Sat, 20 Nov 1999 01:55:37 -0800
My condolences on the loss of your relatives. I know you will
find in yourself a way to express your pain and carry on.
When Bill Moyers interviewed C. N. Yang for the "World of Ideas" television series, Yang explained that he felt the U.S. was set up to educate only a few "silver bullets" at the expense of the rest, whereas the East was educating everyone equally well and but not stressing any boldness or individualism in the students. Over here it seems everyone is in a power struggle "to win" but also it is the "be your own business" attitude that makes such competition essential to funding. With the high cost of education here (10 fold increased since I was in university) it seems now that the professors are the ones getting the education at the expense of the students.
Edwin T. Jaynes remarked how he refused to take part in this american system and write his thesis with Oppenheimer's (his advisor) ideas and not his own. The rest of his life was spent in opposition to his peers and he never received the recognition that I think he was due. His work in now, getting more attention.
An excerpt from the New York Times article: Physicists Invading Geologists' Turf
"In some ways, they irritate us," said Dr. Dietrich, a professor at the University of California in Berkeley, speaking for university and government geologists.
You may have to subscribe (for free) in order to access the article: http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/112399sci-environ-geology.html
--- I agree with your remarks on power and time. The world has always been that way to this day. But how long can it continue that way ? We humans think in such small intervals that long-term problems surprise us when they finally show their penalties with great force, like a repressed memory, or an earth quake. Is the world becoming 'wiser' or just 'smarter' ? Isn't there a distinction there ?
Technology gives us Big Brother: http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/echelon991122.html for you UNIX fans this is sort of: /dev/phone | grep -i "bomb" | NSA > nul
They must be using quantum computers to parallelize the observation :)
I'm reading now a fiction book now by G. G. Simpson (Simpson's Paradox) called "The Decronization of Sam Magruder". It's about a man who accidently goes back in time after a quantum experiment and find he has to learn how to survive in the days of dinosaurs.
Simpson has an interesting concept of time which inherently has no 'future'. The present is like the top-most tip of a tall pine tree and the past is the rest. The past "grows" and the present "moves" but there is no 'time' in the present.---
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