17 October 2021

Central Limit Theorem

"I know of scarcely anything so apt to impress the imagination as the wonderful form of cosmic order expressed by the law of frequency of error.  The law would have been personified by the Greeks if they had known of it.  It reigns with serenity and complete self-effacement amidst the wildest confusion.  The larger the mob, the greater the apparent anarchy, the more perfect is its sway. It is the supreme law of unreason." (Sir Francis Galton, 1889)

"The central limit theorem says that, under conditions almost always satisfied in the real world of experimentation, the distribution of such a linear function of errors will tend to normality as the number of its components becomes large. The tendency to normality occurs almost regardless of the individual distributions of the component errors. An important proviso is that several sources of error must make important contributions to the overall error and that no particular source of error dominate the rest." (George E P Box et al, "Statistics for Experimenters: Design, discovery, and innovation" 2nd Ed., 2005)

"Two things explain the importance of the normal distribution: (1) The central limit effect that produces a tendency for real error distributions to be 'normal like'. (2) The robustness to nonnormality of some common statistical procedures, where 'robustness' means insensitivity to deviations from theoretical normality." (George E P Box et al, "Statistics for Experimenters: Design, discovery, and innovation" 2nd Ed., 2005)

"Statistical inference is really just the marriage of two concepts that we’ve already discussed: data and probability (with a little help from the central limit theorem)." (Charles Wheelan, "Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data", 2012)

"The central limit theorem tells us that in repeated samples, the difference between the two means will be distributed roughly as a normal distribution." (Charles Wheelan, "Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data", 2012)

"The central limit conjecture states that most errors are the result of many small errors and, as such, have a normal distribution. The assumption of a normal distribution for error has many advantages and has often been made in applications of statistical models." (David S Salsburg, "Errors, Blunders, and Lies: How to Tell the Difference", 2017)

"The central limit theorem in statistics states that, given a sufficiently large sample size, the sampling distribution of the mean for a variable will approximate a normal distribution regardless of that variable’s distribution in the population." (Jim Frost)

15 October 2021

Igor Aleksander - Collected Quotes

"Neural computing is the study of cellular networks that have a natural property for storing experimental knowledge. Such systems bear a resemblance to the brain in the sense that knowledge is acquired through training rather than programming and is retained due to changes in node functions. The knowledge takes the form of stable states or cycles of states in the operation of the net. A central property of such nets is to recall these states or cycles in response to the presentation of cues." (Igor Aleksander & Helen Morton, "Neural computing architectures: the design of brain-like machines", 1989)

"A neural network is a massively parallel distributed processor that has a natural propensity for storing experiential knowledge and making it available for use. It resembles the brain in two respects: 1. Knowledge is acquired by the network through a learning process. 2. Interneuron connection strengths known as synaptic weights are used to store the knowledge." (Igor Aleksander & Helen Morton, "An Introduction to Neural Computing", 1990) 

"Neural Computing is the study of networks of adaptable nodes which through a process of learning from task examples, store experiential knowledge and make it available for use." (Igor Aleksander & Helen Morton, "An Introduction to Neural Computing", 1990)

"For a machine, the mark of consciousness is the ability (possessed by organisms) to know in some detail where it currently is, to understand where it comes from, and to have its own drives to make decisions. It must therefore have a detailed representation of its current position in its world, some knowledge of its own makeup, and a great deal of knowledge about how it might interact with humans." (Igor Aleksander, "How to Build a Mind: toward machines with imagination", 2001)

"One of the factors that distinguishes engineering from science is that the engineer builds complex systems from simple bits, whereas the scientist breaks complex systems into hopefully comprehensible components. The first is called understanding by synthesis and the second is understanding by analysis." (Igor Aleksander, "How to Build a Mind: toward machines with imagination", 2001)

"People talk far too glibly about 'recognizing' things and then build machines that simply label patterns. There is a vast difference between recognizing patterns by labeling them correctly and knowing the objects that are perceived. Such knowledge is a happy resonance between imagination and perception, possessed neither by WISARD nor by the many neural pattern-recognition machines built over the last fifteen or so years. Something extra is required: yes, inner states are necessary, but they cannot be just any old inner states." (Igor Aleksander, "How to Build a Mind: toward machines with imagination", 2001)

"Yes, learning and adaptation seem to constitute one of the dividing lines between list processing and brains. Another seems to be that the brain is a highly structured piece of engineering in which most of what happens is determined by its specialized structure. The engineering of a computer is such as to be as general as possible to let the programmer write his list-processing programs: so, the hardware of the brain does matter in letting it do what it does. In the brain it creates specific overall aptitudes, but in computers it is carefully made neutral so as to keep them as general as possible." (Igor Aleksander, "How to Build a Mind: toward machines with imagination", 2001)

"Machine consciousness refers to attempts by those who design and analyse informational machines to apply their methods to various ways of understanding consciousness and to examine the possible role of consciousness in informational machines." (Igor Aleksander, "Machine consciousness", Scholarpedia, 3(2), 2008)

13 October 2021

Ludwig Wittgenstein - Collected Quotes

"If a fact is to be a picture, it must have something in common with what it depicts. […] What a picture must have in common with reality, in order to be able to depict it correctly or incorrectly - in the way it does, is its pictorial form. […] What any picture, of whatever form, must have in common with reality, in order to be able to depict it - correctly or incorrectly in any way at all, is logical form, i.e., the form of reality. […] Logical pictures can depict the world." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus", 1922)

"The logical picture of the facts is the thought. […] A picture is a model of reality. In a picture objects have the elements of the picture corresponding to them. The fact that the elements of a picture are related to one another in a determinate way represents that things are related to one another in the same way." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus", 1922)

"For a large class of cases - though not for all - in which we employ the word 'meaning' it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in language." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Philosophical investigations", 1953)

"Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Philosophical Investigations", 1953)

"The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Philosophical Investigations", 1953)

"To convince someone of the truth, it is not enough to state it, but rather one must find the path from error to truth." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Philosophical Occasions", 1953)

"Our craving for generality has [as one] source […] our preoccupation with the method of science. I mean the method the method of reducing the explanation of natural phenomena to the smallest possible number of primitive natural laws; and, in mathematics, of unifying the treatment of different topics by using a generalization. Philosophers constantly see the method of science before their eyes, and are irresistibly tempted to ask and answer in the way science does. This tendency is the real source of metaphysics, and leads the philosopher into complete darkness. I want to say here that it can never be our job to reduce anything to anything, or to explain anything. Philosophy really is ‘purely descriptive’." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, "The Blue and Brown Books", 1958)

"Images tell us nothing, either right or wrong, about the external world. […] It is just because forming images is a voluntary activity that it does not instruct us about the external world. […] When we form an image of something we are not observing. The coming and going of the pictures is not something that happens to us. We are not surprised by these pictures, saying ‘Look!’"  (Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Zettel", 1967)

"All testing, all confirmation and disconfirmation of a hypothesis takes place already within a system. And this system is not a more or less arbitrary and doubtful point of departure for all our arguments; no it belongs to the essence of what we call an argument. The system is not so much the point of departure, as the element in which our arguments have their life." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, "On Certainty", 1969)

"People are deeply imbedded in philosophical, i.e., grammatical confusions. And to free them presupposes pulling them out of the immensely manifold connections they are caught up in." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Philosophical Occasions 1912-1951", 1993)

11 October 2021

On Problem Solving XI: Problem Solvers

"The intelligent problem-solver tries first of all to understand the problem as fully and as clearly as he can. Yet understanding alone is not enough; he must concentrate upon the problem, he must desire earnestly to obtain its solution. If he cannot summon up real desire for solving the problem he would do better to leave it alone. The open secret of real success is to throw your whol epersonality into your problem." (George Pólya, "How to Solve It", 1945)

"An expert problem solver must be endowed with two incompatible qualities, a restless imagination and a patient pertinacity." (Howard W Eves, "In Mathematical Circles", 1969)

"The problem solver needs to stand back and examine problem contexts in the light of different 'Ws' (Weltanschauungen). Perhaps he can then decide which 'W' seems to capture the essence of the particular problem context he is faced with. This whole process needs formalizing if it is to be carried out successfully. The problem solver needs to be aware of different paradigms in the social sciences, and he must be prepared to view the problem context through each of these paradigms." (Michael C Jackson, "Towards a System of Systems Methodologies", 1984)

"The term mental model refers to knowledge structures utilized in the solving of problems. Mental models are causal and thus may be functionally defined in the sense that they allow a problem solver to engage in description, explanation, and prediction. Mental models may also be defined in a structural sense as consisting of objects, states that those objects exist in, and processes that are responsible for those objects’ changing states." (Robert Hafner & Jim Stewart, "Revising Explanatory Models to Accommodate Anomalous Genetic Phenomena: Problem Solving in the ‘Context of Discovery’", Science Education 79 (2), 1995)

"Often a successful problem-solver is one who creates a new context in which to view the problem. This can often be done by directing one's attention away from the distracting details of the difficulty. From a detached perspective, we may examine the situation in a new or different light and, after exploring information and options, choose an appropriate course of action." (John Templeton, "Wisdom From World Religions: Pathways Toward Heaven on Earth", 2002)

"Mathematics is not a matter of 'anything goes', and every mathematician is guided by explicit or unspoken assumptions as to what counts as legitimate – whether we choose to view these assumptions as the product of birth, experience, indoctrination, tradition, or philosophy. At the same time, mathematicians are primarily problem solvers and theory builders, and answer first and foremost to the internal exigencies of their subject." (Jeremy Avigad, "Methodology and Metaphysics in the Development of Dedekind’s Theory of Ideals", 2006)

"Under normal conditions the research scientist is not an innovator but a solver of puzzles, and the puzzles upon which he concentrates are just those which he believes can be both stated and solved within the existing scientific tradition." (Thomas S Kuhn, "The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change", 2011)

"Calculus succeeds by breaking complicated problems down into simpler parts. That strategy, of course, is not unique to calculus. All good problem-solvers know that hard problems become easier when they’re split into chunks. The truly radical and distinctive move of calculus is that it takes this divide-and-conquer strategy to its utmost extreme - all the way out to infinity." (Steven H Strogatz, "Infinite Powers: The Story of Calculus - The Most Important Discovery in Mathematics", 2019)

"Diverse groups of problem solvers outperformed the groups of the best individuals at solving complex problems. The reason: the diverse groups got stuck less often than the smart individuals, who tended to think similarly." (Scott E Page)

On Problem Solving XIV (Representation I)

"This diagrammatic method has, however, serious inconveniences as a method for solving logical problems. It does not show how the data are exhibited by cancelling certain constituents, nor does it show how to combine the remaining constituents so as to obtain the consequences sought. In short, it serves only to exhibit one single step in the argument, namely the equation of the problem; it dispenses neither with the previous steps, i.e., 'throwing of the problem into an equation' and the transformation of the premises, nor with the subsequent steps, i.e., the combinations that lead to the various consequences. Hence it is of very little use, inasmuch as the constituents can be represented by algebraic symbols quite as well as by plane regions, and are much easier to deal with in this form." (Louis Couturat, "The Algebra of Logic", 1914)

"A mental model is a knowledge structure that incorporates both declarative knowledge (e.g., device models) and procedural knowledge (e.g., procedures for determining distributions of voltages within a circuit), and a control structure that determines how the procedural and declarative knowledge are used in solving problems (e.g., mentally simulating the behavior of a circuit)." (Barbara Y White & John R Frederiksen, "Causal Model Progressions as a Foundation for Intelligent Learning Environments", Artificial Intelligence 42, 1990)

"An important symptom of an emerging understanding is the capacity to represent a problem in a number of different ways and to approach its solution from varied vantage points; a single, rigid representation is unlikely to suffice." (Howard Gardner, “The Unschooled Mind”, 1991)

"The term mental model refers to knowledge structures utilized in the solving of problems. Mental models are causal and thus may be functionally defined in the sense that they allow a problem solver to engage in description, explanation, and prediction. Mental models may also be defined in a structural sense as consisting of objects, states that those objects exist in, and processes that are responsible for those objects’ changing states." (Robert Hafner & Jim Stewart, "Revising Explanatory Models to Accommodate Anomalous Genetic Phenomena: Problem Solving in the ‘Context of Discovery’", Science Education 79 (2), 1995)

"The purpose of a conceptual model is to provide a vocabulary of terms and concepts that can be used to describe problems and/or solutions of design. It is not the purpose of a model to address specific problems, and even less to propose solutions for them. Drawing an analogy with linguistics, a conceptual model is analogous to a language, while design patterns are analogous to rhetorical figures, which are predefined templates of language usages, suited particularly to specific problems." (Peter P Chen [Ed.], "Advances in Conceptual Modeling", 1999)

"What it means for a mental model to be a structural analog is that it embodies a representation of the spatial and temporal relations among, and the causal structures connecting the events and entities depicted and whatever other information that is relevant to the problem-solving talks. […] The essential points are that a mental model can be nonlinguistic in form and the mental mechanisms are such that they can satisfy the model-building and simulative constraints necessary for the activity of mental modeling." (Nancy J Nersessian, "Model-based reasoning in conceptual change", 1999)

"A model is an imitation of reality and a mathematical model is a particular form of representation. We should never forget this and get so distracted by the model that we forget the real application which is driving the modelling. In the process of model building we are translating our real world problem into an equivalent mathematical problem which we solve and then attempt to interpret. We do this to gain insight into the original real world situation or to use the model for control, optimization or possibly safety studies." (Ian T Cameron & Katalin Hangos, "Process Modelling and Model Analysis", 2001)

"Mathematical modeling is as much ‘art’ as ‘science’: it requires the practitioner to (i) identify a so-called ‘real world’ problem (whatever the context may be); (ii) formulate it in mathematical terms (the ‘word problem’ so beloved of undergraduates); (iii) solve the problem thus formulated (if possible; perhaps approximate solutions will suffice, especially if the complete problem is intractable); and (iv) interpret the solution in the context of the original problem." (John A Adam, "Mathematics in Nature", 2003)

"What is a mathematical model? One basic answer is that it is the formulation in mathematical terms of the assumptions and their consequences believed to underlie a particular ‘real world’ problem. The aim of mathematical modeling is the practical application of mathematics to help unravel the underlying mechanisms involved in, for example, economic, physical, biological, or other systems and processes." (John A Adam, "Mathematics in Nature", 2003)

28 September 2021

Herbert Stachowiak - Collected Quotes

"All the model-boundedness of human encounter with the world as well as the interhuman communication is equally involved already in the modeling character of the perception process. […] The modeling character of perception forms is also not changed by the circumstance that the access to the original-side, i.e. to the properties of signal constellations from the external world, it is only always possible via the building of internal models of the external world." (Herbert Stachowiak, "Allgemeine Modelltheorie", 1973)

"Models are models of something, namely, [they are] reflections, representations of natural and artificial originals, that can themselves be models again. […] Models, in general, do not cover all the attributes of the originals they are representing, but only those [attributes] that seem relevant to the actual model creators and/or model users." (Herbert Stachowiak, "Allgemeine Modelltheorie", 1973)

"Models are not assigned per se uniquely to their originals. They perform their replacement function: a) for definite – cognitive and/or handling, model-using – subjects, b) within definite time intervals, c) under restrictions of definite operations of thought or fact. […] Models are not only models of something. They are also models for somebody, a human or an artificial model user. They perform thereby their functions in time, within a time interval. And finally, they are models for a definite purpose." (Herbert Stachowiak, "Allgemeine Modelltheorie", 1973)

"The advantage of this way of proceeding is evident: insights and skills obtained on the model-side can be - certain transference criteria satisfied - transferred to the original, [in this way] the model-builder obtains a new knowledge about the modeled original […]" (Herbert Stachowiak, "Allgemeine Modelltheorie", 1973)

"The model-based concept of cognition takes the representation/reflection idea of the classical theory of cognition, but relativizes it in the sense of the pragmatic decision. Accordingly, all of cognition is cognition in models or by means of models, and in general, any human encounter with the world needs a ‘model’ as the mediator: focusing on – active or passive – comprehension of something, it [cognition] proceeds relative to certain subjects, further selective – intentionally selecting and centering – and depending on the temporal restriction of its relation to the original." (Herbert Stachowiak, "Allgemeine Modelltheorie", 1973)

Lester F Ward - Collected Quotes

"The constructive process inheres in all forms of synergy, and the cooperation of antithetical forces in nature always results in making, that is, in creating something that did not exist before. But in the organic world this character of structure becomes the leading feature, and we have synthetic products consisting of tissues and organs serving definite purposes, which we call functions." (Lester F Ward, "Pure Sociology", 1903)

"[...] there is a universal principle, operating in every department of nature and at every stage of evolution, which is conservative, creative and constructive. [...] I have at last fixed upon the word synergy, as the term best adapted to express its twofold character of ‘energy’ and ‘mutuality’ or the systematic and organic ‘working together’ of the antithetical forces of nature. [...] Synergy is a synthesis of work, or synthetic work, and this is what is everywhere taking place. It may be said to begin with the primary atomic collision in which mass, motion, time, and space are involved, and to find its simplest expression in the formula for force, which implies a plurality of elements, and signifies an interaction of these elements." (Lester F Ward, "Pure Sociology", 1903)

"This compromise among the contending forces of nature was effected through organization and the formation of chemical systems, which are so many reservoirs of power, this power being represented by what we call the properties of matter. These systems store up energy and expend it in work, but the work is always a collaboration or cooperation of all the competing forces involved. It is synergy." (Lester F Ward, "Pure Sociology", 1903)

"It is in the organic world that we can best on begin the study of function. But for the function, organic structures would be worthless. The structures are only means. Function is the end. All natural structures are developed along with their functions, which may be regarded in a sense as the cause of the structures. The effort of nature to accomplish its ends results in material means capable of accomplishing them, and such means are structures." (James Q Dealey & Lester F Ward, "A Text-book of Sociology", 1905)

"Social structures are the products of social synergy, i.e., of the interaction of different social forces, all of which, in and of themselves, are destructive, but whose combined effect, mutually checking, constraining, and equilibrating one another, is to produce structures. The entire drift is toward economy, conservatism, and the prevention of waste. Social structures are mechanisms for the production of results, and the results cannot be secured without them. They are reservoirs of power." (James Q Dealey & Lester F Ward, "A Text-book of Sociology", 1905)

"The true nature of the universal principle of synergy pervading all nature and creating all the different kinds of structure that we observe to exist, must now be made clearer. Primarily and essentially it is a process of equilibration, i.e., the several forces are first brought into a state of partial equilibrium. It begins in collision, conflict, antagonism, and opposition, and then we have the milder phases of antithesis, competition, and interaction, passing next into a modus vivendi, or compromise, and ending in collaboration and cooperation." (James Q Dealey & Lester F Ward, "A Text-book of Sociology", 1905)

"Synergy is the principle that explains all organization and creates all structures. The products of cosmic synergy are found in all fields of phenomena. Celestial structures are worlds and world systems; chemical structures are atoms, molecules, and substances; biotic structures are protoplasm, cells, tissues, organs, and organisms. There are also psychic structures - feelings, emotions, passions, volitions, perceptions, cognitions, memory, imagination, reason, thought, and all the acts of consciousness. And then there are social structures […]. These are the products of the social forces acting under the principle of social synergy." (James Q Dealey & Lester F Ward, "A Text-book of Sociology", 1905)

On Patterns (1940-1949)

"A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns. [...]. The mathematician's patterns, like the painter's or the poet's, must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics." (Godfrey H Hardy, "A Mathematician's Apology", 1941)

"It will probably be the new mathematical discoveries which are suggested through physics that will always be the most important, for, from the beginning Nature has led the way and established the pattern which mathematics, the Language of Nature, must follow." (George D Birkhoff, "Mathematical Nature of Physical Theories" American Scientific Vol. 31 (4), 1943)

"One may generalize upon these processes in terms of group equilibrium. The group may be said to be in equilibrium when the interactions of its members fall into the customary pattern through which group activities are and have been organized. The pattern of interactions may undergo certain modifications without upsetting the group equilibrium, but abrupt and drastic changes destroy the equilibrium." (William F Whyte, "Street Corner Society", 1943)

"Those who are content with a positivist conception of the aims of science will feel that he is in an entirely satisfactory position; he has discovered the pattern of events, and so can predict accurately; what more can he want? A mental picture would be an added luxury, but also a useless luxury. For if the picture did not bear any resemblance at all to the reality it would be valueless, and if it did it would be unintelligible […]" (James H Jeans," Physics and Philosophy" 3rd Ed., 1943)

"Without falling into the trap of attempting a precise definition, we may suggest a theory as to the general nature of symbolism, viz. that it is the ability of processes to parallel or imitate each other, or the fact that they can do so since there are recurrent patterns in reality." (Kenneth Craik, "The Nature of Explanation", 1943)

"Science in general […] does not consist in collecting what we already know and arranging it in this or that kind of pattern. It consists in fastening upon something we do not know, and trying to discover it. (Robin G Collingwood, "The Idea of History", 1946)

On Continuity XIII (Trivia)

"Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one wanders about in a dark labyrinth." (Galileo Galilei, "The Assayer", 1623)

"It is also only by virtue of the continual action of God upon us that we have in our soul the ideas of all things; that is to say, since every effect expresses its cause, the essence of our soul is a certain expression, imitation or image of the divine essence, thought, and will and of all the ideas which are comprised in God." (Gottfried W Leibniz, "Discourse on Metaphysics", 1686)

"There are two aspects of statistics that are continually mixed, the method and the science. Statistics are used as a method, whenever we measure something, for example, the size of a district, the number of inhabitants of a country, the quantity or price of certain commodities, etc. […] There is, moreover, a science of statistics. It consists of knowing how to gather numbers, combine them and calculate them, in the best way to lead to certain results. But this is, strictly speaking, a branch of mathematics." (Alphonse P de Candolle, "Considerations on Crime Statistics", 1833)

"The man who is guided by concepts and abstractions only succeeds by such means in warding off misfortune, without ever gaining any happiness for himself from these abstractions. And while he aims for the greatest possible freedom from pain, the intuitive man, standing in the midst of a culture, already reaps from his intuition a harvest of continually inflowing illumination, cheer, and redemption - in addition to obtaining a defense against misfortune. To be sure, he suffers more intensely, when he suffers; he even suffers more frequently, since he does not understand how to learn from experience and keeps falling over and over again into the same ditch." (Friedrich Nietzsche," On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense", 1873)

"[…] the statistical prediction of the future from the past cannot be generally valid, because whatever is future to any given past, is in tum past for some future. That is, whoever continually revises his judgment of the probability of a statistical generalization by its successively observed verifications and failures, cannot fail to make more successful predictions than if he should disregard the past in his anticipation of the future. This might be called the ‘Principle of statistical accumulation’." (Clarence I Lewis, "Mind and the World-Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge", 1929)

"In time they [physicists] hoped to devise a model which would reproduce all the phenomena of physics, and so make it possible to predict them all. […] To-day we not only have no perfect model, but we know that it is of no use to search for one - it could have no intelligible meaning for us. For we have found out that nature does not function in a way that can be made comprehensible to the human mind through models or pictures. […] Although we can never devise a pictorial representation which shall be both true to nature and intelligible to our minds, we may still be able to make partial aspects of the truth comprehensible through pictorial representations or parables. As the whole truth does not admit of intelligible representation, every such pictorial representation or parable must fail somewhere. The physicist of the last generation was continually making pictorial representations and parables, and also making the mistake of treating the half-truths of pictorial representations and parables as literal truths." (James H Jeans, "Physics and Philosophy" 3rd Ed., 1943)

"Above all, we see from these formulations how difficult it is when we try to push new ideas into an old system of concepts belonging to an earlier philosophy, or, to use an old metaphor, when we attempt to put new wine into old bottles. Such attempts are always distressing, for they mislead us into continually occupying with the inevitable cracks in the old bottles, instead of rejoicing over the new wine." (Werner K Heisenberg, "Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science", 1958)

"Scientific knowledge is not created solely by the piecemeal mining of discrete facts by uniformly accurate and reliable individual scientific investigations. The process of criticism and evaluation, of analysis and synthesis, are essential to the whole system. It is impossible for each one of us to be continually aware of all that is going on around us, so that we can immediately decide the significance of every new paper that is published. The job of making such judgments must therefore be delegated to the best and wisest among us, who speak, not with their own personal voices, but on behalf of the whole community of Science. […] It is impossible for the consensus - public knowledge - to be voiced at all, unless it is channeled through the minds of selected persons, and restated in their words for all to hear." (John M Ziman, "Public Knowledge: An Essay Concerning the Social Dimension of Science", 1968)

"One cannot ‘invent’ the structure of an object. The most we can do is to patiently bring it to the light of day, with humility - in making it known, it is ‘discovered’. If there is some sort of inventiveness in this work, and if it happens that we find ourselves the maker or indefatigable builder, we are in no sense ‘making’ or ’building’ these ‘structures’. They have not waited for us to find them in order to exist, exactly as they are! But it is in order to express, as faithfully as possible, the things that we have been detecting or discovering, the reticent structure which we are trying to grasp at, perhaps with a language no better than babbling. Thereby are we constantly driven to ‘invent’ the language most appropriate to express, with increasing refinement, the intimate structure of the mathematical object, and to ‘construct’ with the help of this language, bit by bit, those ‘theories’ which claim to give a fair account of what has been apprehended and seen. There is a continual coming and going, uninterrupted, between the apprehension of things, and the means of expressing them by a language in constant state improvement [...].The sole thing that constitutes the true inventiveness and imagination of the researcher is the quality of his attention as he listens to the voices of things." (Alexander Grothendieck, "Récoltes et semailles –Rélexions et témoignage sur un passé de mathématicien", 1985)

"Hard though the scientists of mental imagery try, they cannot get around the fact that the representations they deal with are like pictures. […] The methods have to assume, and the experiments continually corroborate, that having imagery is somehow like perceptual seeing, and that it is somehow like seeing pictures. […] The minimal reason for this assumption is that people do naturally talk of seeing pictures before their mind’s eye." (Eva T H Brann,"The World of Imagination", 1991)

"To remedy chaotic situations requires a chaotic approach, one that is non-linear, constantly morphing, and continually sharpening its competitive edge with recurring feedback loops that build upon past experiences and lessons learned. Improvement cannot be sustained without reflection. Chaos arises from myriad sources that stem from two origins: internal chaos rising within you, and external chaos being imposed upon you by the environment. The result of this push/pull effect is the disequilibrium [...]." (Jeff Boss, "Navigating Chaos: How to Find Certainty in Uncertain Situations", 2015)

"[…] we see from these formulations how difficult it is when we try to push new ideas into an old system of concepts belonging to an earlier philosophy, or, to use an old metaphor, when we attempt to put new wine into old bottles. Such attempts are always distressing, for they mislead us into continually occupying with the inevitable cracks in the old bottles, instead of rejoicing over the new wine." (Werner K Heisenberg)

On Nature (-1599)

"They say that the greatest and fairest things are the work of nature and of chance, the lesser of art, which, receiving from nature the greater and primeval creations, molds and fashions all those lesser works which are generally termed artificial." (Plato, "Nomoi" ["Laws"], cca. 360 BC)

"Everything that depends on the action of nature is by nature as good as it can be, and similarly everything that depends on art or any rational cause, and especially if it depends on the best of all causes. To entrust to chance what is greatest and most noble would be a very defective arrangement." (Aristotle, "Nicomachean Ethics", cca. 350 BC)

"The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole." (Aristotle, "Politics", 4th century BC)

"Thus, of all the honorable arts, which are carried out either naturally or proceed in imitation of nature, geometry takes the skill of reasoning as its field. It is hard at the beginning and difficult of access, delightful in its order, full of beauty, unsurpassable in its effect. For with its clear processes of reasoning it illuminates the field of rational thinking, so that it may be understood that geometry belongs to the arts or that the arts are from geometry." (Agennius Urbicus, "Controversies about Fields", cca. 4 century BC)

"No species remains constant: that great renovator of matter Nature, endlessly fashions new forms from old: there’s nothing in the whole universe that perishes, believe me; rather it renews and varies its substance. What we describe as birth is no more than incipient change from a prior state, while dying is merely to quit it. Though the parts may be transported hither and thither, the sum of all matter is constant." (Publius Ovidius Naso [Ovid], "Metamorphoses", 8 AD)

"All that is superfluous displeases God and nature. All that displeases God and nature is evil." (Dante Alighieri, "De Monarchia", cca. 1312-1313)

"Given that annihilation of nature in its entirety is impossible, and that death and dissolution are not appropriate to the whole mass of this entire globe or star, from time to time, according to an established order, it is renewed, altered, changed, and transformed in all its parts." (Giordano Bruno, "The Ash Wednesday Supper", 1584)

"Nature that framed us of four elements, Warring within our breasts for regiment, Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds: Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend The wondrous architecture of the world: And measure every wand’ring planet’s course, Still climbing after knowledge infinite, And always moving as the restless spheres, Wills us to wear ourselves and never rest, Until we reach the ripest fruit of all, That perfect bliss and sole felicity, The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.""  (Christopher Marlowe, ""Tamburlaine the Great"", 1590)

"The diversity of the phenomena of Nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment." (Johannes Kepler, "Mysterium Cosmographicum", 1596)

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