Sometimes a word means something
we are not familiar with.
What do these words mean?
the phrase "exponential growth" means growing at a rate that is proportional
to the current size. If the constant of proportionality is k, time
is t, and the current size is S, then:
S = ekt
Time, t, is in the exponent, and that's why the change of S called "exponential growth". How the "proportional to the current size" comes in is shown below.
The relative speed of the growth is an
"irrelevant parameter," which means that it might
be very fast and it might be very slow. The meaning of exponential
growth lies in a different dimension of meaning.
People reproducing at the same rate across the population will result in exponential growth of population. The current constant of proportionality for human population growth is high enough that "astronomical" is a literally correct term for the growth rate we could expect in not too many centuries—certainly in a tiny fraction of the age of our species. Physicist Harrison Brown has lent his name to the date that, if human population could continue its curent rate of population growth, human bodies would solidly pack the surface of the Earth and would be streaming away from the surface at the speed of light.
That's the "Harrison Brown date." (Let's leave it as an exercise to calculate when it is.) Brown's point is, of course, that something will intervene before that date. Well before that date!
When we ignore the pernicious possibilities for that "something," we surround ourselves with an aura of ignorance. That's an aura that should probably strike terror in the hearts and souls of those making the important decisions...but it's an aura that's too seldom seen.
Ignorance is bliss...isn't it?
In "Herpes simpletonisus," Herpes is the genus and simpletonisus is the species.
species is both plural and singular.
is coined money.
Most news reporters associate "epicenter"
with earhquakes, but don't know its meaning. They are trained to
use vivid, colorful language (exaggerate) and sense
that calling the origin of anything an "epicenter" will make it sound big
and important—and make themselves sound erudite. To anyone in the
know it simply surrounds the reporter with an aura of ignorance.
"...a varable or an arbitrary constant
appearing in a mathematical expression..." (American
Heritage Dictionary) One of the most common indicators
of an aura of blissful ignorance is
the ignoring of all but one out of many influences or parameters that are
essential to understanding the fixes we get ourselves into.
Many who are not "seeing" the abstractions of science have recently (long after Maxwell,anyway) discovered that they can "see" the invisible emanations and distinctive airs that characterize people they look at. They did discover that the high-voltage corona discharge that can ionize the air about sharply curved parts of a conductor (nicely explained by Maxwell's equations) can also expose photographic film. They see those photgraphic patterns as corroborating their wondrous ideas of "Aura," A lot of folklore has developed about this Aura.
Devlin's "fourth level of abstraction" is also something some people can "see." And when seen, it can reveal a lot about individual people. See the "seer" and see the non-"seer" we describe as both try themselves to see the answer to Wason's card selection problem: HERE
So...here's a little project the world really needs:
Let's develop an "Aura Detection Kit" which can help us all see what my colleague saw before he attacked the pseudoscience at the seminar. He could predict how some people will likely confuse necessity and sufficiency, confuse all with some, and do other improper things with Boolean implication, on the basis of the Aura he could see emanated by the thinking they "obviously" were not doing.
mediant and harmonic are music terms