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    Re: Simple celestial navigation in 1897
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2006 Apr 3, 16:50 -0500

    Frank wrote:
    
    > Just bear in mind that "The Sleepwalkers" is  Arthur Koestler's personal
    > opinion of how science operates, and many consider it  anti-science. His
    > "evidence" from history was chosen to match his opinion.  Koestler was an
    > amateur historian.
    
    Yes. As noted I found it leap frogged about, there was way too much
    character development for my tastes, and posturing protagonists and
    antagonists.  Could have been edited down to 200+ pages IMHO.
    
    While I am not even in the same league history-wise as many list members, I
    felt it also glossed over or ignored completely other important
    developments. I was not pleased with some of his writing style, such as
    references to Plato's Cave before he introduced the actual concept.  Had I
    not already known, the earlier references would have been lost.
    
    Last, when he notes that so-an-so had it figured out B.C, that was totally
    self serving.  We are in full agreement.  While not meaning to cast stones
    at the ancients or their achievements, there were a LOT of theories floating
    about.  With enough guesses recorded, there was a good chance one or more
    was pretty close 2000 years later, be it heliocentricity or the diameter of
    the earth.
    
    I recall a passage in one of Feynman's books.  He received a message about
    the patent for the use of atomic power in aircraft (if I recall). At first
    he thought it was a joke or misdirected. Then he remembered the government
    had the developers of the atomic bomb brainstorm, and write down any
    possible use of atomic power they could dream up--no matter how far
    fetched--so the government could patent it in advance!
    
    Bill
    
    
    

       
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