Are There Any Undiscovered Newtons?

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emperor_of_localgroup

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<p>&nbsp;This thought has come to me for two reasons. One came after reading a thread here "The creation of the universe" and a post with this comment : </p><p><font color="#ff0000">I actually only made it through the first 1.5 paragraphs.&nbsp; Wouldn't it be funny if he had some earth shattering discovery 3/4 the way through the paper - no one would ever know....</font> </p><p>&nbsp;No, I'm not saying OP of&nbsp; this thread&nbsp; is Newton. In fact the thread&nbsp; sounds like someone wrote a computer program to write grammatically correct sentences combining the words&nbsp; dark energy, c, photon, radiation, bigbang, and many other physics words.</p><p>The second reason of my thought is a PBS show (nova??) on Newton. Which says Newton kept all his works to himself and was reluctant to publish. If it were not for Haley (the Comet guy) who asked Newton for his input on planetary motions during a casual visit, we would probably&nbsp; never had a theory of gravitation or calculus. Or at least would have been delayed by centuries.</p><p>We all know extremely smart people are somewhat eccentric. My question is do you think&nbsp; there are possibilities some brilliant mind(s) made 'earth shattering' discoveries but kept it to himself and took it to his grave(s)? Saving works by burning CDs&nbsp; is a very recent technique, before that all had to use degradable papers. There are billions of people world wide, and it is not unlikely to have 1 or 2 exceptionally intelligent eccentric individuals who kept his discoveries to himself on papers&nbsp; which disintegrated into soil as garbage after his/her death, thanks to the family members he/she left behind.</p><p>Does any name come to anyone's mind?&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#ff0000"><strong>Earth is Boring</strong></font> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>.... There are billions of people world wide, and it is not unlikely to have 1 or 2 exceptionally intelligent eccentric individuals who kept his discoveries to himself on papers&nbsp; which disintegrated into soil as garbage after his/her death, thanks to the family members he/she left behind.Does any name come to anyone's mind?&nbsp; <br />Posted by emperor_of_localgroup</DIV></p><p>I doubt that there are any undiscovered geniuses creating breakthroughs because to make progress today one needs to have some contact with the community at large, and generally people to talk to and with whom to discuss the work.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>There have been some notably quiet researchers, but not quite as quiet as you postulate.&nbsp; Andrew Wiles worked pretty much alone before announcing the proof of the work that confirmed Fermat's Last Theorem.&nbsp; But he was hardly a recluse, a professor at Princeton.&nbsp; Perleman, who recently announced the proof of the Poincare conjecture in dimension 3 also was relatively reticent, but he too interacted with the world community.&nbsp; There havebeen a few other prominent mathematicians who published relatively few papers, but each of which was truly significant.&nbsp; Kurt Godel and Paul Cohen leap to mind.&nbsp; It is probably easier to work in relative isolation in mathematics than in other disciplines, because one does not need access to experimental equipment or to large computers, but even in mathematics I think there are no geniuses working in total isolation, unknown to everyone else.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MannyPim

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;This thought has come to me for two reasons. One came after reading a thread here "The creation of the universe" and a post with this comment : I actually only made it through the first 1.5 paragraphs.&nbsp; Wouldn't it be funny if he had some earth shattering discovery 3/4 the way through the paper - no one would ever know.... &nbsp;No, I'm not saying OP of&nbsp; this thread&nbsp; is Newton. In fact the thread&nbsp; sounds like someone wrote a computer program to write grammatically correct sentences combining the words&nbsp; dark energy, c, photon, radiation, bigbang, and many other physics words.The second reason of my thought is a PBS show (nova??) on Newton. Which says Newton kept all his works to himself and was reluctant to publish. If it were not for Haley (the Comet guy) who asked Newton for his input on planetary motions during a casual visit, we would probably&nbsp; never had a theory of gravitation or calculus. Or at least would have been delayed by centuries.We all know extremely smart people are somewhat eccentric. My question is do you think&nbsp; there are possibilities some brilliant mind(s) made 'earth shattering' discoveries but kept it to himself and took it to his grave(s)? Saving works by burning CDs&nbsp; is a very recent technique, before that all had to use degradable papers. There are billions of people world wide, and it is not unlikely to have 1 or 2 exceptionally intelligent eccentric individuals who kept his discoveries to himself on papers&nbsp; which disintegrated into soil as garbage after his/her death, thanks to the family members he/she left behind.Does any name come to anyone's mind?&nbsp; <br />Posted by emperor_of_localgroup</DIV></p><p>While the number of truly brilliant and exceptional people is very large (because even a 0.001% of 6 Billion is 60,000 individuals) minds such as Newton I believe are very very rare. I would almost place Newton in a class by himself, completely out of the realm of normal intelligence scales. If forced, I would somewhat reluctantly allow that group to include DaVinci, Galileo, and Einstein (although, unlike the other 3, Einstein was almost totally focused on one small, albeit fundamental, problem whereas the others were brilliant across many fields of intellectual curiosity). </p><p>There is also the issue of confluent events....&nbsp; while it is possible that there may be a half a dozen minds walking this Earth today which would be capable of the kinds of advances that Newton gave the World, it is left to pure random chance that they will be born in an environment that allows them to discover this about themselves and to cultivate their natural abilites.&nbsp;</p><p><br /><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>The only way to know what is possible is to attempt the impossible.</em></font> </div>
 
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qso1

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<p><font color="#800080">This thought has come to me for two reasons. One came after reading a thread here "The creation of the universe" and a post with this comment : I actually only made it through the first 1.5 paragraphs.&nbsp; Wouldn't it be funny if he had some earth shattering discovery 3/4 the way through the paper - no one would ever know.... &nbsp;No, I'm not saying OP of&nbsp; this thread&nbsp; is Newton. In fact the thread&nbsp; sounds like someone wrote a computer program to write grammatically correct sentences combining the words&nbsp; dark energy, c, photon, radiation, bigbang, and many other physics words.The second reason of my thought is a PBS show (nova??) on Newton. Which says Newton kept all his works to himself and was reluctant to publish. If it were not for Haley (the Comet guy) who asked Newton for his input on planetary motions during a casual visit, we would probably&nbsp; never had a theory of gravitation or calculus. Or at least would have been delayed by centuries.We all know extremely smart people are somewhat eccentric. My question is do you think&nbsp; there are possibilities some brilliant mind(s) made 'earth shattering' discoveries but kept it to himself and took it to his grave(s)? Saving works by burning CDs&nbsp; is a very recent technique, before that all had to use degradable papers. There are billions of people world wide, and it is not unlikely to have 1 or 2 exceptionally intelligent eccentric individuals who kept his discoveries to himself on papers&nbsp; which disintegrated into soil as garbage after his/her death, thanks to the family members he/she left behind.Does any name come to anyone's mind?&nbsp; <br /> Posted by emperor_of_localgroup</font></p><p>The short answer to your question is...I would not be surprised if there are.&nbsp;</p><p>The long answer...this question made me think of a post awhile back in which the OP suggested aliens were responsible for our technical advances. I pointed out that the invention of the printing press was probably the most significant factor in our technical advancement. The response was something like Gutenberg being alien to which I replied that he wouldn't have to be an alien.</p><p>There were probably a few other Gutenbergs in his time that wanted to or tried to invent a printing press of some kind and failed. Our society progresses slowly enough in some ways that it seems to me that the reason such people are overlooked is that we bank too much on the ones who get the credit.</p><p>Right here at SDC posters ask if Obama is Jesus, or if Obamas election will end racism. The question presuming that only Obama is wise enough to be a Jesus or end racism just by the force of his will. Yet millions of people want to see racism end. They are not recognized as wise or smart.</p><p>Werhner Von braun. You'd think he designed and built the Saturn V all by himself. Not realizing he had an army of engineers working under him. But there have been accounts of Apollo in which Von Braun is practically the only one credited with the Saturn V.</p><p>Someone like Newton was probably surrounded with others, some of whom may have been on the same track as he but failed to realize and/or act upon it. Today, with information being so readily available, you often here of people who seem smart enough to do something meaningful in society but haven't.</p><p>Then there are those smart enough to actually have made some revolutionary discovery only to not realize they themselves were actually smart enough to do so. They don't see the value of their own work so to speak. There may have been a few of these prior to Newton.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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lildreamer

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;This thought has come to me for two reasons. One came after reading a thread here "The creation of the universe" and a post with this comment : I actually only made it through the first 1.5 paragraphs.&nbsp; Wouldn't it be funny if he had .....technique, before that all had to use degradable papers. There are billions of people world wide, and it is not unlikely to have 1 or 2 exceptionally intelligent eccentric individuals who kept his discoveries to himself on papers&nbsp; which disintegrated into soil as garbage after his/her death, thanks to the family members he/she left behind.Does any name come to anyone's mind?&nbsp; <br />Posted by emperor_of_localgroup</DIV></p><p>cut for berivty sake</p><p>fyi...&nbsp;</p><p>here is a link from wiki about child prodigies..</p><p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_child_prodigies</p><p>where they are and what they are doing with their lives.....</p><p>the sad part is some of these prodigies can't handle the stress</p><p>http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/main.jhtml?xml=/portal/2008/04/01/ftgenius101.xml</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>While the number of truly brilliant and exceptional people is very large (because even a 0.001% of 6 Billion is 60,000 individuals) minds such as Newton I believe are very very rare. I would almost place Newton in a class by himself, completely out of the realm of normal intelligence scales. If forced, I would somewhat reluctantly allow that group to include DaVinci, Galileo, and Einstein (although, unlike the other 3, Einstein was almost totally focused on one small, albeit fundamental, problem whereas the others were brilliant across many fields of intellectual curiosity). There is also the issue of confluent events....&nbsp; while it is possible that there may be a half a dozen minds walking this Earth today which would be capable of the kinds of advances that Newton gave the World, it is left to pure random chance that they will be born in an environment that allows them to discover this about themselves and to cultivate their natural abilites.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />Posted by MannyPim</DIV></p><p>While I doubt that there are any <strong>undiscovered</strong> Newtons, for reasons posted earlier, I must disagree with your overall assessment.</p><p>Newton was clearly exceptional, and in my opinion had more influence on modern science than any other single individual.&nbsp; However, he had some rivals in brilliance.&nbsp; In many circles the 3 greatest mathematicians of all time were Archimedes, Newton and Gauss.&nbsp; That is hard to argue with, but there were people of nearly that order of magnitude and perhaps equal in raw smarts.&nbsp; Newton had an advantage in that he had little competition and it was possible during his lifetime for a single individual to actually know all that was know of science and mathematics.&nbsp; That was probably also true for Gauss.&nbsp; It is clearly not possible now.&nbsp;Scientists like the&nbsp; Bernoullis, Euler, and Maxwell have made contributions nearly as important as those of Newton.</p><p>Einstein was a great physicist, but his mythical reputation is overblown.&nbsp; There were physicists and mathematicians of his general era, from a bit earlier to a&nbsp;bit later, &nbsp;who, in my opinion, were just as smart though perhaps did not have the individual impact of Einstein.&nbsp; My list would include, Riemann, Poincare, Hilbert (who actually published the field equations for general relativity a bit before Einstein), Planck, Heisenberg, Wigner, Bohr, Fermi,&nbsp;Von Neumann, Feynman, Schwinger.There are probably more people than you might suspect who have the raw intellect to rival Newton today.&nbsp; But science and mathematics have become so specialized that you do not hear about them, and their work is sufficiently specialized that it is not accessible to non-specialists.&nbsp; And because it is so specialized it will not have the impact on society of Newton's mechanics, or calculus.&nbsp; You may never have heard of names like Grothendiek, DeLigne, Serre, Gelfand, Pontryagin, Weiner,&nbsp;Kolmogorov but their contributions are as profound as those of Einstein.&nbsp; More recently Wiles, Perelman and Witten have contributed seminal work, the implications of which are yet to be fully appreciated.&nbsp; </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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emperor_of_localgroup

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>While I doubt that there are any undiscovered Newtons, for reasons posted earlier, I must disagree with your overall assessment.Newton was clearly exceptional, and in my opinion had more influence on modern science than any other single individual.&nbsp; However, he had some rivals in brilliance.&nbsp;..... My list would include, Riemann, Poincare, Hilbert (who actually published the field equations for general relativity a bit before Einstein), Planck, Heisenberg, Wigner, Bohr, Fermi,&nbsp;Von Neumann, Feynman, Schwinger...... You may never have heard of names like Grothendiek, DeLigne, Serre, Gelfand, Pontryagin, Weiner,&nbsp;Kolmogorov but their contributions are as profound as those of Einstein.&nbsp; More recently Wiles, Perelman and Witten have contributed seminal work, the implications of which are yet to be fully appreciated.&nbsp; <br />Posted by DrRocket</DIV><br /><br />The reason Newton is considered one of the greatest scientists, IMO, &nbsp;is beacuse his theories of gravitation and calculus came out of 'thin air'. By 'thin air' I mean original work, &nbsp;there were no previous works or theories before Newton&nbsp;explaining motion of object under gravity. The same statement of 'out of thin air' can be made regarding Einstein's general relativity. Most scientists are not considered at the level of Newton or Einstein is because their&nbsp; theories are actually&nbsp; continuation of certain&nbsp;previous &nbsp;theories. Hawking comes to my mind at this moment. Also, certain theories, such as quantum mechanics, are developed by more than one person, the credit is shared in such cases.</p><p>I understand in this info age it'd be very difficult for someone to keep this discoveries to himself. But&nbsp;I was &nbsp;wondering what if, prior to this info explosion, someone in the remote corners of Eastern Europe, China, India, Middle east, South America, Africa, who was unaware of or didn't have the privilege of scientific media, worked all by himself and no one knew about it. That would be a huge loss for humans. Hope that never happened.</p><p>Last year or year before last year I read somewhere a Russian mathematician turned down a 1 million dollar prize (Math equivalent of Nobel prize) saying 'I don't do math for money'. People like him do exist, that's what is raising my concern.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#ff0000"><strong>Earth is Boring</strong></font> </div>
 
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Mrdeadfolx

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<p>I've been labeled weirdo, psycho, nut, the list goes on and on. All I was trying to do was discover the basis of which all religions stemmed from. I went from light thank you to Albert Einstein, to the visible light spectrum, from there I went to the tree. Not just because it makes some sorta sense since all things are associated with a tree. But because a TREE manifested itself on my back during a very interesting road trip to Texas which happened on Easter a year ago. Lately all the feelings I've been having have somehow intensified themselves and its to the point that people really don't want to be around me much. They feel uneasy and I really have no reason why. Even now as I type this, this is the song that popped up on my media player, keep in mind its on total random.. It's called Diluted which again is ironic with all the flood waters running rampant through Iowa lately, which is also where I live.</p><p>I'm cold, I'm hungry<br />I'm always confused by everything<br />I can stare into a thousand eyes<br />But every smile hides a bold-faced lie<br /><br />It itches, it seethes, it festers and breathes<br />My heros are dead, they died in my head<br />Thin out the herd, squeeze out the pain<br />Something inside me has opened up again<br /><br />Thoughts of me exemplified<br />All the little flaws I have denied<br />Forget today, forget whatever happened<br />Everyday I see a little more of overall deficiencies<br />I'm nothing short of being one complete catastrophe<br /><br />What the hell - did I - do to deserve - all of this?(2x)<br /><br />I save all the bullets from ignorant minds<br />Your insults get stuck in my teeth as they grind<br />Way past good taste, on our way to bad omens<br />I decrease, while my symptoms increase<br /><br />God what the&nbsp;*&#$ is wrong<br />You act like you knew it all along<br />Your timing sucks, your silence is a blessing<br /><br />All I ever wanted out of you was<br />something you could never be<br />Now take a real good look at<br />What you've&nbsp;#$%@ing done to me<br /><br />What the hell - did I - do to deserve - all of this?(2)<br /><br />Gimme any reason why I'd need you, boy<br />Gimme any reason why I'd need you<br />Gimme any reason why I'd need you<br />Gimme any reason not to&nbsp;@#$% you up<br />Gimme any reason why I'd need you, *****<br />Gimme any reason why I'd need you<br />Gimme any reason why I'd need you<br />Gimme any reason not to&nbsp;@#%$ you up<br /><br />I see you in me(8x)<br /><br />I keep my scars from prying eyes<br />Incapable of ever knowing why<br />Somebody breathe, I've got to have an answer<br />Why am I so fascinated by<br />bigger pictures, better things<br />But I don't care what you think<br />You'll never understand me<br /><br />What the hell - did I - do to deserve - all of this?(3x)<br /><br />@#$%!!!</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>The reason Newton is considered one of the greatest scientists, IMO, &nbsp;is beacuse his theories of gravitation and calculus came out of 'thin air'. By 'thin air' I mean original work, &nbsp;there were no previous works or theories before Newton&nbsp;explaining motion of object under gravity. The same statement of 'out of thin air' can be made regarding Einstein's general relativity. Most scientists are not considered at the level of Newton or Einstein is because their&nbsp; theories are actually&nbsp; continuation of certain&nbsp;previous &nbsp;theories. Hawking comes to my mind at this moment. Also, certain theories, such as quantum mechanics, are developed by more than one person, the credit is shared in such cases.I understand in this info age it'd be very difficult for someone to keep this discoveries to himself. But&nbsp;I was &nbsp;wondering what if, prior to this info explosion, someone in the remote corners of Eastern Europe, China, India, Middle east, South America, Africa, who was unaware of or didn't have the privilege of scientific media, worked all by himself and no one knew about it. That would be a huge loss for humans. Hope that never happened.Last year or year before last year I read somewhere a Russian mathematician turned down a 1 million dollar prize (Math equivalent of Nobel prize) saying 'I don't do math for money'. People like him do exist, that's what is raising my concern.&nbsp; <br />Posted by emperor_of_localgroup</DIV></p><p>Actually Newton's theory of gravitation did not come out of thin air.&nbsp; It came from an attempt (a very successful attempt) to explain Kepler's laws of planetary motion.&nbsp; I agree that Newton is about as good as it gets.&nbsp; My point is that there are more people of that caliber than one might recognize.&nbsp; In no way do I want to detract from Newton.&nbsp; He ought to be on anybody's list of the all-time smartest human beings.&nbsp; </p><p>Hawking is well known, but in my opinion is somewhat overrated -- which is not to say that he is anything other than extremely good.&nbsp; He is brilliant, but so are other people. &nbsp;He did excellent work with Penrose and with Elliot.&nbsp; Personally I rank Penrose ahead of Hawking.&nbsp; </p><p>Ramanujan, who was untrained in mathematics but had an unbelievable intuition for integers. might meet your critera for having come out of the hinterlands, India in this case.&nbsp; He worked with Hardy on number theory in the early part of the twentieth century,</p><p>The fellow that turned down the million dollar prize was Grisha Pereleman, whom I mentioned.&nbsp; That prize&nbsp;is not the equivalent of the Nobel prize, but you are close.&nbsp; Perleman actually turned down two things.&nbsp; He turned down a million dollar prize offered by the Clay Institute for each of 7 "Millenium Problems" (you can see them in a post that I made in the Physics forum) one of which was for the solution of the Poincare conjecture in dimension 3.&nbsp; He also turned down a Fields Medal, and the Fields Medal is roughly the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for mathematicians.&nbsp; The Fields Medal&nbsp;does not&nbsp;involve nearly so much money. &nbsp;But while Perelman is somewhat reclusive, he did communicate with other mathematicians actively.&nbsp; His work was in fact built on earlier work of Richard Hamilton on the Ricci flow.</p><p>By the way, there are still 6 more 1 million dollar prizes available, so you&nbsp;have a shot yet.&nbsp; The most prestigious of the problems is the Riemann Hypothesis.&nbsp; That one was on the list of Hilbert Problems from the early twentieth century.&nbsp; It is the single most famous problem in mathematics and probably the most difficult.&nbsp; </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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a_lost_packet_

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<p>I think it is possible that there could be "Undiscovered Newtons."&nbsp; However, that's sort of a leading question.</p><p>Newton, who I could say is one of my "heroes" was obviously a very intelligent person.&nbsp; However, he was also somewhat eccentric as well and, most importantly, extremely passionate regarding his chosen pursuit.&nbsp; Yet, he was a reluctant genius and not at all overly impressed with himself and his insights.</p><p>But, Newton's degree of genius and inventiveness could be very well hidden away in the mind of your local auto-mechanic.&nbsp; Your teacher, a coworker, the guy selling hot-dogs down the street could all have similar capabilities.&nbsp; I'm a firm believer that there are many minds out there which are capable of extraordinary things.&nbsp; I am also a firm believer that, for one reason or another, people chose what interests them and sometimes these minds don't end up in the hard sciences.&nbsp; After all, as others have pointed out, there is more to discovering an amazing physical quality of the Universe than just thinking about it.</p><p>So, I think there are brilliant minds out there.&nbsp; I think many of them chose interests other than the hard sciences.&nbsp; After all, they're attached to "people" who are troublesome things and apt to get to mischief when the occasion arises...</p><p>I've met brilliant people all over the place and in many professions.&nbsp; I've also met less intelligent, yet competent, people in the hard sciences.&nbsp; The one constant I can think of which unites them all is that their intelligence is obvious and is not dependent upon their chosen pursuit.&nbsp; In short, "newtonian minds" are all around us.&nbsp; It's the tools and information they have access to and the interests that they choose which will determine whether or not they are revealed to the hard sciences. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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kelvinzero

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<p>Although it is true in a sense to say that people like Einstein and Hawking are overrated, this would only be true in terms of mass media representations, and in that field I would say that they are hugely underrated compared to say britney spears. </p><p>Celebritydom&nbsp;is&nbsp;based on massivly inflating irrelevant people to importance through the&nbsp;blunt instrument of&nbsp;repeatedly telling us those people are important. Most of&nbsp;our celebrities&nbsp;are only actors, singers, models&nbsp;and news&nbsp;readers.&nbsp;</p><p>To call these two overrated because they&nbsp;managed to make it&nbsp;into that group is almost insulting, but it is pretty much the only reason that 90% of the&nbsp;population have heard of them or any scientist.</p><p>Excluding celebrity&nbsp;you are only left with&nbsp;their reputations among people with&nbsp;some&nbsp;scientific background. In that arena their reputations would&nbsp;be much more realistic.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Although it is true in a sense to say that people like Einstein and Hawking are overrated, this would only be true in terms of mass media representations, and in that field I would say that they are hugely underrated compared to say britney spears....Posted by kelvinzero</DIV></p><p>My labrador retriever is a genius compared to Britney Spears.&nbsp; With that yardstick I think my daughter's fish might also be pretty bright.</p><p>What I was trying to convey is that there are quite a few very bright scientists out there and that Einstein and Hawking have real competition -- they are not supermen towering over the others.&nbsp; Their reputatiion within the scientific community is established.&nbsp; There are scientists with accomplishments that equal theirs, though perhaps not so well known to the general public.&nbsp; It is the popular perception that is overblown, just as you say.</p><p>I also agree that a large part of scientific success has to do with interest and application of the intellect in a focused manner.</p><p>But there are two areas where I don't agree with you.</p><p>1.&nbsp; From my readings of Newton's life, I don't think he was overmodest.&nbsp; He engaged in some rather bitter exhanges on matters of priority.&nbsp; My impression is that his ego was nearly equal to his talent.</p><p>2.&nbsp; I have very serious doubts that there is an intellect on the order of Newton out there changing oil for a living.&nbsp; Science and mathematics have become more of a calling than a profession, and I think that most people who have the talent for it, at the highest level, tend to be drawn to exercise that talent.&nbsp;&nbsp; There might be counterexamples in relatively&nbsp;primitive cultures but I think not in the industrialized world.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MannyPim

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>1.&nbsp; From my readings of Newton's life, I don't think he was overmodest.&nbsp; He engaged in some rather bitter exhanges on matters of priority.&nbsp; My impression is that his ego was nearly equal to his talent.2.&nbsp; I have very serious doubts that there is an intellect on the order of Newton out there changing oil for a living.&nbsp; Science and mathematics have become more of a calling than a profession, and I think that most people who have the talent for it, at the highest level, tend to be drawn to exercise that talent.&nbsp;&nbsp; There might be counterexamples in relatively&nbsp;primitive cultures but I think not in the industrialized world. <br />Posted by DrRocket</DIV></p><p>The reason that I think Newton has to be considered the greatest mind that ever lived, is mainly because of the depth AND breadth of his knowledge and original discoveries. Science today has grown so advanced and complex that it may never again be possible for a single mind to excell except&nbsp;in a very specific limited and specific field of knowledge.</p><p>Newton on the other hand made breakthroughs in so many fundamental areas... his mind seemed superfluid, able to grasp, understand, and transcend all that had gone before him.&nbsp; I sometimes think the only other mind that compares wiht his was DaVinci and, to a lesser extent, Galileo.</p><p>Richard Westfall, the author of one of the most respected Newton biographies, "Never at Rest" begins the book by explaining how in his social experience, everytime he met someone new, he would be able to gage their relative level of intelligence using himself as the measuring unit. So he would meet some brilliant person and have some interaction wiht him and /or learn about him from his published work and he would be able to gage that this person was twice as smart, or 5 times as smart as he was (admittadly a very subjective process). But when it came to Isaac Newton, he said that there just was no way of relating Newton's intelligence to anyone he had ever know. Newton was in a whole different realm of intelligence. A Universe where he lived all alone.....</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>The only way to know what is possible is to attempt the impossible.</em></font> </div>
 
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Mee_n_Mac

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<p>Just to key on MP's post, though a bit OT.....</p><p>I have always place DaVinci on that highest pedastal.&nbsp; I'm not sure who else is on it (surely some others) but he ranks as one of the greatest minds of all times.&nbsp; The breath and depth of his genius is, to me, without equal.&nbsp; His imagination coupled with his ingenuity, truly amazing.&nbsp; I've had the pleasure of collaborating (professionally) with a man who, though no DaVinci {though maybe ...} has also impressed me with his ability to seamlessly integrate many feilds and disicplines to the point that I never hesitate to use the word genius when speaking of Dave Barthulli.&nbsp; His ability to use physics, chemistry, biology and whatnot to look at and attack a problem was a thing of beauty to behold.&nbsp; I imagine DaVinci as having at least the same ability to draw upon many unrelatedly feilds to perceive the truth of a thing and that is a rare ability indeed.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Funny co-incidence re: Dave B (above).&nbsp;&nbsp;Waaaay back when a&nbsp;friend and I were rebuilding&nbsp;his Corvair engine (not my fault this time) and had come under the tutlege of a Corvair racer he knew. In exchange for this guys help, we pit crewed for him one season.&nbsp; This was back in high school. Anyway as we honed cylinders in the racer guy's garage and knowing I was going to engineering school, he advised me to "look up" a buddy of his should I ever employ with Company X.&nbsp; His buddy was (taa daa)&nbsp;Dave B, who had designed, engineered and built (in his basement fab shop) custom suspension pieces for&nbsp;the racer's&nbsp;Yenko Stinger Corvair.&nbsp; I did end up employed at Company X though it had nothing to do with the advise given.&nbsp; {cue music from Twilight Zone}</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-----------------------------------------------------</p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask not what your Forum Software can do do on you,</font></p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask it to, please for the love of all that's Holy, <strong>STOP</strong> !</font></p> </div>
 
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a_lost_packet_

Guest
<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>... From my readings of Newton's life, I don't think he was overmodest.&nbsp; He engaged in some rather bitter exhanges on matters of priority.&nbsp; My impression is that his ego was nearly equal to his talent.</DIV></p><p>Perhaps I should have confined that to his earlier career?&nbsp; After all, his reluctance to first publish was due to his uncertainty at how it would be received. </p><p>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I have very serious doubts that there is an intellect on the order of Newton out there changing oil for a living.&nbsp; Science and mathematics have become more of a calling than a profession, and I think that most people who have the talent for it, at the highest level, tend to be drawn to exercise that talent.&nbsp;&nbsp; There might be counterexamples in relatively&nbsp;primitive cultures but I think not in the industrialized world. <br /> Posted by DrRocket</DIV></p><p>IMO, it's the capacity that is important.&nbsp; While there is certainly a general aptitude with certain things that allows people to excel, those people do not always choose "science" to excel in.&nbsp; Are there minds as keen as Newton's that aren't in the sciences?&nbsp; I think so.&nbsp; Yet, they won't be making contributions towards physics.&nbsp; Hence, they may go "undiscovered."&nbsp; There are geniuses that are not within the hard sciences and every "Newton" is not a physicist </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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yevaud

Guest
<p>DrRocket: Srinivasa Ramanujan...damn, what a mind and what a loss, as he died quite young of Tuberculosis.</p><p><u><strong>Ramanujan</strong></u>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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emperor_of_localgroup

Guest
<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I've been labeled weirdo, psycho, nut, the list goes on and on. All I was trying to do was discover the basis of which all religions stemmed from. <br /> Posted by Mrdeadfolx</DIV></p><p>You have violated the first rule of genius mind. According to the first rule of exceptionally intelligent mind you must live two lives.&nbsp; In one life you will get along with normal outside society ( or at least pretend to getting along), and in your other life you are all alone, thinking and making the most fascinating discoveries the outside society doesn't have an inkling about. The reason is 99.9% of the population do not want to be bothered by the subjects this forums discuss 24/7 because these are beyond their mental capacity. You shouldn't let your two lives overlap, you shouldn't discuss these subject matters with ordinary people. You can do so only after you are completely convinced 'your friend(s)' is also on the same intellectual level. Following the same logic made by several posters 'people like Britteny fans will call you psycho and other adjectives'. [Sometimes I wonder why verbal insult, with no physical involvement, make humans feel good?&nbsp; This should be a topic in Human Bio forum].</p><p>&nbsp;I understand before internet and its numerous forums it was very difficult to meet like minded people to discuss this subject matters we love and want to know more. Many of us have made the mistake by bringing up intellectual matters during discussions with Brittney fans, I mean ordinary people, and have experienced their verbal abuse.</p><p>Yes, a few rock musicians are quite spiritual (probably, drug induced). If you like this type of spiritual rock music, you should locate some older Supertramp albums (or CDs).</p><p><font color="#ff0000">While there is certainly a general aptitude with certain things that allows people to excel, those people do not always choose "science" to excel in.&nbsp; Are there minds as keen as Newton's that aren't in the sciences?&nbsp; I think so.</font> </p><p>&nbsp;Yes, I have met some very smart people in wrong professions or professions far below their mental capabilities,&nbsp; but they are nowhere near Newton's genius. In our present system (society or education), a truly genius will be quickly spotted and recognized and will be guided to the appropriate profession.&nbsp; </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#ff0000"><strong>Earth is Boring</strong></font> </div>
 
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DrRocket

Guest
<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>DrRocket: Srinivasa Ramanujan...damn, what a mind and what a loss, as he died quite young of Tuberculosis.Ramanujan&nbsp; <br />Posted by yevaud</DIV></p><p>Yes, he was in the "magician" class of geniuses.&nbsp; By that I mean someone who comes up with insights for wihch neither they nor anyone else can verbalize a source.&nbsp; Rock solid and provable, but utterly mysterious in origin.</p><p>His area of classical number theory doesn't get much attention or press these days, probably because it is so hard.&nbsp; But the number 1 problem in mathematics, the Riemann hypothesis, is closely connected to that field.&nbsp; And if anybody has a clue how to solve it, they aren't talking.</p><font size="2"><span class="body1"><span style="line-height:115%;font-family:'Arial','sans-serif'">If I were to awaken after having slept for a thousand years, my first question would be: Has the Riemann hypothesis been proven?</span></span><span style="font-family:'Arial','sans-serif'"> -- </span></font><span style="color:windowtext;font-family:'Arial','sans-serif';text-decoration:none;text-underline:none"><font size="2">David Hilbert</font></span><span class="bodybold1"><span style="font-size:10pt;line-height:115%;font-family:'Arial','sans-serif'"></span></span> <p><br /><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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vandivx

Guest
<font face="MS Sans Serif"><p><font size="2"><em>"Undiscovered Newtons?"</em>&nbsp; interesting topic this one</font></p><p><font size="2">I believe they are there and always have been but not necessarily with some earth shattering discoveries worked out, this is really the question why some periods in history of mankind are abundant with geniuses in various fields and why there are stretches of times without them, I'd say it depends on the propitious environment that societies provide at various times, if the times are good, they flourish in subsequent decades, if not, they lay (and die) dormant</font></p><p><font size="2">'subsequent' because certain time is needed for the genius to bear fruits, that's why sometimes the fruits of their efforts come out in times that are already bordering on unpropitious or soon to become so (we are talking here in terms of decades of years)</font></p><p><font size="2">'dormant' because they had potential for doing big things but they were demotivated by the times in which they were born and lived to have done them and so they haven't done the discoveries they could have made or else they did make them but perhaps after some unsuccessful trying to make them public they chose in the end instead to remain undiscovered</font></p><p><font size="2">they may have made public in some form part of their early discoveries and the public was blind to it or else published work received misguided criticism that may have completely missed what the work was about or even worse when it didn't miss... the ranks of sub-genius members that the science community is made of are typically very sure about their ability to recognize valid work and have some very strong preconceived ideas how it should look, which is not always in inverse proportion to their ranking as one might think</font></p><p><font size="2">theoretically, one might think that maybe if one just read few paragraphs more into a presentation, that he might come across some one liner there that would flash blinding light like discovery that nobody could miss who bothered to read that far into it but lets face it that's not how it usually or ever is, for example to this very day Einstein's relativity theories have their out and out unbelievers or some partial objectors, some of which are perhaps even titled and tenured scientists and that despite them having read the relativity papers many times over and seen the mounting evidence over half lifetime - of course one shouldn't dismiss these objectors summarily (I love that term ever since I've seen Shrek barging in on the princess and king wedding shouting 'I object') because some may actually have valid point and are really the tomorrow's geniuses, all it goes to show is that it takes near genius to recognize another genius and once that is done, the rest of the community joins in and in their ungreatfullness they quickly forget that they now firmly believe in something they would themselves not have been capable to recognize as worthy of belief in the first place were they to be confronted with the source paper afresh (if you think this is way too arrogant to see things this way, try to imagine Newton trying to publish in some backwards country of the world rather than in England, then the bastion of science, or&nbsp;if ETs crash landed here tomorrow and couldn't prove their origin and looked just like us, they would have hard time passing their advanced knowledge upon us for this reason)</font></p><p><font size="2">I am not using the term belief as it is used in religion, that is as unreasoning adherence to an idea (that would be offensive and I don't really think it is the case in vast majority of scientist's beliefs (but of course there are always exceptions on the fringes as they are in every field) but rather as the condition of being snared, so to speak, in logical reasoning of the argument made by a given theory and when new theory supersedes the old one, they follow accordingly... the point is, to do a valid work in a field of science, one doesn't have to have first hand grasp of the basic theories of that field, only those who would go groundbreaking work need to be able to have that, the lesser work within the field can be done just with the firm theoretical grasp of the field tenets as opposed to first hand understanding that those who are called geniuses do have, in fact that's what makes them into geniuses in the first place</font></p><font size="2">'first hand' means the ability to metaphorically 'look at the world' one finds itself in and come up with original insights as opposed to doing research in scientific literature and working out new fruitful connections based on existing knowledge and extending it that way, most top rank scientific research moves this way for decades and even centuries and that's what normally constitutes scientific progress until one day new genius steps in and opens up new vista, fundamentally changes the course of the scientific inquiry and that gives the science new lease on life, without such renewal the science becomes in time overspecialized and embroiled in minute details and runs off into speculative theories when the old roads are over explored and over trodden and too many blind alleys and puzzles&nbsp;are found for which there are no answers within the existing terrain that was opened up by past genius and its lease on </font></font><font size="2"><font face="MS Sans Serif">fruitful</font><font face="MS Sans Serif"> life has expired</font></font><font face="MS Sans Serif"><font size="2"> (hint hint) </font><p><font size="2">------------------- &nbsp;continued</font></p></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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vandivx

Guest
<p>&nbsp;</p><font face="MS Sans Serif" size="2">like everything, the genius category can be differentiated to some extent and even if no hard and fast boundaries can be easily made they nevertheless exist, if I would omit here talking of ancient Greece where most world's geniuses that ever walked the Earth were living, like Aristotle and Plato for one and two&nbsp;as in my&nbsp;estimation&nbsp;Plato&nbsp;was lesser genius than Aristotle&nbsp;(you could say, no wonder given that it was necessity for them as sciences were just coming into existence and had to be invented themselves in those days but that would be misleading facile thinking), I'd say based on my admittedly very limited knowledge (as to its extent, I don't claim being historian) that starting with Renaissance period, among the 'first water genius' belong Michelangelo, Newton and Rand as they come to mind (in the field of art, science and philosophy respectively), there may be others that completely slipped my mind right now, Einstein in my estimate would come in second rank (that is not putting him down in any way, it is meant relative to Newton whom he certainly didn't equal by any standard) perhaps with several others and then it becomes work for scholar who would care to establish some distinguishing&nbsp;objective criteria to spread the ranking to make it more interesting one, I believe such ranking could be made, at least for broad categories</font><font face="MS Sans Serif"><font size="2"> </font><p><font size="2">basically genius is one who opens up new roads of inquiry that other lesser scientists then travel on and develop it bit by bit making small or greater connections within existing compendium of knowledge but to the extent they are not geniuses they cannot stray afar from the rough cut roadway that geniuses before them opened up, that does not preclude though that some new side branch road cannot be opened which is why there are ranks of geniuses, in my eyes those three I mentioned don't have their equal in modern history in their respective field and Rand is perhaps the best example of unrecognized/unrecognized genius as you get, her case is somewhat as if Newton would have to this day only some very delimited group of adherents within the field of physics but wouldn't be broadly recognized by almost all as is actually the case </font></p><p><font size="2">bringing in Rand likely amounts to stepping on sore toes with some people while others might react with 'Rand who?'.... I thought expanding this subject beyond science will help make clear one issue and that is the imagination that today we are so modern and open to everything that if somebody came with true ideas, we would immediately recognize them as such and welcome them but I would differ on that count, with philosophy one might say its different but I'd say in sciences it is not that much different, even science is not done without some emotional investment and impartially and objectively except maybe by very few scientists out there</font></p><p><font size="2">for example most like to imagine that the future progress in physics (made possible by next genius) will take the form of extending one of the competing theories at the front line of science and they also imagine that it will be the theory in which they specialized or which they believe to be right or likely right (be it strings or unification of GR&QM or some other GUT)</font></p><p><font size="2">then there are those who don't take sides with existing competing theories and who would say 'let it fall as it may and show which is the winning theory' and they are even open to something completely new, problem is that even such people may flinch when you mention something like ether for example, they'd tell you 'that's not something new and it was proved long ago not to exist once for all', never mind that Einstein didn't rule the ether's existence out when asked about it, after all they may say, Einstein wasn't always right, was he? and they would be right, that is about Einstein being wrong sometimes, not necessarily about the possible existence of ether</font></p><p><font size="2">---------------------&nbsp; continued</font></p></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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vandivx

Guest
<font size="2"><font face="MS Sans Serif">point here is not to argue about the existence of ether but rather to show that people who say they are open to everything prove not to be so open after all when it comes to certain possibilities which are not necessarily crank or patently false category, they like to imagine that new progress will come on completely new untrodden grounds unburdened by past issues and that all those traditional pet favors and disfavors scientists entertain will thus not be an issue, however such thinking operates on the premise that scientists do not make mistakes, that they never throw out the bathwater with the baby but always save it which is unwarranted and whole unrealistic expectation and </font><font face="MS Sans Serif">arrogant</font><font face="MS Sans Serif"> beyond belief, the progress doesn't always have to be totally new science but it may consist of going back to roots and making new beginnings from some past waypoint where mistake was made that might not have proved fatal at the time but that eventually halted progress in science after many decades or even a century of seemingly trouble free development, sometimes it may be necessary to reinterpret cannons of the physics in effect but there is very great resistance to anything like that because that would amount to showing the scientists having been wrong and that is unacceptable to most, if necessary they will use any means to discredit any such effort at roots, in comparison even patently cranky ideas may receive the dignity of being disputed but ether mostly meets with silence and or even ridicule</font></font><font face="MS Sans Serif"><font size="2"> </font><p>&nbsp;</p><p><font size="2">another such closed area of science is the field of quantum mechanics, that is its logical/physical interpretation, typical attitude is that the issue is closed, that it was proved once and for all that no understanding of the phenomena can be had and any efforts in that direction don't receive any attention, in fact one has almost the impression that the solution here would not even be wanted, that scientists in effect take pride in the profundity and mystery that envelopes this whole field - one of the fundamental fields of physics - that it cannot be grasped, they almost revel in that fact and it no longer bothers capacities in the field, on the contrary they relish getting the new acolytes of this science dumbfounded when they break the news on them in classrooms</font></p><p><font size="2">bottom line is, few new breakthroughs haven't met with resistance of some kind or another, it is unrealistic to expect that the progress will take such form so as not to unruffle some feathers of status quo, science is as emotionally ridden field as any - else why the saying in science that the old school scientists have to die out before new ideas are broadly accepted, why Einstein never made peace with QMs...</font></p><p><font size="2">Newton was shy when it came to making his ideas public and that's also why he would be so outspoken and bold in defending himself to bitter end when he did come out and publish and received criticism or doubts of priority from his scientific peers, shyness and boldness of that sort are really part of one coin, genius is typically shy and modest and at the same time outspoken and immodest to the point of being arrogant, I don't think Newton would go silently along with some estimates he received here on this forum trying to make out his work almost unexceptional among his peers, there would be fire on roof and bitter enemies made if he came to read something like that, make no mistake, and if the time could be brought back somehow and we lived in Newton's times, most of us would be on cords with Newton in no time (of course given that we would be in position to be so in the first place) because arrogance to most people even if it is actually justified is unforgivable, make no mistake</font></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><font size="2">arrogance is defined in Merriam-Webster dictionary as: "an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions" </font></p><p><font size="2">there is very strong emotional drive in people to resent anybody who implies himself being superior in any way over them and that is true even after it turns up to be plain fact that it is so, that it is justified, the other side of this coins is the blind and limitless popularity when some such individuals are medialized to stardom (as happened to Einstein)</font></p><p><font size="2">when people speculate about unrecognized genius languishing somewhere, they imagine him like some downtrodden sympathetic if perhaps weird individual but never as cantankerous and arrogant and difficult to get by personality or something like that, you get the picture if you've seen Forman's movie Amadeus in which Salieri expected Mozart to live up to his imaginations as person only to find him as he did under the table proposing (I know reality might have been different), typically people are kidding themselves that they would see past that but I don't think that would be the case especially when their ideas may conflict with one's own and that is precisely why (near or not so near) Newtons among us may go unrecognized</font></p><font size="2">people would be irritated by perceived arrogance and would ostracize him and/or put him down and thus put off anybody exhibiting such behavior</font></font><font size="2"><font face="Arial"> from making his work public</font><font face="MS Sans Serif"> (when it is actually justified in the case of true genius, that's why I talk about 'perceived arrogance' although for some people no achievements no matter how great can elevate anybody above his fellow men, those are so called 'universal levelizers') </font></font><font face="MS Sans Serif"><p><font size="2">taken all this into account I can very well imagine that we may be missing on some discoveries that went unpublished because our present day <font face="Arial">would be </font><font face="MS Sans Serif">Newton for some reason or other chose not to go public with </font><font face="Arial">his</font><font face="MS Sans Serif"> ideas but I see that as no different from some scientist </font><font face="MS Sans Serif">dying</font><font face="MS Sans Serif"> before the work he has done could be confirmed or puzzles that engaged him could be solved, happens all the time and there is no cosmic justice overseeing that it doesn't happen, it just happens and that's it, in the same spirit if some modern day Newton doesn't publish, then the future one will or might one day and that's all that matters as far as humankind is concerned</font><font face="Arial">,</font><font face="MS Sans Serif"> doesn't it</font><font face="Arial">?</font></font></p></font><font size="2"><font face="MS Sans Serif">in the bigger scheme of things it doesn't matter if the progress comes today or tomorrow, as long as it comes one day, on the other hand from individual point of view</font><font face="Arial"> - that is from the point of view of </font><font face="MS Sans Serif">each one of us</font><font face="Arial"> personally,</font><font face="MS Sans Serif"> it matters very much and which view is the correct one to take, I leave</font><font face="Arial"> with</font><font face="MS Sans Serif"> you to ponder</font></font><font face="MS Sans Serif"><font size="2"> </font><p>&nbsp;</p></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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DrRocket

Guest
<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>point here is not to argue about the existence of ether but rather to show that people who say they are open to everything prove not to be so open after all when it comes to certain possibilities which are not necessarily crank or patently false category, they like to imagine that new progress will come on completely new untrodden grounds unburdened by past issues and that all those traditional pet favors and disfavors scientists entertain will thus not be an issue, however such thinking operates on the premise that scientists do not make mistakes, that they never throw out the bathwater with the baby but always save it which is unwarranted and whole unrealistic expectation and arrogant beyond belief, the progress doesn't always have to be totally new science but it may consist of going back to roots and making new beginnings from some past waypoint where mistake was made that might not have proved fatal at the time but that eventually halted progress in science after many decades or even a century of seemingly trouble free development, sometimes it may be necessary to reinterpret cannons of the physics in effect but there is very great resistance to anything like that because that would amount to showing the scientists having been wrong and that is unacceptable to most, if necessary they will use any means to discredit any such effort at roots, in comparison even patently cranky ideas may receive the dignity of being disputed but ether mostly meets with silence and or even ridicule &nbsp;another such closed area of science is the field of quantum mechanics, that is its logical/physical interpretation, typical attitude is that the issue is closed, that it was proved once and for all that no understanding of the phenomena can be had and any efforts in that direction don't receive any attention, in fact one has almost the impression that the solution here would not even be wanted, that scientists in effect take pride in the profundity and mystery that envelopes this whole field - one of the fundamental fields of physics - that it cannot be grasped, they almost revel in that fact and it no longer bothers capacities in the field, on the contrary they relish getting the new acolytes of this science dumbfounded when they break the news on them in classroomsbottom line is, few new breakthroughs haven't met with resistance of some kind or another, it is unrealistic to expect that the progress will take such form so as not to unruffle some feathers of status quo, science is as emotionally ridden field as any - else why the saying in science that the old school scientists have to die out before new ideas are broadly accepted, why Einstein never made peace with QMs...Newton was shy when it came to making his ideas public and that's also why he would be so outspoken and bold in defending himself to bitter end when he did come out and publish and received criticism or doubts of priority from his scientific peers, shyness and boldness of that sort are really part of one coin, genius is typically shy and modest and at the same time outspoken and immodest to the point of being arrogant, I don't think Newton would go silently along with some estimates he received here on this forum trying to make out his work almost unexceptional among his peers, there would be fire on roof and bitter enemies made if he came to read something like that, make no mistake, and if the time could be brought back somehow and we lived in Newton's times, most of us would be on cords with Newton in no time (of course given that we would be in position to be so in the first place) because arrogance to most people even if it is actually justified is unforgivable, make no mistake&nbsp;arrogance is defined in Merriam-Webster dictionary as: "an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions" there is very strong emotional drive in people to resent anybody who implies himself being superior in any way over them and that is true even after it turns up to be plain fact that it is so, that it is justified, the other side of this coins is the blind and limitless popularity when some such individuals are medialized to stardom (as happened to Einstein)when people speculate about unrecognized genius languishing somewhere, they imagine him like some downtrodden sympathetic if perhaps weird individual but never as cantankerous and arrogant and difficult to get by personality or something like that, you get the picture if you've seen Forman's movie Amadeus in which Salieri expected Mozart to live up to his imaginations as person only to find him as he did under the table proposing (I know reality might have been different), typically people are kidding themselves that they would see past that but I don't think that would be the case especially when their ideas may conflict with one's own and that is precisely why (near or not so near) Newtons among us may go unrecognizedpeople would be irritated by perceived arrogance and would ostracize him and/or put him down and thus put off anybody exhibiting such behavior from making his work public (when it is actually justified in the case of true genius, that's why I talk about 'perceived arrogance' although for some people no achievements no matter how great can elevate anybody above his fellow men, those are so called 'universal levelizers') taken all this into account I can very well imagine that we may be missing on some discoveries that went unpublished because our present day would be Newton for some reason or other chose not to go public with his ideas but I see that as no different from some scientist dying before the work he has done could be confirmed or puzzles that engaged him could be solved, happens all the time and there is no cosmic justice overseeing that it doesn't happen, it just happens and that's it, in the same spirit if some modern day Newton doesn't publish, then the future one will or might one day and that's all that matters as far as humankind is concerned, doesn't it?in the bigger scheme of things it doesn't matter if the progress comes today or tomorrow, as long as it comes one day, on the other hand from individual point of view - that is from the point of view of each one of us personally, it matters very much and which view is the correct one to take, I leave with you to ponder &nbsp; <br />Posted by vandivx</DIV></p><p>http://ace.acadiau.ca/english/grammar/runon.htm<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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vandivx

Guest
<p><font size="3"><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>The reason that I think Newton has to be considered the greatest mind that ever lived, is mainly because of the depth AND breadth of his knowledge and original discoveries. Science today has grown so advanced and complex that it may never again be possible for a single mind to excell except&nbsp;in a very specific limited and specific field of knowledge.Newton on the other hand made breakthroughs in so many fundamental areas... Posted by MannyPim</DIV><br /><br />I don't think the complexity is really the problem, fundamental work of the genius sort&nbsp;is not done within details of a field, also one doesn't need to be able to handle&nbsp;all the&nbsp;fine points&nbsp;of a field to&nbsp;make&nbsp;fundamental changes to it and if the changes then demand reworking of those fine points, that's what the folowers of the genius do, they interpret and comb his work and explore its finer points earning their&nbsp;due respect&nbsp;in the process</font></p><p><font size="3">I'd liken the work of genius to a rough&nbsp;proposal, say a new roadway across a jungle, and the genius gets the idea of the road and places major stakes and perhaps lays down rough roadbed, then later on after him come the legions of workers with ingeneers who add ditches, cut tunnels and notches in hills&nbsp;to straighten the line and so on, they specialize in such work and no genius could encompass it all, point is that those legions of workers if left&nbsp;on their own wouldn't conceive of the roadway in the first place and that's the value of the genius</font></p><p><font size="3">Einstein when he published GR kept improving it because as we can see from the perspective of his life he didn't have any other big theories up his sleve and so he occupied himself with tending relativity theories and even despite that, many contributions to those theories came from others with Einstein accepting them but that was no longer the genius grade work albeit important as it was to establish and prove those theories</font></p><p><font size="3">great dissapointment with Einstein and what ranks him lower than top genius level in my eyes was that in his later days he jumped on the bandwagon of juggling&nbsp;and massaging math equations (n-dimensions) this way and that way&nbsp;ala Kaluza (which method of doing 'physics'&nbsp;was popular then and still is and is deplorable if you ask me)&nbsp;and completely lost the touch he had when he came up with relativity theories -&nbsp;those were arrived at by grand scale&nbsp;thinking in fundamental terms about the world that we live in while that later day effort at some GUT was just muddling and sad come down&nbsp;for the man who completely&nbsp;lost the touch of his younger years</font></p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I don't think the complexity is really the problem, fundamental work of the genius sort&nbsp;is not done within details of a field, also one doesn't need to be able to handle&nbsp;all the&nbsp;fine points&nbsp;of a field to&nbsp;make&nbsp;fundamental changes to it and if the changes then demand reworking of those fine points, that's what the folowers of the genius do, they interpret and comb his work and explore its finer points earning their&nbsp;due respect&nbsp;in the processI'd liken the work of genius to a rough&nbsp;proposal, say a new roadway across a jungle, and the genius gets the idea of the road and places major stakes and perhaps lays down rough roadbed, then later on after him come the legions of workers with ingeneers who add ditches, cut tunnels and notches in hills&nbsp;to straighten the line and so on, they specialize in such work and no genius could encompass it all, point is that those legions of workers if left&nbsp;on their own wouldn't conceive of the roadway in the first place and that's the value of the geniusEinstein when he published GR kept improving it because as we can see from the perspective of his life he didn't have any other big theories up his sleve and so he occupied himself with tending relativity theories and even despite that, many contributions to those theories came from others with Einstein accepting them but that was no longer the genius grade work albeit important as it was to establish and prove those theoriesgreat dissapointment with Einstein and what ranks him lower than top genius level in my eyes was that in his later days he jumped on the bandwagon of juggling&nbsp;and massaging math equations (n-dimensions) this way and that way&nbsp;ala Kaluza (which method of doing 'physics'&nbsp;was popular then and still is and is deplorable if you ask me)&nbsp;and completely lost the touch he had when he came up with relativity theories -&nbsp;those were arrived at by grand scale&nbsp;thinking in fundamental terms about the world that we live in while that later day effort at some GUT was just muddling and sad come down&nbsp;for the man who completely&nbsp;lost the touch of his younger years&nbsp; <br />Posted by vandivx</DIV></p><p>Do you have any idea what you are talking about?</p><p>Einstein did not spend his later life working on a GUT.&nbsp; He did spend a good deal of time working on a unification of the electromagnetic force&nbsp;with gravity, but that&nbsp;is not a GUT.&nbsp; </p><p>Can you give one example of what you call "genius grade" work in which the basic details of the fundamental theory were not worked out by the originator, but rather in which that "genius"&nbsp;created only the vision and then the details were filled in by others?&nbsp; I do&nbsp; not mean a field in which others came along and made additions and simplifications, or even major advances, but one in which the originator produced&nbsp;a vision but did not produce a useable theory himself.&nbsp; Of course others will&nbsp;study the basic theory and make improvements -- if would hardly be a great theory if it was not subsequently studied and refined.&nbsp; </p><p>&nbsp;Let's try to make a list:</p><p>Einstein and relativity -- nope</p><p>Feynman, Schwinger, Tomogawa&nbsp;and quantum electrodynamics&nbsp; -- nope</p><p>Newton and Leibnitz and calculus -- nope</p><p>Newton and mechanics -- nope</p><p>Maxwell and electromagnetism -- nope&nbsp;</p><p>Quantum mechanics -- not nearly the work of one man, but rather of Planck, Einstein, Heisenberg, Pauli, Bohr, and a host of others, all of whom produced useful pieces of the puzzle</p><p>Riemann and differential geometry -- nope</p><p>Harish Chandra and the representation theory of semi-simple Lie groups -- nope</p><p>People&nbsp;who only think of the big picture, but don't get their hands dirty with details are not called geniuses, they are called politicians.&nbsp; People who don't understand the details of their field are called dilettantes.</p><p>Scientific geniuses (as opposed to artistic geniuses) tend to produce only one great work in their lifetime.&nbsp; Rare is the genius who produces two or more (Einstein was one, Newton was another).&nbsp; Those that think they produce genius level work on&nbsp;regular basis are called delusional.<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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