flag-USA it says that those against war in iraq are represented by stars, implying they are minority, and privileged, while in actuality they are majority and unprivileged. In fact they have been stripped of some basic human rights.
It should be - RED-people against war in Iraq, and also 'fair game'-meaning RED for blood-they are not important. they can bleed, and they are at least 50% of US population.

But it's not surprising. Such lying propaganda is what is required to get nobel prize.
A.

Bee said...

Hi George, Hi A:

Before more people question whether the measure on the flags in actually correct or whether some stars weight more than others, or maybe red has a different metric than white etc, let me point out the reason that I linked to the pdf is that I like it from an artistic point of view. It has a simple message, clearly made and brought to the point, I find it pretty much ingenious. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Georg:
Have a look at this ;-)

Anonymous said...

hehe, yeah, it's lying propaganda, but ingenious one. yes, I agree it's ingenious.
best,
A.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Anonymous,

“While in 8th flag-USA it says that those against war in Iraq are represented by stars, implying they are minority,”

My only comment is to point out that your powers of observation are not as sharp as your criticism. If you read the legend it says the area in white (not just the white stars).In as half the stripes are white this in total represent the proportion of the flag that is against the war. This then means it is more then 50%. As for the percentage that could find Iran on a map I’ll let you continue your research while you check out the crow on the menu.

Regards,

Phil

Christine said...

For Brazil, the message is qualitatively correct, and reflects what I have been saying here at another post.

On the other hand, it is interesting to contrast with the true meaning of the colors of the Brazilian flag: green represents the forests; yellow, the natural richness; blue, the sky; and white, peace (with other countries). I'm certain these proportions are also qualitatively correct. Two sides of the same country, which makes the situation even more perplexing.

Best,
Christine

Anonymous said...

Hi phil,

yes, you're correct. but when pdf makes emphasis on stars in the first line, the underlying message is not concerned with the rest of the flag. and given the attention spam (as you subtly implied in second half of your post) of the general public, transmitted message is sadly as I've stated.
but, of course, literaly reading you're correct.

best,
A.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Anonymous,

“….of course, literaly reading you're correct.”

So are you then suggesting this whole thing is a devise whose sole intent is to exploit and manipulate the illiterate?

Regards,

Phil

Anonymous said...

no, phil, your comment makes sense. I wrongly interpretated pdf.
You're right - more than 50% according to it in US are against war in iraq.
That means to say that the message of the pdf is in fact that US is not democracy - where the will of the majority is respected.
it's strange to read in a nobel candidate material that US is not democracy, I guess that confused me.

best,
A.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Anonymous,

“it's strange to read in a nobel candidate material that US is not democracy, I guess that confused me.”

It is good that you realize and admit your error. However it is also a mistake to imagine that what defines a democracy is that its leaders are elected to simply expedite the will of the people. A democracy is a process where the people choose who they believe will run the affairs of the nation in the best interest of all. It has long been recognized that there are often differences between what is good or right and what the majority (at any one moment or ever) would want. If the people feel their interests were not served they have the (collective) power to correct this at the appointed time.

I’ll get off my soapbox now for I’ve never been comfortable standing on one.

Regards,

Phil

Bee said...

Hi Phil, Hi A,

Interesting exchange. I just want to add a word on the question whether or not the USA is a democracy: My reply would be a clear no. As I have argued earlier, democracy is more than the written down right to put a cross in a circle (or whatever the modern equivalent is, if it works). Democracy means that everybodies opinion is equally important, and that is clearly not the case in the US. The wealthy have significantly more influence, and their opinions are heard much louder. Since I have always believed in the power of the working class, I find it extremely puzzling that the majority of people in the USA tolerate and thereby passively support this system (or why else doesn't anybody do something about it?). I guess this is closely related to the widespread naive believe in the merits of capitalism and the free market. This believe again however, seems to be largely due to messages spread in the media and the general education. Having lived in the USA for some years, what scares me most is not the actual lack of information some people have about what is going on but that they are not aware of their ignorance (might that be ignorance about the global political situation or about the actual working of their political or economic systems). I have no problems with people who just say they don't know, don't understand, or don't want to know. I have a problem with people who believe they know and understand - what I like to refer to as 'the illusion of knowledge'. Most of what I've just said is also true for many other countries. Just that the Americans it seems have the impressive ability to make everything somewhat bigger, faster, larger - even their mistakes. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Tell Uncle Al how that solves the problem.

It helps them solve their own problems.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“Democracy means that everybodies opinion is equally important, and that is clearly not the case in the US.”

In relation to the above could you clarify your position? Does this imply that you consider that a system of “direct democracy” could function or be feasible for the U.S. or any current nation or collective you might define?

“Having lived in the USA for some years, what scares me most is not the actual lack of information some people have about what is going on but that they are not aware of their ignorance (might that be ignorance about the global political situation or about the actual working of their political or economic systems)”

In relation to this statement do you consider that the U.S. population is then ignorant resultant of a designed conspiracy perpetrated by the privileged rich and powerful, a result due to general indifference or as a consequence of the shared belief of justifiable greed or perhaps something(s) else?

Now my take on this which can be summed up an often cited and quoted clique:

“People in a democracy don’t always or often get the government they require and yet the often do get the one they deserve.”

This is simply to say that within a democratic system I don’t believe in the boogey man. I believe that the flaws exhibited within such a system relate directly to those it serves. This has been demonstrated more then once within recent history. A system that only fosters and encourages a belief that ever person only has rights is bound to fail. To succeed people must also be brought to understand they all have responsibilities. A world where it is required necessary to warn people that coffee is hot or can only prevent speeding in residential areas by erecting bumps is not such a society. Socrates realized the importance of this in relation to democracy when he said:

"The unexamined life is not worth living."

This is to mean that a just society is only possible beginning first from the viewpoint of introspection. I maintain that all democracies have lost this as being the truth and such are losing their democracy and freedom. In terms of what has happened in the U.S. and the rest of the world is the surrender of this mitigated and exploited by irrational fear. Those in the U.S. should be reminded by what one of its founders said in this regards which was:

“Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY, deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY.”
-Benjamin Franklin

That is to mean that this fear has empowered many of their leaders to have them forfeit much of their predecessor’s hard earned freedom and liberty with this misguided consent.

Regards,

Phil

Bee said...

Hi Phil:

I agree with what you say. As long as they have the possibility to change something, they have to blame it on themselves.

Does this imply that you consider that a system of “direct democracy” could function or be feasible for the U.S. or any current nation or collective you might define?

No. I believe I said that clearly in the earlier post The Spirits that we called. What I am saying (here as in the earlier post) is that the basis on which people make their decision should be as unbiased as possible. And if people who have lots of money have lots of influence on that basis (information), that's a reason for large concern. There is further the more obvious influence through lobbyism.

In relation to this statement do you consider that the U.S. population is then ignorant resultant of a designed conspiracy perpetrated by the privileged rich and powerful, a result due to general indifference or as a consequence of the shared belief of justifiable greed or perhaps something(s) else?

No. I don't believe in conspiracies. I believe that in principle most people mean well, and they genuinely think what they are doing is right for whatever reasons, reasons that however are based upon what they think they know... I believe the reason is simply they don't actually know what they are doing, or they don't take the time to sufficiently think about it. Many people also seem to like the illusion that there are some people (experts! leaders!) who know what they are doing, and who they can trust. Taken together, I think the system is sick because people try to ignore the flaws to feel better, and if they can't they fix them superficially, or blame them on circumstances they have no influence on. (Again, that is not something that is only the case in the US). Yeah, misguided consent is a good way to put it.

Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

I think you did this just to have me get on the soapbox again, despite my discomfort. It can also be understood that as in regard to most of the important points we appear to agree. The dilemma of course is how things can be improved. This is also your obvious interest and motive for the exchange as to explore this further. My only (humble) suggestion being as you infer which is to promote governments and people to believe that the primary right of it citizens is to have equal access to a quality education and information that is reliable, factual and unbiased. Perhaps the first step would be to borrow and alter a page from Bill Clinton’s book to success in being elected. That is in his initial campaign he had installed in all of his election offices a banner which reminded his workers:

“It’s all about the economy, stupid!“

In relation to what is now needed some candidate should realize and believe it necessary to erect the following banner in all of their offices:

“It’s all about quality education and universal access to relevantly honest information to assure that none will be stupid!”

Best Regards,

Phil

Plato said...

Nothing wrong with standing on a soapbox Phil. While one might feel a bit naked, it often reveals some of the deeper truths about our thinking?:)

Bee:Since I have always believed in the power of the working class, I find it extremely puzzling that the majority of people in the USA tolerate and thereby passively support this system (or why else doesn't anybody do something about it?). I guess this is closely related to the widespread naive believe in the merits of capitalism and the free market.

I can assure you Bee the working class is alive and well. It is often mistaken for a "communistic movement.":)

While we know of the fruit of being scientific and it's requirements, often it is the philosophical approach that we leave to our private times, that we begin to understand the larger context of cultures and their effective associations.

The very constitutions that are adopted are often the lifeblood of those very same cultures?

Even the Dalai Lama recognized it's important while in India, to draft this constitution in absenteeism from the country he represented. He reminded people that even he fell under it and was not immune to it.

ISAACSON: The virtue of tolerance, which I think is the most important virtue we need in the 21st century. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration, he had a great line, "We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable." And Franklin crossed out "sacred and undeniable" and put, "We hold these truths to be self evident." [Franklin] said we need to be a very tolerant nation in which our rights are based on reason, not based on religion, and I think in this century, we have to be tolerant of all religions and all tribes, and that was the thing that Benjamin Franklin taught us.

I keep this in my records but not the link itself.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Plato,

“Nothing wrong with standing on a soapbox Phil. While one might feel a bit naked, it often reveals some of the deeper truths about our thinking?:)”

If one was to look out my window to observe the mountain of snow that was once a front yard you would understand my anxiety when you paint such a picture :-) As for the revelation of truth, that is why I enjoy restricting myself for the most part to the discussion of science. At least here I can rely on the innate restrictions of the discipline to prevent my exposing the full extent of my ignorance. However I agree that in such matters the wider yet purely rational aspects of philosophy must be brought into play. I also notice you are a fan of that fellow on the U.S. $100.00 bill. He certainly was a man ahead of his time in being a media man, politician, diplomat and scientist. How many today would consider such a person to be qualified to help form and govern a nation? What seem to be sought after today are one of and/or a combination of the following; the celebrity, the self righteous, the intolerant, the spin doctor, the pseudo scientist, the panderer, or the fear monger.

Well I’ve had enough for now of being exposed. Have you heard about that paper written by the researchers who claim that the galaxy M101 exhibits no reason to understand that it contains dark matter? :-) The paper part I’m serious about.

Best,

Phil

Plato said...

Hey Phil as evidenced by our host, thinking does not stop at science.:)

One has to be extremely flexible and what you learn from science, you can transmit to other areas?

History, like to our other host is an important feature to understanding where we are today.

SElf-evident can be an "indecomposable element" even when we recognize the very basics of constitutional reforms and what Benjamin Franklin did to Thomas Jefferson. So there is a lesson there. One may not see the matters of science there, but what a host to science that such a forbear would not have been recognized as having stood on the shoulders of a giant speaking to such a process?

To your other points you have to share them with a link and hopefully our host will either address them, or you lead one somewhere?:)

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, despite your discomfort with the soapbox ;-) Having slept about what I said yesterday though, I found I don't agree with myself. I wrote:

As long as they have the possibility to change something, they have to blame it on themselves.

Which expresses unfortunately very inappropriately what the current state of my mind is. It might sound a bit confuse, but my objection is that as a voter you can only vote for a solution if you are offered a solution. You don't make it yourself. The problem as I see it, which reflects in a widespread frustration about politics and politicians in particular, is the absence of offered solutions to begin with. That what is offered are just more fixes for the holey socks, socks that are by now little more than fixes kept together.

What I have to ask then (as I did earlier) is: where are the thinkers, the intellectuals, those who offer the solutions? Who has new socks? The problem is, to abuse Clinton: It's all about the economy, how stupid. That is to say, where in our so called 'civilisations' are the niches for the scientists who care about their society. What is their productive value? Do they get sufficient support to provide what I would without any irony call solutions to the most important problems we are facing. (I am serious. Understanding global warming, the technological side, is only one aspect. The far larger problem is what institutions do we have to realize solutions even if we had them. And how long would that take.) I.e. I guess what I am saying is I am blaming those who have the brains but don't stand up and use them. I am blaming all those who see the problem but don't do anything about it. But yes, I am also blaming everybody who doesn't listen to those who have long previously pointed towards problems we are running into (nothing new here).

Hi Plato:

I can assure you Bee the working class is alive and well. It is often mistaken for a "communistic movement.":)

I am waiting, Plato, I am waiting... :-) To pick up Clinton's line again, it is not all about the economy. Think about it in terms of time spend instead of money. Every time somebody buys something he or she doesn't actually need (CONSUME), he encourages more people to spend the time of their life on producing things we don't need. The problem with capitalism is not that it doesn't work. The problem is that it works too well. The spirits that we called...

It is very easy to dismiss the movement of the working class a communism, though that is of course bullshit. I guess I don't have to tell you that, but it's an unfortunate objection that I myself have heard a lot.

Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Plato,

“Hey Phil as evidenced by our host, thinking does not stop at science.:)”

You are of course right, yet in such matters it is not the thinking I’m uncomfortable with, it’s more the expounding. First be assured what I’m about to say relates in no way to anyone here. That is first I’m guided by an old saying which is:

“The empty drum makes the most noise”

This I hold to remind me that we must question both knowledge and motive when offering opinion or advice. That is neither wisdom nor sincerity on its own is enough when considering truth. It is only when both are present that such has value or what is better described as quality.

The second thing I consider unfortunately reveals a side of me that I wish I could remedy, which is modesty as it relates to fear. What comes to mind in this regard is what has been reported to be a Japanese proverb which is some sense relates to their culture which is:

“The tallest nail is the one pounded down first.”

I realize that the truly successful people in the world are not afflicted with this fear. However, it is an aspect of human frailty that many (including myself) must wrestle with. Those who do it the least are only motivated by self preservation in times of threat. There are those that seem not to be encumbered by this and when I realize this one often first examine their motives. Some risk themselves for what they consider to be greater good and others for their own good. When it is the first many find it easy to support such people. When it is the latter it appears to make this evaluation more difficult. That is the person motivated primarily by self would appear as someone not to trust. However as you can imagine this may not be the case for although the motive may be seen as wrong, the action recommended may be correct. It also should be noted that the selfless person may also be wrong for good intentions are no guarantee of wisdom (just ask a lemming).

In the end what it boils down to is who is right and who is wrong and unfortunately intend has little to offer in such decisions. That is where I’m convinced that the true scientists and philosophers have an important role to play. Not so much in the day to day yet to help set the foundations on which such decisions are made. In this capacity they are in part removed from such scrutiny, for as a group they are perceived as not only wise but for the most part meek. In this way the concern of motive doesn’t come into play and cloud the issue. My only advice in this regard is to limit ones support for those content to only advise, while being wary of those who wish to rule.

Hi Bee,

I believe the above addresses for the most part your points of concern as well.


Best,

Phil

Plato said...

I have a hard time seeing anyone as meek whether such status is assigned. Whether a scientist or not.

Yes I understand fear. In it's most primitive sense, self preservation for sure, but from an aninmalistic sense. You understand this may be associated to an "emotive valuation," since itself may seem such? Primitive?

It's strong force that can overtake any of our moments. But there is always a lighter side to "emotive consequences" that it can be turned around, to become inspirational and uplifting.

Some would move on from there and deal with the intellectual where mind is utterly free of such primitive sensibilities?

While the education on one journeys can take different paths, it affords insight development that another might not see. It does not ever remove that emotive part of ourselves. It is the continuance of the struggle to push perspective into it's proper light. Learn to change attitudes by choice. One pushes forward.

So while the exercise may be going on "inside" things are happening on the outside. Scientists have never been completely honest with themselves, while some may concern themselves with whose name said what?

To admit there is an intellectual capacity besmirched by negative emotion is part and parcel of it. So who's going to throw the first stone?

But imagine that any of these scientists can actually believe the the next step might include a spiritual progression, from dealing with the emotive and mental capacity of our beings?

Bee said...

Hi Phil:

Some risk themselves for what they consider to be greater good and others for their own good. When it is the first many find it easy to support such people. When it is the latter it appears to make this evaluation more difficult. That is the person motivated primarily by self would appear as someone not to trust.

? Are you sure you are living in the same century as I do? In my impression, it is people who are not primarily interested in their own benefit who are considered suspicious. The own advantage is a motivation everybody accepts these days, no explanation necessary. if you're working for somebody else, just tell them why their interest is your interest, and drop the idealism, nobody believes it anyway. Welcome in the 21st century. Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“ Are you sure you are living in the same century as I do? In my impression, it is people who are not primarily interested in their own benefit who are considered suspicious. The own advantage is a motivation everybody accepts these days, no explanation necessary.”

First, you take me wrong if you believe I trust one type over the other, which I thought I’d made clear I don’t. However, with that said, yes I guess as you define it we do live in different centuries and yet I wouldn’t consider myself altruistic. Your view on the other hand is indeed familiar as being typically described as being an Objectivist as in the Ayn Rand type. This philosophy considers self interest when disciplined by pure logic as sound in as common interest is something then that is naturally emergent. If all in the world had the logical skills, intellect and training you possess I might find this acceptable as being practical. The truth is however is that the vast majority don’t and thereby more often confuse logic with justification. I’m afraid it will be a long time before the world could be trusted to operate properly guided only by self interest.

Best,

Phil

Anonymous said...

hi phil (sory for delay in response) ,

`However it is also a mistake to imagine that what defines a democracy is that its leaders are elected to simply expedite the will of the people.`

well, again I apologize for I do not know how to reply, because now you`re simply beyond my depth.

best,
A.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Anonymous,

“well, again I apologize for I do not know how to reply, because now you`re simply beyond my depth.”

No apologies necessary, perhaps I was not clear. It’s just simply that democratic governments are not elected to do what people want yet rather what they need them to do. Sometimes that is not always the same thing. At the next election they get to argue their case for how and why they did what they did and the voter decides if that was reasonable. As an example, with all that white on the flag do you suppose the Americans are likely to re-elect a republican as their next president? And if they do, then who has then failed; the government, or the people?

Regards,

Phil

Anonymous said...

hi phil,

yes, I agree with you,
but does that norvegian and the people who recommended him for nobel?

best,
A.

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

My previous comment was meant as a mockery. I didn't mean to say I think it should be this or that way, I just wanted to mention that people who don't primarily act out of self-interest attract easily suspicion or maybe pity. E.g. if you engage in community activities that you can't put in your CV, somebody will tell (well meant advise) you you are ruining your career - if that person is a supervisor you are better off not letting them know at all (waste of time! distraction!). Sadly enough, it might indeed be the case that you ruin your career. What I meant to say is basically that nowadays nobody questions if you say: I don't have time to volunteer for X because I have to design my CV. But if you say I don't have time to design my CV because I volunteer for X, people will think you're nuts (or live in the last century ;-).

I’m afraid it will be a long time before the world could be trusted to operate properly guided only by self interest.

I don't think actually this would ever work out. If mankind wants to survive we'll need to see a convergence of self interest with community interests. I.e. I believe what the homo sapiens sapiens needs is more empathy or we'll wreck our planet including ourselves. There is a possibility we'll get there (thinking of timescales of 100,000 years or so), but it is currently much more probable we manage to erase ourselves from the Earth's surface long before that. Best,

B.

Thomas D said...

What a convoluted discussion... Try reading the book by Bagehot on the British Constitution. Factually outdated but many aspects of it are still valid.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“My previous comment was meant as a mockery. I didn't mean to say I think it should be this or that way,”

So you were just funning :-) You sure had me fooled. Next time do me a favour and throw in a smiley face or something. You are however sadly correct when you say such behavior is the rule rather then the exception. So then how does one have people realize that life is not simply about themselves? I would probably be the last person to recommend religion(s) as an answer for as is currently realized they don’t serve for much; that is outside of being a divisive force in the world. Isn’t it strange that many have (in the first world) found themselves in a place where they have become to smart for religion and yet to dumb for reason.

Perhaps we need a clearly recognizable global threat to provoke us to unify (I’m afraid global warming won’t cut it). Don’t laugh for I’ve often wondered what would happen if it was announced tomorrow that they have discovered an asteroid the size of Rode Island was going to collide with the planet in say 15 years. Would this threat be enough for us all to settle or put aside our petty differences to unite in warding off such a catastrophe? It would either serve to save us or expose the truth that we are not worthy to survive. In as we know the occurrence of such things is not a question of if, yet rather only of when, it might be better sooner then later; for if later we might not have otherwise learned how to how stick around.

Regards,

Phil

Tony Smith said...

Bee, about your Goethe quote
"A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude."

have you seen the January 2008 issue of Science et Vie article entitled
"Enfin une théorie du tout?" ?

On pages 52-53 it quotes Garrett Lisi saying
“Ma théorie du tout, j’ai mis dix ans à l’élaborer en solitaire, loin des pressions académiques”
and
the article goes on to say
"... pendant près de dix ans, entre Hawaï et la Californie, Lisi a développé en solitaire une théorie d’unification du modèle standard de la physique des particule et de la relativité générale. ..."

A following article entitled
"Ce qu’il faut maintenant vérifier…"
says, on pages 59 and 62

"... La violence des réactions illustre bien la crise de la physique théorique moderne ..."
and
"“Pro” et “anti” ont désormais un intérêt commun: mettre la théorie à l’épreuve".

The article concludes on page 62 saying
"... Si la théorie de Lisi a fait des prédictions correctes que l’expérience pourra révéler, alors le plus gros du travail sera fait.

Et une seule figure géométrique rendra compte de l’Univers tout entier...".

The articles contain much more detail, including quotes from pro-Lisi and anti-Lisi people, and also has some very nice illustrations.

Tony Smith

Bee said...

Hi Tony:

C'est très intéressante. Merci beaucoup!

B.

Bee said...

Hi Phil:

Well, in my better days I am confident that we have the ability, we just don't use it, because it is not supported by the prevailing culture - at least not in most parts of the world.

Perhaps we need a clearly recognizable global threat to provoke us to unify

Yeah, that might indeed be possible. It is an idea that was used in the Perry Rhodan series, not sure if you know it. The global threat in this case is an alien civilization, as a result Earth's governments (that was during cold war) put aside their disagreements and work together, the outcome is a global government (with that guy Perry Rhodan being the president of course). Later that empire gets extended beyond the Earth - well, it's Science Fiction.

Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,


“Yeah, that might indeed be possible. It is an idea that was used in the Perry Rhodan series, not sure if you know it.”

No I haven’t but it looks like I should have. After hitting the link and then following a few related more I’ve become quite intrigued. Next time I stumble into a Chapters I’ll have to see what I can find. It’s been a while since I’ve read any fiction yet as you can imagine what I have read there is a lot of science fiction in that group.


“The global threat in this case is an alien civilization, as a result Earth's governments (that was during cold war) put aside their disagreements and work together, the outcome is a global government”

Sounds like it could have application in regards to our current dilemma. I also picked up on what you said in the other post about you thoughts on nationalism and all. It appears like you feel much the same as I have for most of my live in this regard. I’ve always considered nationalism as something of the past that must give way to globalism before mankind can make any further significant progress. I also learned a new word with this related browsing which is “Zeitgeist”. This of course you are familiar with. In English it translates as “spirit of the age” yet it’s meaning in German takes on more depth and layers as to only being observable as to the past. I wonder if the Zeitgeist of our future will evolve into what will be needed? I suppose as they say, time will tell.

Best,

Phil