Monthly Archives: February 2013

On time and nonsense…


Niagra River, Canada

Here are two videos related to the topic of the relevance of philosophy.  The first is a debate on time.  The debate takes on a familiar form.  A physicist claims science advanced our knowledge of time to a degree that philosophy did not.  And, not surprisingly, any additional morsels of knowledge about the structure of time will come from science, not philosophy.  Not so fast say the philosophers…time, a human experience, cannot be understood fully in the process of becoming.  Time is one of the topics in science that continues to fascinate me.  As the physicist indicated, time is a real variable – not an abstract concept (as Einstein revealed).  It’s probably more accurate to think of space-time.  What’s also interesting is the inability of science to appreciate the subtle problem of defining time solely in measurable terms that align with scientific pursuits.  All definitions of time derive from human constructs – and they carry with them fundamental questions that remain unanswered.

In the second video, Jonathan Ree does a great job of Introducing Ludwig Wittgenstein (in what looks like a tee-pee!).  Anyway, Wittgenstein attacked traditional metaphysics as well – although he left room for nonsense.  I’m not going to explain it here – it’s easier to watch Ree’s elucidation of this topic.  In short, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”


Tuscan Heights

Tuscan Heights

Two interesting articles that deal with data and interdisciplinary collaboration.

First up:  Big Data and Science

Next Up:  Mice mislead humans on key diseases

The second article on mice is extremely interesting for a variety of reasons.  First, the findings in this research demonstrate how easily assumptions creep into the most rigorous areas of science.  Second, the research implies that other areas of medical research may succumb to the same problem.