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duLapel
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Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 363
Location: Sacramento California

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluecatship wrote:
I believe there was something in there about bodies acting on one another. Who knew math and science could be so racy? :p

Confused Yes... QUANTUM-MECHANICS succumbs to rule 34... at 10,000 times the speed-of-light Shocked
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duLapel
Overlord


Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 363
Location: Sacramento California

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZombieDish wrote:
Those are some pretty big words and lots of them too...


I apologies in advance ZombieDish… but as a Union Card Carrying Practitioner of Science, I would like to demystify my arcane pursuit Confused

SciFi likes to glorify Scientist but...
  • Scientist make only models... and are glory hounds! ...and -yes- humble Wink
  • Engineers actually make useful stuff... and are pretty stoic as long as they get paid! Neutral


Idea Theories are not truth, they are empirical observations ordered into logical constructs, i.e., stories. The best of them incorporate a majority of the available observation and have a logic that allows some correct predictions—verified through reproducible experiments—without too many embarrassingly incorrect ones. The smaller the theoretical construct, the higher the probability that it has useful predictions… ones that can withstand the ultimate reproducible scrutiny of an engineering application.

Arrow The above is what I saw to be a fact in graduate school…

Nerdy For those of you who are curious Squidly! (or in great need of sleep Brainwashed) here are three of the greatest thinkers on this topic...
  1. Thomas S Kuhn in his 1962 work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions less succinctly codified the above notions and uses Social Psychology ideas to explain the rise and fall of theoretical systems (Paradigms in his nomenclature). It is well worth the read but he is a truly soporific writer!

  2. The more traditional view of great men standing on the shoulders of even greater men, repeat ad nauseam, is given by Sir Karl Popper in his 1963 tome Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge

  3. Imre Lakatos, a brilliant contemporary of Kuhn and Popper, at cocktail parties would often mediate arguments between the two before blows were exchanged Ow. (I suspect he simple read a few paragraphs of his own works and anesthetized all present). Imre’s first volume in his 1978 codex The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes: Volume 1: Philosophical Papers describes the various scientific methodologies giving fair account of both strengths and weaknesses of each approach. He also makes imaginative uses of Kurt Gödel’s 1931 Incompleteness theorems to point out that all theories will always have at least one lemma, an intuitively obvious but unprovable WAG (wild ass guess), to keep it internally consistent…Gah! WTF?!


I wrote some time ago the following 400 word parable to illustrate how all we think we know is likely illusory... Jello!
    The Ants and The Cherry Tree
    There once were a group of ants discussing what a cherry tree must look like. Being incredibly shortsighted creatures, they simple could not look up at the tree and see its supple twisting limbs branching upward. Nor could they see the thick canopy of green leaves and bows laden with bunches of ripe cherries. They decide that they would send an explorer up the tree and find out through their agent’s experience.

    They selected their best observer, who was much practiced in gauging diameters of things with her out stretched legs, and sent her on her way. When she returned, days later, she made her report. “A cherry tree is a long tapering tube with a leaf at the tip.” They talked this over and agreed that it must be true. They made it part of what they taught all young ants. Then one day, in a discussion about cherry trees, one noted that cherries and leaves are fond together on the ground. “Why” she wondered, “wasn’t this so also for cherry trees.” They decide that they would send an explorer up the tree and find out through their agents experience.

    They selected their best observer and sent her on her way. When she returned, days later, she made her report. “A cherry tree is a long tapering tube with a single cherry at the tip.” Ah, one thought, the leaf must have turn into a cherry. They talked this over and agreed that it must be true. They made it part of what they taught all young ants. Then one cold day, the colony was low on food. Some ants remembered what they had been taught about the cherry tree and decided to retrieve the cherry.

    They selected a troop of there strongest ants to bring back the cherry and sent them on their way. When they returned—days later and empty handed—they made their report. “A cherry tree is a long tapering tube with nothing at the tip.” Ah, one thought, the cherry must have been stolen. They talked this over and agreed that it must be true. They made it part of what they taught all young ants. To this day, if you ask a well educated ant about cherry trees, she will tell you, “A cherry tree is a long tapering tube which had a leaf on the tip, which turned into a cherry and then was stolen.


When it comes to truth, we all may need glasses Rolling Eyes
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