Monday, August 6, 2012

astro picture for the day/ plus Mechanical Universe youtube

Credit & Copyright: Jim Misti and Steve Mazlin, (acquisition), Robert Gendler (processing)

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The Mechanical Universe is still the best physics videos.  I've recently found some good technical history of mathematics videos. I should probably start with them; but, I won't.   I will eventualy.

About all that can be said about this first introductory episode of the Mechanical Universe is that the pattern of Greeks going towards a promising rational understanding of the universe and humanity, to the dark ages, to Kepler, Galileo, Newton and so on.  Of course, things are a little more complex than that; but, for the most part, this is about accurate of humanities going from ignorance to constructive knowledge.  We know the names of these people(we don't know the names of most of the Egyptian and Babylonian mathematicians before the Greek golden age, not to mention the cave painters; we wonder if the guy who first created and used fire to find off cavebears and cook food even had a name).  We are lucky to have the majority of their literature. 

I like the remark that it's kind of naive to think the scientists are always rational people; but, the scientific environment is almost always is!  William James said "Space is the moral equivalent of war."  Of course, going out to space doesn't guarantee anybody anything from irrationality; but, out in space, there will be so much pressure to do science, mathematics, and engineering, rational thinking will be forced upon all those who go out to space.  Out in space, there is almost always room and materials to just go somewhere else if a rational solution cannot be found. 

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