The greatest characters are ineffable

Judge Learned Hand once wrote that the penalty for drawing a character too indistinctly is limited copyright protection. Yet the greatest characters are precisely those that cannot be drawn too distinctly – they are truly ineffable. Socrates, Jesus, Hamlet – all fictional characters -though two were based on historical characters- drawn skillfully by writers who were trying to describe the ineffable greatness of a man exalted above all others- in a word “noble.”


Dubious honors

The academy awards for best players. The best players = the biggest phonies.

Players = actors and actresses. Why are there two awards? Silly. There can be only one best player and it is obvious he/she is the biggest phony, a person so un-genuine, so plastic he/she can play anyone.

Two types of Conservatives

T1C – A Type 1 Conservative disagrees with liberals only when they are wrong.

T2C- A Type 2 Conservative disagrees with liberals on “everything” – if liberals are for something, they are against it.

T2C’s have to argue against evolution because liberals believe in evolution. In fact, T2Cs claim that evolution is “liberal” science.

T1C’s don’t waste time arguing against evolution with the specious, ad hominem arguments T2C’s passionately defend. But unlike liberals, T1C’s don’t make a religion out of evolution. It is a theory, but one that is presumptively valid. 150 years and no one has falsified it – that has created a rebuttable presumption of validity. How would it be rebutted? Discover and validate one fact that is absolutely incompatible with the theory. E.g., find and validate a human skeleton in pre-Cambrian rock.

Dissenting Opinions: A note on Victor Stenger’s “God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion”

Science and religion are like oil and water. To mix them, one needs an emulsifier. What a delicious, satisfying mixture when the emulsification is done right, as I did in my books titled “Science-based Religion.”

In arguing that science and religion are immiscible antipodes, eternally at war, Dr. Stenger forgets to consider that religion can be focused on actions based on lofty ethical principles (derived ultimately from the Jamesian tradition). Religion need not be focused on faith (e.g. Pauline Christianity) or even based on faith in propositions that are not scientifically verifiable, and it need not be grounded on faith in what contradicts scientific observations.

Indeed, I have defined such a “science-based religion,” in which everyone is focused on behavior, and no one believes in anything that is unverifiable or flat-out contradicted by science. Like scientists, these science-based religious people believe in propositions to the degree that they are supported by scientific evidence. That is, they do not make the mistake, which some anti-religious scientists ironically do, of making a religion out of science. Though imperfect, science is our purest form of empirical knowledge. Without new scientific evidence, it a waste of time to argue against current scientific theories.

Even this science-based religion’s ethics may ultimately be derivable from science, because the ethical system is based on the assertion of human equality, which I suggest is provable mathematically from empirical observations. If indeed this suggestion is right, mathematicians could ground ethical behavior by actually proving human equality. In which case, God would not be necessary to “back-stop” the ethical assertions.

In this “science-based religion,” the very concept of god, which Stenger considers essential to religion, is viewed as unnecessary, a distraction from the focus on behavior, and a divisive force in society.

The easy way to get US patent after US patent

1. Inventions wherein the whole is more than the sum of its parts are easier to patent because they seem less obvious to patent examiners.

2. To generate these types of inventions at will, study natural and man-made synergistic phenomena.

3. Discover the laws of nature that underlie synergistic phenomena so that you can predict synergies.

4. Keep this law / these laws a trade secret.

5. Use it/them to discover one patentable invention after another – never reveal any laws of nature you are using in any invention, especially processes. Hide even your empirical rules of thumb. The USPTO is armed to reject any process patent that can be reduced to (1) A statement of rules, including laws of nature. (2) The direction to apply them.

Towards optimal educational practice

1. The Socratic method is the ultimate teaching method.

2. That is, the Socratic method is the best, but should be used lastly.

3. First, fill the young minds with didactic (from Greek didaktikos = skillful at teaching)teaching, lots of information, carefully cross-checked by validated methods, presented with genuine enthusiasm, with which to begin to think. Give them a taste of controversy (dialectics in the truest sense), but do not overwhelm them.

4. As students acquire a taste for controversy, using learned, validated information to reason clearly, move them, each at his/her own pace, gradually to the Socratic method to foster their creative, critical skills.

5. Turn them loose on real problems.