That must be an interesting feeling. I spent a lot of hours reading his fiction, then shifting over to his non-fiction as he hoped his readers would.
> In a biographical note, many years ago, Isaac Asimov admitted his own naivete by telling how it was not until graduate school that it had ever occurred to him that experimental data could be falsified and that anyone would ever do such a thing. >
Sounds like Rudi Nussbaum, a theoretical physicist, recently deceased.
He'd come for a very pure place in his education, landed in the US in advance of the holocaust, not unlike Marianne Buchwalter, who shared her journey with us just a few nights ago, as Rudi had.
Rudy was teaching at Reed College here in Portland I think it was when he started looking at how science was used to support what was being done to the environment (which includes people) in the name of the Cold War.
What was called the Manhattan Project in its day was a lot carried out near the Columbia River in Washington State, at a site called Hanford, a frequent tourist stop.
The health effects of nuclear materials, which could be beneficial if used wisely, were starting to alarm a lot of scientists, those who understood the chemistry and physics.
However a lot of junk science with hired gun lawyers behind it, was dumped into the record to put the right spin on whatever findings.
The goal was to stall policy action and science was cannon fodder. Rudy just never seen that before. He thought of science as too pure for this kind of debate style.
So did he run away from the debates?
No, he realized his calling and waded into the fray, somewhat in the wake of, or one might say alongside of, Linus Pauling.
Linus was one of the first to give us the bad news that we were manifestly suicidal in our pseudo-science (why dignify it as science?).
WW2 was proof of that.
These realizations came hot on the heals of Sigmund Freud saying basically the same thing: humanity has a collective death wish, as well as a will to live.
> So, there is a feature in the web interface to Math-Teach that allows a correspondent to edit a memorandum he had already submitted to the forum. Something about this feature always bothered me, but I never troubled too much about it because I, myself, sometimes exploited the feature to correct spelling errors, typos, and <GASP!> even to change a word from time to time. >
That feature wasn't always there. Before that, I'm pretty sure, was the ability to simply view in plaintext.
That was important to me, as I was always pasting these Python snippets, and those are white-space sensitive.
More generally, mathematics tends to take a plaintext approach when formatting primitive communications, until the technology goes up a notch and renders book quality typography.
Mathematics is all about inventive use of symbols, in addition to whatever concepts get believed in (invested in).
> Until today, it had never occurred to me that, by means of this editing feature, anyone would alter the historical record of a conversation. >
To a point. I've thought of going back to fix broken URLs. But be aware that any reply to a post freezes it. If you're concerned to nail a particular squib, then reply to it directly.
Acknowledged: Reply to be email is not a guarantee of showing up as a reply in the archive -- sometimes they get strung out. Replying to through the web interface itself is maybe a safer bet, when you want to put the lid on some coffin.
I tend to post, then polish on-line, as I invariably catch a few things. Sometimes I'll uncheck the "edited by" box, but either way I note my changes propel a posting to the top of the archive (there's a modification date driving that).
So if you want to accumulate evidence of tampering with "the record"....
However, there's really no way you should be treating this archive as if those features did not or never existed.
No one promised you, the pseudonymous hero, the Zorro against the Education Mafia, that this was your sandbox for building some kind of legal case for the courts.
These are the wilds of the Internet, not some corporate board room office with everything memo-ized and stenographed.
You / we ain't paid enough for that level of service me thinks. Plus it's fine to be fixing those typos.
> Sorry as I would be to see it go, the editing feature of the web interface must be immediately disabled! TO ALL MATH-TEACH CORRESPONDENTS WHO VALUE INTELLECTUAL INTEGRITY, PLEASE ADD YOUR VOICES TO THIS REQUEST. > > Haim > Shovel ready? What shovel ready?