When logic and proportion Have fallen sloppy dead And the White Knight is talking backwards And the Red Queen’s off with her head Remember what the dormouse said Feed your head Feed your head
From the beginning, she would read to me what I was interested in. I learned to read by listening to her and looking at words and the pictures. Not fairy tales, not silly stories, but from the natural world: she read from Time Life: The World We Live In.
She encouraged my passion of Science, to be the best I could be. She loved learning, I did too.
Teach Your Children well
She was an elementary school teacher for forty years. Everybody loved her, her fellow teachers, her students, their parents, her children and her grandchildren. She was my father’s best Advocate. And she was my Advocate too, for I was her son: the scientist.
She was the most positive person I knew. The energized bunny personified.
I quickly surpassed her in understanding the natural world, although she was always better with the people world. She was my first Teacher: she was my mother: all four feet, eight inches.
Editor’s Note: It has been about 30 years since my father wrote this article, which was based on his experience in the 50s, 60’s, and 70’s in the American public school system. Unfortunately, the abuse of psychiatry on their victims has gotten much worse and has spread across the world, and not only children in the American public schools are being abused. Old people, babies, the military, and the general public in mostly the “developed world” — are being fooled and drugged to conformity: to the monetary benefit of psychiatry and the drug companies.
Dr. Keirsey explains in this article what are the kinds of drugs, and their effects.
When a child gets up out of his seat at school without permission, his teacher tells him to sit down and get to work. If he is out of his seat every minute or so, say every six minutes in a 360 minute day, that makes 60 times a day. If he’s out of his seat that many times each day, five days a week, that’s 300 Out-Of-Seat-Without-Permissions (OOSWOPs for short). Now 300 is an impressive total of OOSWOPs. The teacher, now and then, reminds him to sit down and go to work, but with little effect. Pretty soon she adds scolding to reminding. Then maybe she gets the principal to spank him. Then maybe his parents are brought into the act. They either get after the school or their son or both. Maybe they take his bike away from him and send him to bed without dinner several times. Something like that. But all to no avail. No matter how many reminders or scoldings or whippings or deprivations, he still rings up his 300 or so OOSWOPs a week.
“Was mich nicht umbringt macht mich stärker.” What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger. — Friedrich Nietzsche
I have lost Wikipedia battles. The latest I just discovered.
They are virtually nameless. They just appear in the history of edits on a Wikipedia page. They are vandals in the guise of “Wikipedia Administrators.” Self appointed legal vandals, in the guise of upholding “Wikipedia standards and practices”. Their religion is to enforce that the Wikipedia has conforming and superficial knowledge. I believe there are some good Wikipedia Administrators out there, but I haven’t encountered one. I have had battles with these “little Caesars” with their officiousness throughout the years.
Here is what this “Wikipedia Administrator” troll has to say about his “work” — what he doesn’t mention is his trashing and deleting of Keirsey Temperament Wikipedia pages:
My current Wikipedia programming project is Wikipedia:Typo Team/moss, which aims to spell-check, grammar-check, and style-check all of the English Wikipedia.
“spell-check, grammar-check, and style-check” and deleting perfect legitimate material that had been on Wikipedia for more than a decade at least.
My father, near the end of his life, considered himself the last Gestalt Psychologist. When I was very young I was fearful of kelp seaweed: my father showed me that it couldn’t hurt me, so I shouldn’t be afraid of it. I learned from him. If you understand something, you can reason about it. If you only have a correlation, you can’t be sure of the factors. He was never afraid to question conventional wisdom or the current fashionable and entrenched ideas (however old or fast those ideas were).
As a clinical school psychologist he was on the front line against invasion of chemical psychiatry into K-12 schools, and he saw how they used “their pseudo-scientific expertise [and argot]” to fool and trap kids and parents into approving the use of brain disabling drugs, within the “educational system” and with the implicit pressure and blessing (and relieving of responsibility) of the teachers and administrators. He also didn’t buy into the dominant paradigms of the first half of 20th century of Freudian psychology and the correlational “blank slate” behaviorism of Watson and Skinner.
“If you don’t understand something said, don’t assume you are at fault.” — David West Keirsey
Throughout my discussions and debates with him in my lifetime, he talked about ideas. We talked about philosophy, science, mathematics, computers, people, and life.
I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but I was in his office. I remember it to this day. Think it was Sue Lapin who directed me to his room, but that’s another story.
He was a classic example of a gray haired, balding, absent-minded professor, his office shelves stuffed to the ceiling with books, papers, and other flotsam and jetsam of an academia life. There we were: two different generations — he, my father’s generation, and me, a 50’s nerd baby boomer. The commonality was we were both computer nerds, interested in ideas and the nascent computer science field. At the time I was just trying to get a job to support my education: a Masters degree at University of Wisconsin, Madison, far from my home in sunny SoCal. I had driven the two thousand miles or so across the US for the first time in my life to get there.
We talked for about four hours non-stop about all kinds of things, the Chinese language is the only subject I remember: he was a fountain of knowledge, and both us could have gone on many Moore hours. I probably didn’t know the significance of it at the time, except he did point me to a job which I got to support myself in that strange land. A year and half later, I got a Masters in Computer Science, and left Madison to wander towards Enlightenment for the next 46 years, and hopefully beyond.
New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized,
but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher
who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought
on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.
— Max Planck
When I was young, my father would introduce and discuss, around the dinner table, the ideas of philosophers, scientists, and historians: like Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, John Stuart Mill, Georg Hegel, William James, Arthur Schopenhauer, Bertrand Russell, Oswald Spengler, Will Durant, Ayn Rand, Milton Erickson, and Jay Haley, to name a few.
I had a question early on “How and Why does the World Work?” He had a more difficult question: “What are the long-term patterns of an ‘Individual’s Human Action?” He was clinical school psychologist, who was identifying deviant habits of children, parents, and teachers. He was developing techniques aimed at enabling them to abandon such habits. His methods of research and reasoning enabled him to evolve his ideas into a coherent system. His model of Human Temperament has helped many people to better understand themselves and others.
He was good at qualitative reasoning, wholistic thought: the Gestalt (despite [and because] of having lots of training in statistics). I became good at quantitative reasoning: conventional science and mathematics. Between the two of us, as we debated, I realized that there was a middle way, much more powerful than ad hoc wholistic reasoning or ad hoc atomistic reasoning, when they are used separately. The new middle way, The Slow Idea, is using Comparative Science and Relational Complexity in conjunction as fields of scientific endeavor using systematic qualitative and quantitative reasoning together. To some extent: (hard and soft) science, mathematics, and computer science are towers of Babel, not able to understand each other’s argot and considered irrelevant to other.
The idea of: Slow Ideas <=> Fast Ideas
The root of this idea appeared just recently, thanks to Atul Gawande. He and Matt Ridley noted that ideas operate very much in an evolutionary manner.
FAST IDEAS WORK
eventually, SLOW IDEAS WORK BETTER, and longer
Atul Gawande introduced the idea of slow and fast ideas with an example from the 19th century. The fast idea was anesthesia and the slow idea was antiseptics. To quote him:
“Why do some innovations [ideas] spread so swiftly and others so slowly? Consider the very different trajectories of surgical anesthesia and antiseptics, both of which were discovered in the nineteenth century.”
“The first public demonstration of anesthesia was in 1846…”
“The idea [anesthesia] spread like a contagion, travelling through letters, meetings, and periodicals. By mid-December, surgeons were administering ether to patients in Paris and London. By February, anesthesia had been used in almost all the capitals of Europe, and by June in most regions of the world.”
Antiseptics, on the other hand, was a slow idea. It took decades for antiseptics to accepted by doctors, who had no incentives to change their practices that didn’t help them immediately. Blood stained clothes was a sign of a experienced surgeon; and washing hands, sterilizing instruments, and keeping hospitals clean seemed unnecessary. Germ theory was dismissed by doctors because the “germs” were not readily observed. Miasma Theory still was used as an excuse to not change.
Hey buddy, can you spare a Para-digm?
“Science advances one funeral at a time.” — Max Planck
“The trouble with specialists is that they tend to think in grooves” — Elaine Morgan
Establishment science needs to protect themselves from quacks, but it also resists slow ideas that are not easily incorporated into the current fashionable (often fast) ideas. This is natural, this is the way evolution works. However, Kuhnian revolutions (as in Margulian-Darwinian evolution) are necessary in science to progress and leap across the Quantum Gap.
What do Ludwig Boltzmann, Alan Turing, Yutaka Taniyama, and David Foster Wallace have in common? All were successful from a outside point of view. Each were very smart, and many would say they were geniuses. But, they all committed suicide.
I would posit, in the end of their lives, they had lost view of their horizons. Lost Horizons. Horizons of the mind.
A gypsy of a strange and distant time Travelling in panic all direction blind Aching for the warmth of a burning sun Freezing in the emptiness of where he’d come from
Is that all there is?
“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!”
Successful people who commit suicide are a mystery why in they don’t see life is worth living.
Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann, Architect Rational, (February 20, 1844 – September 5, 1906) was an Austrian physicist and philosopher whose greatest achievement was in the development of statistical mechanics, which explains and predicts how the properties of atoms (such as mass, charge, and structure) determine the physical properties of matter(such as viscosity, thermal conductivity, and diffusion).
Alan Mathison Turing, Architect Rational, OBE FRS (June 23, 1912 – June 7, 1954) was an English computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. He was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.
Yutaka Taniyama, Architect Rational, (Japanese: 谷山 豊 Taniyama Yutaka; 12 November 1927, Kisai near Tokyo – 17 November 1958, Tokyo) was a Japanese mathematician known for the Taniyama–Shimura conjecture.
David Foster Wallace, Architect Rational, (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American writer and university instructor of English and creative writing. His novel Infinite Jest (1996) was listed by Time magazine as one of the hundred best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005. His last novel, The Pale King (2011), was a final selection for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2012.
“Until yesterday I had no definite intention of killing myself. But more than a few must have noticed that lately I have been tired both physically and mentally. As to the cause of my suicide, I don’t quite understand it myself, but it is not the result of a particular incident, nor of a specific matter. Merely may I say, I am in the frame of mind that I lost confidence in my future. There may be someone to whom my suicide will be troubling or a blow to a certain degree. I sincerely hope that this incident will cast no dark shadow over the future of that person. At any rate, I cannot deny that this is a kind of betrayal, but please excuse it as my last act in my own way, as I have been doing my own way all my life.” — Yutaka Taniyama
To attain insight, to see what no others see, to be on top of that mountain:
We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done. — Alan Turing
I was surprised, kinda. But it made sense, why he didn’t think much of my suggestion. In fact, in his seminar at UCIrvine Information and Computer Science department (as tactic to get MIT to give him a better offer as a tenured faculty member), he dismissed my “idea”, quickly, even though he had asked (obviously rhetorically, in hindsight) for suggestions as a kind of Socratic presentation tactic in his talk.
My mentioning of Kirchoff’s law as a parallel in regards into information flow, he thought irrelevant, and was rather dismissive. But who was I, just a graduate student from a west coast Podunk U [which eventually was a key university in the development of the World Wide Web]. He was an assistant Professor from MIT,angling for tenure.
This time I understood. Although I didn’t have a name for it at the time. I just shut up.
Now, I call it eucaryotic hubris. We all have it, in the area of our expertise and our vast areas of ignorance.
This time, I had had enough encounters with these kind of guys to not be in awe of them. I didn’t assume I was at fault in not understanding, and not smart enough it “get what they are promoting”. They were just as ignorant as I was, despite being a “MIT Professor”.
And, Stupid, as me. So when I was watching one of Geoffrey Hinton’s youtube talks…
I had interacted this “professor” before,in that seminar. And I had listened to some of his other conference talks, he is very very very smart and accomplished. So smart, these days, he is a distinguished emeritus faculty member, at the institution he got his BS and PhD at. He has never had to move out of Massachusetts, or MIT. No, this guy wasn’t Marvin Minsky, but his student. So when Hinton told his offhand story, about Professor Carl Hewitt, I had to laugh. Deja vu, all over again.
“Indeed, in their later years (after finding out that most others are faking an understanding of the laws of nature), INTPs [Architect Rationals] are likely to think of themselves as the master organizers who must pit themselves against nature and society in an unending effort to create organization out of the raw materials of nature.” – Please Understand Me II, Keirsey, David. Please Understand Me II (Kindle Locations 4099-4107). Prometheus Nemesis Book Company. Kindle Edition.
As scientists, we all are struggling with understanding:
Formatics: Precise Qualitative and Quantitative Comparison. Precise Analogy and Precise Metaphor: how does one do that, and what does one mean by these two phrases? This is an essay, in the form of an ebook, on the nature of reality, measure, modeling, reference, and reasoning in an effort to move towards the development of Comparative Science and Relational Complexity. In some sense, this ebook explores the involution and envolution of ideas, particularly focusing on mathematics and reality as two “opposing” and “fixed points” in that “very” abstract space. As Robert Rosen has implied there has been (and still is going on) a war in Science. Essentially you can view that war as a battle between the “formalists” and the “informalists” — but make no mistake the participants of this war are united against “nature” — both are interested in understanding the world and sometimes predicting what can and will happen, whether that be real or imagined. So… I will ask the questions, for example, of “what could one mean” precisely by the words: “in,” “out,” “large,” and “small.” The problem is both Science and Mathematics are imprecise — but this sentence contains fighting words and is impredicative, to say the least. In my father‘s terms, it is important to distinguish between order and organization, and understand the difference. Lastly, for now, the concepts and their relations, in the circle of ideas of “dimensions of time” and dimensions of energy along with the dimensions of space and dimensions of mass will be explicated, as I evolve (involute and envolute) this ebook. SO WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? Let me try to explain.
… there is something strange going on with Primes
— Paul Erdös
Never mind the mock theta, Ramanujan’s gap, Namagiri dreams.
When Srinivasa Ramanujan wrote to G. H. Hardy in the 16th of January 1913, he had some remarkableformulas in that letter. So remarkable are some of his formulas that mathematicians have been studying Ramanujan’s notebooks of formulas for new mathematical insights to this day, more than a hundred years later.
I beg to introduce myself to you as a clerk in the Accounts Department of the Port Trust Office at Madras… I have no University education but I have undergone the ordinary school course. After leaving school I have been employing the spare time at my disposal to work at Mathematics. I have not trodden through the conventional regular course which is followed in a University course, but I am striking out a new path for myself. I have made a special investigation of divergent series in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathematicians as “startling”.
Hardy invited him to England because some of the formulas “had to be true, because no one could have the imagination to make them up”. But there were no proofs. However, when this poor vegetarian Indian Hindu came to England, eventually Hardy showed Ramanujan (thru Littlewood) that his formula on Primes was not EXACTLY correct. So Ramanujan had to bend to Hardy and work on his proofs of some of his formulas, so when they tackled the function of Partitions P(n), Ramanujan with the help of Hardy got to point where they “cracked” Partitions (and could prove it). They developed a direct formula that computed the number of partitions pretty accurately, and at the limit (infinity) it was “perfect” — and, could by truncating the number for high partition number to an integer could guarantee to be exact: since the number of partitions of integers is an whole number (i.e., the real number series “formula” converges with an deceasing error rate). Together they “cracked” the problem where neither man could do it alone. Ramanujan supplied the “intuition” (the finding of the hidden pattern) and Hardy provided the rigor to explain why the pattern is true. The method they created, in this instance, was called the “circle method” — and it has been used ever since by numerous mathematicians for various other results.