Off-topic posts (was Re: So-long...)

John johnhkm at
Wed Dec 16 03:17:53 EST 1998

kkollins at wrote in message
<3675DE23.46C072F7 at>...
>The Wright Brothers (just Celebrated the Anniversary of their First
>Flight the other night... they were "mere bycycle-builders".

New field

>Mendelson... who's work did meet with Presumption similar to that which
>you've Expressed.

New field, no prior experts.

>Gallois... who's not Celebrated, but who had to Race to get his work
>written-down before his world caved-in on him.
>The Great Indian Mathematician, whose name I cannot, presently,
>recall... Chandekar(sp?).

Good eg. Died in his thirties. Chandrasakar I believe. Did most of his work
on a slate and notebook, they are still going through some 200 pages of
notes ... Natural math genius.

>Einstein, who, subject to Presumption similar to yours, could not find a
>Professor's position, so he had to work in the Swiss Patent Office... he
>was called "dull" by one of his teachers.

True. To be fair to his maths teacher, many of Einstein's colleague's were
not impressed by his mathematical acumen either.

>The woman, whose name I, also, cannot, presently, recall, who did the
>most Crystallographic work on which hinged the Reification of DNA... her
>Expertise was so-little respected that practically all Credit was
>Withheld from her (which Remains the case, BTW).

Rosalind Franklin and you're claim appears correct, she is as much
reponsible as Crick and Watson because she provided the crystallographic
work which helped them through. Sadly, she died of cancer ... all that

>Faraday, was relegated to the ranks of "lab technician" until he, almost
>single-handedly Established Electrical Science.

Einstein was a patent clerk when he came up with relativity. Isaac Newton
was nothing in particular. Darwin was gentry chap. Pretty obvious ... .

But the point remains valid. The maverick idea is a furphy, more often
than not breakthroughs occur exactly by professionals who have pondered long
and hard. Where mavericks do succeed is in the early stages of any
discipline, a time when many can be 'experts'. The psychological corollary
so frequently evident on the usenet is that the mavericks claim the whole
establishment is narrow minded and arrogant. A necessary defence on their
part, but not a logical or proven one. The trouble with professionals is
that they get mighty pissed off when an outsider comes along and suggests
they might be wrong. Still, as Max Planck once quipped,

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
  its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
   up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."

In the ongoing battle with Ken and neuroscience community, what is
interesting to note is that initially everyone treated him with due respect,
then challenged him, and now for the most part are engaging in abuse. They
may claim they are doing this for the 'public good' but this is baloney. We
all have egoes, even reductionist deterministic anti dualist

This thread is an excellent example of how such processes soon lead us all
down the drain.


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