Scientific Thinking LO21937

Leo Minnigh (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 16:50:14 +0200 (MET DST)

Replying to LO21923 --

Replying to 21923 (John Gunkler) and LO21931 (Winfried Dressler)

Dear John, dear Winfried, dear LO'ers,

Thank you John, your clarifying contribution was helpfull for me. After
rereading also your and At's earlier messages it became clear: one must
first collect before the filtering.

Thank you too, Winfried. Your contribution supplemented John's one.
Together they opened my eyes to the clouds at the horizon.

My misinterpretations are probably due to the word 'detector'. And maybe
my thoughts were directed through the metaphor of 'gems' towards my mining
and gelological backgrounds. Anyway, I still have some questions that
trouble me.

Firstly a suggestion. Maybe the word 'gem' should be changed in 'wealth'.
It is the general richness of our environment to which we should open our
The problem however, is that - as De Bono often said - we will only see
those things, that we are prepared to see. It is this preparation which
always will be the pitfall. And as a matter of fact, this is exactly what
At told us in his contribution (LO21889):

"The reason why I selected the name "gem detector" is that in any
well-formed, healthy person, although all five these senses function
continuously, the person is more than often not aware of this continuous

It reminds me of a common experience. During a chess competition, aside
each chess board a clock is placed. The complete team consists of ten club
players. Ten clocks are ticking. Since all of the players are concentrated
on the strategy of the game they play, absolute silence is in the room.
But once you realise the ticking of your own clock, you will hear the
the ticking of each clock. A cacaphony!

Therefore a will make another proposal. Where 'gem' might be changed in
'wealth', detector might be changed in 'collector'. So that means that we
may use
wealth collector, instead of gem detector.

As Winfried wrote:

"One example is gold: Is it realy the material properties of gold that
makes it so valuable? What about the power of gold to generate

After the collecting is done (when is it finished :-)?), the next stage of
speculation comes into play. This is the rich world of fantasy. 'Playing'
with the collection. Shall we split and filter it, or shall we melt it
together? Shall we break it up in bits and pieces, or shall we construct
something of it. Or shall we make a device, such as a microscope, to
search deeper in the collection for the unseeable elements? So the
original collection is made even wealthier than the original. Or shall we
start interpreting our collection. Like Keppler did when he interpreted
the different forms of snowflakes, and coming up (just by interpretation)
with some sort of atom-theory.
Yes Winfried, this is the entropy production in our mind.

Again, the last part of "Spoiler detector' misleaded me. And still, I am
not so happy with that expression, despite my better understanding.

And then, finally, the judges, sieves, filters and falsifiers come into

I was on the wrong track. Thank you both for opening my diaphragma.
Without such opening, the use of a UV-filter is unwise.
However, the wrong track I walked, was no waste time, because I realised
that the wrong order of the scientific method (observation - speculation -
falsification) could be in certain cases a strong (un)scientific method
for learning.

dr. Leo D. Minnigh
Library Technical University Delft
PO BOX 98, 2600 MG Delft, The Netherlands
Tel.: 31 15 2782226
Let your thoughts meander towards a sea of ideas.


Leo Minnigh <>

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