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About Shauno

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  1. Politics in Scientific debate

    I don't think people in general have the time or skills to consult scientific papers, or spend time researching a topic in depth. And "reputable" Scientists can make questionable pronouncements as well. Many of the government adviser just get it wrong. Yet another example: The government scientific advisor advised that we should all be driving diesels (to minimise green house gases), but 10 years later we find that the particulates are killing tens of thousands of people a year in the UK alone. And to be honest, even some of Hawking's later pronouncements were little more than speculation (e.g. 200 years to leave the earth). I think we will slowly lose the battle for minds if we do not acknowledge to ourselves that Science reported in the media is less than perfect. So how does the average person tell what is the truth? You certainly can't trust journalists. Pop science magazine circulation seems to be falling since you can go to Google instead. Perhaps a satirical magazine that poo-poos bad science? Like the Science of Stupid but aimed at bad Science? But then perhaps that would just generate bad PR Perhaps this is just an intractable problem?
  2. There are so many different types of truth - historic truth, personal experience, scientific truth, mathematical truth, ... Historic truth is whatever the winner says? Personal experience is subjective Religious truth is objective and absolute. Scientific truth should be objective as observations should be repeatable, but theories can only be proved wrong, probably. Mathematical truth would appear to the most solid, but there are theorems that are true or false but cannot be proven (Godel). Even the tools we use are imperfect. Years were spent axiomatising maths (e.g. Frege) only for Russell to produce his famous paradox. The axiom of Choice and Set Theory itself is not beyond criticism. So this thread should be kept going for some time.
  3. Politics in Scientific debate

    Seems a shame that this thread went nowhere. Politics <-> Science is one of most interesting topics around. But I don't believe that it is a simply case that many people don't want to believe in Science (that may be the case in a minority), it is more that people don't know what to believe. I'm an old guy so I've been around a lot and no longer believe public pronouncements, especially from the government - they have been wrong so many times. We had Scientific advisors (UK perspective) reassure us about things from Salmonella, MMR vaccine to Mad Cow Disease. The reality is their advice is tinged with commercial interest. And, yes, I am a Global Warming skeptic. Why? I briefly went into teaching after leaving University and in the late 1980 was teaching what the BBC stated was "settled science" - a tipping point will be reached soon, and we will have 5 degree of heating over the next 100 years. 30 years later and we are not 1.5 degree hotter. Richard Feynman famously said if the theory does match the facts, the theory is wrong (!), but we never revise our original forecast. (Clearly Global Warming is a topic in itself) We may never convince the Creationist but I think we mindlessly accept Scientific pronouncements without analysis and assume that those who are skeptical are not a bright as us and should know better. There is a real chance that we could lose the battle in the long run. Look at the vaccine debate. Parents, including me, were not happy with the UK government response, which was about saving money (and arrogance). My wife got hold of some medical reviews of the literature and they followed children typically only for 28 days after vaccination, and would not IMHO necessarily picked up Autism, so we paid for single shots. I now have no doubt that there is no link, but the government response alienated many including me and may have a lasting effect on vaccine uptake. So how do we make Science reporting better quality and more convincing? We can't rely on journalists who just want a good story, and newspapers are so polarised... and seemly becoming more so. Any ideas?
  4. Why is time called a 4th dimension?

    If we get back to the original problem, space-time is regarded as 4 dimensional since position can be specified by 4 independent coordinates. In GR, the some region around any point in space-time looks like a R4 - e.g. for any point near a black hole you can still find a region (possibly very small) that looks like R4. I think we have been sidetracked from the original question by the language used, which tried to simplify the answer by saying that the coordinates can be used to find an object of some sort. Actually the coordinates specify a location even if there is nothing there, or we do not know where something is. Methods of finding things is a totally different topic about which discussion could go on forever.
  5. What is Time?

    I think the definition that "time is what clocks measure" is a good one. Beyond that it become tricky. Change happens with or without our ability to measure it - that is just the Universe we live in. How do we know that clocks measures time homogeneously (i.e. not in fits and starts)? We can come up with some clever constructions which based on symmetry considerations should behave that way.
  6. Review requested

    Hi studiot I have added to the introduction to hopefully make the paper clearer. Newer version is attached. London_Interpretation.pdf
  7. The nature of uncertainty

    Hi Studiot, No, the nature of uncertainty in the Classical world and Quantum world are very different. For example, in the classical world, the simultaneous error can conceptually be reduced to zero. In the quantum world, it is just not possible and it is a question of interpretation as to why. The uncertainty in position after a measurement of momentum is totally different to the nature of uncertainty in position in Classical mechanics. In fact, Bell's inequality implies that the position no longer exist (undefined) At the risk of being off topic.. There is no reason to think electrons or any other "fundamental" particle has any size, whatever that means. Perhaps down at the Plank scale, but everything is speculative there.
  8. Review requested

    Hi. I'm not sure which journal. I was looking at APJ but early days yet. The paper only has 2 references because that is only the number of references used. The paper is about interpretations so does not contain much new content, mostlly just puts it "in the right order" and views QM more fully using Kantian world view.
  9. Review requested

    I want to publish the attached paper on Quantum interpretations but it has never been reviewed, even though it has been around in various forms on the Internet for 20+years. I would appreciate any corrections, criticism re wording etc. London_Interpretation.pdf