The Light of Affectivity, Tower of Dreams - Human Action - Touch & Information

Posted by ProjectC 
** Plasma physicist Hannes Alfvén & physicist Enrico Fermi

"Alfvén's discovery of hydromagnetic waves is another example of an original idea having a far-reaching impact on multidisciplinary science. On purely physical grounds, Alfvén concluded that an electromagnetic wave could propagate through a highly conducting medium, such as the ionized gas of the sun, or in plasmas anywhere. However, in 1942 when Alfvén published his discovery, Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism was a well-established edifice, a subject for textbook pedagogy and engineering applications. It was "well known" that electromagnetic waves could penetrate only a very short distance into a conductor and that, as the resistance of a conductor became smaller and smaller, the depth of penetration by an electromagnetic wave would go to zero. Thus, with an ideal electrical conductor, there could be no penetration of electromagnetic radiation. But Alfvén was proposing a form of electromagnetic wave that could propagate in a perfect conductor with no attenuation or reflection. Alfvén's discovery was generally dismissed with such remarks as "if such waves were possible, Maxwell himself would have discovered them."

His work was not recognized as both correct and significant until six years later, when he gave several lectures on hydrodynamic waves during his first visit to the United States. An oversimplified statement of what occurred has been provided by University of Arizona professor Alex Dessler, former editor of the prestigious journal, Geophysical Research Letters. "During Alfvén's visit he gave a lecture at the University of Chicago, which was attended by [Enrico] Fermi. As Alfvén described his work, Fermi nodded his head and said, 'Of course.' The next day the entire world of physics said. 'Oh. of course.'"
-- Anthony L. Peratt, 'Dean of the Plasma Dissidents', The World & I, May 1988, pp. 190-197.

** Enrico Fermi

Toward the end of his life, Enrico realized his faith in society at large to make wise choices about nuclear technology was questionable ("Fermi Remembered", Cronin, ed., University of Chicago Press, 2004). Enrico Fermi said:

<blockquote>"Some of you may ask, what is the good of working so hard merely to collect a few facts which will bring no pleasure except to a few long-haired professors who love to collect such things and will be of no use to anybody because only few specialists at best will be able to understand them? In answer to such question(s) I may venture a fairly safe prediction.

History of science and technology has consistently taught us that scientific advances in basic understanding have sooner or later led to technical and industrial applications that have revolutionized our way of life. It seems to me improbable that this effort to get at the structure of matter should be an exception to this rule. What is less certain, and what we all fervently hope, is that man will soon grow sufficiently adult to make good use of the powers that he acquires over nature.
" (Enrico Fermi, The Future of Nuclear Physics, unpublished address, Rochester, NY, January 10, 1953, EFP, box 53.)</blockquote>

His wife, Laura Fermi (1907–1977), early environmentalist, systems thinker, prolific writer and New York Times bestselling author of "Atoms in the Family: Life with Enrico Fermi, Architect of the Atomic Age" (University of Chicago Press, 1954) said, of our nuclear dilemma:
<blockquote>"But above all, there were the moral questions. I knew scientists had hoped that the bomb would not be possible, but there it was and it had already killed and destroyed so much. Was war or was science to be blamed? Should the scientists have stopped the work once they realized that a bomb was feasible? Would there always be war in the future? To these kinds of questions there is no simple answer." (Laura Fermi, "Reminiscences of Los Alamos", edited by Lawrence Badash)</blockquote>
-- Wikipedia, Enrico Fermi

** Inventor, mechanical and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla

"When Tesla returned from Colorado Springs to New York, he wrote a sensational article for Century Magazine. In this detailed, futuristic vision he described a means of tapping the sun's energy with an antenna. He suggested that it would be possible to control the weather with electrical energy. He predicted machines that would make war an impossibility. And he proposed a global system of wireless communications. To most people the ideas were almost incomprehensible, but Tesla was a man who could not be underestimated.

The article caught the attention of one of the world's most powerful men, J. P. Morgan. A frequent guest in Morgan's home, Tesla proposed a scheme that must have sounded like science fiction: a "world system" of wireless communications to relay telephone messages across the ocean; to broadcast news, music, stock market reports, private messages, secure military communications, and even pictures to any part of the world. "When wireless is fully applied the earth will be converted into a huge brain, capable of response in every one of its parts," Tesla told Morgan."
— Tower of Dreams —

Tesla was critical of Einstein's relativity work, calling it:
<blockquote>“...[a] magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king ... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists ...<a href="[en.wikipedia.org];[90]</a>”</blockquote>

Tesla also argued:
<blockquote>"I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties. It might as well be said that God has properties. He has not, but only attributes and these are of our own making. Of properties we can only speak when dealing with matter filling the space. To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view.<a href="[en.wikipedia.org];[91]</a>"</blockquote>

Tesla also believed that much of Albert Einstein's relativity theory had already been proposed by Ru&#273;er Boškovi&#263;, stating in an unpublished interview:
<blockquote>"...the relativity theory, by the way, is much older than its present proponents. It was advanced over 200 years ago by my illustrious countryman Ru&#273;er Boškovi&#263;, the great philosopher, who, not withstanding other and multifold obligations, wrote a thousand volumes of excellent literature on a vast variety of subjects. Boškovi&#263; dealt with relativity, including the so-called time-space continuum ...'.<a href="[en.wikipedia.org];[92]</a>"</blockquote>
-- <a href="[en.wikipedia.org], Nikola Tesla, Field theories</a>

** Austrian Economist and philosopher Ludwig von Mises - Human Action

Praxeology is not concerned with the changing content of acting, but with its pure form and its categorial structure. The study of the accidental and environmental features of human action is the task of history. (Page 47)


The course of history is determined by the actions of individuals and by the effects of these actions. The actions are determined by the value judgments of the acting individuals, i.e., the ends which they were eager to attain, and by the means which they applied for the attainment of these ends. The choice of the means is an outcome of the whole body of technological knowledge of the acting individuals. It is in many instances possible to appreciate the effects of the means applied from the point of view of praxeology or of the natural sciences. But there remain a great many things for the elucidation of which no such help is available.

The specific task of history for which it uses a specific method is the study of these value judgments and of the effects of the actions as far as they cannot be analyzed by the teachings of all other branches of knowledge. The historian’s genuine problem is always to interpret things as they happened. But he cannot solve this problem on the ground of the theorems provided by all other sciences alone. There always remains at the bottom of each of his problems something which resists analysis at the hand of these teachings of other sciences. It is these individual and unique characteristics of each event which are studied by the understanding. (Page 49)


The scope of understanding is the mental grasp of phenomena which cannot be totally elucidated by logic, mathematics, praxeology, and the natural sciences to the extent that they cannot be cleared up by all these sciences. It must never contradict the teachings of these other branches of knowledge.16

16. Cf. Ch. V. Langlois and Ch. Seignobos, Introduction to the Study of History, trans. by G.G. Berry (London, 1925), pp. 205-208. (Page 50)


While this is generally admitted with regard to the natural sciences, there are some historians who adopt another attitude with regard to economic theory. They try to oppose to the theorems of economics an appeal to documents allegedly proving things incompatible with these theorems. They do not realize that complex phenomena can neither prove nor disprove any theorem and therefore cannot bear witness against any statement of a theory. Economic history is possible only because there is an economic theory capable of throwing light upon economic actions. If there were no economic theory, reports concerning economic facts would be nothing more than a collection of unconnected data open to any arbitrary interpretation. (Page 51)


8. Conception and Understanding

The task of the sciences of human action is the comprehension of the meaning and relevance of human action. They apply for this purpose two different epistemological procedures: conception and understanding. Conception is the mental tool of praxeology; understanding is the specific mental tool of history.

The cognition of praxeology is conceptual cognition. It refers to what is necessary in human action. It is cognition of universals and categories.

The cognition of history refers to what is unique and individual in each event or class of events. It analyzes first each object of its studies with the aid of the mental tools provided by all other sciences. Having achieved this preliminary work, it faces its own specific problem; the elucidation of the unique and individual features of the case by means of the understanding.


As was mentioned above, it has been asserted that history can never be scientific because historical understanding depends on the historian’s subjective value judgments. Understanding, it is maintained, is only a euphemistic term for arbitrariness. The writings of historians are always one-sided and partial; they do not report the facts; they distort them. (Page 51)


Changes in the teachings of the nonhistorical sciences consequently must involve a rewriting of history. Every generation must treat anew the same historical problems because they appear to it in a different light. The theological world view of older times led to a treatment of history other than the theorems of modern natural science. Subjective economics produces historical works very different from those based on mercantilist doctrines. (Page 53)

As far as divergences in the books of historians stem from these disagreements, they are not an outcome of alleged vagueness and precariousness in historical studies. They are, on the contrary, the result of the lack of unanimity in the realm of those other sciences which are popularly called certain and exact. (Page 54)
-- Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


"<em>Touching is an important means for information, exchange and communication. It is a form of communication that is very important for living and surviving. Touching is essential in our life. To put it more strongly, without touching we cannot live. A specific form of touching is the touch between air and lungs. If we cannot touch the air that surrounds us to breathe vital elements into our lungs, we cannot survive. If we would not feel the touch of the air that becomes hot when nearing a fire, we would burn. If we would not feel an extreme cold, we would freeze.

These trivial and extreme examples emphasise the fact that – in addition to the direct touch - we can also touch our surroundings. We are also in contact with our environment. You could say that the air around us is also an object, even though we do not experience it in this way. This shows that our entire life consists of touching and being touched. We have a permanent exchange with our environment.

Without this we would not even know that we are here, because in and through this exchange we experience our existence. The same and likewise essential exchange also takes place in the psycho-tactile and affectively conforming contact. It is an affective exchange that is essential for our development into a psychologically balanced person.</em>"
( <a href="[www.haptonomie.com]; - <a href="[www.haptonomy.com]; )


"The conventional view is that matter is primary, and that information, if it exists, emerges from matter. But what if information is primary, and matter is the secondary phenomenon! After all, the same information can have many different material representations in biology, in physics, and in psychology: DNA, RNA; DVD's, videotapes; long-term memory, short-term memory, nerve impulses, hormones. The material representation is irrelevant, what counts is the information itself. The same software can run on many machines.

Information is a really revolutionary new kind of concept, and recognition of this fact is one of the milestones of this age.
-- Gregory Chaitin, The Unknowable, Chapter 7

...The Good is The Way

"...The Good that this other person represents or can represent, is a fundamental acpect of the haptonomic approach."
-- Dr. Frans Veldman, What is Haptonomy?

"They only lack the light to show the way."
-- Jor-El </blockquote>

The Light of Affectivity shall show the way.