25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Networks in the Enlightenment

Like the Reformation, the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment were network-driven phenomena, yet they spread faster and farther. This reflected the importance of acquaintances in correspondence networks such as Voltaire’s and Benjamin Franklin’s, communities that might otherwise have remained subdivided into national clusters. It also reflected the way that new social organizations—notably, Freemasonry—increased the connectedness of like-minded men, despite established divisio...
Folksonomies: networks enlightenment
Folksonomies: networks enlightenment
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01 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 Economic Principles for Students

Here are some examples of the principles that teachers can use to expand concepts presented in formal course material. These principles don't have to be taught in the context of any particular class. It's an empirical question. This is a comment that ought to terminate many more conversations than it does. For many of the questions and issues we discuss, there is an answer available. Look it up and see. There's no point in discussing the merits of taking multivitamins when there are several ...
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Perception of Time

“Do not squander time,” said Benjamin Franklin, “for that is the stuff life is made of.” Our consciousness, even more than it is posted in space, unrolls in time. I can imagine abolishing space from my awareness—if, say, I were floating in a sensory deprivation tank or became blind and paralyzed—while still continuing to think as usual. But it’s almost impossible to imagine abolishing time from one’s awareness, leaving the last thought immobilized like a stuck car horn, while ...
Folksonomies: perception time
Folksonomies: perception time
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01 SEP 2014 by ideonexus

 Literature Asks Questions without Offering Answers

Even when writers profess to know nothing about the inner man, they often make the profession in a way which suggests that they really know plenty When D. H. Lawrence says (in his essay on Benjamin Franklin) "The soul of man is a dark forest," he says it with a kind of knowing Satanic smirk, so that the profession of ignorance actually becomes a species of knowledge. When I first read that ominous Lawrence sentence I was young and it was news to me that my soul was a dark forest. For several ...
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13 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Today's Problems Are Too Complex for Individuals to Solve

The human race has had a long and romantic tradition of crediting great breakthroughs to the tribulations of single individuals: Einstein, Archimedes, Benjamin Franklin, Van Gogh, da Vinci—the list is lon^g. Interestingly, every story about an epiphany is similar: An eclectic individual attempts to solve a complex problem that has stumped humankind for centuries, when suddenly he stumbles on an "aha!" moment. At first his revelation is rebuked by everyone, and then, over time, the inventor ...
Folksonomies: history invention
Folksonomies: history invention
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History is filled with the names of inventors who made great discoveries, but it took teams to invent the Internet, Cell Phone, and Semi-Conductor.

16 AUG 2012 by ideonexus

 Benjamin Franklin on Future of Science

The rapid progress true science now makes occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon. It is impossible to imagine the Height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the Power of Man over Matter...Agriculture may diminish its Labour and double its Produce; all Diseases may, by sure means, be prevented or cured, not even excepting that of Old Age, and our Lives lengthened at pleasure even beyond the antediluvian Standard. O that moral Science were in as fair a way of Improv...
Folksonomies: prescience optimism
Folksonomies: prescience optimism
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An optimistic vision of the future of man and a lament that he won't be able to see it.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Benjamin Franklin Thwarts the Will of God

When Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning-rod, the clergy, both in England and America, with the enthusiastic support of George III, condemned it as an impious attempt to defeat the will of God. For, as all right-thinking people were aware, lightning is sent by God to punish impiety or some other grave sin—the virtuous are never struck by lightning. Therefore if God wants to strike any one, Benjamin Franklin [and his lightning-rod] ought not to defeat His design; indeed, to do so is hel...
Folksonomies: science religion
Folksonomies: science religion
  1  notes

His lightning rod is condemned by the religious.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Benjamin Franklin Discovers Electricity

As every circumstance relating to so capital a discovery as this (the greatest, perhaps, that has been made in the whole compass of philosophy, since the time of Sir Isaac Newton) cannot but give pleasure to all my readers, I shall endeavour to gratify them with the communication of a few particulars which I have from the best authority. The Doctor [Benjamin Franklin], after having published his method of verifying his hypothesis concerning the sameness of electricity with the matter lightnin...
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An account of his kite experiment.

17 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Benjamin Franklin's Forsight

I always rejoice to hear of your being still employed in experimental researches into nature, and of the success you meet with. The rapid progress true science now makes, occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon: it is impossible to imagine the height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter; we may perhaps learn to deprive large masses of their gravity, and give them absolute levity for the sake of easy transport. Agriculture may diminish it...
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He sees the future of science and the possibilities, but laments that it will not change the morals of man.

17 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.

The bell ringing for church, we went thither immediately, and with hearts full of gratitude, returned sincere thanks to God for the mercies we had received: were I a Roman Catholic, perhaps I should on this occasion vow to build a chapel to some saint, but as I am not, if I were to vow at all, it should be to build a light-house.
Folksonomies: science religion
Folksonomies: science religion
  1  notes

Benjamin Franklin relating he thoughts after avoiding being smashed on rocks in a vessel.