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Friday, June 22, 2012

The Time Routine

  I’ve been wondering, lately, if some of my ideas are ahead of their time.  Two examples of this:  robots are expensive, and open source novels haven’t been successfully monetized.  I have full confidence that the things I write about here have SOME possibility of coming to pass, but will it be in my lifetime? 

  History is funny that way.  The history of science -- even more so.  How many times has a person with an accurate idea been scoffed at, only to be proven right by the progression of knowledge?  I’m not saying I’m a great scientist; I’m just using the examples that I have at my disposal.  We often think that we’ve entered an age of perfect knowledge where only the best ideas receive attention, but I don’t believe we’ve ever reached that point.  I often think that modern science, for all its wonders, might be farther from the fundamentals of the scientific method than science in the 20th Century, but I never see that thought gaining much traction.  It might be because business and culture are more receptive to the potential of technology -- but does all that money and interest really help us understand the universe?

  How many times have we seen this headline?  The historic moment when the Voyager spacecraft officially “leaves” the Solar System would be an important event, if we knew precisely when it would come.  It was announced that the exit would be imminent before, but then the rate of change in the factors we consider characteristic of the Solar System -- as Voyager moves farther away from the sun -- was smaller than expected.  Now, it’s greater than expected.  The more scientists are wrong in public promises, the less people trust science.  So, why not simply announce when the Voyager probe has exited the Solar System, and then let history document the process afterward?  The attention is a distraction from the real down-and-dirty WORK of science:  the solid routine of observation, analysis, and progress toward a conclusion.  There’s nothing worse than a highly-publicized, failed attempt to get ahead of time…

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