Learn, UnLearn, Learn.
There are two ways to do good science.Hacked from Raoul Bott’s quote.
The first is to be smarter than everybody else.
The second way is to be stupider than everybody else—but persistent in the cycle of learn, unlearn, learn.
My father died on July 30th, 2013 and I intend to honor him, if I can, by writing a blog about him and the consequences of me integrating his ideas every year. First year, Second Year, Third Year, Fourth Year, Fifth Year, Sixth Year, Seventh Year. This is the eighth year.
On the nature of ideas: almost right, almost wrong, brilliantly confused, abstractly confused.
On Ansatz and Ersatz Ideas
No ideas are absolutely right. Good Ideas, that are almost right, model the world well. However, words are slippery and ambiguous, open to misinterpretation for those who are ill informed or misinformed. Ideas are model metaphors, limited in context.
Green Ideas sleep furiously
There are almost right ideas that are complex ideas. These almost right ideas are a mixture of fast and slow ideas in a circumcised context. These ideas take time to be developed and are not the complete answer. These ideas are opposed or ignored by society in general. Moreover, the incumbent experts of the fast ideas vehemently oppose the incorporation of the slow ideas, but eventually accepted when their time has come.
The Keirsey Temperament Model (KTM) is a framework for understanding yourself and others. Millions of people have benefitted from the KTM, even though there was no advertising of it, except through word of mouth.
The Keirsey Temperament Model does not address, explicitly, the effect of gender, culture, and other environmental factors and influences on a person’s character, which are important factors in the development of an individual. On the other hand, understanding a person’s Temperament often can help in understanding these other factors and influences.
Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Potential
Quantum mechanics is the most accurate approximate theory in Science. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle is correct but incomplete in understanding, because it is a principle (an assumption) not an explanation. The debate between QM (ala Schrodinger, Heisenberg (Born), Dirac) versus the “hidden variable” QM Bohm-Einstein, both assume the continuity of the speed of light relative to the Planck scales (time, mass, energy, distance, spin, and charge). David Bohm’s new Quantum Potential (via The Undivided Universe) is a better ontological model than conventional QM; however, still doesn’t address the digital (Diophantine) nature of reality.
Quantum mechanics does not predict the right magnetic moment of the muon or tauon. And there are the three neutral leptons that have no explanation. Moreover, there is no set of relations, at this point of time (2020), that conventional physics has any hope of using to bridge that Fermi-Dirac-Landau gap. The Ersatz concepts of Dark Matter and Quantum Entanglement are vacuous rhetorical concepts pushed by the neo-Ostwaldian prophets. Quantum entanglement is a real phenomena, but the popular explanations are nonsensical. Formatics will hopefully address these issues.
Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds,
bursting with its own corrections.
You can keep your sterile truth for yourself.
There are almost wrong ideas that are much better than vague or confused ideas. These almost wrong ideas often are ground breaking for a time, and they are crucial in the evolution of science and ideas. These are the fast ideas or slow ideas of yesteryear. They’re the best science at the time, limited in the scope, and clearly to some degree very incomplete.
Isabel Myers created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and helped millions of individuals understand themselves better as individuals. Most people are not very good at introspection, but the MBTI although atomistic in its approach, the four linear factors [E-I,N-S,T-F,P-J], provided a better set of factors to see the People Patterns, than looking to doGs, daemons, tea leaves, 2000 year old texts, or dead ancestor’s droppings, to understand and as a guide to operate in the past, present, and future.
Isabel Myers modification and adding to Carl Jung’s vague and abstract ideas was a major improvement. The idea that people are inborn in their different wants, needs, and styles of behavior, often contrary to their families, friends, and communities, was a game changing idea against the early and dominant 20th century blank slate ideas of Watson/Skinner or simplistic primal instinct theories of Freud and Pavlov. Can the individual be explained by four factors? No, but as an initial way of looking at an individual for the “content of their character”
Relativity and Particle Types
Energy/Matter: Isaac Newton was extremely successful when he invented differential and integral calculus to model Kepler’s concept of the motion of the heavens. Newton used his newly coined (mathematical) concepts of mass and fluxons to generate a simple equation relating these two to universal gravity. He also was the first to guess that light was a particle. He obviously had no idea of electrons, protons, and the particle and force zoo that his followers would expand upon.
Space/Time: Einstein, abandoned his work on Brownian motion and the photoelectric effect (involving a Planck constant), to concentrate on the mismatch between Hamiltonian mechanics and Maxwell’s equations. With the use of covariant tensors and the formalism of the Minkowski space, Einstein generated an approximate model of Newton’s guess at gravity that has been excellent in predicting interesting phenomena such as the bending of light waves, time dilation, gravity waves, and phenomena such as black holes. On the other hand, Einstein’s field equations cannot explain the rotation of galaxies and the evolution of the universe without numerous fudge factors (the Gravitational “constant”, the Hubble “constant”, “Dark Matter”, and “Dark Energy”). Einstein’s equations do not involve the Planck (finite) constants, in some sense hiding behind infinity.
From all this it is to be seen how much the limits of analysis are enlarged by such infinite equations; in fact by their help analysis reaches, I might say, to all problems, the numerical problems of Diophantus and the like excepted. [Editor’s emphasis]Isaac Newton (Letter to Gottfried Leibniz on the advantages of infinitesimal calculus)
Ersatz Ideas: Brilliantly Confused or Abstractly Confused.
“Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensusMargaret Thatcher
These ersatz “confused” ideas are to be explored in more detail in a later blog; however, what follows is a short introduction of the concepts to be developed further. My father spent most of his life combating or ameliorating the effects of confused ideas. But it is not enough to criticize ideas that one considers wrong or confused, better ideas must be built from from old ideas and new ideas that address the issues finessed or ignored by the ideas of the current time.
Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig; es ist nicht einmal falsch!Wolfgang Pauli
Almost Right and Almost Wrong Ideas are the bulk of science; however, there are ideas that arise that are either Brilliantly Confused or Abstractly Confused, that contribute to the evolution of science. These ideas are a little more complex to describe in their role in the evolution of science.
“What you said was so confused that one could not tell whether it was nonsense or not.”Wolfgang Pauli (to Lev Landau)
Brilliantly Confused ideas often open up new vistas implicitly. To a degree the Brilliantly Confused ideas are partially right, but typically, for wrong reasons. Archetypes of Jung and Freud’s “talking cure” were better than the torture methods of the medics of the first half of the twentieth century, but ultimately have no scientific basis other than vague metaphors. String Theory was promising in the beginning, once Green and Schwarz figured out the right scale, but it rested on a bad assumption: mass and energy are continuous and proportional factors in non-equilibrium circumstances. These ideas eventually fade, but seem to never die.
Abstractly Confused Ideas are wrong turns on bad assumptions (often seen in hindsight, but sometimes obvious to a silent or silenced minority). The “Mental Illness” metaphor used to rationalize psychiatry’s and the pharmacological industry to drug their patients or clients, often compounding the problems of these victims of abuse from dysfunctional families and/or institutions. In the science of cosmology, Steven Hawking used his credibility and dominate position in the field to speculate about how the world works, the popular media loving to advertise his every word. However, Steven Hawking and David Deutsch’s Multiverse is more religion than science.
Active Learning: Learn, Unlearn, Learn
The thing I miss about my father, besides our spirited and long debates, was his interest in ideas. He was always up for discussing them. Looking at them and examining the pros and cons of ideas: how they are almost right, almost wrong, brilliantly confused, and abstractly confused. Understanding can always be improved.
I bailed out of Chemistry and Electrical Engineering as undergraduate to go into computing; however, I never gave up on trying to learn more and understand more, like quantum computing. With a fifth watching of Andrea Morello’s interview, I am still learning, unlearning, learning.
I also didn’t continue to learn more “mathematical” (non-discrete) concepts beyond my BS and MS degrees. Only in the last couple of decades I have gone back to learning, unlearning, learning other mathematical domains. For example, in understanding internal structure and dynamics, Peter Scott’s article The Geometries of 3-Manifolds has valuable information about the eight kinds of geometries in three dimensions.
Architect Rationals include: Mary Somerville, David Mark Keirsey, James Madison, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Emmy Noether, Paul Dirac, Robert Rosen, David West Keirsey, Albert Einstein, Lonnie Athens, David Bohm