Showing posts from July, 2012

Love Your Taxes

"And so Nancy said 'let them eat cake dear', and I said 'the only cake those pinko commie unionists are gettin' is yellowcake..."

Often you hear a fun quote, only to discover later that it's wrongly attributed, or a fiction, like the majority of factoids in circulation on any given day. So I'll cautiously say that I've always loved the wisdom of Max Planck's (paraphrased) "science progresses one funeral at a time." He did say it, although the words are slightly different, and it's a brilliant comment on the nature of ideas. Unlike the quaint family portrait of science always trotted out, where it invents hypotheses that are then rigorously scrutinised by peers and experiment, science is as much of a festering pit of personal ambition and outright stupidity as any other human pursuit. Which is what Planck saw, that you can point 0ut the most obvious flaws in logic and evidence behind any existing idea, but generally those ideas sta…