Thursday, April 28, 2022

Maybe a Monkey Threw the Paradigm-Shifting Ashtray

I mentioned how a famous documentary film maker wrote a book trashing the famous paradigm shift professor.

The professor is now dead, and his archivist published a defense. The filmmaker got the professor's brand of cigarettes wrong. And maybe a monkey threw the ashtray, not the professor. And reports that the professor had multiple monkeys in his office were exaggerated.

I post this to help complete the record.

The real problem with Professor Paradigm Shift is not his ashtray, or even his philosophy, but how his famous book convinced much of academia that science is just a system of following faddish beliefs, with no theory being objectively better than any other.


  1. Roger
    I understand that the ideal is that science is objective and truth seeking, but we don't live in an ideal, and quite frankly we never have. Scientists have always been pretentious in their claims to be above such petty human concerns such as corruption or politics. The reality is much more like religion or politics, as is apparent where you have entire science oriented establishments taking groupthink political positions in order to protect themselves or virtue signal to gain favor/funding.

  2. Dear Roger,

    BTW, there is some change in the comments entering mode.

    Anyway... [I am actually surprised that my hitting the Enter key did *not* send the comment upstream! The changed format must be doing something good... Anyway...]


    Two points before you close the record for the eternity:

    One: I haven't ever read that supposedly widely influential book. Didn't even think of it as worth buying when [surprise!] I used to have [sufficient surplus [even given *my* values]] money to buy books.

    Two: If you would do a package deal and throw out the definite nature of *very* significant changes in the way people think (say "paradigms") together with everything that this author said, then you would be in the wrong.

    Examples abound. People didn't think in "quantized whatever" terms until Planck said it. People didn't think of the "current" "just existing" in the "free" space until Maxwell posited the displacement current. People didn't think of the same natural laws governing the proverbial fall of the apple on the earth and the motions of the heavenly bodies until Newton forwarded his, err..., arguments! Etc.

    You don't want to deny all of that "quantum jump" kind of a thing, do you? Are you in such an abounding love with linearity that you would want to wash out the evidence to the contrary? [To clarify: No, I don't believe so... But anyway, to continue...]

    The problem isn't that there *are* such huge changes of "perceptions", "methods", "ways of doing things", aka "paradigms". The problem is with the fact that people don't recognize non-linearity. Neither in physics nor in the human affairs.

    BTW, when it comes to science like physics, if anyone elevates sociology even one epsilon above the zero, he is, you know, mostly, you know, I mean, you know, an *idiot*!

    So, there.