"Physics is simple but subtle."
"Once you see it, you can never again not see it."
These were all said about physics by people with lots of experience making those discoveries. They are different aspects of the same thing, the fact that science is a kind of "magic" human beings can discover by looking at the world in special ways. It's unexpected; it's undeniable but in an unexpected way; it's so powerful that it can seem beyond human powers (that's magic).
That magic might be some math. It might be some metaphor a bit more subtle than usual. Or perhaps logic a bit more subtle than usual. It might be insight into the multidimensional. Or improved insight into multiple, intracting influences. It might be a bit of mastery of statistics -- or of other tools for systematic thinking. It might only be resisting the temptations of powerful wishful thinking.
So see, this isn't just about science -- or even physics which is the study of the simplest things in our universe. It's about all of human thinking and decisions and actions ... when we are at our best. We can always improve, and that's where we want to go: it's education, but education which is often different from learning.
Watch HERE for suggestions (by us and others, including you) for using our puzzles, illusions, tricks, demonstrations, etc. to reveal the magic.
a very powerful tool worth mastering
|Science empowers human beings in ways which sometimes
reach beyond our imaginations. In fact, we always reach a point where
our imagination fails us, as we look deeper and deeper and deeper into
science. Any individual will gain by stretching that imagination
and mastering science as deeply as the stretch will allow. The larger
society gains, too, when its members can use the perceptions and reasonings
gained by that stretching.
Self-deception, too, can get in the way of our imaginations, especially if we gather information, use information, and think the ways we are instructed, thousands of time every week, by the advertisements that bombard us. Advertising is not a good teacher of how to gather information, use it, and think. Advertisers encourage us to stop thinking once we've noticed something we would like to believe. Skepticism will almost always improve the ultimate outcome—as we make decisions and take actions and interact with the things we've informed ourselves about. Science succeeds by searching for disconfirmations; advertisers succeed by offering us alluring suggestions of confirmations; self-deception grows on a soil of easy acceptance of confirming "evidence."
So there's also a lot of
the "science" which isn't very powerful—which doesn't work.
|In discussions of "pseudoscience,"
we must assume that some things are being overlooked because the persistence
of pseudoscience, in spite of great efforts of educators, is it's most
obvious quality. What might contribute to the extraordinary persistence
of misunderstandings of science?
Here's a list of probably overlooked issues: oversimplification, anthropocentrism, allure addiction, innumeracy, unrecognized abstractions, unrecognized imperatives, unrecognized logic, and scalar-limited ranking. Each has a way of poisoning our decisions and tempting the world to kick us in the butt, or worse, when we make the inevitable errors.
Yes, these are a bit abstruse. Like science. And like science, it's going to make us work a little harder to achieve success. We'll have to master a few abstractions—like imperative, anthropocentrism, and innumeracy. We'll have to figure out how to make mastering abstractions as easy as possible. And that's what this project is all about.
let's start by:
An object retains its velocity or remains at rest until a force acts upon it to change its velocity.
The Boston students believed that "Motion implies a force." That is, if there's motion then there must be some force that produces that motion. Newton (and that perceptive 5% of of the two groups) observed that force produces changes of motion.
Motion does not imply a force. (It just seems that way because the forces of friction aren't noticed or adequately understood.)
"person from Porlock" is a pest, an interruption of important work that
is going on, perhaps even death. PORLOCK
Ralph Estling wrote of a person from Porlock in the March/April issue of Skeptical Inquirer (p. 59). The important work is science. The pest is the postmodern philosophers. They tend to ask "The Wrong Question."
"When we remember that man is not the measure of all things but only the discoverer of a few, that reality is not a figment of our consciousness or a creation of our knowledge of the measurements of things but exists outside us and beyond us and our task is to find as much about reality as we possibly can in what time we have, and therefore we must not waste our precious, diminishing time with the wrong questions, then and only then we may start to get somewhere."
inquiry sharply focuses on evidence and places strict demands on the nature
of the evidence. Actually all inquiry should be no less strict, but
it seldom is, apparently because the inquirer doesn't understand the nature
of scientific evidence which enters from the world outside the minds of
the scientists — pseudoscience is commonly the result.
Postmodern philosophy seems to fail to conceptualize a world outside the minds of its philosophers, and so shares a lot of the flaws of the advertiser's world of information which starts with our wishes and lets in a minimum of the outside world.
Knowledge is for use for interacting with that outside world. Ignore it and success comes only thru chance. Good luck!
(for possible keys to reducing pseudoscience)
The Missing Link (confirmation
The Lure of the Lotteries (We seek what's desirable, like the winning ticket in the lottery.)
The Many Dimensions of Color ("We're not the measure of all things, only the discoverer of a few.")
The Slippery Implication
Energy, so what is it? -- really!
The simplest math
A Tensor is more than a lamp!
Ages 10-13, where it begins