Just a quick note on your main example - in math, and I'm guessing in theoretic areas of CS as well, we often find that searching for fundamental obstructions to a solution is the very thing that allows us to find the solution. This is true for a number of reasons. First, if we find no obstructions,...(read more)
Thank you for all these interesting references. I enjoyed reading all of them, and rereading in Thurston's case.
Do people pathologize Grothendieck as having gone crazy? I mostly think people think of him as being a little bit strange. The story I heard was that because of philosophical disagreemen...(read more)
One thing that most scientists in these soft scientists already have a good grasp on, but a lot of laypeople do not, is the idea of appropriately normalizing parameters. For instance dividing something by the mass of the body, or the population of a nation, to do comparisons between individuals/nati...(read more)
Conservation gives a local symmetry but there may not be a global symmetry.
For instance, you can imagine a physical system with no forces at all, so everything is conserved. But there are still some parameters that define the location of the particles. Then the physical system is locally very symm...(read more)
Do you often read physicist's response to claims of FTL signalling? It seems to me like there is not much value in reading these, per the quote.
No, you should focus on founding a research field, which mainly requires getting other people interested in the research field.
I don't think that's really relevant to the original quote.
True, but that doesn't mean we're laboring in the dark. It just means we've got our eyes closed.
I would be interested in a post about how to acquire political knowledge!
10% isn't that bad as long as you continue the programs that were found to succeed and stop the programs that were found to fail. Come up with 10 intelligent-sounding ideas, obtain expert endorsements, do 10 randomized controlled trials, get 1 significant improvement. Then repeat.