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Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by just-want-peace, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    #1 I'm looking for a poem or story, can't remember which now, about the fact that at one time it was stated that, aerodynamically, a bumblebee could not fly.
    The work played this up and finally concluded that God could make a BB fly regardless of what man declared, and since the BB didn't know it couldn't fly - it just did!

    #2 There was a Chinese proverb/story that told of a farm family whose son broke his leg and how bad that was cause it took one of the farm laborers out of commission. But then a local gang leader came through the village looking for young men to force into his warrior clan and passed up this boy because he was useless with the broken leg. This was seen as good until-----
    The bottom line was that a person cannot always tell, in the immediate context, whether something is good or bad, and may never really know until the "whole story" is told.

    Both of these are from memories of some 15-20 years ago, so the details are real sketchy, but thanks for any help.
     
  2. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    Bump!!!!!!!
     
  3. Steadfast Fred

    Steadfast Fred
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    The Story of the Bee (taken from par2.com/bee

    I don't remember the exact year, it would have been 1974 or 5. Probably. I do remember that I was driving to the market, listening to the news.

    The announcer said that it was now official, the bumble bee could fly. Aerodynamic Engineers had made the announcement. Apparently, up until that point, it had been aerodynamically impossible for the bumble bee to fly.

    As a Philosophy student, the word "impossible" meant something very specific and very important to me. It is a very, very powerful word. Every bit as powerful as "know."

    I also remember my immediate reaction. I slapped the dashboard and said "Sure glad no one told the bumble bee."

    For how many years did western civilization "know" that the earth was flat?-Or that the sun was the center of the universe?-Or that parallel lines could not possibly meet?

    I had been taught that if it is true that you "know" something, it follows that that thing is fact. I had been taught that if something is impossible, it cannot, under any circumstances be fact. Of course, that means that no scientist should ever have said that the bee cannot fly, though obviously they did. They should have said "It is clear that the bee can fly but we do not know why. Obviously, our theory of flight is inadequate. In fact, it is incorrect."

    Yes, that is what they should have said, but did not. Sir Arthur Eddington, I recollect, stated that an entire generation of physicists had to die before Einstein could be accepted.

    So much for good epistomology in science.

    There is a very important point here. Unless someone who genuinely does know tells you it cannot be done, you can do it. The only issue is whether you are clever and motivated enough.



    And that is the story of the bee.
     
  4. Steadfast Fred

    Steadfast Fred
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    (17) The old man on the frontier lost his horse 塞翁失马 - taken from chinadetail.com/Culture/LanguagesChinasAesopsFables2

    Once upon a time, there lived an old man on the northern frontier of China.

    One day, his horse disappeared. His neighbors came to comfort him. But the old man was not upset at all. He said the loss might turn out to be a good thing. And he was right.

    A few months later, his horse came back with another horse that was even better. His neighbors came to congratulate him on his gain. But once again, the old man viewed the event differently. He said this "good luck" might turn out to be misfortune in the end. Strangely, he was right again.

    A few days later, his son fell from the new horse and broke his leg. But fortunately, since his son was lame after that accident, he was not chosen to be a soldier to fight in the following war so that he lived with family safely.

    Nowadays people use "The old man on the frontier lost his horse" to comfort those who have some misfortune. It implies: Bad luck sometimes turns out to be good luck, and good luck can sometimes be bad.
     

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