Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fighting the world is tough

a great story on the struggles of a molecular scientist Ted Steele, who seem to suffer setbacks after setbacks in his quest to convince the world of his ideas.

...and a few thoughts flashed through my mind while watching the vid.

1) Science acts as a very strict gatekeeper between mainstream ideas and everything else on the fringes. With the modern-day rigour now demanded on all research, it is not easy for any new ideas to gain membership. And that is good. If not, we would be wasting valuable resources entertaining all sort of drivels from flat earthers and creationists.

2) If you want to fight the world, be prepared to get hurt. Perhaps a lifetime of torment, and then be cast into oblivion.

3) Not all scientists had it so tough as Ted Steele. Perhaps this is the difference between true geniuses and mere mortals. Geniuses are always recognised early, and worshipped accordingly. Look at Richard Feynman, whose ideas had always tended to be accepted willingly by the scientific community. At age 20, he was already invited to participate in the Manhattan Project. And by age 47, he was already a world famous nobel laureate. That's the mark of a true genius--a blessed life. Einstein had it very tough with his theory of relativity. Perhaps Einstein was right when he said he wasn't a genius, merely someone who thought a lot.

4) Sometimes you bring trouble onto yourself. Ted Steele's uncompromising stance and controversial headlines may have invited the vitrol directed personally at him. In his quest to convince the world of his ideas, he may have allowed his ego to take control of the proceedings. If the key word here is convince, he may do well to adopt a softer approach.


avinash said...
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avinash said...

One great sportsman while being jeered by the crowd for not performing, had stuck out his 2 middle fingers at them. It only led to more jeering wherever he went after that. Recently, he said that, on hindsight, he could have just smiled at them and won their support back.

Well, each has his own way. Feynman had a great sense of humor and I guess that's why he was accepted. But personally, I don't believe in the saying, "If you can't fight them, join them". Sometimes it's a question of self-respect, which to some may seem as Ego :)

Btw, didn't know u have again started blogging. Good to have u back

Required field left blank said...

So you don't subscribe to "If you can't fight them, join them"? Then you must be prepared for some pain along the way.

I get angry with the obscene bank trading profits too. One way is to buy their shares. Same thing with the indiscriminate price hikes that MRT carry out. Join them. Buy their shares.

avinash said...

I don't know why everyone hates the banks for making obscene profits. I can't see any other reason than envy here.

Btw, on a lighter note, when I had quit my job at Tata Motors, I was really angry with the company. Though I had recommended my dad and some friends to buy their shares, I myself didn't. At that time, it seemed to me as hypocrisy if I'd have bought them. The shares went up from 400 levels to 900 levels. lol....

Required field left blank said... last we have a way to quantify the price of your dignity: the opportunity cost of missing out on Tata.

As for the banks, yes, envy plays a part, but more than that. Using option theory to explain the situation, they have bought a call from the public. And yes, they get to keep the upside as per the rules. But where are the premiums? The public has essentially given it to them for free.
(wasn't my it off Emmanuel Derman's blog)

avinash said...

I didn't exactly get the comparision though. Derman might have written this to sound like an intellectual (I'm not denying that he is one). What do the banks owe to the public except honest dealing? I do hate people like the AMD chief, Galleon fund who are not worth being in this business. But anyone who has made his money by fair means is not under any obligation to give anything back to the public. If they are taking up social initiatives (ML, Goldman, etc everyone does), then it should be considered as a bonus by the people. Charity is not their job nor the public's right.

Required field left blank said...

Haha, you are a true anti-hero.