Apprentice to the Obvious'  weblog

This is David Woolsey's weblog containing some of his observations and thoughts about the world. The world of science, the physical world, human behavior, and other things. It'll be mostly about science, technology, and engineering, but there will be a few uncontrolled excursions into other things as well. You have been warned.

I am a long time student and practitioner of physics. I make do with the "stone knives and bear skins" of an undergraduate degree in late twentieth century physics from U.C. Berkeley. That, and a whole lot of on-the-job experience. I will sometimes lack the mathematical tools to be exact in what I will write about. I will sometimes be off target or even somewhat wrong. However, in the past I have made many useful observations that others have missed but I have failed to communicate my observations. This weblog will hopefully address that failure to communicate.

Why the name? I had at first thought to call this web log something like "Master of the Obvious" but that would be "getting ahead of myself" just a bit. I really like those moments when something yet unthought comes sharply into focus as an obvious truth of the way the world works. I like being able to look back and identify the moments when my thought processes abruptly changed when thinking something through in detail, or by intuition, or by a "bolt out of the blue". Those are the true moments of bifurcation and change in my path through life. I'll get around to sharing some of them with you here.

Why the content? It is important that there be investigations into speculative science, both in terms of performing it and in terms of investigating the performance of those experiments. It is very important that the results of speculative science be properly looked into for flaws so that quality control standards are enforced on its investigators. Otherwise valuable lines of speculation may well descend to the level of junk science through lack of proper "adult supervision" (that means you, professional scientists). Most ventures into the speculative should rightfully be expected to lead to dead ends or other failures. That is just the way it is. On the other hand, the whole world of high tech venture capital investment behavior is run from a "template" that expects 90% of the startup businesses to fail. Yet, those 90% failure odds does not scare away the investors because the remaining 10% sometimes succeed wildly. I would hope for a similar set of "investment" behaviors by at least some of the scientific community about speculative ideas in science and engineering because sometimes investing a bit of time and attention to look into what seems crazy might just have a payoff. At the very least, the payoff might come in the form of the joy of discovering why something /doesn't work/, after all.

Tools? I'll be using Apple's obsolete iWeb application to construct the weblog pages. We'll see how long that lasts before I turn to something else such as going back to using the Alpha text editor.

Contact: If you send email to me be sure to include "AttO" somewhere in the subject line so that I can filter for it.

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