Archive for June 9th, 2012

Jump In The Line

Oh no. Goodness. Dear Me. Physicists and philosophers. They’re fighting with one another.

Stephen Hawking has decreed that philosophy is “dead.” Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg dismisses philosophy as “murky and inconsequential” and of no use whatsoever to the goddom of Science. When a paper by physicist Laurence Krauss was savaged by philosopher David Albert, Krauss denounced Albert as “moronic,” and shrugged that “philosophy, unlike physics, makes no progress and is rather boring, if not totally useless.” A little bit of an “oops” here is that Albert is also a physicist.

Now, I like physics. And I like philosophy. But that doesn’t mean that practitioners of both can’t be silly. And silly these people definitely are being.

This debate was settled, and years ago. By Bob Dylan. Physicist and philosopher. Who, in “Desolation Row,” wrote:

the Titanic sails at dawn
everybody’s shouting
“which side are you on?”
Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot
fighting in the captain’s tower

while calypso singers laugh at them
and fishermen hold flowers 

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