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Ralph



Ralph wanted to tell us about some crackpot scientists.


From Ralph

Great site. Keep up the good work. I have some suggestions you might want to follow up on.

A favorite category of mine is great scientists that are also nuts about certain topics. Here are a couple:

1. Roy (?) Kurzweil (sp?). Anyway, this guy is a true genius, a world leader in electronic music, speech recognition software, several other things. He has lately come out with a book about how to live forever! I read a review, I think in 'Dr. Dobb's Journal', the top programmers magazine. Basically his plan is to take a couple hundred vitamins a day until they figure out how to cure everything.

2. Bill Joy, chief scientist at Sun computer, has written a book about how "gray nanotech robot dust" (or something like that) is about to take over the world.

3. Stephan Wolfram. This guy created the original Mathematica program as a grad student. It is truly amazing. He also writes the entire Mathematica book, which is about 1500 pages and packed with knowledge. He is also a real physicist from MIT who is a big deal in addition to Wolfram Research. Anyway, he took a year or two off to think, and came out with a book "A new kind of Science" in which he claims all science should be done using "finite autonomia", which happen to be convenient to work with using Mathematica. His actual results were all done decades ago with primitive computers, or none. He makes all sorts of outlandish claims about what it all means.


4. A related Note: About 30 years ago I was a physics grad student. Before the internet, quacks would print up books with their crackpot ideas and send them to physics departments. Some were nicely bound, quite expensive. I collected a few. One that I recall had a new physics all based on the fact that the square root of 10 is really pi. I am sure that one is still up in my attic.


That's about it,

Ralph Kelsey
Ohio Univ Comp Sci Dept
Athens, Ohio.

Eh, I don't really agree with some of these choices, but to each his own.
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