Frank Davis talked about the fact that he wakes up and, after gaining his bearings, automatically starts thinking about the persecution of smokers. I am much the same. I am happy to claim that I am ‘obsessed’.
I read somewhere, a long time ago, that when you think about and study some subject, the volume of brain cells involved grows and grows.
Herself and I are quite fond of watching ‘Eggheads’ on BBC2 at 6 pm. The panellists are absolutely astonishing in their breath of knowledge. But it is a matter of fact that some people have ‘photographic’ memories. They can remember what they have read or seen with the greatest of ease, while the rest of us have much difficulty in remembering what day it is.
I suspect that ‘experts’ are much like ‘Eggheads’ – they remember, with the greatest of ease, what they have read somewhere. Take Stephen Hawking. He is extremely ‘big’ in physics and cosmology, and yet he has been suffering from muscular dystrophy, or whatever, since he was 20. In fact, he was not expected to survive beyond 25.
So we imagine a person with little physical ability but a great mind. He can apply that mind to complex mathematical equations and apply that knowledge to what is known about the nature of light, matter, gravity, etc.
He can only do that if he reads stuff. He cannot personally experiment because of his physical problems. But he does not need to do so since the observations upon which he relies are physical and almost beyond doubt. He can rely upon the observations of others, aka astronomers.
The reason that we confer people like Hawkings and Einstein an others with such admiration is that they were able to expand their brain activities greatly, just as the panel on Eggheads expand their memories.
There are all sorts of uncanny things. I was watching a guy throw darts at the dartboard this evening. I have played darts and spent a lot of time practising at home. I got to be pretty good. But how do we refine such skills to such an extent that the top darters can almost pinpoint the precise spot where the dart they throw will hit?
All these skills, including golf and football and quoits, etc, all have something in common. It is practice, practice, practice. The same applies to thinking. Practice, practice, practice.
But practice, practice, practice requires constant repetition.
Constant repetition does not produce new insights.
Am I proposing contradictions? Am I saying that repetition is just repetition and that it is useless and that nothing can come of it? Well, yes – except that, sooner or later, the repetition will not be precise, and new knowledge will ensue.
That is what happened in REAL science. The discovery of penicillin was an accident, but not an uneducated accident. Faraday discovered electrical induction by accident, but not a thoughtless accident. That is how REAL science progresses – repetition with variations.
TobcoN is a totally artificial construct. Its ‘science’ depends upon an accumulation of dodgy statistics which acquire the artificial stature of ‘a body of evidence’. If TobcoN was building houses, its ‘body of evidence’ would build houses with no walls so that ‘fresh air’ could circulate.
Have I displayed ‘pro-smoking obsession’? Probably. But I don’t care. All I want is not to be persecuted. All I want is not to treated like a Jew in Nazi Germany. All I want is left alone. All I want is to be able to make my cigs myself from leaf which is unadulterated. If others are prepared to buy a cig, a small tube of dried leaf, at a price of some 35p each, that is their stupidity, when alternative supplies are available.
There is a lot to be said for ‘roll with it’. An apple pie with reduced sugar? Sprinkle sugar on it.