Re: Re: ATOMISM: Crackpot Theory

CurtAdams (
Sat, 14 Mar 1998 11:14:54 EST

In a message dated 3/14/98 2:28:22 AM, wrote:

>What is a crackpot? A crackpot might be one who misunderstands a
>generally-accepted theory and, by virtue of that misunderstanding,
>claims to find a fatal flaw in it.

Hmm. Close but not quite. I'd venture that any of the more
serious thinkers on this list have, at some point, misunderstood
a generally-accepted theory and thus "found" a fatal flaw. The
only ways to avoid that are a) don't think about generally-accepted
theory or b) never make mistakes.

The difference between a crackpot and a non-crackpot making an
error is that the non-crackpot realizes the #1 reason for the
"fatal flaw" is that they've misunderstood the theory. A non-
crackpot checks the literature and talks to people knowledgeable
about the theory, trying to see if this has already been addressed
somehow. A crackpot goes straight to the public.

When I was a teen, I figured out a paradox involving colliding
time bombs which I thought invalidated special relativity. I
never made a big deal of it. A few years back, I figured out
why my idea *doesn't* work - and I tell you, it left me very
impressed with both relativity and Einstein.