Law of the land

John Brockman’s “What’s Your Law?” has garnered quite some attention. Some of the greatest minds of today have offered their own proverbs and truths; it’s quite a good read. It’s also overwhelmingly lengthy, but being stuck home ill over the weekend I read the whole thing and want to save a few gems.

In the off-the-wall category, Stuart Hameroff tries to revive Cartesian dualism:

The sub-conscious mind is to consciousness what the quantum world is to the classical world. Sir Roger Penrose…and I have put forth a specific model of consciousness involving quantum computation in microtubules within the brain’s neurons.

while Nancy Etcoff wisely warns against any dualism:

Instead, of acting in opposition, in nature two forces are likely to be dependent, interactive and interwoven; sometimes they are merely two names for the same thing.

Andy Clark is also espouses generalism:

Everything leaks.

Edward O. Laumann asserts that monogomy is healthy:

Moderation in levels of partnered sex activity is the mode for the bulk of humankind and is consistent with high levels of subjective well-being. Low levels of subjective sexual well-being is associated with poor physical, emotional, and mental health.

Leo Chalupa’s Second Law is depressing:

…there is a price to pay for originality and every working scientist knows this is the case.

Roger Schank explains open-mindedness:

The good news is that for some people, failure to comprehend is the beginning of understanding. For most, of course, it is the beginning of dismissal.

Beatrice Golomb is a bit defeatist:

Everything in biology is more complicated than you think it is…

…which might contradict Gerwitz’s Law for science, from someone not noteworthy enough for Edge:

The cause is simpler than you expect.

and has a corollary:

The effects are more complex than you can measure.

I posted this in January 2004 during week 1558.

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