Design Engineer in mechanics,

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Can we question the great thinkers of the past, will people even allow this? To change someone's mind is ALMOST impossible.

I love the scientists and philosophers that came before me and in no way do I assume I am smarter than anyone in the world, past, present, future. However in order to finish the work they started we may have to prove them wrong. Some of these ideas have become the truth we know.
If I were to ask Albert Einstein if mass becomes irrelevant at the speed of light would his theory be different? If I asked Issac Newton to explain meters per second squared (m/s²) could he or would it be better explained s/m²?
I believe in gravity and the mass equivalence equation, I just think we have to explain them so that everyone understands. These were just ideas a couple of years ago, relatively speaking, along with the center of the universe and the Earth being flat. Sure we have explained those over time but we are basically running out of time and people are getting very restless.
So we should probably start by finding ways to explain things.
Temperature is another issue we just have not explained to the masses well enough. If people actually understood that temperature was a battle to find equilibrium between all kinds of pressure systems, they could then understand why we have Acts of God and why some places probably should not have so many people.
The problem is not with what we will find out in the future because everyone is excited for that, the problem comes with explaining it to 7 billion people who have believed this other way their whole lives.

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    May 31 2012: If it feels impossible it may be because you have not yet marshalled a compeling case/argument or presented it in an approachable fashion. There are times, however, that the mind you need to change has already made a decision based on limited knowlege -it is at this point that self-reflection should click in- and you need to be asking yourself if they know something you do not.
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      May 31 2012: Poetic. Do you mind if your words are referenced in the Do Good Gauge collection of quotations?
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        May 31 2012: Thank you for asking. Feel free to post them anywhere that they could be helpful to someone.
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    May 16 2012: It is a generally accepted paradigm that each succeeding generation is superior than the preceding one. Genes mutate for the better. Therefore it is healthy & natural to question the past. Wisdom is the preserve of humanity, not heavens. And new theses are nothing but synthesis of the preexisting knowledge. Therefore it is advisable to stop at a reasonable point in past to avoid unnecessary confusion. Knowledge like humans & other material substances grow old and replaced. To get clarity on the subject please read Jean baulliard's works. Baudrillard says,"The Illusion of the End -When ice freezes, all the excrement rises to the surface. And so, when the dialectic was frozen, all the sacred excrement of the dialectic came to the surface. When the future is deep-frozen – and, indeed, even the present – we shall see all the excrement come up from the past.
    The problem then becomes one of waste. It is not just material substances, including nuclear ones, which pose a waste problem but also the defunct ideologies, bygone utopias, dead concepts and fossilized ideas which continue to pollute our mental space. Historical and intellectual refuse pose an even more serious problem than industrial waste. Who will rid us of the sedimentation of centuries of stupidity? As for history – that living lump of waste, that dying monster which, like the corpse in Ionesco, continues to swell after it has died – how are we to be rid of it? (Baudrillard 1994, p.26)
  • May 4 2012: We question them all the time. I don't buy into any of it. I realize that I am a human being, and I think with my own mind. I find mental nourishment in what others have thought before me. I find great ideas mixed with silly ideas by the same persons, I find them to be exactly like myself. For my self-respect, I don't just assume that if something was said by a great philosopher, or great scientist, or great whatever, from the past, it is thus true. Again. I am a human being and I think by myself. Spread the motto!
    • May 7 2012: You said that very well, sometimes I think people are like sheep and believe and think things are so because others do and it was written by someone. I question everything and know we have so much more to learn to know how this world really is. We still kill each other just like they did when the first humans walked this earth. I don't see that knowledge will every change that. Humans were designed to be flawed and all we can do is choose to harm or help others.
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    May 20 2012: We go back to the giants to review and build upon what they spent so much time thinking about. Time allowing them to articulate the thought far beyond our current state. Yes it is possible to find mistakes in their methods and reason, but more importantly we can use them as examples to help articulate our thoughts. After spending a couple of years refining my thesis, I realized time after time other great thinkers far better said what I was attempting to explain. Here is a compilation of quotations attempting to share my thesis. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants".
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    May 17 2012: First and foremost,let me state that there are no new truths or new lies; its the same humanity,same world,same people endowed with intelligence to overcome the challenges of living.
    I started with this because there are people of the scientific community who believed that humans were almost stupid before the days of science,and that they were just too superstitous. So it is thought that certain discoveries were made because humans became smarter.Sometimes this has been used to dispute Biblical claims of a miracle.As if the humans of that time did not know the order of nature and would not notice it if it changes.
    Some truths are established in nature, you can not change your mind about them. So the great thinkers can not be questioned, for it is not a small feat to be numbered as great in the world of men;not now,not in the distant past.
    All questions that concerns life and living has been answered in nature and science; getting answers to other silly questions that are meant to satisfy our curiousity will not make our world any better.

    What have we done with all the truth we have got?
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    May 16 2012: Searching Minds- Guiding Spirit- Cosmos Quest-in philosophy it is ADHATO BRAHMA JIJNASAH
    You are slowly in search of Space-Cosmology Purpose of Interlinks.
    original works need support and real Cosmology Debates are yet to take effective East West interaction-
    necessity- Centers of Excellence to answer many questions here.-see cosmology Vedas Interlinks
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    May 13 2012: I know of at least one great thinker who expected you to question him.

    "I'll never make that mistake again, reading the experts' opinions. Of course, you only live one life, and you make all your mistakes, and learn what not to do, and that's the end of you."

    "The idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another."

    "It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man."

    "We've learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature's phenomena will agree or they'll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven't tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it's this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science."

    "The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to. ... No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it."

    "Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."

    All quotes attributed to Richard Feynman.
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    May 10 2012: Why try to change others minds. The trick is to have them support your theory. If you can prove your math and science is correct then they will attempt to disprove you. You have planted the seeds of doubt in their minds.

    You suggest many items discussed in physics. I think that physics is the most exciting subject in the world. It explains so much and answers so many questions. I think that all schools should have a basic intro to physics at the freshman high school year to excite them about science. Not heavy stuff but experiments, examples, labs, etc ... later they can get into the real stuff. Just enough to whet the appitite. Science is usuall a dull and strict academic chore. We need to lighten up and teach with fun. I think we would get much further and have kids looking forward to courses that their elders say wait until next year and you have to take Biology/chemistry/physics/etc ... These courses have a bad rap. The question is how to change it. All the best. Bob
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    May 9 2012: Einstein himself believed in questioning everything and not taking anything as a fact. We always need to take looks into things because as we the human race grows we are going to have new understandings of things. I think a scientist that doesn't try to figure out if things are true or false and just takes it on text books facts is a worthless scientist. What if Einstein just believed what he read and was taught in school along with all the other brilliant scientist we have had over time. To many people are too lazy to really investigate things. Look at the misconceptions of wind power it turns out that in Northern California it is way more productive than they reported.
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    May 9 2012: For me, every person can give benefit to others, as well as the thinkers from the past.

    I appreciate them as contributors to the structure of certain truths. The principle of mathematical truth, nature or whatever.

    It doesn't matter whether the thinkers of the past have the full truth or not, but their work not only makes us aware of a bit of truth, but it gives us a small building that can be continued by us and provide tangible benefits in the development of technology in recent times, continuing for the future.

    I think a person can influence others not because of his own, but was caused by the requirement that people should lead to it. It is characterized by the development of community awareness that gradually increasing over time.

    Thinkers have been prepared by necessity as demands that burns from within themselves. We shouldn't see they were thinkers with the power to influence, but they were already on the appropriate road for the development of our future life.

    I believe that we have influence not because we have the power to influence, but we are fulfilling our needs at the right track by doing it as necessity strongly from deep down of our heart.

    We' are not affecting the environment, but the character of a community that it was about time (gradually) must go to a higher level, that give effect to one or some of its members to move forward as the pioneer for progression in any field.

    In a short, we didn't mark the environment, but the environment marked us as a task force for the development of environment itself. That's why they were given the influence to change (rather than they had supports of their own). That's how a community is gradually growing.

    Less or more ...
  • May 9 2012: Buddy, "hardcore" scientists should always be trying to outdo their mentors. Staying static within the rigid structure of your chosen field of academics is for soft "scientists". Like Psychologists, Sociologists, Anthropologists, and Economic Theorists. And we all know how great they are at helping humanity :P
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    May 7 2012: Yes, Of course we can question, Aristotle has ideas overturned, as has Newton. That is how science proceeds and so it goes for the humanities. They were just people, smart people, but just people.
  • May 7 2012: All discrete subject matter has its specialist language. The language probably develops as an inter-practitioner shorthand; for the people who are students and much later... become skilled in the art, practice and techniques of the field of endeavour. The specialist language may be a means of protecting the potential income for the learned practitioner of the material being studied.

    My specialist skill (the one which I sell to others) requires me to both read and interpret information from an 'x-ray' and then act on that information in order to effect a treatment of a broken bone or disrupted soft tissues following an injury. If I am to accurately describe and treat what I see on a radiographic image, I must know enough about fracture patterns, human skeletal anatomy, physiology, surface anatomy, biomechanics and the forces and vectors required to damage the human skeleton in a myriad unique ways.

    I cannot explain precisely what I see to the patient because it required nearly 4 decades of learning for me to get my current state of knowledge; with all of the specialist language that is implied. I see no way to compress and simplify that knowledge so that it can be understood easily by a lay person. I do my best to explain what is damaged with simple mechanical terminology and more importantly, what the implications of various treatment options are likely to be.

    Consent to treatment must be informed and I try to impart sufficient information so that the patient can make a choice which is not overlaid by my personal biases. Expecting everyone to understand is a bit like playing a game... it implies that if everyone was given 500 dollars at birth, we would all arrive at the same point. Knowledge, understanding and abilities are different for everyone. Some love learning and they soak up new knowledge and ideas while others can barely communicate.

    Treating people equally is laudable... expecting us all to be the same so that one size fits all is, alas, not.
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    May 5 2012: I think I get it, the idea I think you are looking for is creating interrelationships between subjects. How can we relate something like physics to something like music.
    I like to think we have already started this idea with mathematics, there isn't anything we can't physically quantify so with music comes string theory, with electricity flow there is the flow of water, with the atmosphere and temperature we can use balloon demonstrations.
    This kind of makes me think, "Let's bring the Science Project back." I remember doing them and having fun, I guess I was a nerd but hey I'm doing pretty good now.
  • May 4 2012: I completely agree that people should concentrate learning what fascinates them and I in no way want to push my thoughts onto others who don't care to hear them, I asked this because, I just explained what I thought temperature was to a friend of mine and realized that I totally failed him because he was looking at it in a completely different way and I hadn't started with what he knew.
    He is a really smart guy who doesn't care about physics, so he doesn't study physics, not his fault. He does from time to time ask questions though and we just happened on temp this time. I believe I failed him because I'm the so-called expert on these matters and I was unconvincing. He has failed me numerous times trying to teach me the guitar and I pretty much fail him every time we talk physics so we are even, though I started thinking "I bet a lot of people go through this, and I would like to know what they have a hard time explaining and maybe how they deal with it."
    To me making music is magic, to him graphene is magic where neither of them should be magic. How do we bridge the gap?
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    May 4 2012: I would suggest that the people who WANT to know why it is 75 will find a way to get to know (Particularly since the invention of the WWW). People should learn what is useful to them not what someone else thinks they should know - this is a major problem with most education systems. I agree that the way many things are explained is far from ideal usually because too much jargon is used. Perhaps if information was expressed in plain language more people would understand. Acts of God - do you mean natural disasters?
  • May 4 2012: I apologize for the vagueness of the idea, I see that now with just two pieces of feedback. I am asking people what they think are some of the theories and ideas that we should try to explain more in depth, if any. Doctors explain things beautifully to other doctors but not always so to the patients. This can be a thread that would allow people to bring up points to them that seem like people should have a better understanding about. My first one was temperature. Sure we all know what 75° is on a scale, but very few people know why it is 75°.