Thursday, December 31, 2009

What a Decade

The phrase Jan Cox used, 'there is no truth in words,' is pointing to
the same thing as the formulation 'the opposite is never true.' And
these formulas make no sense to the ordinary, that is, mechanical
mind, which typifies us all most of the time, and most of us all the
time. This example comes to mind, the love and tenderness Jan had for
what another generation would have called the created world. He
referred to plants once, as that category of living thing which clung
to its parent. He would not let an animal he knew about suffer. But he
did not dwell on what could not be helped, and he had not a moment of
mental energy to spend imagining situations which were not in front of
him. You saw a situation of an animal in need, you did the possible,
and mainly, then, you did not let the situation dwell in your mind. He
would use pesticides at times. And one night he said to us, (words to
this effect): "there is no need to move earthworms off the sidewalk."
The ordinary might find these contradictory situations. I am amazed at
the thought of his patience with his students.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Right Tools

The wonderful advances and exciting  perspective of theoretical physics are like a jigsaw puzzle. When presented with the unknown, scientists will argue there are still pieces to find, to fit in, but they are working on it, (they have been saying this for centuries.) What they do not perceive is that the jigsaw puzzle needs a board to fit the pieces into, a table for the board to rest on. This, since they are unaware of the limitations of the tools available to physicists, is invisible to the scientists and so the limitations of their knowledge is not apparent.
There are tools available to those who seek to know, mental tools whose existence is mentioned in historical texts, tools which if consistently applied lead to reproducible results.
Without a feeling of spaciousness which an awareness of one's ignorance allows, the real questions cannot be addressed.