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Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 09:08:46 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) Professor Jerry lines 'em up

Professor Jerry wrote:
>When I thought about it, I thought that my reasons for
>not mentioning my Ph. D. were better than my reasons for revealing it,
>so I probably should have stayed "in the closet".

I strongly disagree: not mentioning it upfront was what made it a
back-alley ambush of a housewife by an academician.  In the animal kingdom
this is predatory camouflage.

I think it is clear that I was addressing a person who seemed to be
exhibiting Newtonian thought.  Without the "Ph.D. in Physics" context, the
tagging of "Urth time" and "Whorl time" looked non-Einsteinian, and rather
Newtonian: the poster's unwritten, perhaps even unexamined assumption (like
blattid's non-Einsteinian initial and secondary estimates of the distance
between Urth and Breen systems) might well be something as simple and clean
as "Whorl years are 3 Urth years long," since after all, this will
establish how 333 years can equal 1000 years.  The point of my response was
to gesture at the wonder of time dilation as an Einsteinian reality (the
counterintuitive gulf between the universes of Newton and Einstein) and to
state the fact that I did not coin the terms.

Professor Jerry wrote:
>By the way, we covered S. R. in my Conceptual Physics class today,
>and I used rough approximations to your numbers as an example, with a
>plug for TBotLS.  Thanks!

You are not welcome.  I will strive to avoid similar alleys and people in
the future.  And you should do your own calculations to avoid the taint of
pseudoscience and other academician nasties.



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