There are physicists, and there are string theorists. Of course the string theorists are physicists, but the string theorists in general will not attend lectures on experimental physics. They will not be terribly concerned about the results of experiments. They will talk to one another.
Sheldon Lee Glashow
What a conception of art must those theorists have who exclude portraits from the proper province of the fine arts! It is exactly as if we denied that to be poetry in which the poet celebrates the woman he really loves. Portraiture is the basis and the touchstone of historic painting.
August Wilhelm von Schlegel
I always thought the point of life was something richer than that. Something full of great tragedy or comedy, reversal of fortune, ecstasy, that kind of thing. But no, contemporary urban theorists seem satisfied with the merely livable, which always sounds to me like the merely survivable, the not so bad.
In the vocabulary of certain radical theorists contradictions are given the status of some deadly disease to which their opponents alone can succumb. But contradictions are the very stuff of life. If there had been a little dash of contradiction among the Gadarene swine some of them might have been saved from drowning.
I have been....moved to wonder whether my job is a job or a racket, whether economists, and particularly economic theorists, may not be in the position that Cicero, citing Cato, ascribed to the augurs of Rome-that they should cover their faces or burst into laugher when they met on the street.
What the string theorists do is arguably physics. It deals with the physical world. They're attempting to make a consistent theory that explains the interactions we see among particles and gravity as well. That's certainly physics, but it's a kind of physics that is not yet testable.
Sheldon Lee Glashow
Nothing of importance is ever achieved without discipline. I feel myself sometimes not wholly in sympathy with some modern educational theorists, because I think that they underestimate the part that discipline plays. But the discipline you have in your life should be one determined by your own desires and your own needs, not put upon you by society or authority.
I tend to be a loner - I think a lot of social theorists are like that. On one level, the majority of the most important people to me are people who I have imaginary conversations with in the deep of the night: I'm often in conversation with Max Weber or Karl Marx or someone like that. Those are the people I'm closest to and that have had the most influence on me!
If the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) raises the hackles of the conspiracy theorists, the Bilderberg meetings must induce apocalyptic visions of omnipotent international bankers plotting with unscrupulous government officials to impose cunning schemes on an ignorant and unsuspecting world.
I can assure the conspiracy theorists who have very effectively savaged [Gerald] Posner in their books that they're going to have a much, much more difficult time with me. As a trial lawyer in front of a jury and an author of true-crime books, credibility has always meant everything to me. My only master and my only mistress are the facts and objectivity. I have no others.
Anybody who has ever owned a dog who barked when strangers came near its owner's property has experienced the essential continuity between animal territoriality and human property. Our domesticated cousins of the wolf are instinctively smarter about this than a good many human political theorists.
Eric S. Raymond
Great short stories and great jokes have a lot in common. Both depend on what communication-theorists sometimes called "exformation," which is a certain quantity of vital information removed from but evoked by a communication in such a way as to cause a kind of explosion of associative connections within the recipient.
David Foster Wallace
Cognitive neuroscience, and social theorists from Weber to Bourdieu, have recognized that humans act, most of the time, habitually, not reflectively. Both at intrastate and inter-states levels, habits play critical roles in mitigating uncertainty, providing a sense of order, and entrench patterns of cooperation or enmity.
If Washington were President now, he would have to learn our ways or lose his next election. Only fools and theorists imagine that our society can be handled with gloves or long poles. One must make one's self a part of it. If virtue won't answer our purpose, we must use vice, or our opponents will put us out of office, and this was as true in Washington's day as it is now, and always will be.
I am often talking about the ideas collected in Normal Life in contexts that are not academic, or that are full of people who are not primarily engaging as theorists or theory-readers. Being able to make ideas visual, especially critical ideas about movements that can be difficult to hear because of attachments we have to certain national narratives, or because of ways that we see ourselves, is especially useful.
Creationists have also changed their name... to intelligent design theorists who study 'irreducible complexity' and the 'abrupt appearance' of life-yet more jargon for 'God did it.'... Notice that they have no interest in replacing evolution with native American creation myths or including the Code of Hammurabi alongside the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools.
From the Berlin tenement reform law of 1897 to H. P. Berlage's plan for Amsterdam South of 1917, designers and theorists in Germany and Holland moved toward the development of a perimeter residential block that would preserve the plastic continuity of the street while opening up the resultant courtyard for use as an enclosed semi-public space.
As Karl Marx once noted: 'Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.' William Jennings Bryan and the Scopes trial was a tragedy. The creationists and intelligent design theorists are a farce.
...I think the popular view of Science is a solid body of truth, shared by a whole lot of learned men in a room, all agreeing on the answers to the questions of how the Universe works. Whereas nothing could be further from the truth!!! The one truth that I see emerging from the History of Science is that experiment has always surprised theorists. Einstein included!
Lakoff's idea is that most of our thought is guided by underlying conceptual mappings between two domains that share some content, that overlap in the sets of their attributes. ... Contrary to the assertions of Lakoff and some of the cognitive metaphor theorists, people can read through to an underlying mapping, but only when the surface metaphor is new to them.
So-called "natural language" is wonderful for the purposes it was created for, such as to be rude in, to tell jokes in, to cheat or to make love in (and Theorists of Literary Criticism can even be content-free in it), but it is hopelessly inadequate when we have to deal unambiguously with situations of great intricacy, situations which unavoidably arise in such activities as legislation, arbitration, mathematics or programming.
But, if we explore the literature of Heroism, we shall quickly come to Plutarch, who is its Doctor and historian. To him we owe the Brasidas, the Dion, the Epaminodas, the Scipio of old, and I must think we are more deeply indebted to him than to all the ancient writers. Each of his "Lives" is a refutation to the despondency and cowardice of our religious and political theorists. A wild courage, a Stoicism not of the schools, but of the blood, shines in every anecdote, and had given that book immense fame.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This view of literature as an aesthetic object that could make us 'better people' is linked to a certain idea of the subject, to what theorists have come to call 'the liberal subject', the individual defined not by a social situation and interests but by an individual subjectivity (rationality and morality) conceived as essentially free of social determinants.
In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here's an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)
Delacroix , Wagner , Baudelaire all great theorists, bent on dominating other minds by sensuous means. Their one dream was to create the irresistible effect to intoxicate, or overwhelm. They looked to analysis to provide them with the keyboard on which to play, with certainty, on man's emotions, and they sought in abstract meditation they key to sure and certain action upon their subject man's nervous and psychic being.
In view of the importance of philanthropy in our society, it is surprising that so little attention has been given to it by economic or social theorists. In economic theory, especially, the subject is almost completely ignored. This is not, I think, because economists regard mankind as basically selfish or even because economic man is supposed to act only in his self-interest; it is rather because economics has essentially grown up around the phenomenon of exchange and its theoretical structure rests heavily on this process.
Kenneth E. Boulding
The lumbermen...regarded forest devastation as normal and second growth as a delusion of fools....And as for sustained yield, no such idea had ever entered their heads. The few friends the forest had were spoken of, when they were spoken of at all, as impractical theorists, fanatics, or "denudatics," more or less touched in the head. What talk there was about forest protection was no more to the average American that the buzzing of a mosquito, and just about as irritating.
[F]or a social theorist ignorance is more excusable than vagueness. Other investigators can easily show I am wrong if I am sufficiently precise. They will have much more difficulty showing by investigation what, precisely, I mean if I am vague. I hope not to be forced to weasel out with 'But I didn't really mean that.' Social theorists should prefer to be wrong rather than misunderstood. Being misunderstood shows sloppy theoretical work.
Arthur L. Stinchcombe
Contemporary political theorists continue this type of thinking about democracy by arguing that the development of "public judgment" among regular citizens should be made the central concern of modern politics. Public judgment, in the words of Benjamin Barber, is a function of commonality that can be exercised only by citizens interacting with one another in the context of mutual deliberation and decision.
Why do so many ingenious theorists give fresh reasons every year for the decline of letter writing, and why do they assume, in derision of suffering humanity, that it has declined? They lament the lack of leisure, the lack of sentiment ... They talk of telegrams, and telephones, and postal cards, as if any discovery of science, any device of civilization, could eradicate from the human heart that passion for self-expression which is the impelling force of letters.
I kind of think that if you show conspiracy theorists a photo of the dead Bin Laden they will come up with an explanation for why it's really a Photoshopped picture of Bin Laden asleep. Or his dead cousin Fred. Donald Trump apparently believes that Bin Laden is dead, so that ought to be enough for the Middle East.
It is becoming plain that our liberal regime of equality and personal freedom depends, more than most theorists of liberalism have been willing to admit, on the existence and support of certain social assumptions and practices: the belief that each and every human being possesses great and inherent value, the willingness to respect the rights of others even at the cost of some disadvantages to one's self, the ability to defer some immediate benefits for the sake of long-range goals, and a regard for reason-giving and civility in public discourse.
Mary Ann Glendon
It is easy to make out three areas where scientists will be concentrating their efforts in the coming decades. One is in physics, where leading theorists are striving, with the help of experimentalists, to devise a single mathematical theory that embraces all the basic phenomena of matter and energy. The other two are in biology. Biologists-and the rest of us too-would like to know how the brain works and how a single cell, the fertilized egg cell, develops into an entire organism
Just in time for the renewal of the war debate in Congress, the University of Chicago Press has released The U.S. Army / Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. . . . It's a nifty volume, not only because it gives you a sense of what our most highly regarded military theorists are thinking but because sometimes what they're thinking is the last thing you'd expect. Especially interesting is a section called 'Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency Operations,' which tells us: 'Sometimes doing nothing is the best reaction' and 'Sometimes, the more force is used, the less effective it is.'
David L. Ulin
What do intellectuals and opinion makers get from big government? An increasing number of cushy jobs in the bureaucracy, or in the government-subsidized sector, staffing the welfare regulatory state, and apologizing for its policies, as well as propagandizing for them among the public. To put it bluntly, intellectuals, theorists, pundits, media elites, etc. get to live a life which they could not attain on the free market, but which they can gain at taxpayer expense.
Obviously, consideration of costs is key, including opportunity costs. Of course capital isn't free. It's easy to figure out your cost of borrowing, but theorists went bonkers on the cost of equity capital. They say that if you're generating a 100% return on capital, then you shouldn't invest in something that generates an 80% return on capital. It's crazy.
The classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non-Euclidean world who, discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for not keeping straight as the only remedy for the unfortunate collisions which are occurring. Yet, in truth, there is no remedy except to throw over the axiom of parallels and to work out a non-Euclidean geometry.
John Maynard Keynes
The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory, is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not The Iluminati, or The Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory. The truth is far more frightening - Nobody is in control. The world is rudderless.
Since my first discussions of ecological problems with Professor John Day around 1950 and since reading Konrad Lorenz's 'King Solomon's Ring, ' I have become increasingly interested in the study of animals for what they might teach us about man, and the study of man as an animal. I have become increasingly disenchanted with what the thinkers of the so-called Age of Enlightenment tell us about the nature of man, and with what the formal religions and doctrinaire political theorists tell us about the same subject.
Allan McLeod Cormack
Since my first discussions of ecological problems with Professor John Day around 1950 and since reading Konrad Lorenz's "King Solomon's Ring," I have become increasingly interested in the study of animals for what they might teach us about man, and the study of man as an animal. I have become increasingly disenchanted with what the thinkers of the so-called Age of Enlightenment tell us about the nature of man, and with what the formal religions and doctrinaire political theorists tell us about the same subject.
Allan McLeod Cormack
It's likely that CO2 has some warming effect, but real proof of that hypothesis is tricky. You have to confirm by observation exactly how the CO2 changes the situation at different altitudes in the atmosphere and in different regions of the world. For example, CO2 is supposed to warm the upper air faster than the surface, but the measurements don't show that happening. When the CO2 effect is eventually pinned down, it will probably turn out to be weaker and much less worrisome than predicted by the global warming theorists.
Economic theorists, like French chefs in regard to food, have developed stylized models whose ingredients are limited by some unwritten rules. Just as traditional French cooking does not use seaweed or raw fish, so neoclassical models do not make assumptions derived from psychology, anthropology, or sociology. I disagree with any rules that limit the nature of the ingredients in economic models.
Critical and feminist theorists show that most leadership research, including studies of transformational leadership, continue to present prescriptions - heroic or post-heroic - as if they were gender neutral. The critics argue that, although there is a search for a different kind of leader- a 'post-heroic hero' who displays characteristics different from the traditional model - even this leader continues 'to enjoy the same godlike reverence for individualism associated with traditional models'.
What I did not know yet about hunger, but would find out over the next twenty-one years, was that brilliant theorists of economics do not find it worthwhile to spend time discussing issues of poverty and hunger. They believe that these will be resolved when general economic prosperity increases. These economists spend all their talents detailing the process of development and prosperity, but rarely reflect on the origin and development of poverty and hunger. A a result, poverty continues.
Radical feminist theorists do not seek to make gender a bit more flexible, but to eliminate it. They are gender abolitionists, and understand gender to provide the framework and rationale for male dominance. In the radical feminist approach, masculinity is the behaviour of the male ruling class and femininity is the behaviour of the subordinate class of women. Thus gender can have no place in the egalitarian future that feminism aims to create.
There is a balance, a kind of standoff between the time continuum and the human entity, our frail bundle of soma and psyche. We eventually succumb to time, it's true, but time depends on us. We carry it in our muscles and genes, pass it on to the next set of time-factoring creatures, our brown-eyed daughters and jug-eared sons, or how would the world keep going. Never mind the time theorists, the cesium devices that measure the life and death of the smallest silvery trillionth of a second.... We were the only crucial clocks, our minds and bodies, way stations for the distribution of time.
The potential significance of Black feminist thought goes far beyond demonstrating that African-American women can be theorists. Like Black feminist practice, which it reflects and which it seeks to foster, Black feminist thought can create a collective identity among African-American women about the dimensions of a Black women's standpoint. Through the process of rearticulating, Black feminist thought can offer African-American women a different view of ourselves and our worlds
Patricia Hill Collins
Intelligent design theorists have learned a few lessons from the failures of their predecessors and have devised a more sophisticated strategy to compete head on with evolution. One of the main things they [intelligent design creationists] have learned is what not to say. A major element of their strategy is to advance a form of creation that not only omits any explicit mention of Genesis but is also usually vague, if not mute, about any of the specific claims about the nature of Creation, the separate ancestry of humans and apes, the explanation of the earth's geology by catastrophic global flood, or the age of the earth - items that readily identified young-earth creationism as a thinly disguised biblical literalism.
Robert T. Pennock
[Donald] Keene observed [in a book entitled The Pleasures of Japanese Literature, 1988] that the Japanese sense of beauty has long sharply differed from its Western counterpart: it has been dominated by a love of irregularity rather than symmetry, the impermanent rather than the eternal and the simple rather than the ornate. The reason owes nothing to climate or genetics, added Keene, but is the result of the actions of writers, painters and theorists, who had actively shaped the sense of beauty of their nation. Contrary to the Romantic belief that we each settle naturally on a fitting idea of beauty, it seems that our visual and emotional faculties in fact need constant external guidance to help them decide what they should take note of and appreciate. 'Culture' is the word we have assigned to the force that assists us in identifying which of our many sensations we should focus on and apportion value to.
Alain de Botton
To establish evolutionary interrelatedness invariably requires exhibiting similarities between organisms. Within Darwinism, there's only one way to connect such similarities, and that's through descent with modification driven by the Darwinian mechanism. But within a design-theoretic framework, this possibility, though not precluded, is also not the only game in town. It's possible for descent with modification instead to be driven by telic processes inherent in nature (and thus by a form of design). Alternatively, it's possible that the similarities are not due to descent at all but result from a similarity of conception, just as designed objects like your TV, radio, and computer share common components because designers frequently recycle ideas and parts. Teasing apart the effects of intelligent and natural causation is one of the key questions confronting a design-theoretic research program. Unlike Darwinism, therefore, intelligent design has no immediate and easy answer to the question of common descent. Darwinists necessarily see this as a bad thing and as a regression to ignorance. From the design theorists' perspective, however, frank admissions of ignorance are much to be preferred to overconfident claims to knowledge that in the end cannot be adequately justified. Despite advertisements to the contrary, science is not a juggernaut that relentlessly pushes back the frontiers of knowledge. Rather, science is an interconnected web of theoretical and factual claims about the world that are constantly being revised and for which changes in one portion of the web can induce radical changes in another. In particular, science regularly confronts the problem of having to retract claims that it once confidently asserted.
William A. Dembski
The television commercial has mounted the most serious assault on capitalist ideology since the publication of Das Kapital. To understand why, we must remind ourselves that capitalism, like science and liberal democracy, was an outgrowth of the Enlightenment. Its principal theorists, even its most prosperous practitioners, believed capitalism to be based on the idea that both buyer and seller are sufficiently mature, well informed and reasonable to engage in transactions of mutual self-interest. If greed was taken to be the fuel of the capitalist engine, the surely rationality was the driver. The theory states, in part, that competition in the marketplace requires that the buyer not only knows what is good for him but also what is good. If the seller produces nothing of value, as determined by a rational marketplace, then he loses out. It is the assumption of rationality among buyers that spurs competitors to become winners, and winners to keep on winning. Where it is assumed that a buyer is unable to make rational decisions, laws are passed to invalidate transactions, as, for example, those which prohibit children from making contracts... Of course, the practice of capitalism has its contradictions... But television commercials make hash of it... By substituting images for claims, the pictorial commercial made emotional appeal, not tests of truth, the basis of consumer decisions. The distance between rationality and advertising is now so wide that it is difficult to remember that there once existed a connection between them. Today, on television commercials, propositions are as scarce as unattractive people. The truth or falsity of an advertiser's claim is simply not an issue. A McDonald's commercial, for example, is not a series of testable, logically ordered assertions. It is a drama-a mythology, if you will-of handsome people selling, buying and eating hamburgers, and being driven to near ecstasy by their good fortune. No claim are made, except those the viewer projects onto or infers from the drama. One can like or dislike a television commercial, of course. But one cannot refute it.
Language as a Prison The Philippines did have a written language before the Spanish colonists arrived, contrary to what many of those colonists subsequently claimed. However, it was a language that some theorists believe was mainly used as a mnemonic device for epic poems. There was simply no need for a European-style written language in a decentralized land of small seaside fishing villages that were largely self-sufficient. One theory regarding language is that it is primarily a useful tool born out of a need for control. In this theory written language was needed once top-down administration of small towns and villages came into being. Once there were bosses there arose a need for written language. The rise of the great metropolises of Ur and Babylon made a common written language an absolute necessity-but it was only a tool for the administrators. Administrators and rulers needed to keep records and know names- who had rented which plot of land, how many crops did they sell, how many fish did they catch, how many children do they have, how many water buffalo? More important, how much then do they owe me? In this account of the rise of written language, naming and accounting seem to be language's primary "civilizing" function. Language and number are also handy for keeping track of the movement of heavenly bodies, crop yields, and flood cycles. Naturally, a version of local oral languages was eventually translated into symbols as well, and nonadministrative words, the words of epic oral poets, sort of went along for the ride, according to this version. What's amazing to me is that if we accept this idea, then what may have begun as an instrument of social and economic control has now been internalized by us as a mark of being civilized. As if being controlled were, by inference, seen as a good thing, and to proudly wear the badge of this agent of control-to be able to read and write-makes us better, superior, more advanced. We have turned an object of our own oppression into something we now think of as virtuous. Perfect! We accept written language as something so essential to how we live and get along in the world that we feel and recognize its presence as an exclusively positive thing, a sign of enlightenment. We've come to love the chains that bind us, that control us, for we believe that they are us (161-2).
It happens that in our phase of civility, the novel is the central form of literary art. It lends itself to explanations borrowed from any intellectual system of the universe which seems at the time satisfactory. Its history is an attempt to evade the laws of what Scott called 'the land of fiction'-the stereotypes which ignore reality, and whose remoteness from it we identify as absurd. From Cervantes forward it has been, when it has satisfied us, the poetry which is 'capable, ' in the words of Ortega, 'of coping with present reality.' But it is a 'realistic poetry' and its theme is, bluntly, 'the collapse of the poetic' because it has to do with 'the barbarous, brutal, mute, meaningless reality of things.' It cannot work with the old hero, or with the old laws of the land of romance; moreover, such new laws and customs as it creates have themselves to be repeatedly broken under the demands of a changed and no less brutal reality. 'Reality has such a violent temper that it does not tolerate the ideal even when reality itself is idealized.' Nevertheless, the effort continues to be made. The extremest revolt against the customs or laws of fiction-the antinovels of Fielding or Jane Austen or Flaubert or Natalie Sarraute-creates its new laws, in their turn to be broken. Even when there is a profession of complete narrative anarchy, as in some of the works I discussed last week, or in a poem such as Paterson, which rejects as spurious whatever most of us understand as form, it seems that time will always reveal some congruence with a paradigm-provided always that there is in the work that necessary element of the customary which enables it to communicate at all. I shall not spend much time on matters so familiar to you. Whether, with Luke¡cs, you think of the novel as peculiarly the resolution of the problem of the individual in an open society-or as relating to that problem in respect of an utterly contingent world; or express this in terms of the modern French theorists and call its progress a necessary and 'unceasing movement from the known to the unknown'; or simply see the novel as resembling the other arts in that it cannot avoid creating new possibilities for its own future-however you put it, the history of the novel is the history of forms rejected or modified, by parody, manifesto, neglect, as absurd. Nowhere else, perhaps, are we so conscious of the dissidence between inherited forms and our own reality. There is at present some good discussion of the issue not only in French but in English. Here I have in mind Iris Murdoch, a writer whose persistent and radical thinking about the form has not as yet been fully reflected in her own fiction. She contrasts what she calls 'crystalline form' with narrative of the shapeless, quasi-documentary kind, rejecting the first as uncharacteristic of the novel because it does not contain free characters, and the second because it cannot satisfy that need of form which it is easier to assert than to describe; we are at least sure that it exists, and that it is not always illicit. Her argument is important and subtle, and this is not an attempt to restate it; it is enough to say that Miss Murdoch, as a novelist, finds much difficulty in resisting what she calls 'the consolations of form' and in that degree damages the 'opacity, ' as she calls it, of character. A novel has this (and more) in common with love, that it is, so to speak, delighted with its own inventions of character, but must respect their uniqueness and their freedom. It must do so without losing the formal qualities that make it a novel. But the truly imaginative novelist has an unshakable 'respect for the contingent'; without it he sinks into fantasy, which is a way of deforming reality. 'Since reality is incomplete, art must not be too afraid of incompleteness, ' says Miss Murdoch. We must not falsify it with patterns too neat, too inclusive; there must be dissonance.