Monday, April 29, 2013

astro picture for the day

Copyright: ESA/Herschel/PACS, SPIRE/N. Schneider, Ph. André, V. Könyves (CEA Saclay, France) for the 'Gould Belt survey' Key Programme

Quote for the day

"Science, is one of the few areas of human life in which the majority does not rule." - Samuel Ting

There's this famous Star Trek saying, "the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few."  Well, this is very anti-minority isn't it?!  Of course, one could turn this around and say we can't have the few controlling the masses.  But, the minority thing again throws some hot water on this general concept.  I'm tempted to argue that the problem here is what are the facts, and what is the logic?  I'll leave this train of thought as it stands. I'll say maybe this is a problem that society is still very blind to.  Let me bring up one more issue I keep trying to point out to various people only to be met with silence and refusal to think; the problem with the majority is incrowding and refusal to think of new ideas. This is where I come to the support of the minority and where Mr Ting's quote is quite correct and I'll stand by that much for now.

I'll leave with another great mathematics lecture I've been watching and rewatching recently.

John Milnor: Spheres

I couldn't get the video to show up for the embedding. There's so much to say about this.  I'm struck by the possibility that maybe Mr Milnor's work could lead to understanding the place of fractals in mathematics - as oppossed to merely being a curiosity. Milnor notes that one has to define Henri Poincare's definition of the problem.  This is of course just one example of how mathematics is about defining where things were vague at first.

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