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Re: [ontolog-forum] Time representation

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 01:28:32 -0500
Message-id: <47998190.6020200@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

The direction of research, pure and applied, has always
been affected by popular fads, personalities, and sources
of funding.    (02)

> I think the era of Eddington-sized personalities being able
> to bend an entire field is now over in the hard sciences.    (03)

I see no evidence to support that claim.  Chomsky certainly
distorted the direction of research in linguistics for over
40 years.  (Of course, one might call linguistics a "soft"
science.)  But even in physics and mathematics, the people
who get into prominent positions have a strong effect on
what papers get accepted, what colleagues get promoted,
what publications get cited, what projects get funded, etc.    (04)

One might claim that good ideas eventually get accepted, but
sometimes that may take many decades.  In physics, for example,
geometric algebras are now widely accepted for their power and
generality.  But they were published in the late 19th century
by Grassmann and Clifford and were ignored for over a century.    (05)

David Hestenes is the physicist who revived them and demonstrated
their value for simplifying and generalizing the formulation of
a wide range of physical theories.  See his talk when he was
awarded the Oersted medal (at the age of 70):    (06)

    http://modelingnts.la.asu.edu/pdf/OerstedMedalLecture.pdf    (07)

Geometric algebras are now commonly used as the basic math for
doing string theory and other advanced representations.  But
for a period of about 20 years, Hestenes had a very hard time
in getting his papers accepted for publication.    (08)

John    (09)

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