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#135370 - 11/20/04 11:51 PM Well, Looking for a Writer...  
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Wordwind Offline
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Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
I came across this quotation today:

"If you sincerely desire a truly well-rounded education, you must study the extremists, the obscure and "nutty". You need the balance! Your poor brain is already being impregnated with middle-of-the-road crap, twenty-four hours a day, no matter what. Network TV, newspapers, radio, magazines at the supermarket...even if you never watch, read, listen, or leave your house, even if you are deaf and blind, the telepathic pressure alone of the uncountable normals surrounding you will insure that you are automatically well-grounded in consensus reality."


Rev. Ivan Stang (b.1949)
High Weirdness By Mail, 1988


So, dear readers, who are the extremists who would be good to read today in order to escape the consensus?


#135371 - 11/21/04 02:48 AM Re: Well, Looking for a Writer...  
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of troy Offline
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rego park
in math, this is called the chaos theory--the change happens at the chaotic edges.. not in the solid well formed center...

this is true in the universe, society, and ice packs.. it might well be true in literature.


#135372 - 11/21/04 09:20 PM Re: Well, Looking for a Writer...  
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themilum Offline
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Aladamnbama the most watered s...
Here's one Wordwind...

             The Impermissible Thoughts of
________ JAMES P.HOGAN _________
____KICKING THE SACRED COW___
Questioning the Unquestionable
and thinking the Impermissible


******** 2004 $24 US *********

Great read. Mildly put James P. is unconventional.
No! James P. hates convention.

James P. defends Velikovsky.
Finds Global warming a bandwagon plot.
Laughs at the evidence for the Big Bang.
Poo-poos Evoloution.
Makes a case against any AIDS/virus connection.
Declares the Theory of Relativity irrelevant.

And believe it or not, he makes a convincing case for each!

http://www.jamesphogan.com



#135373 - 11/22/04 02:08 PM Re: Well, Looking for a Writer...  
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Jackie Offline
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this is true in the universe, society, and ice packs.. Ice packs! Helen, I love it!


#135374 - 11/22/04 11:15 PM Re: Well, Looking for a Writer...  
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Faldage Offline
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he makes a convincing case for each

Well, you've convinced me. I ain' spending no $24 on this book.


#135375 - 11/22/04 11:42 PM Re: Well, that's a deep subject...  
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Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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JAMES P.HOGAN

I allus thought he was a science-fiction writer...



formerly known as etaoin...
#135376 - 11/23/04 12:56 AM Re: Well, Looking for a Writer...  
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themilum Offline
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Aladamnbama the most watered s...
Faldage: Well, you've convinced me
I ain' spending no $24 on this book.

Etaoin: JAMES P.HOGAN? I allus thought
he was a science-fiction writer...

Milum: Ah, you two. Do you two not realize that your banal clichés are serving the interests of the self-interest consensus?

James P. Hogan: " This book is not concerned with cranks and simple die-hards, who are entitled to their foibles and come as part of life's pattern. Rather, it looks at instances of present day orthodoxies tenaciously defending beliefs in the
face of what would appear to be verified fact and
plain logic, or doggedly closing eyes and minds to
ideas whose time has surely come. In short,
where scientific authority seems to be functioning
more in the role of religion protecting doctrine and putting down heresy than championing the spirit
of free inquiry that science should be.
"

Faldage, you are much the spendthrift, when
James P.'s book achieves paperback status
I'll send you a copy. Free.

Etaoin, so?




#135377 - 11/23/04 04:16 AM Re: Well, Looking for a Writer...  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
>I allus thought he was a science-fiction writer...

...and not a very good one, at that.

edit: Though most of [his readers] either share or accept his right-wing politics, and tolerate his editorial intrusions about personal bette noires like the ecology movement, JPH's extreme awkwardness as a stylist and creator of character has made his [SF] books difficult, at times, actually to read. - John Clute, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

#135378 - 11/23/04 12:05 PM Re: Well, Looking for a Writer...  
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Faldage Offline
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instances of present day orthodoxies tenaciously defending beliefs in the face of what would appear to be verified fact

Science is all about overturning received knowledge. If a theory is accepted by the main body of science you best know what you're talking about if you're thinking of overturning it. For someone to be so knowlegeable as to challenge the establishment in so many fields as your Mr. Hogan appears to claim to be, he must be far beyond polymath.


#135379 - 11/23/04 02:06 PM Re: Well, Looking for a Writer...  
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TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Dang. I always thought he was a great writer. I loved his Gentle Giants series and his Code of the Lifemaker is among my all time favorites.

Unfortunately, it now appears he is a crank. In the case of evolution at least, I think the problem isn't with scientists defending orthodoxy, so much as creationists passing around incorrect information about evolution as if THAT were established fact.

I'm not aware of any facts that disprove evolution. But I know of dozens of false statements that are promoted as facts which claim to disprove it.

Einstein was unorthodox, but while there are cranks who believe he was a fraud, his harshest intellectual critics acknowledged he was brilliant. Two luminaries of QM were discussing the subject of Einstein's criticisms and one asked the other (I believe it was Paul Dirac asking Erwin Schroedinger) whether it was possible that Einstein just didn't understand the theory. Schroedinger's response was immediate and was something along the lines of "There aren't two dozen people on the planet who understand this theory and I'm quite sure Einstein is among them."

Unorthodox, but not a crank. Einstein had demonstrated mastery of the subject matter. He didn't stumble across some QM papers and suddenly proclaim everyone elses work to be stupid.

Richard Feynman was unorthodox, but few people who worked with him doubted his genius (despite his unremarkable score of 125 on a HS IQ test). Even people who hated him thought he was brilliant.

Just because someone is smart, doesn't mean he isn't a crank. A key factor, imo, is whether the person makes absolutely pronouncements, usually denouncements in an area in which he has demonstrated no particular competence.

Contrast these with the creationist cranks. William Dembski is among the new crowd of creationists, called IDers. ID = Intelligent design. These guys spread around misinformation continually as if it were fact - and then don't bother to check up on it. It's mind-boggling really. Dembski is particularly sly. He picks an area of scientific inquiry that is especially opaque to the outsider and supports his theses with legitimate, though obscure, mathematical theorems. Now, these mathematical theorems - called the NFL theorems (NFL = No Free Lunch) are the legitimate product of certified geniuses. Dembski starts out as if he's going to give a mathematical analysis and deduction from the NFLs. Unfortunately, he never gets around to actually proving his case. If he had any sense he'd be embarrassed. David Wolpert, one of the developers of NFL has said that Dembski's theories are "written in Jello." ( check out http:// www.talkreason.org/articles/jello.cfm )

The fact is that Dembski is a moonie who took up science in the first place for the sole purpose not of discovering the truth, but of disproving evolution. Yes, these creatonists are certainly an open-minded lot.

k


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