Wednesday, January 23, 2019

754: The legacy of World War Two...

The period 1934 - 1945 weren't not only dark and threatening times. Especially in the 1930s remarkable things happened.
Things of which we experience serious consequences. In the 1930s chemistry was not only the play field of academic scientists and universities.
It became integrated in the industrial processes and production. 
Wallace Hume Carothers (1896 –1937) was an American chemist, inventor and the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont,
He is credited with the invention of nylon and the synthetic rubber, called neoprene.
The magic material was presented by Du Pont  during the Du Pont "Wonder World of Chemistry" during the World Exhibition in New York, 1939.
After this presentation there was a run on nylon stockings. Many stores allowed customers only two pairs per purchase.
However, the nylon craze was a thought-provoking aspect, which the New York Times pointed out: "Until now, a synthetic material has always been an imitation of something that was found in nature ... 
This nylon is different. There is no chemical counterpart in nature ... It is ... such a perfect control of matter
that man is no longer totally dependent on animals, plants and the earth's crust for food, clothing and building materials. "
Was the New York Times pondering about the idea of man alienated from nature?
What we inherited from the 20th century with its focus on chemistry , plastics and artificial fibers is our oceans full of plastic waste today.
Between January 1933 and December 1941, 104,098 German and Austrian refugees arrived in the United States. 
Among them were 7622 academics and some 1500 artists, journalists and other intellectuals. 

Most of them only sought asylum in the US after the Kristallnacht in 1938. Among them were well known scientists like Erich Fromm, Claude Levi-Strauss and Wilhelm Reich
And while Europe was overrun by fascism and a lot of art was destroyed als "Entartete Kunst" (Degenerated art),
Amerika became the place where many famous artists found asylum: Schönberg, Hindemith, Mondriaan, Chagall, de Kooning and many others.
But maybe the most world changing thing, that emerged from these war years, originates from England. The name related to it is Alan Turing.
You may have heard of the Enigma machine, with which the Germans made coded messages for, in particular, their submarines and warships.
The coded messages were almost impossible to break, but Alan Turing succeeded in doing so by building an electronic devise, 
that could check 25.000 characters per second to look for patterns. This enabled the UK to take out much more U-boats or evade them.
Thus was born the idea of the computer. In the US Von Neumann, a friend of Turing, developed similar ideas, 
which resulted in the ENIAC (Electronical Numerical Integrator and Calculator).
Years after the war an investigation was started in which a group of older soldiers and scientists were asked 
what they thought were the most important scientific contributions to the course of the war. 
This group came to the conclusion that there had been six major developments or instruments that  arose or were further developed by the war. 
These were atomic energy, radar, rocket propulsion, jet propulsion, automation and operational research.
Where other wars had been followed by a time of pessimism, in part due to scientific developments, the Second World War, 
was followed by a time of optimism, an optimistic belief that science would benefit everyone, despite the enormous shadow of the atomic bomb.
The legacy of that part of the 20th century, I'd say....
Thank you for your attention again....

The Discussion

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Also from the radar we got the microwave oven
[13:24] herman Bergson: is that so Bejiita....funny....
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the magnetron was developed for radar and by accident they discovered that it melted chocolate
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): boom the microwave oven was born!
[13:24] herman Bergson: I think the main point here is the position science got in our society from that time on
[13:25] CB Axel: I think maybe science got too important.
[13:25] CB Axel: People got to think we didn't need nature any more.
[13:25] herman Bergson: As I may notice , nobody seems to question that :-)
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): also a fun detail, Nylon and computers dont mix, Nylon + computer usually = BZZZT BOFF, No more computer
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:26] herman Bergson: Maybe that was the worry of the NYT too, CB
[13:26] CB Axel: My sister once tried to get my father worried about global warming by talking about how the polar bears are dying.
[13:26] CB Axel: But my father doesn't care about polar bears.
[13:26] herman Bergson smiles
[13:27] herman Bergson: I wonder how much I care about them :-)
[13:27] CB Axel: He doesn't even care that dying polar bears are a symptom of a planet that is dying.
[13:27] herman Bergson: I also didn't care about dinosaurs
[13:27] CB Axel: He figures humans will be fine because we will just adapt to the new climate.
[13:27] CB Axel: He believe science will save us.
[13:28] CB Axel: But what are we begin save for?
[13:28] herman Bergson: I think you should turn it around CB....
[13:28] herman Bergson: the earth isn't dying at all.....
[13:28] herman Bergson: eventually WE are dying and the earth lives on...just like that
[13:28] CB Axel: The sooner that happens, the better.
[13:29] herman Bergson: Not too fast CB :-)
[13:29] CB Axel: I don't want to live in a world covered in concrete eating manufactured food.
[13:29] herman Bergson: Give it a chance....
[13:29] CB Axel: It's hard for me to do that. I hate the human race more and more every day.
[13:30] herman Bergson: I hope that is not our future CB.....Concrete and McDonnallls everywhere :-)
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is our future?
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the developing of fotonica?
[13:31] herman Bergson: what is that Beertje?
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no indeed, i dont wanna live in a concrete jungle where everything is grey and everyone stressing around in a total chaos
[13:31] CB Axel: The game?
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): energy like plants do,
[13:31] CB Axel: Oh. Photosynthesis?
[13:31] herman Bergson: A video game?
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's what university does now
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): photonica
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): is that like a real version of ready player one?
[13:32] herman Bergson: I think you all are too pestimistic.....
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): search for photonica...i don't know how to explain in english
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it will be a revolution in energy
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i like vr but i dont want the world to be so messed im forced to live 100% in a vr cause everything around me rl is destroyed
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the film i liked though
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is vr? Bejiita?
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ill check that
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Oculus Rift and similar
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): those things
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Sansar
[13:34] CB Axel: Virtual Reality.
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you CB
[13:34] herman Bergson: That is all what the previous century brought the computer
[13:35] herman Bergson: But I am not that negative about the future based on this legacy :-)
[13:35] herman Bergson: Concrete everywhere....
[13:36] herman Bergson: Only 7% of the territory of the Netherlands contains buildings
[13:36] herman Bergson: all the remainder is meadows and woods and water
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): searching photonica i only find this
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some TV/monitor maker
[13:37] herman Bergson: photonica....optic possibilities on a chip
[[13:39] herman Bergson: Well...I guess we have to deal with our plastics and computers in this century.....
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa u mean optical cpus wich use light instead of electricity to transfer data around the chip?
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats the next step i guess
[13:39] herman Bergson: Guess that is it Bejiita....
[13:39] CB Axel: Fiber optics?
[13:40] herman Bergson: computers that use light in stead of electicity
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes that's what I ment
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and will be 1000s of times faster
[13:40] CB Axel: Interesting.
[13:40] herman Bergson: yes the speed is the attraction here
[13:40] herman Bergson: and then come the promises that computers can do much more than before
[13:41] CB Axel: Quantum computers?
[13:41] herman Bergson: But we still stay the same human beings....
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): also the quantum computer is interesting but its only useful for very specialized and advanced calculations
[13:41] herman Bergson: with our emotions and irrationality
[13:41] herman Bergson: our need for love and security
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): one possible application for the quantum computer could however be to answer the problem we discussed long ago
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): how does the brain and our minds work
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a quantum computer if anything might solve that
[13:42] herman Bergson: I don't think so Bejiita....
[13:42] herman Bergson: to begin with....
[13:42] herman Bergson: everything that is IN that computer is a product of our brain....
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well thats true
[13:43] herman Bergson: to know ABOUT the brain means that you need to have means of getting knowledge which are beyond the brain
[13:43] herman Bergson: but we don't have concepts that transcendent the brain
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and also throwing math and calculus at stuff like this will probably not solve this as the brain cant be explained in that way
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): with math
[13:44] herman Bergson: Already when I was a student....I compared this situation with this
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and all computers work my math and algotithms only
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): by
[13:44] herman Bergson: You are holding a ruler in your hand with which you want to measure that ruler
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa
[13:44] herman Bergson: that is when we  think about thinking
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats true
[13:45] herman Bergson: We can't transcend the concepts of our thinking...of our mind
[13:46] herman Bergson: And building computers doesn't create such a possibility
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to be able to understand our brain we must already understand our brain
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): with or without computers
[13:46] herman Bergson: and use our brain to understand our brain...although MIND is a better word here
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the "software" part
[13:47] herman Bergson: The modern development IS to learn to understand the brain....the physical object inside our skull
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:47] herman Bergson: All those busy neuroscientists...
[13:48] herman Bergson: I said it before....
[13:48] herman Bergson: previously the criminal was kind of excused based on psycho-analytical interpretations of his personality...
[13:49] herman Bergson: Today the criminal is excused to some extend based on MRi scans that show something in his brain activity...
[13:50] herman Bergson: And when you apply the Sharia his hand is just chopped of :-)
[13:50] herman Bergson: A thief is a thief...
[13:50] CB Axel: Right. They should chop his head off.
[13:51] CB Axel: No?
[13:51] herman Bergson: His head...hmmm.....he has got only one of that...
[13:52] herman Bergson: A bit definite
[13:52] CB Axel: Well, his hand didn't make him a thief. It was his brain.
[13:53] herman Bergson: Well maybe it gives you something to think about.......
[13:53] herman Bergson: Ahh a good one, CB
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:53] herman Bergson: Have to think about it indeed :-))
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:54] herman Bergson: So...let me thank you again for your participation today....
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:54] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:54] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....^_^
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time then
[13:54] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you :-) Herman and Class
[13:54] CB Axel: I'll try to be in a better mood and hate people a little less next week.
[13:54] CB Axel:  °͜°

[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

No comments:

Post a Comment