Tuesday, 29 May 2012
It looks like the flame has gone out though. Which brings to mind a conversation I overheard in the crowd earlier about the reserve flames that were being kept in Davy Lamp like devices. Somebody said that they were all the same flame - but are they? Four - I think it is - separate flames that are all the same! This prompts a number of thoughts. So ...
I shall return to this sometime in the future.
Sunday, 27 May 2012
Here are some quotes that I've had lying around for quite some time. They are of interest in and of themselves even if their veracity may be, at some times, questionable.
'Were I to hold the truth in my hand, I would let it go for the positive joy of seeking.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
'In our century, specialisation has become the counterfeit of brilliance.'
(I'm not sure which Richard Gordon said this but I would not be surprised if it were the author of the 'Doctor' series of books.)
'With computer technology, we now have the capacity, as Lewis Thomas (1989) put it, "to leap across mountains of information and land lightly on the wrong side".'
(I'm not sure who Collins is but the Lewis Thomas in question was surely the famous biologist and writer.)
The following may or may not be a quote. It was one among a page of notes relating to the work of William Harvey (1578-1657). (Exactly how it is related, I'm not sure - it was a loose note after all! If it was not Harvey that said it, it may well have been me philosophizing and scribbling down my thoughts.)
'A finding – a piece of work etc. – may have limited value in its own right or its own time but be of disproportionate merit in the incentive it gives to the work that follows as a result of it.'
Friday, 18 May 2012
I am also reminded of what I blogged on 1st February 2011 (After we are gone). After we are gone, will it be said of us that we left more than we found - or left things better than we found them. Opinions may vary but somebody who got the world dancing - instead of fighting - leaves us better off.
Rest In Peace? I wonder. If to DIE is to Dance Into Eternity, bring it on.
Saturday, 12 May 2012
Before I consulted him, I had asked a group of some 70 or so students if they knew anything about this. They did not - despite having reference to it in their lecture notes. Had they not read these notes or had they just memorised them taking what they said at face value without actually studying the topic?
All-in-all the whole affair has proved informative and seems to vindicate my approach: that lecture notes are what students take down in lectures - not what lecturers give in addition to (or, in the case of some students, instead of) lectures.
One cannot learn from notes, when they are the primary source of information. Notes are a distillation and an aide-mémoire to something much fuller; something about which one wants to be reminded in order to give a fuller picture. An edifice cannot be built using only a few straws of information.