Which comes first, understanding, or the paradigm?
Without barriers to thought, there can be no thought. – Ivor Catt, 6 August 2014
First, let us read what Heaviside wrote when addressing this problem.
Heaviside is close to saying he does not comprehend the concept of there being no electric current. This last sentence needs to be clarified. “Witches” are a concept. Whether the content of a concept exists does not relate to whether the concept itself exists. There are many concepts about things which do not exist. The concept of God does not exclude either theists or atheists.
When we come to “Theory C”, that when a battery is connected to a lamp by two wires and the lamp lights, electric current is not involved, we are involved with a concept, the non-existence of electric current (admittedly only in a limited but crucial context, since helping a battery to light a lamp is the primary function of current).
If a relevant professor or text book writer, or even member of NPA ( Natural Philosophy Alliance , the largest group of dissident physicists) is told that when a battery is connected to a lamp by two wires and the lamp lights, electric current is not involved, he will know, only ten minutes later, that such a statement had never been made. However, if it is repeated a number of times, he will say that it had not been said clearly, that it was confusing. This does not only apply to mainstream professors. It also applies to dissident physicists, who object to relativity and such things. For instance, the guru of NPA, Harry Ricker, has said that the statement has not been made clearly enough, and also that “The idea that there is no current is of course bizarre.”, and that the man who said it (Ivor Catt) needs psychiatric treatment. A leader in NPA, Greg Volk, has more or less said he has difficulty with the concept of electric current not existing.
Dissident scientists do “think outside the box”, but their thinking stays within a slightly larger box. For instance, the existence of electric current is mandatory within this larger box.
Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Which comes first, the comprehension or the paradigm? My discovery is that comprehension disappears when a paradigm is threatened. In my edited talk at Newcastle University, I said that when confronted with an idea which threatens his paradigm, an electronic engineer “suddenly loses 90 percent of his neurons”. I am forced to conclude that this is not blameworthy. Already in my 1978 article , I broached this point; “If something were published in that journal by someone who did not accept virtually all the precepts enshrined in previous issues of the journal, it would carry little meaning, or communication, because having broken with the traditional agreed premises of the journal, no reader would any more know what was still agreed; no one would even be sure what the words in the revolutionary article meant. After all, the meaning of a word is a creature of the frame of reference within which it has traditionally been used.”
When confronted with the statement; When a battery is connected to a lamp by two wires and the lamp lights, electric current is not involved, the listener is forced to conclude that the speaker does not understand what “electric current” means, or is using it in some unauthorised way. This is because he knows that electric current helps a battery to light a lamp, and that without its aid, the lamp would not light. He knows that that is what electric current is for. (Electric current carries the message from battery to lamp that it should light.)
We can go back in time to 1825, when attempts were being made to replace phlogiston with oxidation, and to replace caloric with the kinetic theory of heat. As with electricity, the idea of getting rid of phlogiston or caloric was incomprehensible. "Nutter" assembles comments by those confronted with ideas outside their paradigm.
The late Tolly Holt’s aphorism ; “without barriers to communication there can be no communication” is important in this context. Possibly we can extend it to “Without barriers to thought there can be no thought”. Think what happens to you when presented with the idea that the moon landing was staged in a theatre 1 , or that the CIA dynamited Twin Towers in 9/11; 2 .
Ivor Catt 7 January 2014.
From: HARRY RICKER
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 3:55 PM
To: Ivor Catt ; ROGER ANDERTON ; Forrest Bishop ; Thierry ; Bill Lucas
Subject: Re: comprehension
Ivor, As usual you tend to distort in your perceptions of what others
say. You then perpetuate that distortion by publishing erroneous material such
as the link in your mail which is erroneous in a number of specific statements
about me which are factually incorrect. I have asked you to stop such incorrect
statements but you persist. So I have to conclude that you are mentally ill. I
continue to recommend that you seek treatment. That is because your perceptions
of the world do not reflect actual reality, and you perpetuate fantasies of
your imagination that you think are actual realities.
On Tuesday, January 7, 2014 12:57 PM, Ivor Catt <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: