1. Joined
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    03 Jun '15 06:09
    Not completely of course, but few can argue that facts alone guide which theories are accepted in the short term and which theories are not.

    How much does popularity influence the course of science?
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    03 Jun '15 06:2812 edits
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    ... facts alone guide ...
    You make some pretty vague assertions along with a question so vague as to be unanswerable .

    Also, what kind of "facts" are you referring to here?
    Do you mean "data" by "facts"?
    Or theories that have already been empirically proven?
    Or deduced theorems i.e. those that have been deductively proven?
    Or whatever you personally believe to be the "facts"?
    Or all of the above?
    Or what, exactly?


    Science is a popularity contest

    Do you have any evidence, premise or reason to believe this extremely vague assertion?
    Do you have an actual argument for this as opposed to it being a mere assertion?

    How much does popularity influence the course of science?

    How can this question be rationally answered when we cannot concisely define “How much” “popularity influence” there is?
    How do you measure or define the magnitude of such an incredibly vaguely defined quantity as “popularity influence” ?
    If you can't, then, at least as far as science is concerned, this is a totally unanswerable and meaningless question.

    And "popularity" by whom?
    By laypeople?
    By scientists?
    Or both?
  3. Joined
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    03 Jun '15 12:39
    Originally posted by humy
    You make some pretty vague assertions along with a question so vague as to be unanswerable .

    Also, what kind of "facts" are you referring to here?
    Do you mean "data" by "facts"?
    Or theories that have already been empirically proven?
    Or deduced theorems i.e. those that have been deductively proven?
    Or whatever you personally believe to be the "facts" ...[text shortened]... and meaningless question.

    And "popularity" by whom?
    By laypeople?
    By scientists?
    Or both?
    I first started thinking about this when someone on this forum said that I would not convince anybody of my position because I was arrogant and disliked on this forum. I immediately remembered the NOVA program about Everett and how a physicist (I don't remember his name) had done work that showed support for the many worlds theory and was overlooked, but nobody wanted to believe the guy because he was arrogant and few people liked him. While I was looking for the guy's name I stumbled onto more interesting assertions of how popularity is a factor.

    Here is an excerpt from the link below:

    "A DIFFICULT BIRTH
    To step back a moment, initially Everett's theory wasn't well accepted when it was first published in 1957, is that right?

    No, it wasn't. First of all, when his dissertation was printed in 1957, it was highly edited from his original version. All the colorful language was taken out. But physicists looked at it and a lot of them thought, "This is crazy." [Physicist Richard] Feynman went on record as saying, in essence, "Well, this is not possible because there can't be multiple universes."
    However, people didn't attack his theory publicly, because it's very hard to attack Everett's logic. They did attack it privately. For instance, in 1956, before it was published, Wheeler and Everett sent a copy of the dissertation to Bohr in Copenhagen to see if he would agree that it was true. It wasn't likely that he would, because if he did agree he'd have to admit that he'd been wrong for decades about everything else.
    As it happened, Bohr was pretty polite. He didn't attack it himself, but he assigned his acolytes to attack Everett, and actually for decades they took every opportunity they could to say that Everett was stupid, that his theory didn't work, that Everett didn't understand quantum mechanics, stuff like that."

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/many-worlds-theory-today.html

    If Bohr actually wanted others to put down Everett's theory and call him stupid as this article claims it makes me wonder why. If Everett was so wrong why would Bohr resort to such a thing? You would think the only reason Bohr would do that is if he felt threatened by the many world's theory. Later in the article it says some physicists secretly thought Everett's theory had merit but were afraid to come forward because Bohr was so respected at that time. Whoever wrote this article seems to think popularity is a factor in the short term.
  4. Joined
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    03 Jun '15 13:167 edits
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    I first started thinking about this when someone on this forum said that I would not convince anybody of my position because I was arrogant and disliked on this forum. I immediately remembered the NOVA program about Everett and how a physicist (I don't remember his name) had done work that showed support for the many worlds theory and was overlooked, but nobody wanted to believe the guy because he was arrogant and few people liked him. .
    But you are NOT an arrogant physicist; nor a scientist; nor anyone with scientific credentials or credible science or intellectual stature. You are just arrogant. So you cannot validly make any such comparison with some who DOES have scientific credentials, even if he is arrogant. Unlike some people much smarter than you or I, you don't have anything to be arrogant about (I am not implying here that such people should be arrogant ).
  5. Germany
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    03 Jun '15 14:32
    Science is conducted by people and as such people's motivations, prejudices etc. will influence the course of science. However, I don't think "popularity contest" is an accurate characterization.
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    03 Jun '15 14:44
    Originally posted by humy
    But you are NOT an arrogant physicist; nor a scientist; nor anyone with scientific credentials or credible science or intellectual stature. You are just arrogant. So you cannot validly make any such comparison with some who DOES have scientific credentials, even if he is arrogant. Unlike some people much smarter than you or I, you don't have anything to be arrogant about (I am not implying here that such people should be arrogant ).
    What comparison? I don't recall comparing myself to anybody. All did was explain how I stumbled onto the article. Furthermore, I have said nothing arrogant on this thread. You hold grudges in a bad way. You need to get on some medication or something. You seem very stressed out and have anger issues. I can't figure out why you even posted on this thread. Do you like the drama? Nobody made you ask me a question. Am I bad for answering you? Would it make you happier if I ignored you? Why didn't you just ignore me? Is it because you enjoy insulting me? I must admit to liking it when you insult me. It reminds me that you feel threatened by a stupid person.

    😀
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    03 Jun '15 15:16
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Science is conducted by people and as such people's motivations, prejudices etc. will influence the course of science. However, I don't think "popularity contest" is an accurate characterization.
    "I don't think "popularity contest" is an accurate characterization."

    How would you put it? They called Everett stupid and slandered him. Bohr's popularity prevented people from expressing a dissenting opinion out of fear they would become unpopular because of it. I think "popularity contest" is very accurate.
    Don't you think a lot of people who seek science degrees do it because they want to impress others and become accepted and even admired by their peers? I have a brother who has a masters degree in physics and he loves to talk about his accomplishments to friends and family. Unlike me, he loves small talk and how it makes him feel when people are impressed. I think it is safe to say he liked the popularity. I think most educated people are that way. Why send a paper to Nature if you are not seeking popularity? You could just tell your best friend and leave it at that if you are not concerned with popularity. Why did Bohr try to tear down Everett before he could publish his paper if he was not trying to maintain his popularity by destroying Everett's? I think popularity is accurate. You could substitute "respect", but the two usually go hand in hand.
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    03 Jun '15 17:23
    The question is interesting, so I'll give it a serious try.

    Every scientist dreams of the Nobel Prize. The fame comes with this, and status and honour and such. But does it bring popularity? Depends.

    Arrogance has nothing to do with science. Good science stand for itself. But your opportunity is less if you are arrogant than if you are friendly and amicable. Noone want to support a schmuck.

    Media exposure gives popularity. We all enjoy a good scientific explanation of some famous and popular scientist in Discovery. But does this give, per automatic, better science? Don't know, don't think so.
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    03 Jun '15 18:364 edits
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    What comparison? I don't recall comparing myself to anybody. ...

    Do you recall your recent quotes?

    "..I first started thinking about this when someone on this forum said that I would not convince anybody of my position because I was arrogant and disliked on this forum. I immediately remembered the NOVA program about Everett and how a physicist (I don't remember his name) had done work that showed support for the many worlds theory and was overlooked, but nobody wanted to believe the guy because he was arrogant and few people liked him. While I was looking for the guy's name I stumbled onto more interesting assertions of how popularity is a factor...(your quote) "

    You are clearly comparing yourself with that physicist who, according to you, is arrogant; just like you are hence the obvious motive of your comparison. But you are certainly no physicist! You are just arrogant.
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    03 Jun '15 18:407 edits
    Originally posted by Metal Brain

    Bohr's popularity prevented people from expressing a dissenting opinion out of fear they would become unpopular because of it.
    And you, who understands so little about the world of science but has so much to say about it, knows this how?
    What is the premise or evidence for this assertion?
    I for one haven't ever seen the slightest evidence of this; and I really AM very much into the world of science!

    In fact, if anything, it is a trivial observation of the mere historical fact that many scientists, including Einstein himself, right from the start, severely criticized him for his metaphysical interpretation of quantum mechanics which they very verbally and very publicly extremely strongly disagreed with -powerful evidence that, right from day one, his 'popularity' did absolutely nothing to stop many other people from "expressing a dissenting opinion out of fear they would become unpopular because of it"! THEY evidently had absolutely no such "fear" of losing popularity just for criticizing such a 'popular' physicist so 'popularity' has evidently absolutely nothing to do with it! So you are clearly just talking complete delusional nonsense here.
  11. Germany
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    03 Jun '15 19:25
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    "I don't think "popularity contest" is an accurate characterization."

    How would you put it? They called Everett stupid and slandered him. Bohr's popularity prevented people from expressing a dissenting opinion out of fear they would become unpopular because of it. I think "popularity contest" is very accurate.
    Don't you think a lot of people who see ...[text shortened]... ink popularity is accurate. You could substitute "respect", but the two usually go hand in hand.
    I don't know anything about the Everett/Bohr story so I cannot comment on that.

    Most people I know who are working in science do so because they enjoy the work - in industry you can generally get better-paid jobs with better job security (instead of hopping from temporary contract to temporary contract). I don't know anyone who went into science to impress their acquaintances but I suppose those people can exist.

    One reason to submit a paper to Nature would be the prestige that one gets from a Nature publication, but the main reasons would be to enhance the visibility of your work so that more people read and cite it (thus advancing your career) but also to get more competent reviewers for your work so you can improve it.
  12. Subscribersonhouse
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    03 Jun '15 19:351 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    The question is interesting, so I'll give it a serious try.

    Every scientist dreams of the Nobel Prize. The fame comes with this, and status and honour and such. But does it bring popularity? Depends.

    Arrogance has nothing to do with science. Good science stand for itself. But your opportunity is less if you are arrogant than if you are friendly and ...[text shortened]... ist in Discovery. But does this give, per automatic, better science? Don't know, don't think so.
    The poster boy for the arrogant type is William Sidis. He was born in the late 19th century and earned an MD by the age of 10. But his obnoxious behavior got him basically run out of town on a rail, and he had the highest estimated IQ of anyone in history, estimated to be 250 to 300. He took delight in criticizing his professors and such. He actually had done mathematics that showed he understood about black holes 20 years before Einstein. But his arrogant attitude made him the most abrasive scientist to have ever been born, making Newton look like Mr Rogers.

    He got fired from job after job, one job where he was hired as calculator, but with the rule he use the then slow mechanical calculators to do the work, I think an actuarial accountant kind of thing.

    He knew he was much better and faster than the mechanical calculator and when his supervisor caught him doing numbers in his head, he was immediately fired. I didn't think that was a nice thing to do since they probably didn't know just how powerful a mind he had.

    Sidis ended up dying in a tenement building in New York City, I think around 1946, a pauper and with a huge collection of subway tokens, that was his hobby at the end.

    A pitiful case, who could have literally developed relativity 20 years before Einstein but his abrasive personality and absolute arrogance precluded him from working with ANYONE throughout his life.
  13. Joined
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    04 Jun '15 00:53
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    The question is interesting, so I'll give it a serious try.

    Every scientist dreams of the Nobel Prize. The fame comes with this, and status and honour and such. But does it bring popularity? Depends.

    Arrogance has nothing to do with science. Good science stand for itself. But your opportunity is less if you are arrogant than if you are friendly and ...[text shortened]... ist in Discovery. But does this give, per automatic, better science? Don't know, don't think so.
    "The fame comes with this, and status and honour and such. But does it bring popularity? Depends."

    Fame is not popularity? I think it is. Blow the dust off your dictionary.

    Are you the one that told me I could not convince people of my position because I was arrogant?
    Interesting that being right is not enough in your world. If you don't like someone you convince yourself that fame is not popularity so you don't have to agree with them. You are only cheating yourself if you fool yourself like that.
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    04 Jun '15 00:56
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I don't know anything about the Everett/Bohr story so I cannot comment on that.

    Most people I know who are working in science do so because they enjoy the work - in industry you can generally get better-paid jobs with better job security (instead of hopping from temporary contract to temporary contract). I don't know anyone who went into science to i ...[text shortened]... ncing your career) but also to get more competent reviewers for your work so you can improve it.
    Prestige? Is that so different from popularity? Can you have prestige without being popular?
  15. Joined
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    04 Jun '15 01:00
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The poster boy for the arrogant type is William Sidis. He was born in the late 19th century and earned an MD by the age of 10. But his obnoxious behavior got him basically run out of town on a rail, and he had the highest estimated IQ of anyone in history, estimated to be 250 to 300. He took delight in criticizing his professors and such. He actually had do ...[text shortened]... e personality and absolute arrogance precluded him from working with ANYONE throughout his life.
    So it was not enough for William Sidis to be right. I suppose he needed to pretend stupid people were not really stupid for doubting him. Is that really arrogance or is it just a low tolerance for stupidity?
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