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Posts Tagged ‘Science’

Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.
    ―     Albert Einstein
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On This Day In:
2020 Mostly Dry, With A Chance Of Late Rain
And The Same Goes For Blogs / Posts
2019 Not Enough
2018 One Thing We Do Know
2017 Preservation
2016 Going Back
2015 Just For Today
2014 Reaching For Destiny
2013 Still Just Passing Through
2012 Live Or Die
2011 On Secession
2010 A Rocky Weekend

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Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group.  Initially our loyalties were to ourselves and our immediate family, next, to bands of wandering hunter-gatherers, then to tribes, small settlements, city-states, nations.  We have broadened the circle of those we love.  We have now organized what are modestly described as super-powers, which include groups of people from divergent ethnic and cultural backgrounds working in some sense together — surely a humanizing and character building experience.  If we are to survive, our loyalties must be broadened further, to include the whole human community, the entire planet Earth.  Many of those who run the nations will find this idea unpleasant.  They will fear the loss of power.  We will hear much about treason and disloyalty.  Rich nation-states will have to share their wealth with poor ones.  But the choice, as H. G. Wells once said in a different context, is clearly the universe or nothing.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 Stay Gentle
2019 Immoral #45
2018 From My Soapbox
2017 The Single Most Effective Thing For Health
2016 A Trumpet Solo
2015 Potential Is A Heavy Burden
2014 Fear Not, Weep Not
2013 Half Way There
2012 Sacrificed Any Lately?
2011 The Value Of One’s Character
2010 Intervals
On Being Human
Non-predictive Emergence
Events
Bodily Functions
Standing Thoughts
Sent Home Is Better Than Fixed

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I stress that the universe is made mostly of nothing, that something is the exception.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 #45: Time Is Ticking Away
#45 Claims COVID-19 Defeated To Open The Economy
2019 Belief Buffet
2018 Change Is Law
2017 A Dog Day Of Summer
2016 Chances Are
2015 Truer Spoken
2014 Not Quite There Yet (Either)
Many Colors
2013 Distance, n.
Less Can Be More
2012 Rise Up!
The Gift
2011 Artful Courage
2010 A Handful of Lessons…

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Sometimes the shape of the new paradigm is foreshadowed in the structure that extraordinary research has given to the anomaly.  … More often no such structure is consciously seen in advance. Instead, the new paradigm, or a sufficient hint to permit later articulation, emerges all at once, sometimes in the middle of the night, in the mind of a man deeply immersed in crisis.  What the nature of that final stage is — how an individual invents (or finds he has invented) a new way of giving order to data now all assembled — must here remain inscrutable and may be permanently so.  Let us here note only one thing about it.  Almost always the men who achieve these fundamental inventions of a new paradigm have been either very young or very new to the field whose paradigm they change.
    —    Thomas S. Kuhn
From his book:  “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
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On This Day In:
2020 Or To Destroy Democracy
2019 A Defense Of Liberty
2018 And Blog To Word Up To The Universe
The Irony Of Greed
2017 Or Revisiting A Blog Site
2016 Alas, Too Often The Latter
2015 Either / Or
2014 Memorial Day – 2014
Perfection
2013 Memorial Day Video
Equal = Equal
2012 Congrats, Nephew!!
Doggie Vision Networks
The Flash: Omnibus
JLI: vol 1
Flash: Rebirth
Burning Images
What Do You Believe?
2011 Are We Still At War With The Poor?

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Plagues don’t come for one tribe or another;  they don’t smite a population because it’s gone astray;  they’re neither divine punishment nor a sign of the Rapture.
    —    Virginia  Heffernan
From her article:  “Words To Live By
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  May 2020
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On This Day In:
2020 Social Distancing
2019 Touched?
2018 Chillin’ With My Bro
Inconvenient Adventure
2017 Genuine Tragedies
2016 Why I’m Scared Of November
2015 I Can Tell Too
2014 In Hand
2013 No Fear
2012 Comic Books
Keeping The Peace
2011 You Still Have To Pay For It

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Both borderline science and many religions are motivated in part by a serious concern about the nature of the universe and our role in it, and for this reason merit our consideration and regard.  In addition, I think it possible that many religions involve at their cores an attempt to come to grips with profound mysteries of our individual life histories, as described in the last chapter.  But both in borderline science and in organized religion there is much that is specious or dangerous.  While the practitioners of such doctrines often wish there were no criticisms to which they are expected to reply, skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep insights can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 Early Knowledge
Seen Any Messages Lately?
2019 I Don’t Think We’ll Be Serving Them Cake
2018 New And Old
2017 Ever
2016 At The Center
2015 True Value In Life
2014 A Potential To Be Concerned
2013 Fine No More
2012 Have You Checked Your Height Lately?
2011 Are You Convinced?

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We have found that scientific laws pervade all of nature, that the same rules apply on Earth as in the skies, that we can find a resonance, a harmony, between the way we think and the way the world works…
As a boy Kepler had been captured by a vision of cosmic splendor, a harmony of the worlds which he sought so tirelessly all his life.  Harmony in this world eluded him.  His three laws of planetary motion represent, we now know, a real harmony of the worlds, but to Kepler they were only incidental to his quest for a cosmic system based on the Perfect Solids, a system which, it turns out, existed only in his mind.  Yet from his work, we have found that scientific laws pervade all of nature, that the same rules apply on Earth as in the skies, that we can find a resonance, a harmony, between the way we think and the way the world works.
When he found that his long cherished beliefs did not agree with the most precise observations, he accepted the uncomfortable facts, he preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions.  That is the heart of science.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 Up Again
2019 Advice From #1 To #45
2018 How Much I Will Miss The Trump Administration
2017 We Need To Continue Experimenting
2016 Consistently
2015 We Must Dissent
2014 Now What?
2013 Judgement
2012 Stuck In My Mind
Life’s Hope
2011 Just Getting Up
Directions Please

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The low cost of generic drugs makes them essential to global public health.  But if those bargain drugs are of low quality, they do more harm than good.  For years, politicians, regulators and aid workers have focused on ensuring access to these drugs.  Going forward, they must place equal value on quality, through an exacting program of unannounced inspections, routine testing of drugs already on the market and strict legal enforcement against companies manufacturing subpar medicine.  One model is the airline industry, which through international laws and treaties, has established clear global standards for aviation safety.
Without something similar for safe and effective drugs, the twin forces of subpar medicine and growing drug resistance will be so destructive that developed countries won’t be able to ignore them.  As Elizabeth Pisani, an epidemiologist who has studied drug quality in Indonesia, put it, “The fact is, pathogens know no borders.”
    —   Katherine Eban
From her article: “The Worldwide Threat Of Generic Drugs
Appearing in Time Magazine, dtd: 3 June 2019
The article also appears online at:  https://time.com/5590602/generic-drugs-quality-risk/
[I personally subscribe to the hard copy of Time Magazine.  This quote is being offered without permission or authorization.  I make no claim of ownership or authorship.  I am receiving no compensation from the author or the magazine for posting this quote.  I found the article interesting and am simply offering the quote for your consideration.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Life’s Mysteries
2019 I Doubt I Ever Will
2018 Who Will Thank (If Not Remember) Me
2017 Reinforced Learning
2016 I Choose To Believe
2015 What They Don’t Teach You At School
2014 Still Trying To Die (5)
2013 Honest Doubt
2012 Choice
2011 Ownership Of Thought

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No process yet disclosed by the historical study of scientific development at all resembles the methodological stereotype of falsification by direct comparison with nature.
    —    Thomas S. Kuhn
From his book:  “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
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On This Day In:
2020 Fate, Agency And Dumb Luck
2019 You Too Can Choose
2018 In Line
2017 Just Get It Right
2016 In Support Of Common Core
2015 Oscillation
2014 Truth Shift
2013 Real Heroes
2012 Controlling The Beast
2011 1,002

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There can be an infinite number of polygons, but only five regular solids.  Four of the solids were associated with earth, fire, air and water.  The cube for example represented earth.  These four elements, they thought, make up terrestrial matter.  So the fifth solid they mystically associated with the Cosmos.  Perhaps it was the substance of the heavens.  This fifth solid was called the dodecahedron.  Its faces are pentagons, twelve of them.  Knowledge of the dodecahedron was considered too dangerous for the public.  Ordinary people were to be kept ignorant of the dodecahedron.  In love with whole numbers, the Pythagoreans believed that all things could be derived from them.  Certainly all other numbers.
So a crisis in doctrine occurred when they discovered that the square root of two was irrational.  That is: the square root of two could not be represented as the ratio of two whole numbers, no matter how big they were.  “Irrational” originally meant only that.  That you can’t express a number as a ratio.  But for the Pythagoreans it came to mean something else, something threatening, a hint that their world view might not make sense, the other meaning of “irrational”.
   —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 The Butterflies Are In Trouble
2019 The Deep Center
2018 Oh, Heaven (Too)
2017 Now Pausing Makes Sense
2016 Just Spicy
Only One Part
2015 Positive Acts Of Creation
2014 One Thing Is Clear
2013 Corrections
See Greatness
2012 Gemutlichkeit
2011 Back On The Asphalt

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The man who is striving to solve a problem defined by existing knowledge and technique is not, however, just looking around.  He knows what he wants to achieve, and he designs his instruments and directs his thoughts accordingly.  Unanticipated novelty, the new discovery, can emerge only to the extent that his anticipations about nature and his instruments prove wrong.
    —     Thomas S. Kuhn
From his book: “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
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On This Day In:
2020 A Steep Price Ahead
Möbius
2019 Eureka!
2018 Learning About My Humanity
2017 Laugh Or Shake Your Head
2016 The Expected Cure
2015 Of Two Minds
2014 Pride And Remembrance
2013 Repeating Bad Memories
2012 No Sooner
2011 Just Cheesy!
Are You Illin’?

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Cumulative acquisition of unanticipated novelties proves to be an almost non-existent exception to the rule of scientific development.  The man who takes historic fact seriously must suspect that science does not tend toward the ideal that our image of its cumulativeness has suggested.  Perhaps it is another sort of enterprise.
If, however, resistant facts can carry us that far, then a second look at the ground we have already covered may suggest that cumulative acquisition of novelty is not only rare in fact but improbable in principle.  Normal research, which is cumulative, owes its success to the ability of scientists regularly to select problems that can be solved with conceptual and instrumental techniques close to those already in existence.
  —   Thomas S. Kuhn
From his book:  “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
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On This Day In:
2020 Where #45 Is Leading The Republican Party
2019 Your Own Blog Posts
The Man With A Code
2018 Choose Goodness
2017 Developing Translations
2016 Think Like A Hero
2015 Reductionism
2014 Gravitation, n.
2013 Ups And Downs
2012 Nerd Heard – And Good-Bye
Your Continuum
2011 Career Tips (Part 2)

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In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.  It is up to us.
   —    Carl Sagan
[An Inauguration and rejoining the Paris Climate Accords are just a start.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Hoping For #46 In January 2021
2019 Interesting, But Not Fascinating
But Try To Eat The Low-Hanging First
2018 Me, Too
2017 Apt Enough?
2016 Now Or Ever
21, Pause, Restart
2015 I Am Shocked, Sir, Shocked…
Lucy & FSND-2
2014 Less Difficult
2013 The Spirit Of Liberty
2012 The Essential Freedom Of Aloneness
2011 A Problem Of Scale
Fred Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
2010 Another Book, Another Jog…

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I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.
   —    Carl Sagan
[Perhaps, having seen the corruption and malevolence of the Trump Administration, the next four years can see the beginning of an American renaissance…  I hope so.  As I prayed four years ago:  “I may not agree with all (or any) of this President’s policies, but I pray he makes America a better place.”  Hopefully #45 was the “just” the darkness before the new day’s dawn.   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Posting As A Continual Exercise
2019 Border Security – Yes, Border Wall – No
2018 Supporting Survival Values
2017 Inauguration Day 2017 [Sometimes, I hate it when I’m right! — KMAB]
2016 Or A Pot Of Gold After The Storm
2015 One, Two, Three…
2014 Lend Your Hand
2013 Amnesty, n.
2012 Best Resolv’d
The Clock Is Running
2011 Magic

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Since this series’ maiden voyage, the impossible has come to pass:  Mighty walls that maintained insuperable ideological differences have come tumbling down; deadly enemies have embraced and begun to work together.  The imperative to cherish the Earth and protect the global environment that sustains all of us has become widely accepted, and we’ve begun, finally, the process of reducing the obscene number of weapons of mass destruction.  Perhaps we have, after all, decided to choose life.  But we still have light years to go to ensure that choice.  Even after the summits and the ceremonies and the treaties, there are still some 50,000 nuclear weapons in the world — and it would require the detonation of only a tiny fraction of them to produce a nuclear winter, the predicted global climatic catastrophe that would result from the smoke and the dust lifted into the atmosphere by burning cities and petroleum facilities.
The world scientific community has begun to sound the alarm about the grave dangers posed by depleting the protective ozone shield and by greenhouse warming, and again we’re taking some mitigating steps, but again those steps are too small and too slow.  The discovery that such a thing as nuclear winter was really possible evolved out of the studies of Martian dust storms.  The surface of Mars, fried by ultraviolet light, is also a reminder of why it’s important to keep our ozone layer intact.  The runaway greenhouse effect on Venus is a valuable reminder that we must take the increasing greenhouse effect on Earth seriously.
Important lessons about our environment have come from spacecraft missions to the planets.  By exploring other worlds we safeguard this one.  By itself, I think this fact more than justifies the money our species has spent in sending ships to other worlds.  It is our fate to live during one of the most perilous and, at the same time, one of the most hopeful chapters in human history.
Our science and our technology have posed us a profound question.  Will we learn to use these tools with wisdom and foresight before it’s too late?  Will we see our species safely through this difficult passage so that our children and grandchildren will continue the great journey of discovery still deeper into the mysteries of the Cosmos?  That same rocket and nuclear and computer technology that sends our ships past the farthest known planet can also be used to destroy our global civilization.  Exactly the same technology can be used for good and for evil.  It is as if there were a God who said to us, “I set before you two ways:  You can use your technology to destroy yourselves or to carry you to the planets and the stars.  It’s up to you.”
   —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 Still Willing
2019 Another Prayer
2018 After Silence
2017 Are You Looking Forward To A Trump Presidency?
2016 Three Errors From Eureka
2015 Limiting Choices
2014 Praise The Lord And Pass The Hypocrisy
That Sound
2013 Still Waiting For Answers
2012 Informal Leadership
2011 A Little More Progress
2010 Bec’s Gone Again…

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