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Flag for inappropriate content. Download now. Save Save frequencia de palavras no ingles For Later. Original Title: frequencia de palavras no ingles. Related titles. Carousel Previous Carousel Next. Jump to Page. Search inside document. I'll Jesus Related Interests Nature. Documents Similar To frequencia de palavras no ingles. Jawk Lass. Duma Kae. Alexa Webbs. Reny Kartika Sari. Esma Mujcinovic. This approach makes it nearly impossible to derive the deeper intellectual understanding that the mathematical framework is geared to uncover.
Our basic tools of modern data analysis, from regression to principal components, were developed by scientists working squarely in the mathematical tradition, and are based on theorems and analysis. As the Internet facilitates a national hobby of data analysis, our thinking about scientific discovery is no longer typically in the intellectual tradition of mathematics.
This tradition, and the area of my training, defines a meaningful investigation as involving a formal definition of the phenomenon of interest, stated carefully in a mathematical model, and use of a strategy for analysis that follows logically from the model.
It is accompanied at every step by efforts to show how the opportunity for error and mistakes has been minimized. As data analysts we must have the same high standards for transparency in our findings, and consequently I am pushing my thinking toward deeper intellectual rigor, more in line with the mathematical tradition and less in line with the data analysis tradition so facilitated by the Internet.
Mathematics has been developing responses to the ubiquity of error for hundreds of years, resulting in formal logic and the mathematical proof. Computation is similarly highly error-prone, but recent enough to still be developing equivalent standards of openness and collective verification. An essential response is reproducibility of results: the release of code and data that generated the computational findings we'd like to consider as a contribution to society's stock of knowledge.
This subjects computational research to the same standards of openness as filled by the role of the proof in mathematics. The Internet has changed how I think about science, and how to identify it. Today most computational results aren't accompanied by their underlying code and data, and my opening description of being able to recreate results for oneself is not commonplace.
But I believe this will become typical - the draw of verifying what we know for ourselves and being less reliant on the conclusions of others has remained evident in our long search for truth about our world. This seems a natural evolution from a state of knowledge derived from mystical sources with little ability to question and verify, through a science-facing society still with an epistemological gulf between scientist and non-scientist. Now, the Internet allows more of our understanding to seep from the ivory tower, closing that gulf and empowering us to know things for ourselves and changing our expectations about what it means to live in an open, data-driven, society.
Apology: The question "How has the Internet changed the way you think? So I've taken the liberty of interpreting the question more broadly, in the form "How should the Internet, or its descendants, affect how people like me think? If controversies were to arise, there would be no more need of disputation between two philosophers than between two accountants. For it would suffice to take their pencils in their hands, to sit down to the slates, and to say to each other with a friend as witness, if they liked : "Let us calculate.
Clearly Leibniz was wrong here, for without disputation philosophers would cease to be philosophers. And it is difficult to see how any amount of calculation could settle, for example, the question of free will. But if we replace, in Leibniz' visionary program, "sculptors of material reality" for "philosophers", then we arrive at an accurate description of an awesome opportunity — and an unanswered challenge — that faces us today.
This opportunity began to take shape roughly eighty years ago, as the equations of quantum theory reached maturity. The underlying physical laws necessary for the mathematical theory of a large part of physics and the whole of chemistry are thus completely known, and the difficulty is only that the exact application of these laws leads to equations much too complicated to be soluble.
Dirac Much has happened in physics since Dirac's declaration. Physicists have found new equations that reach Album) the heart of atomic nuclei. High-energy accelerators have exposed new worlds of unexpected phenomena and tantalizing hints of Nature's ultimate beauty and symmetry.
Thanks to that new fundamental understanding we understand how stars work, and how a profoundly simple but profoundly alien fireball evolved into universe we inhabit today. Yet Dirac's bold claim holds up; while the new developments provide reliable equations for smaller objects and more extreme conditions than we could handle before, they haven't changed the rules of the game for ordinary matter under ordinary conditions.
On the contrary, the triumphant march of quantum theory far beyond its original borders strengthens our faith in its soundness. What even Dirac probably did not foresee, and what transforms his philosophical reflection of into a call to arms today, is that the limitation of being "much too complicated to be soluble" could be challenged.
With today's chips and architectures, we can start to solve the equations for chemistry and materials science. By orchestrating the power of billions of tomorrow's chips, linked through the Internet or its successors, we should be able to construct virtual laboratories of unprecedented flexibility and power. Instead of mining for rare ingredients, refining, cooking, and trying various combinations scattershot, we will explore for useful materials more easily and systematically, by feeding multitudes of possibilities, each defined by a few lines of code, into a world-spanning grid of linked computers.
What might such a world-grid discover? Some not unrealistic possibilities: friendlier high-temperature superconductors, that would enable lossless power transmission, levitated supertrains, and computers that aren't limited by the heat they generate ; super-efficient photovoltaics and batteries, that would enable cheap capture and flexible use of solar energy, and wean us off carbon burning; super-strong materials, that could support elevators running directly from Earth to space.
The prospects we can presently foresee, exciting as they are, could be overmatched by discoveries not yet imagined. Beyond technological targets, we can aspire to a comprehensive survey of physical reality's potential. InFeynman posed this challenge:. Today, we cannot see whether Schrodinger's equation contains frogs, musical composers, or morality — or whether it does not. We cannot say whether something beyond it like God is needed, or not.
And so we can all hold strong opinions either way. Feynman How far can we see today? Not all the way to frogs or to musical composers at least not good onesfor sure. In fact only very recently did physicists succeed in solving the equations of quantum chromodynamics QCD to calculate a convincing proton, by using the fastest chips, big networks, and tricky algorithms. That might sound like a paltry beginning, but it's actually an encouraging show of strength, because the equations of QCD are much more complicated than the equations of quantum chemistry.
And we've already been able to solve those more tractable equations well enough to guide several revolutions in the material foundations of microelectronics, laser technology, and magnetic imaging.
But all these computational adventures, while impressive, are clearly warm-up exercises. To make a definitive leap into artificial reality, we'll need both more ingenuity and more computational power.
Fortunately, both could be at hand. The [email protected] project has enabled people around the world to donate their idle computer time to sift radio waves from space, advancing the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. In connection with the Large Hadron Collider LHC project, CERN laboratory — where, earlier, the World Wide Web was born — is pioneering the GRID computer project, a sort of Internet on steroids, that will allow many thousands of remote computers and their users to share data and allocate tasks dynamically, functioning in essence as one giant brain.
Only thus can we cope — barely! Projects like these are the shape of things to come. Chess by pure calculation inand rapidly became more capable, beating mastersgrandmastersand world champions In the later steps, a transition to "massively" parallel computers played a crucial role.
Those special-purpose creations are mini-Internets actually mini-GRIDsnetworking dozens or a few hundred ordinary computers. It would be an instructive project, today, to set up a [email protected] -style network, or a GRID client, that could beat the best standalones. Players of this kind, once created, would scale up smoothly to overwhelming strength, simply by tapping into ever larger resources.
In the more difficult game of calculating quantum reality we, with the help of our silicon friends, presently play like weak masters. We know the rules, and make some good moves, but we often substitute guesswork for calculation, we miss inspired possibilities, and we take too long doing it. To do much better we'll need to make the dream of a world-GRID into a working reality. We'll need to find better ways of parceling out subtasks in ways that don't require intense communication, better ways of exploiting the locality of the underlying equations, and better ways of building in physical insight, to prune the solution space.
These issues have not received the attention they deserve, in my opinion. Many people with the requisite training and talent feel it's worthier to discover new equations, however esoteric, than to solve equations we already have, however important their application. People respond to the rush of competition and the joy of the hunt.
Some well-designed prizes for milestone achievements in the simulation of matter could have a big impact, by focusing attention and a bit of glamour toward this tough but potentially glorious endeavor. How about, for example, a prize for calculating virtual water that boils at the right temperature? The Internet has made it far easier for professionals to access and search the scientific literature.
Unfortunately, it has also increased the chances that we will lose part or all of that literature. When I was young, I imagined that everything I wrote would be preserved forever. Future biographers would seek out every letter, diary and memorandum to capture the essence of my creativity. My first laboratory notebook still captured the same emotions. On page one I had printed, very legibly, the following preface: "To Posterity: This volume contains the authentic record of ingenious and original chemical research conducted by Robert Shapiro, currently a graduate student of organic chemistry at Harvard University.
Reality gradually whittled down my grandiosity, and I recognized that my published papers had the best chance of survival. The New York University library carried bound journals that dated from the 19th century, and the articles thay contained had obviously outlived their authors.
As the number of my own published works grew, curiosity chose me to select one of them and track its impact. I deliberately picked one of minor importance. A generation ago, a persistant PhD student and I had failed in an effort to synthesize a new substance of theoretical interest. We had however prepared some other new compounds and improved some methods, so I wrote a paper that was published in in The Journal of Organic Chemisty.
Had our results ever mattered to anyone? Using new computer-driven search tools, I could quickly check whether it had had ever been noticed. To my surprise, I found that 11 papers and some patents had cited our publication, up to In one instance, our work provided a starting point for the preparation of new tranquilizers. I imagined that in the distant future, other workers might pull the appropriate volume off a library shelf and find my work to be some help. I did not forsee that such bound volumes might no longer exist.
The Journal of Organic Chemistry started inand continues up to the present. Its demands on library shelf space have increased over time: the first volume contained only pages, while the edition had The arrival of the Internet rescued libraries from the space crisis created by the proliferation of new journals and the vast increase in the size of existing ones.
Many paper subscriptions were replaced by electronic ones, and past holdings were converted to digital form. It is not hard to imagine a future time when paper copies of the scientific literature will no longer exist. Many new journals are appearing only in digital form. This conversion has produced many benefits for readers.
In the past I had to leave my office, ride an elevator, walk several blocks, take another elevator, and make my way through a maze of shelves to find a paper that I needed. Occasionally, the issue I wanted was being used by someone else or had been misplaced, and I had traveled in vain.
Now I can bring most papers that I want onto a computer screen in my office or at home in a matter of minutes. I can store the publication in my computer, or print out a copy if I wish. But with this gain in the accessibility of the literature of science has come an increase in its vulnerability. Materials that exist in one or a few copies are inherently at greater risk than those that are widely distributed.
A Picasso painting might be destroyed but the Bible will survive. Alexander Stille in The Future of the Pastreported that the works of Homer and Virgil survived from antiquity because their great popularity lead them to be copied and recopied. On the other hand, only 9 of Sophocles plays have survived. Before the Internet came into play, I could take pride that my each of my papers was present in hundreds or thousands of libraries across the globe.
Its survival into the future was enhanced by the protection afforded by multiple copies. The same applies, of course to the remainder of the scientific literature. Thousands of paper copies of the literature have now been replaced by a few electronic records stored in computers. Furthermore, the storage medium is fragile.
Some paper manuscripts have survived for centuries. The lifetimes of the various discs, drives and tapes currently used for digital storage are unknown, but are commonly estimated in decades.
In some cases, works available only in electronic form have disappeared much more rapidly for another reason — lack of maintenance of the sites. Such difficulties are unlikely to affect prestigious sources such as the Journal of Organic Chemistry. But material stored only on the Internet is far more vulnerable to destruction than the same material present in multiple paper copies.
Electrical breakdown can disrupt access for a time, while cyberterrorism, civic disturbances, war and a variety of natural catastrophes could destroy part ar all of the storage system, leading to the irretrievable loss of sections of the scientific literature. Anton Zeilinger wrote in a previous edition of this series that a nuclear explosion outside the earth's atmosphere would cause all computers, and ultimately society, to break down.
How has this changed my thinking? I no longer write with the expectation of immortality in print. I am much more tempted to contribute to Internet discussion forums, blogs, and media which may not persist. I seek my reward from the immediate response that my efforts may bring, with little thought to the possibility that some stranger may see my words centuries from now, and wonder about the life that was led by the person who wrote them. I used to think that the problem of information is that it turns homo sapiens into fools — we gain disproportionately in confidence, particularly in domains where information is wrapped in a high degree of noise say, epidemiology, genetics, economics, etc.
So we end up thinking that we know more than we do, which, in economic life, causes foolish risk taking. When I started trading, I went on a news diet and I saw things with more clarity. I also saw how people built too many theories based on sterile news, the fooled by randomness effect.
But things are Album) lot worse. Now I think that, in addition, the supply and spread of information turns the world into Extremistan a world I describe as one in which random variables are dominated by extremes, with Black Swans playing a large role in them.
The Internet, by spreading information, causes an increase in interdependence, the exacerbation of fads bestsellers like Harry Potter and runs on the banks become planetary. Such world is more "complex", more moody, much less predictable.
So consider the explosive situation: more information particularly thanks to the Internet causes more confidence and illusions of knowledge while degrading predictability.
Look at this current economic crisis that started in there are about a million persons on the planet who identify themselves in the field of economics. Yet just a handful realized the possibility and depth of what could have taken place and protected themselves from the consequences.
At no time in the history of mankind have we lived under so much ignorance easily measured in terms of forecast errors coupled with so much intellectual hubris. At no point have we had central bankers missing elementary risk metrics, like debt levels, that even the Babylonians understood well. I recently talked to a scholar of rare wisdom and erudition, Jon Elster, who upon exploring themes from social science, integrates insights from all authors in the corpus of the past years, from Cicero and Seneca, to Montaigne and Proust.
He showed me how Seneca had a very sophisticated understanding of loss aversion. I felt guilty for the time I spent on the Internet. Upon getting home I found in my mail a volume of posthumous essays by bishop Pierre-Daniel Huet called Huetianaput together by his admirers c. It is so saddening to realize that, being born close to four centuries after Huet, and having done most of my reading with material written after his death, I am not much more advanced in wisdom than he was — moderns at the upper end are no wiser than their equivalent among the ancients; if anything, much less refined.
So I am now on an Internet diet, in order to understand the world a bit better — and make another bet on horrendous mistakes by economic policy makers.
I am not entirely deprived of the Internet; this is just a severe diet, with strict rationing. True, technologies are the greatest things in the world, but they have way too monstrous side effects — and ones rarely seen ahead of time. And since spending time in the silence of my library, with little informational pollution, I can feel harmony with my genes; I feel I am growing again. Use of the Internet has not changed the way that I think, but it is making a unique contribution by providing me with immediate and convenient access to an extraordinary range of ideas and information.
This development can be considered as a natural extension to the sequence that began with tablets of clay, continued through papyrus, parchment, handwritten manuscripts on paper to the recent mass produced books printed on paper. Happily the Internet provides us with access to many of these earlier forms of the written word as well as to electronic communications.
Access to information and ideas has always been important for both personal development and progress of a community or nation. As a school boy, when I first became interested in facts and ideas my family were living in an industrial part of the north of England and at that time I made great use of a public library.
The library was part of an industrial village established by a philanthropic entrepreneur who made his money by importing Alpacas' cashmere-like fleece and weaving fine clothes. Alpacas are members of the camelid family found in the Andes of Peru and Chile. He provided not only houses, a hospital, but schools and a technical college, and the library. I took it for granted that libraries which provided access to books, most of which could be borrowed and taken home, were available everywhere.
This is still not the case, but in the near future the Internet may provide an equivalent opportunity for people everywhere. Whereas libraries have been established in most major societies, it is only in the recent past that they have been made generally available to ordinary citizens.
One of the earliest libraries for which records remain is the Great Library of Alexandria in Egypt which was founded around BC by pharaoh Ptolemy I. It grew to hold several hundred thousand scrolls, some of which are said to have been taken from boats that happened to dock at Alexandria while carrying out their trade.
The library contributed to the establishment of Alexandria as a major seat of learning. Sadly the library was destroyed by fire. Never the less it represented a particular landmark in the development of the concept of a library as a collection of books to provide a reservoir of knowledge, that should be staffed by specific keepers whose tasks included expansion of the collection. Other similar libraries were established during this period, including those at Ephesus in Turkey and Sankore in Timbuktu.
During the period of the Roman Empire wealthy and influential people continued the practice of establishing libraries, most of which were open only to scholars with the appropriate qualifications. A survey in AD identified 29 libraries in Rome, but as the Empire declined the habit of establishing and maintaining libraries was lost. The development of monasteries provided a renewed stimulus for learning.
They amassed book collections and introduced the habit of exchanging volumes. Recognizing the importance of learning the Benedictine rules required that monks spent specified periods of time reading.
As Europe emerged from the Dark Ages wealthy families again began to collect books and then donate their libraries to seats of learning in places such as Florence, Paris, Vatican City and Oxford. All of these libraries depended upon the copying of text by hand and it was only the development of printing by Gutenberg in the s that production of books was transformed they were much more readily available. During the period to there was an extraordinary expansion of libraries, by universities and nations.
Some of these were named after major benefactors, such as the Bodlean Library in Oxford and the library donated by the Massachusetts clergyman John Harvard, after whom the university is named. In the United States the Library of Congress Alter Ego - Dissolve (2) - Caveman Of The Future (CD founded in and after a fire during the War of Independence its stock was replenished by the purchase of the collection that had been amassed by Thomas Jefferson. The Library of Congress now claims to be the largest library in the world with more than million items.
It was also during this period that public libraries became more common and books became more generally available for the first time. In some cases subscriptions were used to purchase books, but there was no charge for subsequent loans. One such was the Library Company of Philadelphia established by a group that included Benjamin Franklin in The oldest surviving free reference library in the United Kingdom, Chetham's, was established in Manchester in It was at this time that the UK parliament passed an Act to promote the formation of Public Libraries.
In the United States the first free public library was only formed inin New Hampshire. The Scots born entrepreneur Andrew Carniegie went on to build more than 1, public libraries in the US between and These libraries were the first to make large numbers of books available to the general public.
Of course books are only valuable to those who have access to them, can read and are encouraged to do so. Often reading was associated with religion as knowledge of the sacred scripture was important.
In England around the ability to read a particular Psalm entitled a defendant to be tried in an ecclesiastical court, which was typically more lenient than a civil court. In some places funds were allocated specifically to teach people to read the scriptures, but this provision was not always available universally.
At the time of the civil war in the US owners were prohibited from teaching their slaves to read and write. As recently as the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire was arrested and expelled for daring to teach peasants to read. Universal access to the Internet could have an exceptionally important contribution to make to future political developments. Access to the Internet would then provide the opportunity to everyone anywhere in the world to obtain a great deal of information on any subject that they choose.
Knowledge accumulated over centuries of human experience is an important counter to fashions of the moment communicated through commercial mass media.
It is hard to imagine that making each of us aware of the circumstances and beliefs of people in other parts of the world can do anything but good. We would surely be more likely to assist countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq to form liberal democracies by helping to provide education, training, employment and so wealth and greater understanding than by military take over, which inevitably causes a very large numbers of civilian casualties and a great deal of damage.
There is one cautionary note. Texts of any kind, be they on parchment or available through electronic systems, are only as useful as they are accurate.
In the days when books were prepared by hand the accuracy of scribes was recognized as being of paramount importance. In a rather different way, but of equal importance, we depend upon the rigor of the research done by those whose electronically reproduced articles we read. In the s I was a competitive bicycle racer, competing five times in the 3,mile nonstop transcontinental Race Across America, an event thatOutside magazine called "the world's toughest sporting event. It only matters how fast you can pedal your bike.
Full stop. Cycling is as close to a pure meritocracy as there is. In my intellectual pursuits, however, I never felt that the playing field was level. In academia especially, but in other careers as well most notably politics and corporate businessyour name, money, connections, social standing, religion, and especially which institutions you are affiliated with do seem to matter…a lot. Pure skill and talent, while important, often seem to play second fiddle in the orchestral arrangement of society.
The Internet is changing this. Thanks to the Internet, for the first time in my life I feel that I Alter Ego - Dissolve (2) - Caveman Of The Future (CD a chance to compete on a level playing field.
My academic background is embarrassing compared to that of most successful intellectuals. My public high school education was so abysmal that I had to attend to a community college in California for two years before matriculating at the then reputationless Pepperdine University. I scraped together a master's degree through the second-tier California State University system, and finally gave up hope for an intellectual life and raced bikes for a decade.
By the time I earned a Ph. Since teaching as an adjunct professor is no way to make a living literallyI founded the Skeptics Society andSkeptic magazine just as the Internet was getting legs in the earlys. Starting with no money, no backers, and no affiliation with elite institutions, the Internet made it possible for us to succeed by making knowledge accessible and searchable to me and my editors and writers on a scale never previously available.
The intellectual playing field was being leveled and the Internet changed the way I think about the very real possibility of fairness and opportunity in a world that has for too long been rigged to favor the elite.
Who needs brick and mortar libraries when knowledge is available at fingertips' notice? Who needs acceptance into elite universities when the same knowledge is searchable by anyone from anywhere?
Who needs access to exclusive clubs when knowledge is no longer the province of just the privileged? We're not all the way there yet, but the Internet is leveling the knowledge playing field by democratizing access to information. The first bit is wholly unsurprising: the Internet was designed for people like me, by people like me, most of them English speakers. Fundamentally reflecting western, rationalist, objective, data-organizing drives, the Internet simply enhances my ability to think in familiar ways, letting me work longer, more often, with better focus, free from the social tyranny of the library and the uncertainty of postmen.
The Internet has changed what I think, however — most notably about where the human race is now headed. From a prehistorian's perspective, I judge that we have been returned to a point last occupied at the time of our evolutionary origin.
This is what I mean:. When the first stone tool was chipped, over two millon years ago, it signalled a new way of being. The ancestral community learned to make flint axes, and those first artificial objects, in turn, critically framed a shared, reflective consciousness that began to express itself in language. An axe could be both made and said, used and asked for. The invention of technology brought the earliest unitary template for human thought into being. It can even be argued that it essentially created us as characteristically human.
What happened next is well known: technology accelerated adaptation. The original ancestral human culture spread out across continents and morphed into cultures, plural — myriad ways of being. While isolated groups drifted into ever greater idiosyncracy, those who found themselves in competition for the same resources consciously strove to differentiate themselves from their neighbours.
This ever deepening cultural specificity facilited the dehumanization of enemies that successful warfare, driven by jealously guarded technological innovation, required. Then reunification began, starting five thousand years ago, with the development of writing — a technology that allowed the transcription of difference.
War was not over, but alien thoughts did begin to be translated, at first very approximately, across the boundaries of local incomprehension. The mature Internet marks the completion of this process, and thus the reemergence of a fully contiguous human cultural landscape. We now have the same capacity for being united under a common language and shared technology that our earliest human ancestors had.
So, in a crucial sense, we are back at the beginning, returned into the presence of a shared template for human thought. From now on, there are vanishingly few excuses for remaining ignorant of objective scientific facts, and ever thinner grounds for cultivating hatred through willful failure to recognize our shared humanity.
Respecting difference has its limits, however: the fact of our knowing that there is a humanity to share means we must increasingly work towards agreeing common moral standards. The Internet means that there is nowhere to hide and no way to shirk responsibility when the whole tribe makes informed decisions as it now must about its shared future. The Internet has been in majority use in the developed world for less than a decade, but we can already see some characteristic advantages dramatically improved access to information, very large scale collaborations and disadvantages interrupt-driven thought, endless distractions.
It's tempting to try to adjudicate the relative value of the network on the way we think by deciding whether access to Wikipedia outweighs access to tentacle porn or the other way around. Unfortunately for us, though, the intellectual fate of our historical generation is unlikely to matter much in the long haul.
It is our misfortune to live through the largest increase in expressive capability in the history of the human race, a misfortune Alter Ego - Dissolve (2) - Caveman Of The Future (CD surplus always breaks more things than scarcity.
Scarcity means valuable things become more valuable, a conceptually easy change to integrate. Surplus, on the other hand, means previously valuable things stop being valuable, which freaks people out. To make a historical analogy with the last major increase in the written word, you could earn a living in simply by knowing how to read and write.
The spread of those abilities in the subsequent century had the curious property of making literacy both more essential and less professional; literacy became critical at the same time as the scribes lost their jobs. The same thing is happening with publishing; in the 20th century, the mere fact of owning the apparatus to make something public, whether a printing press or a TV tower, made you a person of considerable importance.
Today, though, publishing, in its sense of making things public, is becoming similarly de-professionalized; YouTube is now in the position of having tostop 8 year olds from becoming global publishers of video.
The mere fact of being able to publish to a global audience is the new literacy, formerly valuable, now so widely available that you can't make any money with the basic capability any more.
This shock of inclusion, where professional media gives way to participation by two billion amateurs a threshold we will cross this year means that average quality of public thought has collapsed; when anyone can say anything any time, how could it not? If all that happens from this influx of amateurs is the destruction of existing models for producing high-quality material, we would be at the beginning of another Dark Ages.
To the question "How is Internet is changing the way we think? To return to the press analogy, printing was a necessary but not sufficient input to the scientific revolution. The Invisible College, the group of natural philosophers who drove the original revolution in chemistry in the mids, were strongly critical of the alchemists, their intellectual forebears, who for centuries had made only fitful progress. By contrast, the Invisible College put chemistry on a sound scientific footing in a matter of a couple of decades, one of the most important intellectual transitions in the history of science.
In the s, though, a chemist and an alchemist used the same tools and had access to the same background. What did the Invisible College have that the alchemists didn't? They had a culture of sharing. The problem with the alchemists had wasn't that they failed to turn lead into gold; the problem was that they failed uninformatively.
Alchemists were obscurantists, recording their work by hand and rarely showing it to anyone but disciples. In contrast, members of the Invisible College shared their work, describing and disputing their methods and conclusions so that they all might benefit from both successes and failures, and build on each other's work.
The chemists were, to use Richard Foreman's phrase, "pancake people". They abandoned the spiritual depths of alchemy for a continual and continually incomplete grappling with what was real, a task so daunting that no one person could take it on alone. Though as schoolchildren, the history of science we learn is often marked by the trope of the lone genius, science has always been a networked operation.
In this we can see a precursor to what's possible for us today. Just as the Invisible College didn't just use the printing press as raw capability, but created a culture that used the press to support the transparency and argumentation science relies on, we have the same opportunity.
As we know from arXiv. As we know from Wikipedia, post-hoc peer review can support astonishing creations of shared value. As we know from the search for Mersenne Primes, whole branches of mathematical exploration are now best taken on by groups. As we know from Open Source efforts like Linux, collaboration between loosely joined parties can work at scales and over timeframes previously unimagined. As we know from NASA clickworkers, groups of amateurs can sometimes replace single experts.
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