Thread: Where are the genius(es) ?

  1. #1
    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
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    Where are the genius(es) ?

    The last major scientific breakthrough was made in 1905 by Albert Einstein (Golden year for physics). Ever since it has been pretty dull. World population has increased several times since which suggests an increase in probability of finding another genius like Einstein. But unfortunately, it hasn't happened yet.
    I am wondering what could be the possible explanation behind this?
    1. Are we getting dumber?
    2. Talented folks just couldn't find the right environment (modern stressful society / education system) to show their creativity? It should be worth noting that Einstein's significant work came when he was doing a boring clerical job.


    So where are the Einsteins, Ramanujans, Bohrs, Turings, etc., ?
    An answer to this question would help us solve another major question that has haunted us: "Where is everyone?" We need more geniuses to answer such great questions / science mysteries IMHO.
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted
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    Perhaps the remaining unanswered problems are significantly more difficult. So far we have only really explained macro phenomena; when we get to the subatomic world, things start to make no sense; Niels Bohr has described the comprehension of quantum phenomena as "shocking".

    I think it will really take another paradigm shift to move ahead.

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    Programming Wraith GReaper's Avatar
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    What do you mean by "major scientific breakthroughs"? I'm asking because I'm looking at this wikipedia list, and a lot has happened since Einstein
    Devoted my life to programming...

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    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GReaper View Post
    What do you mean by "major scientific breakthroughs"? I'm asking because I'm looking at this wikipedia list, and a lot has happened since Einstein
    Fair enough, most discoveries in that list are great in its own respect. For example, LIGO in that list is really really great, but it should be noted that it confirmed what Einstein postulated nearly a century ago. I am looking for paradigm shifting discoveries by a great mind (aka genius) capable of visualizing things that cannot be seen or inferred directly, something that challenges our current fundamental understanding of universe like Einstein's discovery of theory of relativity did a century ago. Like how Newton's view of the universe was challenged successfully by Einstein.
    Last edited by stevesmithx; 07-16-2016 at 11:27 PM.

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    Registered User MacNilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megafiddle View Post
    Perhaps the remaining unanswered problems are significantly more difficult.
    My thoughts exactly. First, it started with Prometheus to discover how to create fire.. Bohr, etc. to discover the atom ... and progressively, scientific problems gradually become more a lot more complex over time. A true genius, IMHO, sets the current accepted truth on its head and forces everyone who is serious about knowledge to reconsider what they thought they knew before. That can happen again at any time. Historically, however, a lot of "genius" is only discovered postmortem, when those once-thought "radical" ideas take hold in a more accepting cultural climate.

    So what's a genius? A person who has a unique perspective, unshared by anyone else? This can apply to "art" or "science" (not sure there is much difference here, since I consider math and all other human endevors as art forms). This perspective may be justified, or not (i.e., a crazy person).
    Last edited by MacNilly; 07-16-2016 at 11:32 PM.

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    Informer -Adrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megafiddle
    Perhaps the remaining unanswered problems are significantly more difficult.
    Ditto. I feel the same when people conclude that having advanced from horse carriages to airplanes implies that we'll move from airplanes to interstellar travel.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I think that the early 20th century Relativity and Quantum Mechanics discoveries are still under intense exploration for a new scientific revolution to take place. At least in the area of Physics. It's very difficult for a radical new idea to be proposed because the incentive still relies almost entirely in fully exploring the large amount of unknown regions opened to us by these two discoveries.

    It could happen. But it's doubtful until particularly a large part of the quantum physics is better understood. Imagine it like setting sail to explore new worlds. It just happens that you found new land and now you are going to take your time exploring it. You will eventually resume sea exploration, but because you found such a vast and fertile space it will take a bit longer.

    I'm looking at this wikipedia list, and a lot has happened since Einstein
    I would humbly argue that list is too inflated by including mere scientific observations like the Hayflick limit or the first extrasolar planet, and technological discoveries or inventions like the Bose-Einstein condensate or the polymerase chain reaction. And I think pure empirical observations like the discovery of the aforementioned hayflick limit or the first pulsar shouldn't qualify as scientific development, as they sit right at the beginning of the scientific process; they are the type of (fortuitous) discoveries that can lead or motivate scientific development, but they are not scientific development themselves. But maybe I am being too strict.

    But I think that is not the kind of scientific development that stevesmithx was alluding to.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 07-17-2016 at 05:52 AM.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Adrian View Post
    Ditto. I feel the same when people conclude that having advanced from horse carriages to airplanes implies that we'll move from airplanes to interstellar travel.
    Even more relevant perhaps, that because since we have Weak AIs, we are going to get a Strong AI. Some going as far as arguing it will happen in the next 3 decades.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    Well, cosmology has become incredibly prevalent. I'm not sure when dark matter or dark energy were discovered but they're pretty paradigm-shifting.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    Well, cosmology has become incredibly prevalent. I'm not sure when dark matter or dark energy were discovered but they're pretty paradigm-shifting.
    It hasn't been discovered yet. It's just an hypothesis trying to explain some observations that don't fit with classical gravity. The paradigm shift may come if indeed one day it is observed and measured.
    However I count myself among the skeptic ones. I think the search for its existence is valid, but I believe it will lead to other explanations and Dark Matter/Energy will never be found. And that will be quite the paradigm shift...
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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