14.0040 report on the colloquium at KCL

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Wed May 31 2000 - 05:21:02 CUT

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                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 40.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 06:14:57 +0100
             From: "Osher Doctorow" <osher@ix.netcom.com>
             Subject: Re: 14.0039 report on Colloquium at King's College London

    From: Osher Doctorow osher@ix.netcom.com, Sat. May 27, 2000, 7:15AM

    Dear Colleagues:

    John Lavagnino's report and summary are very important. I have found that
    when I translate advanced mathematical and physical concepts into an
    approximation to ordinary English, I developed new inspirations, new
    insights, and even new theories on both quantitative and verbal levels.
    Many others have had similar experiences, and the often neglected field of
    popular science books written by prominent or not so prominent scientists
    (and also by non-Mainstream scientists - see for example Isaac Asimov's
    works and his history of being dropped by his department for spending too
    much time on non-mainstream work) is an example. I may be accused of
    having Socrates on the brain, but it seems to me that this is in essence
    what Socrates was doing in his own fields. The only difficulty that I
    foresee is a human one: if we really boil things down to their foundations
    and meanings, we may find that a lot of them are rubbish and that the
    Mainstream with its Peer Reviewers is largely unsatisfactory. I might as
    well offer a tentative solution: a Society for Non-Mainstream Theory and
    Practice. If I may put a slightly humorous note on this, one requirement
    for a submitting paper might be that it has been submitted to a Mainstream
    Standard Peer Review journal and rejected, often by Contradictory Peer
    Reviews to which the Editors may have added: "I am in complete agreement
    with this rejection." See David Ruelle's Chance and Chaos for an amusing
    description of something similar that really happens.

    Yours truly, sincerely, but quite differently


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