Prologue: Stormclouds : London, April 1900 -- Quantum of action: The most strenuous work of my life : Berlin, December 1900 ; Annus Mirabilis : Bern, March 1905 ; A little bit of reality : Manchester, April 1913 ; la Comédie Française : Paris, September 1923 ; A strangely beautiful interior : Helgoland, June 1925 ; The self-rotating electron : Leiden, November 1925 ; A late erotic outburst : Swiss Alps, Christmas 1925 -- Quantum interpretation: Ghost field : Oxford, (...) August 1926 ; All this damned quantum jumping : Copenhagen, October 1926 ; The uncertainty principle : Copenhagen, February 1927 ; The 'Kopenhagener geist' : Copenhagen, June 1927 ; There is no quantum world : Lake Como, September 1927 -- Quantum debate: The debate commences : Brussels, October 1927 ; An absolute wonder : Cambridge, Christmas 1927 ; The photon box : Brussels, October 1930 ; A bolt from the blue : Princeton, May 1935 ; The paradox of Schrödinger's cat : Oxford, August 1935 -- Interlude: The first war of physics : Christmas 1938-August 1945 -- Quantum fields: Shelter Island : Long Island, June 1947 ; Pictorial semi-vision thing : New York, January 1949 ; A beautiful idea : Princeton, February 1954 ; Some strangeness in the proportion : Rochester, August 1960 ; Three quarks for Muster Mark! : New York, March 1963 ; The 'God particle' : Cambridge, Massachusetts, Autumn 1967 -- Quantum particles: Deep inelastic scattering : Stanford, August 1968 ; Of charm and weak neutral currents : Harvard, February 1970 ; The magic of colour : Princeton/Harvard, April 1973 ; The November revolution : Long Island/Stanford, November 1974 ; Intermediate vector bosons : Geneva, January/June 1983 ; The standard model : Geneva, September 2003 -- Quantum reality: Hidden variable : Princeton, Spring 1951 ; Bertlmann's socks : Boston, September 1964 ; The Aspect experiments : Paris, September 1982 ; The quantum eraser : Baltimore, January 1999 ; Lab cats : Stony Brook/Delft, July 2000 ; The persistent illusion : Vienna, December 2006 -- Quantum cosmology: The wavefunction of the universe : Princeton, July 1966 ; Hawking radiation : Oxford, February 1974 ; The first superstring revolution : Aspen, August 1984 ; Quanta of space and time : Santa Barbara, February 1986 ; Crisis? What crisis? : Durham, Summer 1994 -- A quantum of solace? : Geneva, March 2010. (shrink)
Using data on the ‘career’ paths of one thousand ‘leading scientists’ from 1450 to 1900, what is conventionally called the ‘rise of modern science’ is mapped as a changing geography of scientific practice in urban networks. Four distinctive networks of scientific practice are identified. A primate network centred on Padua and central and northern Italy in the sixteenth century expands across the Alps to become a polycentric network in the seventeenth century, which in turn dissipates into a weak polycentric (...) network in the eighteenth century. The nineteenth century marks a huge change of scale as a primate network centred on Berlin and dominated by German-speaking universities. These geographies are interpreted as core-producing processes in Wallerstein’s modern world-system; the rise of modern scientific practice is central to the development of structures of knowledge that relate to, but do not mirror, material changes in the system. (shrink)
What, if anything, has faith to do with intention?1 By ‘faith’ I have in mind the attitude described by William James: Suppose...that I am climbing in the Alps, and have had the ill-luck to work myself into a position from which the only escape is by a terrible leap. Being without similar experience, I have no evidence of my ability to perform it successfully; but hope and confidence in myself make me sure I shall not miss my aim, and (...) nerve my feet to execute what without those subjective emotions would perhaps have been impossible. But suppose that, on the contrary, the emotions of fear and mistrust preponderate; or suppose that...I feel it would be sinful to act upon an assumption unverified by previous experience,—why, then I shall hesitate so long that at last, exhausted and trembling, and launching myself in a moment of despair, I miss my foothold and roll into the abyss....There are then cases where faith creates its own verification. Believe, and you shall be right, for you shall save yourself; doubt, and you shall again be right, for you shall perish.2.. (shrink)
Nietzsche’s cardinal ideas - God is Dead, Übermensch and Eternal Return of the Same - are approached here from the perspective of psychiatric phenomenology rather than that of philosophy. A revised diagnosis of the philosopher’s mental illness as manic-depressive psychosis forms the premise for discussion. Nietzsche conceived the above thoughts in close proximity to his first manic psychotic episode, in the summer of 1881, while staying in Sils-Maria (Swiss Alps). It was the anniversary of his father’s death, and also (...) of the break-up of his friendship with Wagner, the most important relationship in his life. Despite having been acquainted with these ideas from reading philosophy and literature, Nietzsche created them de novo and imbued them with very personal meaning. Surprisingly, he never defined or explained his cardinal thoughts in his published writings, perhaps because rationally he could not. A resultant hermeneutic vacuum provoked an avalanche of interpretations in secondary literature. But could these ideas be delusions? A current definition of delusion is challenged, and an attempt is made at a limited comparison between delusion, scientific/philosophical doctrine and poetic creation. It is also argued that psychosis is a way of re-living trauma, and delusions can therefore be seen as a form of reasoning that helps to make sense of the world in a state of psychotic disintegration. Far from being false beliefs, delusions are a true expression of one’s innermost feelings and pain, albeit indirectly. The relationship between early parental loss and repeated trauma, psychosis and creativity is also explored. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 8, Edition 1 May 2008. (shrink)
(1) The basis of factionalism (in the ALP and also in the Liberal and other parties) is not ideology but PATRONAGE, i.e. the ability of factional leaders to confer jobs, honours and other good things on themselves and their favoured supporters. If you want a political career, join a faction and make yourself useful.
As part of a survey of the biological history of Alpine populations, the lineages of all the families of the Vallouise valley (a French of the Hautes Alpes) have been reconstructed over several centuries. The genealogies have been included in a computerized population record, known as 20th centuries)Canadian programme Analypop. Most of the professions of the family heads were included in the files. In this study, various profession groups were identified and their descents determined over successive generations. In this mountain (...) area, where over 92% of marriages took place among relatives during the 19th century, the profession groups modulated their descents according to chosen strategies, sometimes with considerable differences among groups but with a remarkable consistency of behaviour. Moreover, there was weak interpenetration in the descents of each profession at both the 2nd and 3rd generations. (shrink)
This piece, framed by sight and sound, is an (un)written essay on repetition, memory, rhythm, and marks made by the passage of time. The authorship condenses at once in the music, the initial creation, and then in the movement of the image, created with the memory of music spooling out in the silence of a train through the Rhône-Alpes. The result, an attempt— une tentative —a temptation, marks moments of feeling kept aloft through seeing what was once heard and marking (...) the passage of thought through memory's repetition. Do we remember what we listened to when we see what we saw when we listened? What remains calls back. Are you still there? Responding to thoughts, memories arise with rhythmic pulses in a mute endeavor. The voice we answer evaporates as we turn to greet it. We can replay but not repeat. We repeat without reporting, calling up a memory— une histoire —repeatedly, searching the scene. Each time new evidence, new non-evidence, new absence. Sight and sound. A parting with no meeting. Tentatively embracing the past, a passing memory in the present, big with its future. Its flowing rhythm that we take apart and keep a part of imparts a reminiscence which shapes as it passes, always departing. We think directly as the activity of memory marks the tempo. Interrupting our thoughts in their repetition, memory ignites with the slightest sound, smell, touch. A synaptic explosion which reshapes our memory of how we once thought, if we thought. Perhaps we only felt, but reflection impresses it upon present thought. Once, we have thought—or at least that is how I remember it, how you told me about it. (shrink)