On Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 2:37 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> Let's see, average survival of a Las Vegas hotel is what, 30 years? Then
> they blow them up.

Yes, after that time a Las Vegas hotel no longer serves a function. The
Egyptian pyramids are quite different in that respect, they NEVER had  a

> The pyramids of Egypt have been a wonder of the world for 45 centuries,

The pyramids of Egypt have been monuments to human folly for 45 centuries.
The first large engineering projects that actually had a point were made 2
thousand years later by the Romans with their aqueducts and roads; before
that it was all tombs temples palaces and fixed fortifications that didn't
work very well.

> attracting tourism

I'm sure the common people of Egypt who broke their backs building the damn
things would be happy if they knew that in 4500 years their efforts would
be vindicated by those big stone tetrahedrons becoming tourist traps that
can compete with alligator farms, Dollywood and Graceland.

> and representing one of the most ostentatious achievements of the history
> of the human species.

 Ostentatious is a very good word to describe it.

> It doesn't mean that Donald Trump knows how to build a pyramid

Donald Trump is a pompous idiot, but modern engineers certainly know how to
build a big dumb stone tetrahedron, but they can't think of a good reason
for doing so and neither can I.

> > We are talking about defining cause and effect, not Relativity or QM.

If you don't know anything about Relativity or QM then anything you have to
say about cause and effect or physics in general is just pointless
philosophical gas. Philosophical ideas are a dime a dozen, philosophical
ideas that have some correspondence to the way the universe operates are
astronomically less common and more difficult to come up with. Somebody 300
years ago farted out some philosophy and you think today the physicists at
CERN would benefit if they took note of the smell. I think not.

> Have a look at these estimates of the IQ of historical figures (
> http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/cox300.aspx) Note: Goethe: 210. Leibniz:
> 205...down much farther...Darwin: 165

Actually Leibniz got a 183 not 205 in this very dubious 1926 study if you
correct for the Flynn effect, the fact that IQ scores keep going up and up
over the years. However that's not very important because IQ scores much
higher than 130 tend not to mean much, probably because the people who make
IQ tests, including Catharine Cox who did the "study" of the IQ of
historical figures, tend to have IQ's a lot less than 130. When the great
physicist Richard Feynman was in high school he had an IQ test and all he
got was a mediocre 125. The best definition of intelligence that I can
think of is "the sort of thing that Richard Feynman did" therefore it is
not Feynman but the advocates of the test who should feel embarrassed by
this. Meanwhile I seem to remember reading that one of the highest ranked
Mensa members of all time with an IQ north of 200 worked as a bouncer in a

I would find it mind boggling astounding if intelligence, the most complex
thing in the universe, could be described by
a simple scalar. At the very least I think you'd need a vector, something
with both a magnitude and a direction, and you'd probably need more than
that, at least a tensor of somewhat less than trivial intricacy.

> Had Leibniz been born in the 20th century, he would, by these estimates,
> have run circles around any living physicist.

So you think that Leibniz had more genius genes that any living physicist,
I think that most unlikely. There are about 10 times as many people on
earth today as their were in Leibniz's day and there must be at least a
1000 times as many people with access to enough education to have even the
option of becoming physicists.

> You really imagine that you happened to be born during the generation
> where all of the current science happens to be correct?

I imagine that all established scientific theories are closer to the truth
than the theories that preceded them. That's the difference between art and
science, I don't imagine that all current novels are better than older

> > Leibniz and Newton invented calculus. You act as if they were bumbling
> rhetoricians

No, considering where they started from they did amazing and brilliant
things, but the starting point has changed and the fact remains that any
sophomore math student knows more calculus than Leibniz and Newton put

  John K Clark

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