"The meaning of the world is the separation of wish and fact." - KURT GÖDEL
"According to Peirce's doctrine of fallibilism, the conclusions of science are always tentative. The rationality of the scientific method does not depend on the certainty of its conclusions, but on its self-corrective character: by continued application of the method science can detect and correct its own mistakes, and thus eventually lead to the discovery of truth".
A guiding principle for accepting claims of catastrophic global events, miracles, incredible healing, invisible friends, or fill in the blank is:
“extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” - Carl Sagan
"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable." - H. L. Mencken
I would add irrational and highly delusional to the mix when faith requires one to accept magical violations of the well known, well tested or easily demonstrated laws of Nature. - PWL
"Science is Progress and the Future. Faith is regression to the Dark Ages." - PWL
“It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.” - Carl Sagan
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan
"Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness." - Alfred Korzybski
"Science is a search for basic truths about the Universe, a search which develops statements that appear to describe how the Universe works, but which are subject to correction, revision, adjustment, or even outright rejection, upon the presentation of better or conflicting evidence." - James Randi
"Hypotheses are nets: only he who casts will catch." - Novalis
"Nullius in verba. Take no one's word for it." - Motto of the Royal Society
"I'm trying to find out NOT how Nature could be, but how Nature IS." - Richard Feynman
"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." - Thomas Henry Huxley
“A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein
"Science is empirical. Knowing the answer means nothing. Testing your knowledge means everything." - Lawrence Krauss
"Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency." - Stephen Jay Gould
"Science is best defined as a careful, disciplined, logical search for knowledge about any and all aspects of the universe, obtained by examination of the best available evidence and always subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence. What's left is magic. And it doesn't work." - James Randi
“The story of Pierre Jaquet Droz and his sons is one of the most moving in the history of Horology. Born in 1721, Pierre Jaquet Droz, master of time in the Age of Enlightenment — mechanical genius, avant-garde creator of jewellery watchmaking and composer of poetry and dreams — is one of the most fascinating figures of the period. Read the rest of this entry »
The legal right of the government to lie to the people has always bothered me as it smacks of a lack of integrity by the very people allegedly empowered to have the highest levels of integrity and honesty by the people. The members of the government, in whatever capacity or role they are filling, have a special trust to uphold and when they use deception why are they allowed to get away with it and yet a different standard is applied to the people when they lie? If a defendant in a court case lies at any point while being investigated it’s treated with such great importance that it’s as if the world came to an end… but when the cult members of the cult of government lie it’s for the benefit of the people and lifted up as somehow an honorable trick that was played to get at the truth when in fact it’s no different for it was a lie, a deception, a non-truth, falsified information, a fabrication designed to give false impressions. It’s ironic that some of the best liars are likely working within the government and get rewarded for it.
Let’s explore this by way of two very interesting conversations, one from philosopher and physicist Paul Davies and the other from Stephen Wolfram.
Philosopher and physicist Paul Davies give a fascinating and thought-provoking talk on the possibility of an ultimate explanation for our universe. Dismissing the multiverse and God, he outlines an idea for finding an explanation for the universe and physical laws within the universe itself.
Yikes, start packing for doomsday for the soothsayers are out and about using The Force to intensify propaganda after their self inflicted Climate Gate revelations of their Alarmist Scientist Core Cult members improprieties. Pack light though, it’s going to be a scorcher, allegedly. Hawaii at the North Pole. I really am beginning to wonder if all these alarmist scientists are just rapture christians firing things up for the coming end times? Nostradamus still beats any climate scientist with soothsaying doomsday predictions. Hands down, and he’s been dead a long time. Now how can that be? Let’s explore the science that prevents predictions of complex systems. Read the rest of this entry »
CARGO CULT SCIENCE by Richard Feynman
Adapted from the Caltech commencement address given in 1974.
During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas–which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn’t work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science. And it developed very well, so that we are now in the scientific age. It is such a scientific age, in fact that we have difficulty in understanding how witch doctors could ever have existed, when nothing that they proposed ever really worked–or very little of it did.
But even today I meet lots of people who sooner or later get me into a conversation about UFOS, or astrology, or some form of mysticism, expanded consciousness, new types of awareness, ESP, and so forth. And I’ve concluded that it’s not a scientific world.
Following on the Watts Up With That article on Google Trends I was curious. Naturally.
Spending a few minutes with Google Trends I typed in “Monckton” and the graph of searches goes up with time while the new reports go down with time. They, the mainstream news, seems to be avoiding Christopher Monckton like the plague.
As this Google Trend (link at bottom) shows this trend graph is troubling for a number of possible reasons.
For starters it is obvious that Christopher Monckton is having an impact through Al Gore’s Intertubes and alternative sources.
It’s also clear that Monckton is being avoided by the mainstream press, at least those that are included in the Google Trends.
Could it be the “manufacturing of consent” that Noam Chomsky talks about at length where it is “shared values and beliefs” that creates the “conspiracy” to subvert certain ideas, thoughts, and people or groups, and not an explicit phone call such as Al Gore calling up his fellow board members at Google and other friends at news companies and saying “down with Monckton” in the news?
Alas it’s not a question that is likely to be answered, although we did think that before the revelations of the Climategate emails, data and programs were released which confirmed the long suspected criminal behavior of Jones, Mann, et. al. and of the fraudulent activities of AGW promoters such as Al Gore.
I do wonder though what it will take for Christopher Monckton to breakout into the mainstream news media. Maybe his attendance at the up coming Copenhagen Climate Conference (of global domination) will enable him access to the mainstream press in ways that they can’t ignore? We’ll see. It certainly will enable one to see the “shared values” of the mainstream news media in a new light.
We have seen Noam Chomsky’s principle of “Manufacturing Consent” working with the Climategate criminals Jones, Mann, et. al.. A conspiracy of “values and beliefs”, an elitist clique that thought that they were above the rest of the people they worked for, us. Other scientists have this “academic” elitist bias or shared value, that says that you need not just the “qualifications” but the “right attitude” otherwise you’re “outside the group”. Einstein broke the mold as have McIntyre and others, Einstein was a “patent clerk” when he worked on his famous breakthroughs.
But wait there more of interest at the Google Trends.
Two excellent video series by Norman J Wildberger. Very well done and designed to be easy to comprehend. While they start out very simple and basic they get quite deep yet remain as simple as possible. (The bonus series even gets into Relativity, very cool). Wildberger is the math teacher I wish I had all through high school and since, and now through his videos he can be our math teacher! Gotta love online education.
The first series is on the amazing new (and very old) way of doing Rational Trigonometry without using sin and cosine of Classical Trigonometry. It’s Fantastic.
“The new form of trigonometry developed here is called rational trigonometry, to distinguish it from classical trigonometry, the latter involving [cosine, sin and their fellow] functions and the many trigonometric relations currently taught to students. An essential point of rational trigonometry is that quadrance and spread, not distance and angle, are the right concepts for metrical geometry (i.e. a geometry in which measurement is involved).
Quadrance and spread are quadratic quantities, while distance and angle are almost, but not quite, linear ones. The quadratic view is the more general and powerful one. At some level, this is known by many mathematicians. When this insight is put into practice, as it is here, a new foundation for mathematics and mathematics education arises which simplifies Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, changes our understanding of algebraic geometry, and often simplifies difficult practical problems.
Rational trigonometry deals with many practical problems in an easier and more natural way than classical trigonometry, and often ends up with answers that are demonstrably more accurate. In fact rational trigonometry is so elementary that almost all calculations may be done by hand. Tables or calculators are not necessary, although the latter certainly speed up computations. It is a shame that this theory was not discovered earlier, since accurate tables were for many centuries not widely available.”
Exerpt from the Introduction to “Divine Proportions: Rational Trigonometry to Universal Geometry” by Associate Professor Norman J Wildberger
Here are a few videos from the Rational Trigonometry series with the full series of 46+ episodes here. These first episodes lay the corner stone of Rational Trig, and it only gets better from there!!! Watch them all a number of times and do the examples. Amazing!
“Why classical trigonometry is hard:
The problem is that defining an angle correctly [in Classical Trigonometry] requires calculus [whereas Rational Trigonometry doesn’t]. This is a point implicit in Archimedes’ derivation of the length of the circumference of a circle, using an infinite sequence of successively refined approximations with regular polygons. It is also supported by the fact that The Elements [Euclid] does not try to measure angles, with the exception of right angles and some related special cases. Further evidence can be found in the universal reluctance of traditional texts to spell out a clear definition of this supposedly ‘basic’ concept.” – NJ Wildberger
“Quadrance measures the separation of two points. The easiest definition is that quadrance is distance squared.
… quadrance is the more fundamental quantity, since it does not involve the square root function. The relationship between the two notions is perhaps more accurately described by the statement that distance is the square root of quadrance.
In diagrams, small rectangles along the sides of a triangle indicate that quadrance, not distance, is being measured … .” – NJ Wildberger
“Spread measures the separation of two lines. This turns out to be a much more subtle issue than the separation of two points.” – NJ Wildberger
The spread s between the two lines is the ratio of quadrances. The spread also works out to “square of sine of angle”.
“The spread between two lines is a dimensionless quantity, and in the rational or decimal number fields takes on values between 0 and 1, with 0 occurring when lines are parallel and 1 occurring when lines are perpendicular. Forty-five degrees becomes a spread of 1/2, while thirty and sixty degrees become respectively spreads of 1/4 and 3/4. What could be simpler than that? Another advantage with spreads is that the measurement is taken between lines, not rays. As a consequence, the two range of angles from 0◦ to 90◦ and from 90◦ to 180◦ are treated symmetrically.” – NJ Wildberger
You can find a couple freely available pdf chapters of the book “Divine Proportions: Rational Trigonometry to Universal Geometry” here. Make sure to check out Divine Proportions Overview Chapter 1 as it covers the basics with examples.
You will find some additional pdf papers by the professor here.
The second series is on the Foundations of Math. An excellent review and introduction for everyone at any age.
C02 as THE cause of Global Warming is nothing more than a lame correlation, there are a number of other correlations that are much better. Also C02 levels can be much higher without harm as it was in the many millions of years of Earth’s history when the levels where 10 times higher than now!!! Life lived and evolved just fine under ~4,000 ppm of C02 in the atmosphere.
And if you think that the science is settled then you are NOT a scientist and you DO NOT support the scientific method or the process of science education where people who are ignorant of the science ask questions to learn: see Richard Feynman on Scientific Investigation here.
Besides almost all Canadians that I ask want it to be 5c to 10c warmer up here as that will open up the Northern areas, which are a plenty, for development and farming opportunities! We’re tired of 90% of us living within 200 miles of the USA border! We’re tired of our igloos, we want actual homes!
A prominent scientist who’s followed the science of global warming from the beginning, [Freeman] Dyson explains why climate models have no scientific merit, why average global ground temperature is a great fiction, and what he believes the real dangers of increased CO2 in the atmosphere are. He suggests that the relatively simple solution of land use management could potentially give us the ability to control the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere at any level we’d like, and there’s no need to stop burning coal and oil.
Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem illogical and even obscene, given Iraq and Darfur, we are living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.
This is one of the most enlightening talks that I’ve seen on the topic of violence and war.
“If the death rates in tribal warfare had prevailed in the 20th century there would have been two billion deaths rather than a hundred million.” – Steven Pinker
Yes, we still have a long way to go as one hundred million deaths due to war is unacceptable. Holding political leaders personally responsible for each death that occurs on their watch under their orders will take humanity to the next level of peace by increasing the decline of violence even faster. How? Which politicians will go to war when they know that if they do they’ll be automatically brought up on charges of crimes against humanity! Let’s start by bringing the previous USA administration to justice for their unspeakable crimes against humanity.
This is one of the most fascinating books that I’ve ever read, along with Society of Mind by Minsky, A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram, Science and Sanity by Alfred Korzybski, Frogs into Princes by Richard Bandler, and of course, R. Buckminster Fuller’s Synergetics. Earth shattering! Not only is the author, Steven Pinker, an eloquent writer he brings this same quality into his speaking.
Renowned linguist Steven Pinker speaks at Google’s Mountain View, CA, headquarters about his book “The Stuff of Thought.” This event took place on September 24, 2007, as part of the Authors@Google series.
“A display of fiercely intricate intelligence and nobody with the least interest in language should miss reading it.”-The Times (London)
“Curious, inventive, fearless, naughty.” -New York Times
“Packed with information, clear, witty, attractively written, and generally persuasive.” -Colin McGinn, New York Review of Books
The Stuff of Thought is a revelation. In this exhilarating new book, Steven Pinker analyzes how our words relate to thoughts and to the world around us and reveals what this tells us about ourselves.
How does a mind that evolved to think about rocks and plants and enemies think about love and physics and democracy? Why do we threaten and bribe and seduce in such elaborate, often comical ways? How can a choice of metaphors start a war, impeach a president, or win an election? Why do people impose taboos on topics like sex, excretion, and the divine? What does the peculiar syntax of swearing (just what does the “fuck” in “fuck you” actually mean?) tell us about ourselves? Why do some names thrive while others fall out of circulation? How do we control the amount of information that we absorb? And what good does this actually do us? Pinker answers all these questions and many, many more. He shows us that language really can tell us unexpected and fascinating things about ourselves.
The Stuff of Thought is a book for everyone. Steven Pinker has devoted his life to studying the way we think and communicate. And language, in his hands, becomes a profound, and highly entertaining, way to shed light on every aspect of human nature.
“Milton Hyland Erickson, MD (5 December 1901 in Aurum, Nevada – 25 March 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona) was an American psychiatrist specializing in medical hypnosis and family therapy. He was founding president of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis and a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychopathological Association. He is noted for his approach to the unconscious mind as creative and solution-generating. He is also noted for influencing brief therapy, strategic family therapy, family systems therapy, solution focused brief therapy, and Neuro-linguistic programming.”
Erickson believed that the unconscious mind was always listening, and that, whether or not the patient was in trance, suggestions could be made which would have a hypnotic influence, as long as those suggestions found some resonance at the unconscious level. The patient can be aware of this, or can be completely oblivious that something is happening. Erickson would see if the patient would respond to one or another kind of indirect suggestion, and allow the unconscious mind to actively participate in the therapeutic process. In this way, what seemed like a normal conversation might induce a hypnotic trance, or a therapeutic change in the subject. It should be noted that “[Erickson’s] conception of the unconscious is definitely not the one held by Freud.”
Erickson was an irrepressible practical joker, and it was not uncommon for him to slip indirect suggestions into all kinds of situations, including in his own books, papers, lectures and seminars.