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Was Einstein "bright"?


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#1 stocks

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 11:50 AM

"How could such an idiot write such papers?"
Hermann Minkowski, one of the Einstein's teachers

Although his grades in subjects he was interested in -- e.g., physics -- were very good, Einstein completely failed to impress his professors. They did not consider him "bright." Einstein was not offered any academic or research job after he obtained his Ph.D., but instead had to go to work in the Swiss patent office.

Then, in 1905, while still a mere government clerk, Einstein wrote a series of papers, at least three of which were worthy of a Nobel Prize. One of these papers, on the photoelectric effect, did in fact win him his Nobel Prize. One of his professors, Hermann Minkowski, who was one of the teachers unimpressed by Einstein the student, is reported to have said, "How could such an idiot write such papers?"

A friend of mine was himself a friend of Hans Einstein, Albert's son, who later became a professor of engineering at Berkeley. Hans Einstein, who never saw Albert Einstein as the "great genius" but rather as "dad," told my friend that he did not think his father was particularly bright. He thought his father's insights into physics were not due to a superhuman intellect, but were instead due to his willingness to think for himself, and ignore established opinions. It is clear that such an attitude would not endear him to his professors. I am reminded of the title of a book by a man who has been called "the best mind since Einstein": What Do You Care What Other People Think?


Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts


Richard Feynman, this "best mind since Einstein," was just following Einstein when saying in 1966: "Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."

http://www.powerline...0/06/026533.php

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#2 Rogerdodger

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 09:50 AM

There once was a lady named "Bright" who could travel far faster than light. She set out one day in a relative way, and came back the previous night.

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:43 AM

Fun Facts from Physics History

Galileo's famous book included his theory of tides. His theory of tides was wrong.

Isaac Newton spent more time and energy on alchemy than on physics. He lost a fortune in the financial collapse of the "South Sea" bubble.

Einstein produced nothing of value the last 40 years of his life. He never accepted the crowning jewel of modern physics -- quantum mechanics.
He joined those geologists who, for 50 years, opposed the most important advance in modern geology -- plate tectonics.

The problem is too much government. The solution is apocalypse, and it is coming.

You know the credit cycle has peaked when the scandals arrive. - Michael Burry


#4 stocks

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:07 PM


Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts


Richard Feynman, this "best mind since Einstein," was just following Einstein when saying in 1966: "Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."

http://www.powerline...0/06/026533.php


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The problem is too much government. The solution is apocalypse, and it is coming.

You know the credit cycle has peaked when the scandals arrive. - Michael Burry


#5 stocks

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 07:20 AM

Ridiculed crystal work wins Nobel

An Israeli scientist who suffered years of ridicule and even lost a research post for claiming to have found an entirely new class of solid material was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry on Wednesday for his discovery of quasicrystals.

1982

"People just laughed at me," Shechtman recalled.
Linus Pauling, a colossus of science and double Nobel laureate, mounted a frightening "crusade" against him, saying: "There is no such thing as quasicrystals, only quasi-scientists."

The head of his research group asked him to leave for "bringing disgrace" on the team.

2011

Those non-stick, rust-free, heat-resistant quasicrystals are finding their way into tools from LEDs to engines and frying pans.

link

The problem is too much government. The solution is apocalypse, and it is coming.

You know the credit cycle has peaked when the scandals arrive. - Michael Burry


#6 salsabob

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 10:01 AM

The fundamental flaw with this thread is confusing human foibles for the scientific method.
John Galt shrugged, outsourced to Red China and opened a hedge fund for unregulated securitized credit derivatives.

If the world didn't suck, wouldn't we all just fly off?

#7 stocks

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:17 AM

Climategate 2.0: How To Tell When an Expert Exaggerates

How can you tell when an expert is exaggerating? His lips move.


The newly-released climate scientist emails (called Climategate 2.0) from University of East Anglia (Phil Jones) and elsewhere (Michael Mann and others) show that top climate scientists agree with me. Like me (see my posts on global warming), they think the evidence that humans have caused dangerous global warming is weaker than claimed. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they kept their doubts to themselves

As anyone paying attention has noticed, it isn’t just climate scientists, doctors, dieticians, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists. How can you tell when an expert is exaggerating? His lips move. There are two types of journalism: 1. Trusts experts. 2. Doesn’t trust experts. I suggest using colored headlines to make them easy to distinguish: red = trusts experts, green = doesn’t trust experts.

experts

The problem is too much government. The solution is apocalypse, and it is coming.

You know the credit cycle has peaked when the scandals arrive. - Michael Burry


#8 stocks

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:56 PM

Robert Schiller: The best advice I ever got

“My father, Benjamin Shiller, told me not to believe in authorities or celebrities — that society tends to imagine them as superhuman. It’s good advice.


People are snowed by celebrities all the time. In academia people have this idea of achieving stardom — publishing in the best journals, being at the best university, writing on the hot topic everyone else is writing about. But that’s what my father told me not to do. He taught me that you have to pursue things that sound right to you.

“In 2004, when I wrote the second edition of my book Irrational Exuberance,

I said in the preface I was worried that the boom in home prices might collapse, bring on bankruptcy in both households and businesses, and lead to a world recession. I remember thinking that this sounds kind of flaky — nobody else is saying this, I can’t prove it, this could be embarrassing. But I had learned from my father not to care what other people think.

This was my book, and I believed this, so I just said it.”

schiller

The problem is too much government. The solution is apocalypse, and it is coming.

You know the credit cycle has peaked when the scandals arrive. - Michael Burry


#9 stocks

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:43 AM

The newly-released climate scientist emails (called Climategate 2.0) from University of East Anglia (Phil Jones) and elsewhere (Michael Mann and others) show that top climate scientists agree with me. Like me (see my posts on global warming), they think the evidence that humans have caused dangerous global warming is weaker than claimed. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they kept their doubts to themselves



What’s Going on Behind the Curtain? Climategate 2.0 and Scientific Integrity


Climategate, both 1 and 2, are textbook cases of gross lapses in professional ethics and scientific malfeasance.


The following three e-mails show dissent in the climate ranks -- some researchers are concerned that in portraying the current state of climate science in journals, to the press, to politicians and to the general public, lead climate researchers are not being honest and are downplaying significant uncertainty. The concerned researchers note the risk to such a strategy:


<1939> Thorne/MetO

Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary [...]

<3066> Thorne:

I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.

<2884> Wigley:

Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive [...] there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC [...]

The next couple of e-mails show researchers putting their political goals before scientific integrity in part by cherry-picking which data to focus on:


<4755> Overpeck:

The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s included and what is left out.

<0170> Jones:

Kevin, Seems that this potential Nature paper may be worth citing, if it does say that GW [global warming] is having an effect on TC [tropical cyclone] activity.

National Association of Scholars

The problem is too much government. The solution is apocalypse, and it is coming.

You know the credit cycle has peaked when the scandals arrive. - Michael Burry


#10 stocks

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 03:50 PM

Kahneman’s basic finding—you can fool a lot of the people a lot of the time (this is obvious to those who aren’t economists)

Medical Certainty


Overconfidence also appears to be endemic in medicine. A study of patients who died in the intensive-care unit compared autopsy results with the diagnoses that physicians had provided while the patients were still alive. Physicians also reported their confidence. The result: “Clinicians who were ‘completely certain’ of the diagnosis ante-mortem were wrong 40 percent of the time.” Here again, experts’ overconfidence is encouraged by their clients. As the researchers noted, “Generally, it is considered a weakness and a sign of vulnerability for clinicians to appear unsure.”

Decision making

When a team converges on a decision, public doubts about the wisdom of the planned move are gradually suppressed and eventually come to be treated as evidence of flawed loyalty.
The suppression of doubt contributes to overconfidence in a group where only supporters of the decision have a voice.

Daniel Kahneman, a professor of psychology emeritus at Princeton University

Bias blindness

Edited by stocks, 18 January 2012 - 03:56 PM.

The problem is too much government. The solution is apocalypse, and it is coming.

You know the credit cycle has peaked when the scandals arrive. - Michael Burry