Re: relativity

George Murphy (
Tue, 25 Nov 1997 12:00:30 -0500

Brian Neuschwander wrote:
> George Murphy wrote:
> >
> > There was a good example of scientific illiteracy on the NBC news last
> > night (Mon). In talking about the attempt of the shuttle crew to get
> > the Spartan satellite, the reporter said that it might seem easier than
> > it really is because it looks as if both shuttle & satellite are almost
> > at rest, but _really_ they're moving at 17,000 mph.
> > Einstein (& Galileo), call your office.
> > George Murphy
> The recent motion picture, Contact, was among other things, great
> commentry on ignorance and imagination. The movie is the Carl Sagan
> SETI project story as he would possily have it, but with a twist. I am
> far from a Carl Sagan fan (he wrote the story), but the story did
> contemptuously show the public as an ignorant mass with little interest
> in true knowledge: the desert conclave, the Washington Mall scenes, the
> congressional inquest as examples. As I sat through the movie, I
> thought this was a bitter over caricaturization of the general
> citizenry.
> >From what George is reporting, perhaps not!

The _really_ sad thing is that people can hold the type of idea
I noted together with the notion that in relativity, everything is
relative. (An exact quote, from the headline on an editorial column in
the Akron Beacon Journal a few years ago, was "In politics, as in
physics, everything is relative".)