omg, I mean Akasha:

You usually have very astute observations to make on FFL. In this 
case, I am quite disappointed. The question is not by what mental 
mechanisms scientists come up with new ideas. I was addressing what 
makes a particular set of ideas be considered worthwhile to follow 
up on.

In the case of August Kekule, he was already a chemist. He was 
exploring the question of the structure of the benzene molecule in 
his waking hours because he considered the question to be 
meaningful. Why? Because he knew that benzene existed as a chemical 
and that there was a growing body of understanding of how chemicals 
are made of molecules, which in turn are made of atoms. This was the 
understanding that chemists had (still do). On the basis of that 
understanding, his thought processes proceeded, some in waking some 
in a dream. Why did he follow up on his dream? Because he knew on 
the basis of all his preparation as a chemist and all his thought on 
this particular topic, that he was on to a solution.

In Einstein's case, it would be quite naïve to suppose that his 
background in physics had nothing to do with the thought experiments 
that he chose to make. For example, consider Special Relativity. The 
equations for calculating time dilation and length contraction are 
called the Lorentz transformations. Why not the Einstein 
transformations? Because Einstein didn't invent them. Another 
physicist names Lorentz did. So why was Special Relativity 
considered the special discovery of Einstein? Essentially, this 
discovery was not made in a void. It represented a natural evolution 
of the physics of the time. Einstein introduced the notion of the 
speed of light in a vacuum being constant, which required a new 
interpretation of the Lorentz transformation equations (etc.) Now, 
General Relativity was a much bigger departure from mainstream 
physics, in that it was not developed to resolve any anomalies that 
physicists were already aware of and trying to explain. But it still 
arose as a result in a thorough grounding in the ideas of physics at 
the time.

By way of contrast, let us consider the great wealth of occult or 
spiritual theories that exist about the way the world works. These 
can be found in such places as religions, superstitions, FFL and the 
web in general, the TMO, seminars passing through town, etc. There 
is so much contradiction between one set of theories and another, 
that it would be very difficult to do a systematic, scientific 
assessment of them all, even if one had the will to do so and could 
come up with testable hypotheses, money and a lot of time.

So why would anyone bother? There would have to be some belief that 
a particular line of investigation might bear fruit. That includes 
the belief of the scientists involved, as well as of the 
institutions that support the research financially and institutions 
that support it enough to consider it's peer review and publication. 
Typically, such a belief exists because of prior experience, of 
which the accumulated experience of the scientific disciplines 
themselves is a significant part.

Testing the predictions made by SV will only be made by people who 
have a vested interest in SV being a worthwhile way to build. The 
testing will be extremely expensive and difficult to control for. 
Rigorous studies are highly unlikely. And hypotheses that have no 
support in the mainstream paradigms must show an extraordinary level 
of rigor and result before anyone in the mainstream will bother to 
look at them. (see The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas 
Khun; also consider the mainstream scientific reaction to studies on 
the Maharishi Effect, in particular, the attitudes expressed by the 
editor of Yale's Journal of Conflict Resolution.)

Now, what about individual choices? Those who trust MMY and have the 
money have every right to build according to SV. If they feel good 
about the result, this may be for any number of reasons. But, 
whatever the cause, we should delight in their happiness – that is, 
unless this line of reasoning should result in undue manipulation or 
suffering; in which case, we have a sociological problem (like those 
found in recognized cults), and not an architectural one.

--- In, akasha_108 <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 
> --- In, anonymousff <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 
> > But Einstein's ideas evolved out of the very science that later 
> > embraced them and much later found evidence for them.
> > 
> > The SV mythology does not arise from such an evolution. 
> > do not necessarily want to take any old pie in the sky 
> > for how things work and test it rigorously.
> By that standard, Science should have rejected August Kekule's
> discovery of the benzene molecule -- made of six atoms of carbon
> chained together to form a ring, plus six atoms of hydrogen, one 
> carbon. He "discovered' it in a dream -- of a snake biting its 
> Did the scientific community exclaim "My God!!! We can't accept 
> hypothesis, no matter how well it explains observed phenomenon. It
> CAME from a dream!!!. OMG. A dream. Science cannot be based on
> dreams!!!!!"
> In practice, Science doesn't give a snake's ass about where a good
> hypothesis came from, as long as it bears fruit. 
> A lot of good science comes from analogies. Analogies don't prove
> anything, by themselves, but they can be a ferile ground for
> brainstorming and hypothesis generation. Analogies are "soft" not 
> science.
> And actually a lot of Enisteins work  did not come from labored
> pondering of existing scientific equations. A major source of his
> insights came from pondering the ramifications of "thought
> experiemnts". Such as, "what will happen if I shine a flashlight 
> standing on top of a train going 90% the speed of light?" -- more
> specifically, what will be the speed of that flashlight? Or the 
> paradox -- how will twins "differ in age" if one travels near the
> speed of light and returns to earth. It was the paradoxes found in
> these thought experiements that forced Einstein to think of deeper
> explanations. He didn't come upon Relativity by simply tinkering 
>  Newton's equations.

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