Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Atlantis reborn

I have seen the light.
What do you get when you mix mythology with technology, passion with spirituality, Gods with history, and ordinary people with extraordinary ideas?
Atlantis reborn!
I have just suggested this concept to a friend of mine who has a truly wonderful idea he wants to take to the world, to engage us all in conversations that will shape our future.
Atlantis can be anything, but when you talk to people about it, they all have this wonderful image in their minds about a long-gone mystical place that was supposed to be the epicentre of technology and wonder in its time.
And they all exhibit a certain sense of longing - many people seem to have a strong emotional tie to the stories and concepts surrounding the Atlantis myth.
In fact, at least three scientific teams are currently searching for the lost City - as have many people before them.
Atlantis tugs at our Mind, pulling us towards something fantastical and wonderful, drawing us in as if it where the very centre of gravity that shapes our world.
What does Atlantis mean to you?
Hope? Discovery?
I'm going to start the Atlantis Revolution, create a web site, and a dedicated blog. Through you, I am going to find Atlantis!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Magic versers Mystery

There have been a lot of blogs and articles lately dealing with the apparent chasm between science and behaviour. Terms like "hard" and "soft" science have been thrown around with gay abandon, and in some instances outright derision has been shown by the "true bloods" of the scientific community towards behaviourists and psychologists. All of which is fair game, I suppose in the day of 3 second attention spans and the "click'n'go" mentality.
But if I read history correctly, the greatest developments in science in the last 100 years have all come from "mental experiments" - a term coined to describe Einstein's daily challenge to his peers while they were defining their thoughts on Quantum Mechanics back in the 1930's.
When you get into the blogs that attack the "soft" sciences, you often find barbs like "frivolous", and "not worthwhile", and even "trivial".
Yet the whole basis of the scientific method is that first you think about a problem, define it, create a postulation, then work out a testing method to disprove your theory.
All of this is the application of your Mind - before you start to initiate the "science" bit.
Social science works exactly the same way - all that really differs is the construction and mechanics of the testing method.
What I find really interesting is in the least few days, the LHC has produced its first data in the attempt to prove and measure the Higgs particle - they have called it the "first ZZ event".
When you read the detail, it is stated that "you can't see the particle, only the trail left by its passing", and "there are other events that could create the same data".
A definite lack of certainty here, yet billions of dollars have been and will continue to be invested in the outcome.
Why? Is it because it is a "serious" application of the scientific method rather than a "frivolous" one?
From the report, and I quote, ".... believed to provide all particles with mass, the Higgs boson is the last missing piece of the Standard Model of particle physics".
Which takes us to gravity, because according to the physicists, without mass gravity has nothing to work on.
There will always be a clash of personalities in the world of science, the very behaviours that make a good scientist almost guarantee that they will not be good "people" people.
But advances in the "soft" sciences are teaching us every day how we can live better lives, create better relationships, and be more "at one" with our environment.
Frivolous maybe, but definitely not soft!
And at the end of the day, no more predictable than a serious experiment!