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On Unknowns Making Meaningful Contributions


Bignose
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D H said, "Outsiders do not make meaningful contributions to science." I agree, because one must become an expert before one can make a meaningful contribution. It has been said that to become an expert takes 10,000 hours of study. The information one must study is often contained in peer reviewed articles that are expensive, and additional information is often the result of working with other experts on funded research. This system is elitist, and no doubt excludes some who are capable of making a meaningful contribution. But, an ideal society does not exist.

Or is it that it takes 10,000 hours in order to learn enough to know what is and isn't meaningful? The knife cuts both ways. This is pretty much my point in starting this thread, that there is an intellectual maturity required before something becomes scientifically meaningful. And this isn't just limited to science -- one cannot just sit down and crank off a paper about Shakespeare and expect to be lauded. One has to have some level of understanding about the papers and research that has already been written about Shakespeare.

 

And to kristaris, the notion that Einstein could just off the cuff fix SR at the age of 16 is just a ridiculous position to try to defend. He may have on some level understood the issue (as D H says it was a pressing issue that all the bigwigs in physics knew about), and he may have even had a notion on how to fix it. But it took some time before the intellectual maturity was there and it was meaningful. He had to read papers published by the other guys who tried to fix it an failed (yes, there are a bunch out there, despite your hindsight bias apparently neglecting them), he had to make sure what his idea was actually worked on some level, etc.

 

This has been my point from the first post -- that it takes effort and work before that nugget of an idea becomes something meaningful. It is very easy to remember the brilliant people in history -- but we forgot all the hard work that each and every one of them put in first. Michelangelo was one hell of an artist, but I am positive he started off drawing stick figures and suns with smiley faces in them just like the rest of us. He just had the drive to get a lot better and the talent to make that drive pay off.

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It is a shame that this thread has wandered so far off topic, because at the outset Bignose highlighted a serious and valid point about the increasing difficulty and unlikelyhood of a precocious genius in the modern world.

 

Einstein was not recorded as being such a person, great though he became.

 

Both Gauss and Ramanujan, on the other hand were, the former in the nineteenth century, the latter in the twentieth.

 

go well

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How, exactly, do you see that? He had a germ of an idea. That's a rather vague concept. What he did say is that he saw a conflict between Newtonian mechanics and Maxwell's electrodynamics. Do you seriously think no one else saw that conflict? That was the central problem of physics in the latter part of the 19th century. The 16 year old Einstein didn't have anything to offer because the stupid, moribund physics establishment was neither stupid nor moribund. This problem attracted the best minds of the time.

Einstein said what I quoted. Providing a germ as a gem of an idea to science is a contribution to the speedy furtherance of science due to raising the probability that problems are solved. Only of course if you detect and cultivate them.

 

I never said or implied that others weren't working on it or close to solving it. Al the more reason to get good idea's across that spawn new ways of looking at a problem. Again this is what MIT is working on.

I believe that idea's crop up all around the place at or near the same time in development: be it say the bow and arrow was is my - and main stream science - contention not invented by one individual in one place. It was invented by several individuals in "one place" in several places in the course of a period of time. When the time is ripe. In later years you see less of the same such as say the development of the jet engine in the UK and Germany at roughly the same time. Due to better communication more jump on it.

 

Indeed hadn't Einstein come up with it someone else would of. Like I said maybe not exactly SR but even already the GUT or what not.

 

 

 

 

I'm not quite sure what you're saying here. I dispute that they couldn't have figured it out. What if there had been no Einstein? The core conflict would still have been resolved; Lorentz and Poincare were hot on the trail of solving this problem. For a short time physicists would have had Lorentz Ether Theory as a solution.

 

To kristalris: Lorentz Ether Theory predated Einstein's special relativity and is mathematically indistinguishable from special relativity? So why don't physicists teach it? The answer is simple: LET makes the Lorentz transformation axiomatic and it postulates an unknowable aether frame. LET is an ugly theory.

Would you still want to say that after the Higgs field? Anyway my point exactly.

In comparison, special relativity is a beautiful theory. It's axioms are simple and physically testable. Nonetheless, that LET does predate special relativity is one of the reasons Einstein was not given the Nobel prize for his work on special relativity.

 

Back to the "what if" thought experiment: LET wouldn't have lasted for long. Quantum mechanics was just around the corner. Photons don't need a medium. They have no problem traveling through a vacuum.

Is the Higgs field a vacuum? Photons must be traveling through that field mustn't they? What makes you so shore the Higgs field effects photons? So my point exactly concerning the OP. SR doesn't have to be the end all on the issue. You need new idea's. especially unknowns will provide that especially in the field of inspiring new idea's. Why? The more you know the harder it is to keep an overview and have your brain get caught up in tunnel-vision. Current psychological main stream insight.

The quantum mechanics description of electromagnetic radiation obviates the need for an aether. Someone else would have seen Einstein's solution. It might have taken a bit longer, but it would have happened. In the end, physics almost certainly would still have arrived at special relativity with its simple, elegant hypotheses.

 

Most probably yes. Not necessarily so though.

 

 

 

I never said that, so please do stop putting words in my mouth.

 

Okay

 

Of course unknowns have made contributions, huge contributions, to science. Every great scientist was an unknown at some point. The best way to move from the "unknown" category to the "widely known" category is to make some great discovery and publish it. Most widely known scientists made this transition when they are young adults. Young adult scientists, that is. Einstein was not an outsider, uneducated in the field. Feynman was not an outsider, either. Nor was Newton. Nor was Hubble. There's a huge, huge gap between outsider and unknown.

 

The only outsider who I can think of who made a significant contribution to science in the last hundred plus years is Alfred Wegener, and even that one is dubious. Wegener's continental drift was superseded by plate tectonics, and plate tectonics differs from continental drift in a number of ways. That's one possible exception, and the exception proves the rule: Outsiders do not make meaningful contributions to science.

The notion of contributions to science is a survivor-ship bias if you only look at the successes. So you should take Leonardo da Vinci and his aircraft and parachute

etc. also in as contributions to "science". Even though nobody might have drawn from his idea to further the history of flight. (Not quite shore actually what happened in this respect historically.) Leonardo was an un known aeronautical engineer then for shore. Anyway it shows that generating ideas must be worth while and to be taken seriously and thus better catered for.

 

Leonardo was a hair-breath away from cracking it the way Otto von Lilliantall did much later. The fact that they in casu did or didn't is immaterial.

 

It is a shame that this thread has wandered so far off topic, because at the outset Bignose highlighted a serious and valid point about the increasing difficulty and unlikelyhood of a precocious genius in the modern world.

The problem is there indeed. A problem to be remedied. Not off topic at all thus.

Einstein was not recorded as being such a person, great though he became.

He was an un known when 16 and came up with a worthwhile germ for reaching SR in his own words that have been recorded. That only he himself drew from that is immaterial.

Both Gauss and Ramanujan, on the other hand were, the former in the nineteenth century, the latter in the twentieth.

 

go well

 

D H said, "Outsiders do not make meaningful contributions to science." I agree, because one must become an expert before one can make a meaningful contribution. It has been said that to become an expert takes 10,000 hours of study. The information one must study is often contained in peer reviewed articles that are expensive, and additional information is often the result of working with other experts on funded research. This system is elitist, and no doubt excludes some who are capable of making a meaningful contribution. But, an ideal society does not exist.

How do you define a meaningful contribution?

 

How do you define a meaningful contribution to the tree growing business? Only take the nearly fully grown trees in or also venture to find out how to choose the best seedlings?

 

Good idea's are good idea's. Period.

 

Though I agree that it's drifting pretty far off-topic, on Einstein and special relativity, the well-cited Wikipedia article on the history of special relativity makes for good reading. If the entire article is too long, then section 3.1, on Einstein in particular, may be sufficient and includes a telling quote from the man himself.

 

I wouldn't say it's impossible for unknown outsiders to make meaningful contributions. However, as others have noted, it's extremely unlikely and will probably become increasingly so as science continues to advance.

Well it works two ways. If you cultivate it you lessen the problem of dropping probability. The need stems from the rising problem of not being able to see the forest through the trees. Internet / Wikipedia etc. provides the un known a much better chance to keep an overview and provide worthwhile germs / gems heightening the probability of making meaningful progress.

In the Speculations forum, at least in my experience, ideas aren't generally dismissed automatically. What usually seems to happen is that an idea is presented, questions are raised (sometimes, admittedly, with at least a hint of condescension), and the OP either answers those questions or fails to answer those questions. In the latter case, the OP either gracefully accepts that his idea is flawed or makes unfounded claims that the scientific establishment is wrong or conspiring against outsiders or whatever. The latter ties into what's been mentioned elsewhere, that part of science education is learning to accept being wrong and having one's ideas shot down in front of others.

 

To me, the most frustrating instances (again of the latter scenario mentioned above) are those in which the OP is clearly intelligent but simply has no knowledge or understanding of what science has already established. Maybe the lack of education is due to youth, maybe it's due to laziness, or maybe it's due to pride (as if having to build on what's already known somehow lessens any breakthroughs the person might have), but in any case, it's a shame to see.

lack of time count as well?

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studiot, on 26 May 2013 - 21:11, said:snapback.png

 

 

Both Gauss and Ramanujan, on the other hand were, the former in the nineteenth century, the latter in the twentieth.

 

go well

 

 

 

No comment at all by Kristalris

 

This lack of comment unmasks your true desire here. To simply promote argument.

 

Why else select my words and quote them but have so little interest in them that you do not either agree or disagree or ask for more information?

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Or is it that it takes 10,000 hours in order to learn enough to know what is and isn't meaningful? The knife cuts both ways. This is pretty much my point in starting this thread, that there is an intellectual maturity required before something becomes scientifically meaningful. And this isn't just limited to science -- one cannot just sit down and crank off a paper about Shakespeare and expect to be lauded. One has to have some level of understanding about the papers and research that has already been written about Shakespeare.

 

Being Lauded on a paper is meaningless. A paper cranked off on just one sonnet of Shakespeare could be brilliant in its own right. Especially if written by a talented person a fresh on Shakespeare. Providing a completely new angle, and thus being meaningful.

 

And to kristaris, the notion that Einstein could just off the cuff fix SR at the age of 16 is just a ridiculous position to try to defend.

 

Well I don't have to state that any more because even if he only generated "a germ"at that age you should see that as meaningful.

He may have on some level understood the issue (as D H says it was a pressing issue that all the bigwigs in physics knew about), and he may have even had a notion on how to fix it. But it took some time before the intellectual maturity was there and it was meaningful. He had to read papers published by the other guys who tried to fix it an failed (yes, there are a bunch out there, despite your hindsight bias apparently neglecting them), he had to make sure what his idea was actually worked on some level, etc.

What does my hind sight bias consist of then? Who says I neglect the work of others? I didn't mention them because it wasn't and isn't the issue.

 

This has been my point from the first post -- that it takes effort and work before that nugget of an idea becomes something meaningful. It is very easy to remember the brilliant people in history -- but we forgot all the hard work that each and every one of them put in first. Michelangelo was one hell of an artist, but I am positive he started off drawing stick figures and suns with smiley faces in them just like the rest of us. He just had the drive to get a lot better and the talent to make that drive pay off.

Yes my point exactly. All that prior work is meaningful. Prior work / germs of good ideas are thus meaningful and not just the grand end result of a full-blown successful theory . So you contradict yourself.

 

This lack of comment unmasks your true desire here. To simply promote argument.

 

Why else select my words and quote them but have so little interest in them that you do not either agree or disagree or ask for more information?

Sorry mate, was reading up on what you without further information posted. And have done now and agree.

Edited by kristalris
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kristalris asked what is a meaningful contribution. I suppose it is something that many people think is important.

I'd say that is a bad definition then. This because the idea that the world wasn't flat was deemed wrong and thus unimportant.

I'd say a better definition is something that heightens the probability of quickly furthering science is a meaningful contribution to science.

Edited by kristalris
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Well it works two ways. If you cultivate it you lessen the problem of dropping probability. The need stems from the rising problem of not being able to see the forest through the trees. Internet / Wikipedia etc. provides the un known a much better chance to keep an overview and provide worthwhile germs / gems heightening the probability of making meaningful progress.

 

This is possibly true, though I would say (assuming I'm understanding you correctly) that formal education provides the proper cultivation, and those who would like to make meaningful contributions should pursue that path.

 

lack of time count as well?

 

Yes. It's kind of what I meant when I listed "youth," just one of a few instances of overloaded phrasing in my previous post. smile.png My only excuse is that I'm "at work" and therefore somewhat rushed (though the excuse fails a bit because I could easily have waited until the end of my workday to say anything at all).

 

Edit: I should clarify again, though, that it's only "a shame" when someone presents an idea, can't defend it from criticism, and proceeds to get angry and defensive rather than reconsidering the idea given the responses. I don't fault anyone for not knowing, regardless of the reason, but I do fault those who stubbornly refuse to accept valid criticism or to reconsider their ideas in the face of such criticism.

Edited by John
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Kristalris,

Like myself, Bignose is a native English speaker and I suspect (without disparagement) that you are not.

 

It may be that is why you have completely missed the point of this thread.

 

The title tells a native English speaker to expect a discourse on a subject, but does not state what the position or opinion of the OP is. Some terms are used, but not defined.

 

So we look at post#1 for explanation.

 

First an example is presented of a relatively unknown person presenting a small advance in an obscure area of mathematics, with full proof.

 

Note that the 'meaningful contribution' is not the discovery of the century and the 'unknown' not totally unheard of.

 

So this sets allowable parameters for the discussion.

 

The OP then presents his point which is that he is strongly advising those who post here to offer at least sound well constructed reasoning if not actually full proof, which of course cannot then be refuted.

 

He does not say that it is impossible for someone matching his definition of unknown to achieve this - quite the opposite in fact, Nor does he say that the time for any contribution to become accepted is either important or not important, something you have made quite a fuss about.

 

The fact remains that the main point here is to encourage better posts.

 

Anything else is off topic.

Edited by studiot
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Being Lauded on a paper is meaningless. A paper cranked off on just one sonnet of Shakespeare could be brilliant in its own right. Especially if written by a talented person a fresh on Shakespeare. Providing a completely new angle, and thus being meaningful.

By golly, you're right! We probably should be scouring every high school freshman's report on Romeo & Juliet for some hidden truth. Every one of them is clearly a tremendous addition to society. I can't believe I am wasting any more time to even write this as I sit here!!!!

What does my hind sight bias consist of then? Who says I neglect the work of others? I didn't mention them because it wasn't and isn't the issue.

The other works are implicitly the issue, and always has been with your agenda, kristasris, whether you think they are the issue or not. When you cherry pick examples, e.g Einstein at 16, you are not providing any concrete reason in the context of that age why he should have been paid any more attention than anyone else. That is only easy to do 100 years later when we know the contributions he's made.

 

Or, let's put it another way... using your criteria, who is the most important scientist working today? Since you think it is so easy, that person should be obvious, right? That next Einstein should be ripe for the picking right now, yes?

 

Or, let's ask an even more real question: the Speculations forum here has 3,432 topics in, on quite a wide range of topics. Who posted here is the next Einstein? who should we dismiss? How can you really tell?

 

My answer to this question has been for a very long time now: demonstrate that the predictions made by the idea fit measurements. If someone can do that, in my mind, it is meaningful.

 

And this circles around to my first post, again, that in order to know what is meaningful, one does have to have some level of knowledge about the current literature. In particular, about the current measurements. And then hand-in-hand with that... know that the current theory IS the current theory because it seems to be doing the best at agreeing with measurements to date.

I'd say that is a bad definition then. This because the idea that the world wasn't flat was deemed wrong and thus unimportant.

I'd say a better definition is something that heightens the probability of quickly furthering science is a meaningful contribution to science.

This definition doesn't help. How exactly does one measure how much any single thing increases the probability of quickly furthering science?

 

Again, return this to the now... which of the many 1000s of topics in the Speculations section do you think increases that probability the most and why? Objective measures please, opinions are of very limited value here.

Edited by Bignose
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Kristalris,

Like myself, Bignose is a native English speaker and I suspect (without disparagement) that you are not.

 

I humbly submit that I indeed am not a native speaker, being Dutch en all. And although I thought I could just about hold my own in English I must of been wrong then.

It may be that is why you have completely missed the point of this thread.

Oh dear!

The title tells a native English speaker to expect a discourse on a subject, but does not state what the position or opinion of the OP is. Some terms are used, but not defined.

 

So we look at post#1 for explanation.

I'm not aware of having done anything else. Please enlighten me.

First an example is presented of a relatively unknown person presenting a small advance in an obscure area of mathematics, with full proof.

Yes, so?

Note that the 'meaningful contribution' is not the discovery of the century and the 'unknown' not totally unheard of.

Where did you get the impression that I stated something else?

So this sets allowable parameters for the discussion.

No. There was more in the OP in my opinion. But it must be due to my admitted very limited knowledge of the intricacies of the English language that stooped me.

 

I'd say the topic is a priori even in English what the title depicts: On Unknowns making meaningful contributions.

 

Then given this flag under which the ship sails through the thread so to speak we look at the OP if this is indeed the case. And, by golly it is! Because the central argument in the OP - pardon my English - is not the one example given that you stress yet the general point - you know that bit where Bignose states - at least if he was using proper English - in so many words, and correct me if I'm wrong: "This cannot be emphasized enough in this section. Nail down every detail."

 

So in other words the topic is the position that Bignose takes: Yes, relative or otherwise unknowns can make meaningful contributions to science but only when they nail down every detail. That then is the argument pro that is then on topic. Also on topic is subsequently all arguments con. No, relative or otherwise unknowns can make meaningful contributions to science even when they do not nail down every detail.

 

But seeing that my English isn't up to scratch I must be wrong.

The OP then presents his point which is that he is strongly advising those who post here to offer at least sound well constructed reasoning if not actually full proof, which of course cannot then be refuted.

 

Now would it be a problem with my English or your problem with logic that is the key here?

He does not say that it is impossible for someone matching his definition of unknown to achieve this - quite the opposite in fact, Nor does he say that the time for any contribution to become accepted is either important or not important, something you have made quite a fuss about.

He didn't give a definition of unknown, I did. Sorry that my English is so bad that you completely missed the point on which I was making such a fuss.

The fact remains that the main point here is to encourage better posts.

Or was it more what better posts in his opinion entail?

Anything else is off topic.

Yeah, I'd say you are. But I'm probably wrong because I miss a lot of what is said and meant I guess.

 

By golly, you're right! We probably should be scouring every high school freshman's report on Romeo & Juliet for some hidden truth. Every one of them is clearly a tremendous addition to society. I can't believe I am wasting any more time to even write this as I sit here!!!!

 

Strawman. I don't state that.

The other works are implicitly the issue, and always has been with your agenda, kristasris, whether you think they are the issue or not.

 

Studiot is right, I don't here understand your native English. Are you implying that I have a hidden agenda with or without other works that should or should not be in your opinion the issue and thus on the agenda?

When you cherry pick examples, e.g Einstein at 16, you are not providing any concrete reason in the context of that age why he should have been paid any more attention than anyone else. That is only easy to do 100 years later when we know the contributions he's made.

 

Now if the topic is correct the way I interpret it in the reaction to what is or isn't on topic post towards Studiot, then yes I did cherry pick in a way.

 

This because your position that an unknown must always nail down every detail is a every swan is white position. Now what only very slowly dawned on Swansont and DH who are clearly in agreement with that is that I only have to cherry pick one black swan to counter the position. I had to fight them to the hilt i.e. the point where they were forced to call Einstein a liar from which they shirked, subsequently bagging one cherry in the pocket so to speak. On the way i bagged some unopposed more cherries if you have been paying attention.

 

So there we are not all swans are white, some are black.

 

Now being cornered you take up via a strawman towards me a new position, that would be of topic - as I stated much earlier BTW - that it is impossible / not worth while to try and pick these cherries. The cherries then being the germs that are gems to be picked and cultivated towards greater insights of science.

 

Then we come to the question of order in the thread. If you keep on chopping up all discussions you don't grow anything, especially in the speculations forum. Then you might say this point of order belongs in the suggestions comments and support forum, whereas it is a direct product of growing an insight worth while in this thread you started. You, thread starter have now broadened the issue to how can we spot the unknown Einsteins out there with their worthwhile germs of idea's? You state pro it isn't possible I state con it is.

 

Or, let's put it another way... using your criteria, who is the most important scientist working today? Since you think it is so easy, that person should be obvious, right? That next Einstein should be ripe for the picking right now, yes?

 

Or, let's ask an even more real question: the Speculations forum here has 3,432 topics in, on quite a wide range of topics. Who posted here is the next Einstein? who should we dismiss? How can you really tell?

 

My answer to this question has been for a very long time now: demonstrate that the predictions made by the idea fit measurements. If someone can do that, in my mind, it is meaningful.

 

And this circles around to my first post, again, that in order to know what is meaningful, one does have to have some level of knowledge about the current literature. In particular, about the current measurements. And then hand-in-hand with that... know that the current theory IS the current theory because it seems to be doing the best at agreeing with measurements to date.

This definition doesn't help. How exactly does one measure how much any single thing increases the probability of quickly furthering science?

 

Back to basics old boy, that's how. You can organize it in a way that you filter out the as yet unknown Einsteins. Current science on psychology shows you how.

 

Before that it is also good to immediately spot that there are many different sorts of Einsteins out there. (I.e. needed combinations of talents needed to solve specific scientific problems.)

 

Further more it is not so that we only require the best of the best or nothing. You can row with the oars that are available to you as we Dutch say. I.e the best you can get. What you are looking for is like trying to get computer time on a supercomputer. But then time on a best available creative brain.

 

Now we come to a bit of logic: if we a priori know we are extremely probably looking for a paradigm shift to solve the big issues, we logically also know that education is as much a hindrance in achieving that as it is essential for achieving that. Education inherently also leads to a education bias. I.e. tunnel-vision. Slowing down progress. Only is you organize it that you find and use that brain-time available will you most probably swiftly crack the issues. It is Yin knowledge and experience and Yang naive openness.

 

All the open mind needs is a complete oversight of the most basic primary observations on a question. The creative brain will generate idea's. The closer that brain is to an Einstein the better the idea's. Use it and don't trash it.

 

Please bare in mind that the current schooling system, most certainly in the Netherlands is more and more filtering out the potential Einsteins & Newton that become dropouts. These dreamers are deemed ADD and ADHD. The thinkers and the doers under the thinkers need pills to keep abreast with incorrect norms. Point in case a kid speaking fluent German due to watching German TV drops out of that class because is board stiff needing to learn ten given words knowing already fifty others. He scores only five words in the test and fails whereas the other kid that knows only the ten scores ten out of ten. Girls fare better at school and the boys become more and more dropouts. Problem the want to measure things accurately that can inherently only be guessed at via an educated guess.

 

So you Bignose require something that can't be had. Your norm is to high. You mix up your norms. A correct norm shouldn't be to high or to low. Of course ultimately you require the highest possible norm to be attained given the question at hand.

 

What you in fact are doing is requiring a lazy bugger of a baby to run before it can even crawl.

 

The problem is, you only see your self and the ones like you in the crazy world as the norm. Measuring that and deeming all deviation cranks: DSM states Einstein and Newton as such. That is pseudo scientific. You may in science not claim or demand more science then there can be had.

 

Again, return this to the now... which of the many 1000s of topics in the Speculations section do you think increases that probability the most and why? Objective measures please, opinions are of very limited value here.

First accept the need for educated guesswork both individual and more or less collective on issues that can't be properly measured. Then I'll show you how it can be measured and organized, even quickly BTW.

Edited by kristalris
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I'm not quite sure what you're saying here. I dispute that they couldn't have figured it out. What if there had been no Einstein? The core conflict would still have been resolved; Lorentz and Poincare were hot on the trail of solving this problem. For a short time physicists would have had Lorentz Ether Theory as a solution.

 

It would have been figured out eventually, yes. I'm saying that even though many had access to the same information, Einstein beat them to it. The hypothesis seems to be that Albert had some special information that he could have shared with others and they would have come up with SR earlier. But the postulates of special relativity are not secrets that he had and nobody else did.

 

This because your position that an unknown must always nail down every detail is a every swan is white position. Now what only very slowly dawned on Swansont and DH who are clearly in agreement with that is that I only have to cherry pick one black swan to counter the position. I had to fight them to the hilt i.e. the point where they were forced to call Einstein a liar from which they shirked, subsequently bagging one cherry in the pocket so to speak.

 

That's an interesting version of history, given that nobody has called Einstein a liar, or even implied it.

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I think this may be on topic. You decide.

 

If one has an interest in science; if one is intrigued and inspired by the workings of the world; if one is driven to find answers to tough questions; then, why would you choose to be an outsider? If I want to buy bread I go to a bakery. If want to do science I go where the scientists are. It must take a special kind of arrogance - the kind that is unjustified - to think one can do it alone. Ultimately, I see such arrogance as character flaw.

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Please enlighten me.

 

Do you genuinely want to hear my explanation?

 

I ask because instead of just saying the above you have done something you accused others of

 

If you keep on chopping up all discussions

 

You have dissected my post with a longer winded attempt to discredit it that the length of post#1

 

Further you presented your own analysis of the original as disproof of mine.

 

However, whilst mine was complete, you missed out a significant part of post#1, stated twice both at the beginning and the end.

 

Was this an error of omission or commission?

Edited by studiot
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Back to basics old boy, that's how. You can organize it in a way that you filter out the as yet unknown Einsteins. Current science on psychology shows you how.

This doesn't answer anything. I want to know exactly how you propose to do it. And greedily, I want to know if I'd pass your test in any way shape or form. (and before anyone puts words in my mouth, I am not claiming to be the next Einstein, I am just curious if I or anyone else I know would pass this 'back to basics' test.)
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Back to basics old boy, that's how. You can organize it in a way that you filter out the as yet unknown Einsteins. Current science on psychology shows you how.

Really? Please show the psychological research detailing how to filter out good ideas and geniuses from bad ideas and fools. Because if psychology had it so well it wouldn't be having the problems they've been having with p-value fishing, bad replications, etc.
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I think this may be on topic. You decide.

 

If one has an interest in science; if one is intrigued and inspired by the workings of the world; if one is driven to find answers to tough questions; then, why would you choose to be an outsider? If I want to buy bread I go to a bakery. If want to do science I go where the scientists are. It must take a special kind of arrogance - the kind that is unjustified - to think one can do it alone. Ultimately, I see such arrogance as character flaw.

 

Certainly no insult intended but I make my own bread and I can think of countless reasons that one wouldn't go to a bakery.

 

There are numerous costs to going to the bakery and some can't afford some of those costs. In real science like physics or computer design there is a good product and it would be hard to beat making your own but many sciences are "science" in name only and use of the store bought brand might cause severe internal issues.

 

The world has seen new ideas to arise simultaneously everywhere with the speed of communications over the last 150 years. Now, we just might see the rise of new ideas spawned by the internet and the ability to search broad spectra of data with the use of search engines and the pooling of ideas on message boards.

 

Progress is the history of language and no greater advancement to language has ever occurred to language since "Adam" named the animals. History is the history of consumer demand. All the world is a dance and man is out of step.

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Now, we just might see the rise of new ideas spawned by the internet and the ability to search broad spectra of data with the use of search engines and the pooling of ideas on message boards.

 

 

We see this in the form of the ArXiv and online peer-review journals.

 

There are some more specialist websites in mathematics that can be very useful; nLab, MathOverflow are great examples. Things like Wikipedia, mathworld and planetmath are all very good places to get basic information and to recall things.

 

Even google books can be useful for research. I have found that often the pages you need are avaliable as the preview, but not always.

 

Then there are 1000's of lecture notes avaliable online with a quick "google".

 

This should make it easier for "outsiders" to get good information and new ideas.

Edited by ajb
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We see this in the form of the ArXiv and online peer-review journals.

 

There are some more specialist websites in mathematics that can be very useful; nLab, MathOverflow are great examples. Things like Wikipedia, mathworld and planetmath are all very good places to get basic information and to recall things.

 

Even google books can be useful for research. I have found that often the pages you need are avaliable as the preview, but not always.

 

Then there are 1000's of lecture notes avaliable online with a quick "google".

 

This should make it easier for "outsiders" to get good information and new ideas.

Not to mention the raise of journals allowing for open access submissions. I believe even Elsevier and Wiley allow for open access publications.

 

At the very least you can find abstracts online and attempt to get access through a local library or university, at worst. . . well everyone knows a pirate. Hell you can usually find old editions of textbooks for around 5 or 10 USD. There is absolutely no excuse to be ignorant in an area of science that one intends to 'revolutionize'.

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Not to mention the raise of journals allowing for open access submissions. I believe even Elsevier and Wiley allow for open access publications.

 

At the very least you can find abstracts online and attempt to get access through a local library or university, at worst. . . well everyone knows a pirate. Hell you can usually find old editions of textbooks for around 5 or 10 USD. There is absolutely no excuse to be ignorant in an area of science that one intends to 'revolutionize'.

Exactly. It should be so much easier for an "outsider" to get "tooled up" these days than before the internet.
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Ringer, on 29 May 2013 - 00:17, said:

There is absolutely no excuse to be ignorant in an area of science that one intends to 'revolutionize'.

I couldn't agree more. This is so amazingly frustrating to me -- when speculators show up and at best have a pop-sci poor analogy of what a theory actually says instead of any of the actual details.

 

I love the enthusiasm, and science absolutely craves new ideas. But some of that enthusiasm has to be directed toward learning about the current models that became the current models because they are working the best. And if you think your new idea is even better, you need to be able to show that your idea works even better -- so you need to know how well the current model works in order to justify the 'better'. It really is that simple, and yet, it is missed by a large majority of speculators here.

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I couldn't agree more. This is so amazingly frustrating to me -- when speculators show up and at best have a pop-sci poor analogy of what a theory actually says instead of any of the actual details.

 

I love the enthusiasm, and science absolutely craves new ideas. But some of that enthusiasm has to be directed toward learning about the current models that became the current models because they are working the best. And if you think your new idea is even better, you need to be able to show that your idea works even better -- so you need to know how well the current model works in order to justify the 'better'. It really is that simple, and yet, it is missed by a large majority of speculators here.

 

Again, you're talking about actual science. Our understanding of mechanics and optics are likely to be pretty good, though even this is hardly a certainty. What about all those "scientific" fields that have very little experiment to support them? Even scientific observation can be difficult to apply to some subjects yet they can masquerade as "science". The boondoggles and excesses such fields are known for persist to the current time yet they get defended as good science. In these fields new ideas are usually ignored or demeaned rather than craved.

 

The way I think of it is in a hundred years most of what we know today will be overturned or rewritten. I'm just getting a headstart. A lot of what I studied in college is obsolete. Take a good look at the 1900 edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. It is highly dated.

 

I've long believed a huge component of scientific progress (to a lesser extent ancient science) is the simple availability of scientific gadgets and lab equipment. People play with this stuff and make insights into nature and it allows them to make the measurements that disclose unknowns. We are going to find that the computer/ internet/ google will be something of a "pandora's box" that unleashes the future and is a game changer of untold proportions. It was language that lifted man out of the caves and writing that led to the explosion of knowledge which caused the first game to end. It was the printing press that fueled the scientific revolution and brought about the industrial revolution in time. Now in short order instant communication and the ability to research anything at all will bring new revolutions that will change not only scientists but science as well.

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