Catt Anomaly



The background.


Why did I latch onto the Catt Anomaly, and pursue it with vigour?

Catt, Davidson and Walton had already been prevented from publishing their lesser advances in electromagnetic theory for a decade by earlier officials who preceded Secker. Then, in May 1976, they made major advances. First, Walton excised Displacement Current. Then, in the same month, Catt discovered Theory C. They withheld this theory for some years, but finally published it in Wireless World in dec80. However, still, today, members of the IEE or of the IEEE, the two major relevant learned institutions in the world, do not know that this team claim a major scientific advance made in may76. Even the fact that an advance is claimed, let alone the nature of the claim, has been suppressed for twenty years! The first admission of the claim is made in a ridiculing aside in Lago's review of my last book, in the IEE's ECEJ journal, oct95, partly reproduced as appendix 4.

I had already known about suppression in science, and published my first paper thirty years ago in IEEE Trans. Comp. feb66 under a misleading title, and because of this, it was the only paper on the subject to pass the referees. Nobody else succeeded in publishing on the very important subject of The Glitch until many years later, (Couranz in IEEE Trans. Comp., June75,) because the subject was taboo. This suppression led inevitably to frequent computer crashes, and meant that computers were unreliable. This caused the computer industry to lose the real time market for two decades. My third (and major) paper, finally published in the IEEE Trans. Comp. EC-16 dec67, was delayed for three years in horrendous political wrangling, which involved Narud, the head of R&D in Motorola Phoenix, where I worked, instructing my boss Emory Garth to fire me. Because Emory failed to fire me, he himself had to leave. My paper began to outline the techniques needed to interconnect the fastest ECL logic systems, which we had developed. Our failure to educate our customers meant that the market fell back to our competitors' ten - times - slower TTL circuit, and we lost our market to Texas Instruments. Also, computers ran much slower for decades. (Narud had refused to develop the slower TTL circuits.)

Twenty years later, in The Daily Telegraph on 1may89, the worst suppresser of all, Maddox, long time editor of Nature (recently retired), re-enacted Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter" when he expressed concern about suppression in science. He wrote that a discovery like Crick and Watson's Double Helix could not be published in today's heavily censored scientific journals. Certainly, censorship is more severe than twenty years ago, when my 1967 paper was delayed for a mere three years.


'It seems a shame,' old Maddox said,

   'To play them such a trick.

We've led them up the garden path,

   And made them write so quick!'

J C Williams said nothing but

   'My carpet's not too thick!'


'I weep for you,' old Maddox said:

   'I deeply sympathize.'

Holding his pocket-handkerchief

   Before his streaming eyes.


'O Scientists,' called Prof Secker,

   But answer came there none -

And this was scarcely odd, because

   They'd censored every one.


The Earlier Background


After graduating from Cambridge, I published everything that I wanted to publish in the leading learned journals for the next twelve years. These included the Fall Joint Computer Conference, The IEEE Transactions on Computers, and later New Society and New Scientist. By 1972, it was clear that the British were determined to get out of hi technology. As for me, after twelve years of increasing disillusionment with the slow progress of digital electronics, I decided to start a new career. First, I went teaching Remedial English.

I had already written a book about hire and fire in the U.S.A., which was published in six languages. Now, as a parting shot, I published a further book, "Computer Worship", which discussed the idiocies of the computer industry. So far, so good. However, the trouble came with my third book, a text book on digital computer hardware design. While researching this, I made major breakthroughs in fundamental electromagnetic theory which were more important than anything I had published in the past. Suddenly, I found that I had gone from 100% acceptance of all my articles for publication to 100% rejection. Since that date, 1973, I have generally failed to publish anything in learned journals, particularly failing in Britain, but also failing round the world. Now that my material was more advanced and important, it was totally rejected for the next 25 years. During that time I have made periodic written approaches to the President of the IEE and similar potentates expressing concern, but to no avail. However, as my reputation worldwide grew, the resulting difficulty for the IEE and other relevant learned institutions kept increasing. Still, they have held to their policy, not even admitted to themselves, to suppress all major advances in the art.

Denied information on my work of even decades ago, other researchers in my specialisms fall further and further behind. They now have no chance of catching up with me and my team; D. S. Walton and Malcolm Davidson, so that today we stand totally unchallenged and unexampled. However, to be such an unnoticed Historical Object gives us no satisfaction.

The decades of suppression have increased the divorce between me and all accredited journal referees for my work, leading to the totally uncomprehending review of my latest book by Lago in the oct95 issue of the IEE Electronics & Communication Engineering Journal. Twenty years earlier, in Wireless World, July79, Lago had attacked our first major dec78 and mar79 publications, on Displacement Current; ".... the articles are wrong in every detail and it is vital that this should be clearly demonstrated before undue damage is done." Now he surfaced again with a second attack, ending with the flourish; ".... this reviewer, after lengthy and careful consideration, can find virtually nothing of value in this book.".

That first important dec78 article in Wireless World was photocopied by staff and circulated within U.K.A.E.A. Culham, followed by a meeting there to discuss the situation. The meeting delegated to B. G. Burrows the task of telephoning Tom Ivall, Editor of Wireless World. He threatened Ivall that if he published any more material by Catt et al., Wireless World would be boycotted by the scientific community. (This is exactly the treatment previously meted out to the intended publishers of Velikovsky's first book.)

Ivall should have capitulated. However, he reacted in my favour for two reasons. Firstly, he had independent means. Secondly, he had spent many hours with me and many hours with Burrows, and found my technical stature to be no lower than that of Burrows. Ivall continued to publish material on my theories every month for the next ten years, making me the most published and most read suppressed author in history. However, the reader may not know that if a scientist reads Wireless World (now called Electronics World) he loses caste, much as you would lose caste if you read the "Sun". Certainly, before I published in the semi-reputable Wireless World, I had never read it. Thus, my theories did not reach graduate engineers and college lecturers by being published in Wireless World. Quite the reverse. Wireless World was read by technicians, not by engineers, even though Ivall did not allow such dismal rubbish as slips into the journal today, for instance page 937, dec96.

As the decades drifted by, I continued to fulfil my duty of attempting to get my work published. I also delved deeper into the theory of the Politics of Knowledge, or the Sociology of Science. Basil Bernstein, of the Institute of Education, London, gave me the first clue, which can be paraphrased as follows;

Knowledge is Property, with its own market value and trading relationships, to be protected by those who trade in that body of knowledge.

It was many more years before I realised that

He who brings unsafe new knowledge is a vandal, much as the Nazis who burned the books were vandals.

The reason is that the intrusion of unsafe new knowledge results in the rejection of the old books. Unsafe new  knowledge has to be defined.

New knowledge is unsafe if its acceptance would lead to a change in an A level syllabus. It is also unsafe if it would lead to the change of a first degree syllabus. It is not unsafe if it would merely lead to the addition of an extra section in a first degree syllabus, leaving the text books untarnished.

One has to consider the knowledge broker, or lecturer, with his slabs of lecture notes. Each slab of notes represents capital which brings in sixty pounds of income each year from two hours of lecturing. The professional is unwilling to tear up those notes, or to give up the royalties on his text book. His text book probably gained his promotion.

The professionalisation of teaching in around 1850, and the merging of research with teaching, set the stage for the inevitable ossification of science a century later. The professional cannot afford to allow knowledge to advance.

Any attempt to push forward the bounds of knowledge by paying professionals to do so must fail. Even when employed specifically to advance knowledge, the professional will freeze it.

 The existing knowledge base is the professional's identity, his security, and his income. Unsafe new knowledge threatens all of these.

It took further years for me to realize that the role of the professional institution was similar to that of the educational establishment. In the 1970's, when the IEE was obstructing our efforts to publish and to initiate discussion of fundamentals, we naively assumed that if only we could get past the 'decadent' officials to the 'vibrant' membership, all would be well. I am now convinced that this was a delusion, for the following reasons.

Those students who studied, learned, and passed exams in the IEE's static knowledge base developed subject loyalty and also a vested interest in its maintenance and defence against unsafe new knowledge. Some had even passed the IEE's own exams. They now paid their subscriptions to the IEE, not to encourage it to advance knowledge, but so that it would defend the knowledge base which was now their identity and their security.

When working at Lucas forty years ago, the manager told me that the average time a production line girl worked for the company was six weeks. This made nonsense of the SDP idea of worker participation in management decisions. We might as well ask British Rail to have its Board meetings on a platform of Victoria Station and ask the passengers waiting for their trains to help to make decisions on running the railway system, there and then.

Decades later, my son pointed out that the worker's interest was best served if reinvestment were held to a minimum, and his company closed down when he took retirement. That way, his income would be maximised. We can apply the same rule of thumb to the professional engineer, member of the IEE.

My article "The Scientific Reception System as a Servomechanism", Appendix 2, gives the next stage in the argument.

Like the Catholic Church, the IEE paying member would allow the IEE to sin a little - to allow small increments, or changes in, the knowledge base. This mirrors the production line worker benefiting from minor improvements to the existing production line. However, major theoretical advances must be held up until the IEE paying member retires. At that point, the bulk of membership would be younger, of an age to want further delay in the publication of major scientific advance, and so ad infinitum. Thus, the IEE and its members mirror the conservative stance of the professional lecturer. Neither benefits from major advance, which would cause short and medium term damage to his career. The professional engineer has no interest in major advance in the art. Major advance benefits only;

(1) putative future generations of engineers, who do not yet pay their membership fees to the IEE, and

(2) society at large, which does not pay membership fees to the IEE.

The more exposed, and the more absurd, Williams and Secker were to appear, the more supportive and grateful the IEE membership would be that they had risked so much to protect and maximise members' careers.

In the case of electromagnetism, there was good reason why the blocking of advance was particularly easy for the official to come to terms with, without feeling of guilt or compunction. Books on electromagnetism state that the theory was completed a century ago, and no further advance is possible or necessary. Thus, the IEE officials knew that any purported advance was fallacious

[But see ]