"What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism." - G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I've been tagged (by Matt) with the fifth sentence meme. (quite some time ago apparently, but I just noticed it now)

1. Pick up the nearest book
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the next three sentences
5. Tag five people and acknowledge who tagged you

So here goes:

The irreversible character of discovery suggests that no solution of a problem can be accredited as a discovery if it is achieved by a procedure following definite rules. For such a procedure would be reversible in the sense that it could be traced back stepwise to its beginning and repeated at will any number of times, like any arithmetical computation. Accordingly, any strictly formalized procedure would also be excluded as a means of achieving discovery."

Purely out of curiosity at what books people have near their computer, I'll tag Jon, Timmo, Bryan and Greg. But none of them should feel any obligation to respond.



Anonymous Bryan said...

Books I have by my computer:
*The Bible (I'm not holy or anything...I've just been working on a sermon).
*"A Many Colored Kingdom" (for class)
*"Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament"
* "The Dangerous Duty of Delight"

12:59 PM

Blogger Timmo said...

Turns out the nearest book to my computer is Feynman's QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. The book is a popular introduction to a subject called 'quantum electrodynamics'. It's very pleasant and readable. I recommend it!

Here goes:

"(There are four components -- corresponding to the amplitude to absorb each of the different kinds of polarization (X, Y, Z, T) the photon might be in -- technically called the vector and scalar electromagnetic potentials. From combinations of these, classical physics derives more convenient components called the electric and magnetic fields.)

In a situation where the electric and magnetic fields are varying slowly enough, the amplitude for an electron to travel over a very long distance depends upon the path it takes."

1:09 PM

Blogger revvvvvvvd said...

I just posted my 123 from Peter Enns's "Inspiration and Incarnation", but something demonic happened, and now I have to re-do it. However, now the nearest book to me is Alan Musgrave's "Essays on Realism and Rationalism." So, here goes:

It is, however, the view which van Frassen calls the "realist demand for explanation" and attacks. He formulates the demand innocently enough as "every theory should explain every fact in its domain" and then takes "every fact" to include the theory itself. Only a theory which was somehow self-explanatory could meet this demand.

The other books on the desk are:
Peter Enns's "Inspiration and Incarnation" (which I've not read).
Rod A. Martin's "Psychology of Humor"
N. T. Wright's "The Last Word:
David L. Hamilton's Social Cognition
Bless et al.'s Social Cognition
Patrick McNamara's Where Science and God Meet Vol. 1.

5:17 PM

Blogger Timmo said...

It looks like I forgot to say what books are on my desk (here at home).

Landau & Lifshitz -- Mechanics

Landau & Lifshitz -- The Classical Theory of Fields

Landau & Lifshitz -- Quantum Mechanics - Non-relativistic Theory

Fetter & Walecka -- Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua

All textbooks.

8:42 PM


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