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Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    08 Dec '14 11:29
    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141208.html

    They used his words from his old show Cosmos. They did a bang up job on this short film. Sagan is very inspiring, very eloquent.
  2. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    08 Dec '14 21:07
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141208.html

    They used his words from his old show Cosmos. They did a bang up job on this short film. Sagan is very inspiring, very eloquent.
    And he wasn't afraid to call a crazy notion a notion that's crazy.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    08 Dec '14 22:33
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    And he wasn't afraid to call a crazy notion a notion that's crazy.
    Yes, and it was terrible how he was treated by the scientific community for the sin of being popular.

    It was Carl Sagan who predicted the temperature on Venus, all those high flying scientists and astronomers never came up with that but would they allow him into the big science society? No.
  4. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    12 Dec '14 00:14
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Yes, and it was terrible how he was treated by the scientific community for the sin of being popular.

    It was Carl Sagan who predicted the temperature on Venus, all those high flying scientists and astronomers never came up with that but would they allow him into the big science society? No.
    I gave his Wikipedia page a read and the write up which seemed to me to be generally sympathetic included a description of his lawsuit against Apple. They had an internal code name for one of their machines - Carl Sagan. He got wind of it and issued a cease and desist. They changed the code name to BHA = Butt Head Astronomer, so he sued for defamation. He lost the case and then tried to sue for the initial complaint and again his case failed. He appealed and eventually got an out-of-court settlement. Apple finally settled on LAW as a codename - short for Lawyer's Are Wimps.

    His TV series, which I remember seeing meant that a lot of his Cornell lectures were cancelled and it caused his colleagues some problems. I get the impression that he wasn't always an easy person to work with. It's possible to have a balanced view where we can acknowledge his important contributions without glossing over his undoubtable ego.

    Although as egos go his isn't as bad as Asimov's who said of Sagan that he was one of only two people he'd met of a higher intellectual stature than he was (also according to the Wikipedia page on Sagan). WAW I'll leave it to you to work out the acronym there
  5. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    12 Dec '14 10:46
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I gave his Wikipedia page a read and the write up which seemed to me to be generally sympathetic included a description of his lawsuit against Apple. They had an internal code name for one of their machines - Carl Sagan. He got wind of it and issued a cease and desist. They changed the code name to BHA = Butt Head Astronomer, so he sued for defamation ...[text shortened]... ding to the Wikipedia page on Sagan). WAW I'll leave it to you to work out the acronym there
    Well, you have to admit that people like Az deserve their reputation, intellectual and ego. Don't forget the OTHER Isaac, good old Newt, it was said he was a prick, world class prick who made Az and Carl look like Mr Rogers.

    But you can't discount the achievements of all of them, all of them were definitely on a high intellectual plane.
  6. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    12 Dec '14 13:28
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Well, you have to admit that people like Az deserve their reputation, intellectual and ego. Don't forget the OTHER Isaac, good old Newt, it was said he was a prick, world class prick who made Az and Carl look like Mr Rogers.

    But you can't discount the achievements of all of them, all of them were definitely on a high intellectual plane.
    The story about Newton is that he had a huge level of rivalry with Hooke. The quote about "Standing on the shoulders of giants" was written in a letter to Hooke. It sounds nice until you know that Hooke was short, even by the standards of the day, so "Standing on the shoulders of giants" was in fact an insult.

    Ed Witten seems not to suffer from this.
  7. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    12 Dec '14 17:28
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    The story about Newton is that he had a huge level of rivalry with Hooke. The quote about "Standing on the shoulders of giants" was written in a letter to Hooke. It sounds nice until you know that Hooke was short, even by the standards of the day, so "Standing on the shoulders of giants" was in fact an insult.

    Ed Witten seems not to suffer from this.
    Also neither Gell-Mann or Einstein. I think most physicists are humble. My son-in-law is a statistical physicist and he is very humble, not much ego at all, we are working on a couple of projects as a matter of fact.