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
  1  notes
29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 The Irrelevance of Current Events

Chang told him that there were other books published up to about the middle of 1930 which would doubtless be added to the shelves eventually; they had already arrived at the lamasery. "We keep ourselves fairly up-to-date, you see," he commented. "There are people who would hardly agree with you," replied Conway with a smile. "Quite a lot of things have happened in the world since last year, you know." "Nothing of importance, my dear sir, that could not have been foreseen in 1920, or that wi...
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14 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 Believing in the Afterlife Belittles the Importance of a ...

When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don't ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thi...
Folksonomies: science spirituality
Folksonomies: science spirituality
  1  notes
 
18 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Comparative Alphabets

But when I had grasped the facts that spellings are often false, that words can be invented, and that explanations are often wrong, I found that worse remained behind. The science of phi- lology is comparatively modern, so that our earlier writers had no means of ascertaining principles that are now well established, and, instead of proceeding by rule, had to go blindly by guesswork, thus sowing crops of errors which have sprung up and multiplied till it requires very careful investigatio...
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02 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Importance of Leisure in Science

Long before anyone knew that the universe had a beginning, before we knew that the nearest large galaxy lies two and a half million light-years from Earth, before we knew how stars work or whether atoms exist, James Ferguson's enthusiastic introduction to his favorite science rang true. Yet his words, apart from their eighteenth-century flourish, could have been written yesterday. But who gets to think that way? Who gets to celebrate this cosmic view of life? Not the migrant farmworker. Not ...
Folksonomies: science culture discovery
Folksonomies: science culture discovery
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29 MAY 2014 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Altruism in Human Evolution

In proportion as physical characteristics become of less importance, mental and moral qualities will have an increasing importance to the well-being of the race. Capacity for acting in concert, for protection of food and shelter; sympathy, which leads all in turn to assist each other; the sense of right, which checks depredation upon our fellows ... all qualities that from earliest appearance must have been for the benefit of each community, and would therefore have become objects of natural ...
Folksonomies: evolution altruism
Folksonomies: evolution altruism
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Behaviors benefiting the community benefited the species.

24 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Science Should be Accessible to All

The circulation of accurate and meaningful natural science ideas is of vital concern to our age. These are abundant in science but scarce in society. They should be rendered accessible to all. . . without education in natural science it is impossible to develop a strong intellect.... By placing natural science at the beginning of a course of education we would cleanse the child's mind of all prejudices; we would raise him on healthful food until the time when, strong of intellect . . . and re...
Folksonomies: enlightenment education
Folksonomies: enlightenment education
  1  notes

The importance of universal public education.

30 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 We Should Think of Ourselves as Atoms

we should consider ourselves but as atoms of organized matter, whose pleasure or whose pain, whose existence in a state of organization, or whose non-existence in that state, is a matter of no importance in the laws and operations of Nature; we should view ourselves with the same feelings, as we view the leaf which rises in the spring, and falls in the autumn, and then serves no further purpose but to fertilize the earth for a fresh production; we should view ourselves but as the blossoms of ...
Folksonomies: vision meaning perspective
Folksonomies: vision meaning perspective
  1  notes

We are like the leaves on trees that are green for a season and then return to the Earth.

24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Gedankenexperiment

However, the subject need not be an esoteric one for a gedankenexperiment to be fruitful. My own favorite is Galileo’s proof that, contrary to Aristotle’s view, objects of different mass fall in a vacuum with the same acceleration. One might think that a real experiment needs to be conducted to test that hypothesis, but Galileo simply asked us to consider a large and a small stone tied together by a very light string. If Aristotle was right, the large stone should speed up the smaller one...
  1  notes

Gino Segre on the importance and validity of "thought-experiments," using Galileo's disproof of objects falling at different rates as an example.

15 JUL 2013 by ideonexus

 Kissenger Describes Sayre's law

I've been an academic and I've been a policy maker. And as a policy maker, I've had a lot of trouble from academics. Especially from the Ivy League, and I'm going to say one thing about academic politics to which Mr. Schramm referred. I formulated the rule that the intensity of academic politics and the bitterness of it is in inverse proportion to the importance of the subject their discussing. And I promise you at Harvard, they are passionately intense and the subjects are extremely unimport...
Folksonomies: politics debate pettiness
Folksonomies: politics debate pettiness
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Expressed by Sayre as "Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low."