Philosophical extracts from The Catt Anomaly are at http://www.ivorcatt.com/28anomp.htm
Science, Sociology and Philosophy
None of the profound sociological problems discussed in my first two books, The Catt Concept 1971 and Computer Worship 1973, will be allowed into sociological circles. This is because sociology is technology-free. Books which have a technical dimension are excluded from the Sociology world-view. At the same time, all aspects of sociology are excluded from technology and science degrees. An exception was the Engineering degree course in Oxford in the 1970s.
An interesting exception is T. S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, pub. University of Chicago Press 1962. This is taught in sociology courses, but not in science and technology courses. The reason why Kuhn breaks through the Sociology – Science barrier is instructive, see http://www.ivorcatt.com/2923.htm .
The first betrayal.
The scientific method is superior to any other in rigorous pursuit of truth, and this sets science apart from all other disciplines. The sociology discipline envies this. Their desire to devalue the scientific method caused them to risk the intrusion of a scientist, Kuhn, into sociology, but he had to be distorted. He complained strongly to me about this distortion, for instance by “Joules Watt” in Wireless World http://www.electromagnetism.demon.co.uk/conquestoftruth.htm .
The second betrayal.
In order to escape from the brittleness of science, “scientists” invented a soft subject, “Modern Physics”, which usurped science. Modern Physics comes within Frazer’s definition of a religion in his 1890 book The Golden Bough http://users.compaqnet.be/cn111132/Frazer/ , and outside his definition of science, see crucial extracts below, and http://users.compaqnet.be/cn111132/Frazer/9.html and http://users.compaqnet.be/cn111132/Frazer/172.html . Theocharis, in his Nature article http://www.ivorcatt.com/2817.htm , railed against this, and correctly predicted disaster. As he predicted, between 1962 and 1995, the % of students specialising in Maths and science at A level fell from 45% to 17% - The Guardian, 3may01, p19
[A level is the exam taken in England at the age of 18.]
The denouement, that the sterility of “Modern Physics” has even infected and undermined the parts of physics which predate 1927, is best demonstrated in The Catt Anomaly, http://www.ivorcatt.com/28anom.htm . The “Modern Physics” junkies who inhabit and control academia worldwide are shown to be incapable of rigorous thought. This behaviour is of course appropriate for one who administers a religion.
A further, bizarre denouement is called “The Sokal Hoax”. The superficial story is that in order to show that science was more rigorous than sociology, scientist Sokal published a spoof article in a sociology journal. He purported to defend the precepts and reputation of science, but refused to distinguish between science and its bogus replacement, Modern Physics, which is indefensible against sociology. This meant that he and his allies had to totally ignore a large body of knowledge, including Theocharis and myself. See http://www.ivorcatt.com/2925.htm , where you can follow Redhead and Sokal in their Nelson-like imperative to not see what is vociferously placed before them. The scale of their dishonesty and betrayal of academic principles is awesome.
Frazer’s The Golden Bough
The many indications that Frazer’s Golden Bough was written in 1922 are misleading. It was written in 1890, in twelve volumes. Admittedly, in Frazer’s 1922 introduction http://users.compaqnet.be/cn111132/Frazer/1000.html to his book, there is frustrating ambiguity about the proper date for the original full 12 volume edition.. However, it is clear that The Golden Bough was written at a time when “Modern Physics” was in the future, and not available to a social anthropologist like Frazer. In his trilogy; magic, science, religion, he discusses true 19th century science, and is not conscious of the move to corrupt it with “Modern Physics”, which is in the future. Further evidence that Frazer’s analysis predates Modern Physics is that (a) all agree that the move from 19th century science to “Modern Physics” was a major revolution, and (b) Frazer fails to mention such a move. The takeover of science by Modern Physics can properly be dated as the 1927 Brussels – Solvay Conference, when “The Copenhagen Interpretation” was enthroned. Everybody who was anyone was there, and many, including Einstein, were deeply upset by the takeover.
But if religion involves, first, a belief in superhuman beings who rule the world, and, second, an attempt to win their favour, it clearly assumes that the course of nature is to some extent elastic or variable, and that we can persuade or induce the mighty beings who control it to deflect, for our benefit, the current of events from the channel in which they would otherwise flow. Now this implied elasticity or variability of nature is directly opposed to the principles of magic as well as of science, both of which assume that the processes of nature are rigid and invariable in their operation, and that they can as little be turned from their course by persuasion and entreaty as by threats and intimidation. The distinction between the two conflicting views of the universe turns on their answer to the crucial question, Are the forces which govern the world conscious and personal, or unconscious and impersonal?
When I first set myself to solve the problem more than thirty years ago, I thought that the solution could be propounded very briefly, but I soon found that to render it probable or even intelligible it was necessary to discuss certain more general questions, some of which had hardly been broached before. In successive editions the discussion of these and kindred topics has occupied more and more space, the enquiry has branched out in more and more directions, until the two volumes of the original work have expanded into twelve.
In the abridgment I have neither added new matter nor altered the views expressed in the last edition; ….
T S Kuhn. The Essential Tension
Origins of The New Bureaucracy
The New Bureaucracy
http://linux.monroe.cc.mi.us/~paulrsm/dg/dg17.htm Search for Catt
It contains the following from “The New Bureaucracy”;
Wireless World is a British magazine whose editorial policy is very difficult if not impossible to describe. You say find an article on FET-output audio amplifiers or how to interface the Z-80 or an attack on Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. In the Dec '82 issue there is an article entitled "The New Bureaucracy" by Ivor Catt. We are going to present here excerpts from that article and our commentary:
"In the early days, a factory was owned by the man who managed it, controlled it and understood all the details of its operation. But later, in the industrial revolution, business and industry became larger and more complex, and the owners began to lose detailed knowledge of their operation. The introduction of the joint stock limited liability company (corporation in this country - FNE) allowed ownership to be fully divorced from the understanding. A professional managerial class developed which knew all the details and was therefore able to make the crucial decisions.
"...Henry Ford behaved like an industrial Canute when he tried to keep power out of the hands of his professional management, virtually bankrupting his company in the process.
"...The latest shift is in high technology industry, where most complex problems and decisions are technological, so that power should now move from management to the technocracy. We can see bitter battles during the transfer of power... (after a transfer of power) the old group can only act obstructively.
"...Onto the scene of this rearguard battle comes software, a simplistic new pseudo-technology with no technical content, administered by programmers who are as ignorant as management when it comes to engineering. There are virtually no so-called 'computer science' degree courses in this country (Britain) containing any physics or engineering. The arrival of software is a heaven-sent aid to management in its battle to limit the work of technocracy, particularly because software, the modern clerk's job, is in fact low level management work.
"It is in the interest of both management and of programmers to play down and limit technology, and they do this by developing the myth that software IS technical, possibly THE new technology, although software has no engineering content, and employs almost exclusively programmers with no knowledge of engineering or even of (high) school physics.
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"...Up to the present time another quite distinct battle has been fought between the pure scientist and the technocrat. You will all be familiar with this battle, between sacred scientific search after truth (said sacred search generally funded by the Generals - FNE) on the one hand and profane technological search after profit (tsk - FNE) on the other. In the range from sacred to profane, pure mathematics stands at the most sacred end of the spectrum, then comes applied math, then physics, then engineering. Now the mathematicians, being divorced from the profit active, found it difficult to make a living. However, a decade or two ago, some of these technology-free individuals stooped to programming in order to earn a crust. They discovered that a lack of knowledge of physics and engineering was no handicap, that programing had no technical content, so, reassured, they called themselves computer scientists (although programming is not a science) and talked about such things as 'cybernetics', the 'information revolution', and so forth.
"...The fact that many out-of-work mathematicians took up programing meant that software ended up on the side of pure science in its century-old battle against profane applied science... (programmers) set up departments in what they called computer science, which must be a false name because in such departments no science or computer hardware is taught, only programming.
"...There is no possibility that the present industry, containing as it does personnel 98% of whom have no knowledge of technology, will be able to exploit the gigantic potential of digital electronics in the future."
We have felt for a long time that the sort of 'computer science' taught by the programmers was a bunch of B.S. Our perception is that what is taught in the universities as 'computer science' has little or no connection with the real world.
For instance, take PASCAL. PASCAL was developed as a pedagogical tool in the 1967-1969 timeframe, when most schools could afford only a minicomputer with tape storage. (Pedagogical tools do not have to be useful in the real world.) Floppy disks had not been invented and hard disks were excessively expensive. But here in 1983 we have an ISO standard for PASCAL which only allows SERIAL (tape-based) files! Look, guys, in 1983 nobody but kiddies shooting rocks with their VIC-20s use tape. Everybody in the personal computer field uses disk storage, mostly floppy. But floppy or hard, all disk storage is basically random access. It is LUDICROUS to have a standard today which does not support random access files!
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What's that you say? The ISO Pascal dates back close to 1969? B.S.! It was about a year ago, maybe less, when we read about the ISO committee on PASCAL breaking up in disarray because of the intransigence of the academic representatives over modifying the language so that it could do useful things (as the industrial committee members wanted).