Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Discuss 19

'It is impossible to convince a person of any true thing that will cost him money.'

'First Theorem of Science' - either George Chapline or Robert B.Laughlin


  1. The company i worked for spent a fortune on preparing for the Y2K bug.

  2. "The company i worked for spent a fortune on preparing for the Y2K bug."

    But it wasn't true!!!!!!!!!
    Oh, the irony .......

  3. That doesn't even stand up for a second. There wouldn't be much of a market in - as just one example - prophylactics if it was true.

  4. And it's not even that funny. I wonder if George Chapline and Robert B.Laughlin each blame the other for it.

  5. Then there is David B. Resnik's statement, "Modern science is big business," which in his introduction to his book The Price of Truth, was preceded by this:

    The love of money is the root of all evil; which while some have coveted after they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
    ---Timothy 6:10 (KJV)

    Of course, organized religion is big business as well.

    I wonder if there is a mathematical formula for this, that as so much money comes in, so much truth goes out.

    T = MC-squared

    T being truth, M being money, C being a constant.

    One might be tempted to write this as

    -T = MC-squared


    -T = L

    L being the lie.

    However, this is not the case. Because when money is present, truth has evaporated in some proportion (and, significantly, vice versa). Therefore in place of positive truth, comes the money.

    Now, let's factor in evil.

    If M = E


    T = EC-squared

    "Scientific" information is either in the form of truth, or evil, which has as its root money. Same with religion, of course, but our context is the First Theorem of Science.

  6. Hi Brit,

    Here's the quote Robert B. Laughlin:

    My colleague George Chapline likes to quote what he calls the First Theorem of Science, which he attributes to me, but which I remember distinctly as coming from him: It is impossible to convince a person of any true thing that will cost him money.

  7. that's really why I stopped buying newspapers.

  8. It makes a little more sense when we recall that money is a marker for status.

  9. First theorem of Science.

    Ninth law of O'Leary dynamics (you can fool all of the people all of the time).....

    WSJ: Some of your savings—such as charging for food and checked bags—once seemed shocking, but are now standard. How hard has it been to get people to change their expectations about what they are paying for?

    Mr. O'Leary: I think it's remarkably easy if you're open and fair with the passengers. We're open about our policies: You're not getting free food. We don't want your check-in bags. We're not going to put you up in hotels because your grammy died.

    But they understand the trade-off is we are going to guarantee you the lowest airfares in Europe, by a distance. And we are going to guarantee you the fewest delays, fewest cancellations and fewest lost bags.

    And that's what people really want—affordable, safe air transport from A to B. It's a commodity. It's not some life-changing sexual experience, which is what the other high-fare airlines have tried to convince you that it is.

    From the Wall St Journal.

  10. "The company i worked for spent a fortune on preparing for the Y2K bug."

    The amusing thing is that so many people were claiming that the Y2K bug was a fake because the world didn't end. Well, yes, that is why we spent so much time fixing it... so the world wouldn't end.

    These are the same people claiming that the Swine Flu epidemic is a fraud because 25 million people haven't died yet. Maybe a lot of people getting flu shots has something to do with stopping the spread?