×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

191 comments

Science (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694027)

Old science is not necessarily bad science. In fact, the hallmark of good science is how well is holds up over time and continued testing. Granted, Leonardo de Vinci was not "practicing" modern science. Rather, he was using the oldest form of science which is observational science. However, this approach is still valid and tends to be the most robust type of science which, like Leonardo discovered can also lead to the most controversial reactions from people who have investments in the current understanding of certain topics........... *cough* *cough*, like evolution.

Re:Science (4, Insightful)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694103)

On the "evolution" (technically modern evolutionary synthesis) comment,

At least 90% of laymen have no concept of what the theory says or predicts, nor how it is tested. The way the theory gets presented in high schools across the country is absolutly unacceptable. Such a muddle, confused, and illogical presentaion of science directly leads to such pseudoscience as intelligent design. Experience has forced me to agree with von Mises, public schools should be banned from teaching science because they incapable of presenting it correctly and will only cause confusion.

Not teaching science in schools is not an option (2, Insightful)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694181)

public schools should be banned from teaching science because they incapable of presenting it correctly and will only cause confusion

Uh. What's that? Are you advocating that schools should stop teaching science altogether or that just public school should stop teaching science? If you think the problem is with the public schools, then the obvious strategy is to increase the funding so that they can do their job right. If you're saying that teaching science in schools should be dropped altogether, then I don't know what to say.

Not teaching science in schools is not an option.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694237)

Not teaching science in schools is not an option.

Of course its an option. Its part of the Return the USA to backwater 3rd world rural economy.

Don't confuse "It would be astoundingly stupid" with "It can't be done" or someone might want to demonstrate.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694301)

Are you advocating that schools should stop teaching science altogether or that just public school should stop teaching science? Just public schools.

Not teaching science in schools is not an option.

Sure it is. It is preferable to teaching it incorrectly, or worse, using the position of authority the teacher has to indoctrinate vulnerable children.

The public schools have repeatedly demonstrated that they are incapable of teaching science. By their nature they are incapable of teaching anything about which there is a contraversy, because teaching such a subject necessarily entails forcing at least some taxpayers to violate their convictions by providing funds for the dissemination of ideas which they consider to be false and possibly vicious.

As stupid and ignorant as the people supporting all the anti-science BS are, they have a right not to have their tax money spent on things they consider sinful and immoral. As much as I would like to be able to teach them real science and convince them that they were wrong, I don't have the right to do it with their money.

The public schools should focus on providing a basic education for those who have no other option. That is: reading, writting, and arithmetic should be the initial focus. Bright students could learn Greek, Latin, Algebra, Geometry, the laws of physics, and the periodic table. But the public schools are incapable of teaching no only religion but also history, economics, civics, and biology without becomming machines of indoctrination.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (4, Insightful)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694417)

As stupid and ignorant as the people supporting all the anti-science BS are, they have a right not to have their tax money spent on things they consider sinful and immoral.

Uh. No they don't. Where you live, they have the right to take their kid out of the class and homeschool them. Over here, there is not even the homeschool option.

I pay taxes and my money is used on stuff that I don't approve of. Do I have a problem with it? Of course not. That's the way how a society works! Sharing and making compromises. "My tax money should not be used on stuff that I don't like" is nothing but self-centered Ayn Rand inspired whining.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694521)

"Over here" hardly counts as a free country if state sponsored indoctrination is required by threat of force. Freedom does include the right to be stupid or screw up.

That's the way how a society works!

Instead of each spending our own money on what we want, we take someone else's money and spend it for them then let them turn around and do the same to us? That doesn't seem very sensible. Under your arguement there is as much justification for teaching creationism and banning modern synthesis if that's what the majority believes is right. What if religious conservatives want to teach their particular brand of religion as the "truth"?

self-centered Ayn Rand inspired whining

It was actually the traditional arguement for separation of Church and State applied to a broader swath of knowledge. Incidentally this brings up my problem with Rand. She copied many ideas from the British Whigs and the Old Liberals (see especially from von Mises's Socialism), but she never mentions any of them in her writings. She even claims that many of the ideas were her own. Atlus is a decent work of literature, but there are far better arguements in favor of liberty out there.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694604)

What if religious conservatives want to teach their particular brand of religion as the "truth"?

If they are in the majority then that's what that particular country is going to do. Science cannot and should not overule the democratic process.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694664)

So science, reson and logic should not overrule the democratic process, if the majority decides to declare itselfthe master race and to kill everyone else living in the country? Absolute democracy is nothing but a tyranny of the masses. The purpose of democratic government allow a majority to dispose of an unpopular government peacfully, not to allow the majority to do as it pleases. Under such an arrangement there can be no freedom.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694683)

Of course the science should not overrule the democratic process.

Scientists and other logically thinking people must work within the system to guarantee that logical decisions are made. I don't quite understand why you are so hell-bent on emphasizing the undemocratic ways of influencing the society.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694706)

Uh, he said "[...] science, reson and logic [...]". The reason and logic parts would be the US constitution, which prevents the majority from doing just anything at all that they feel like, even if they managed to take a majority in the legislature and/or the presidency.

Direct, uninhibited democracy is insane on any large scale.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

Coulson (146956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694492)

They have a right not to have their tax money spent on things they consider sinful and immoral.

I'm glad to hear it! Please let me know when I can opt not to have my tax money go toward the war in Iraq.

What's that you say? I can't opt out of the payment because I can't opt out of the benefits? How is that different from universal education? Or is there a way to opt out of a strong economy and an educated workforce that I'm unaware of?

Shine on you crazy diamond!

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694548)

Teaching science is almost as critical to a strong economy and solid work force as Iraq is to the security of the US...

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694567)

this doesn't mean that I propose immediatly pulling out of Iraq any more then I propose immediatly stopping public education; unfortunatly we are stuck with the choices we've made in the past and any change would take time to avoid even greater evil.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694645)

The public schools should focus on providing a basic education for those who have no other option. That is: reading, writting, and arithmetic should be the initial focus.

You're on the right track, but I think you're not going far enough. If it was up to me, I'd institute mandatory flogging for everyone going to school. That way, the only people (or kids) being educated would be the ones that really wanted to, and this system would produce only first-rate geniuses!

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (4, Insightful)

HiThere (15173) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694419)

Personally I believe that the problem is the increasing centralization of control over the schools. This includes all Federal interference and all state interference.

Schools should be funded locally, and have local control. Unfortunately, the various levels of government have stolen the sources which were traditionally used to fund schools, so local funding is a problem which needs solution. This doesn't make it any less necessary. If the local students are to be taught lies, it should be because the local citizens have decided that that's what they want their children taught. (They will suffer the appropriate consequences...but their folly should not be forced on everyone else.)

This has been my position for over 2 decades, and everything I've seen during that period of time has only reinforced the opinion. Only at the college or university level should the state (e.g., Idaho or Pennsylvannia) have any involvement. The states should run the colleges, because specialized education needs to draw from too large an area of population for local funding to be reasonable. They should be tuition free, but have appropriately difficult admissions requirements, and may limit the number of open spots for admission. (The state can decide how many English majors it needs to educate, and how many BioChemists, and fund that many classes of the appropriate type.)

At all levels, private schools should continue to be an option.

Some will argue that this will unfairly penalize the children of poor cities. In my experience in those cities the federal government alone extracts more funds nominally for education than are expended on schooling by all levels of government combined. This may not be true everywhere, but it's certainly largely true. Also, the most important parts of schooling don't require much in the way of funding, though they do require the cooperation of the parents. Thus if the parents will not cooperate with the local school, the school should have the right to refuse to allow the student to attend lessons. Disruptive students are not something that should be tolerated...but when schools are used in the way in which they are currently, that's what you get.

That said, not all students are academically inclined. There needs to be a flexible "tracking" system, which allows those mechanically inclined to develop their skills as well as a track which allows the academic students to develop THEIR skills. I envision one hour per day during elementary school (after third grade) where students experience are instructed in "enrichment specialties", which should include things like band, set theory (arithmetic should be mainstream...by rote, and sorry), wood/metal/plastic shop, etc.

OTOH, this requires a fairly large elementary school. Other benefits would accrue if elementary schools were local enough that all students could walk to them. That way the neighborhood kids would study together. This would probably mean that, e.g., grades K-3 would all be taught in the same room by the same teacher. (If you have enough students to split this in two, perhaps you could split them by distance rather than by age.) This WOULD be an acknowledged combination school and babysitting service, and play areas would be an important part of the situation. Teachers in this class would be expected to LIVE in the school, and keep it open. Provisions for substitutes would be necessary. Etc. Class sizes would be small, but the salaries would be enough to live on given the free rent. (I envision that most of these teachers would start out as mothers raising their kids. So room would need to be sufficient to handle not only the teacher, but also a husband or other partner and their children. With a safe fenced area around it which is the school yard.)

N.B.: A lot of what I'm proposing is just my idea spinning of how it might ideally work out. The important parts are:
1) No central control.
2) Local choice on funding & curricula & environment.

Re:Not teaching science in schools is not an optio (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694587)

Interesting proposal; it would solve most of the problems I've mentioned.

Re:Science (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694335)

The way science is taught in general in American public schools is unacceptable. They don't teach you science, they teach you to swallow and regurgitate. That doesn't prepare you for science, that prepares you for believing everything you read - meaning that it prepares you to believe evolution theory no better than it prepares you to believe 'creation science.'

I remember my high school biology class. Instead of learning biology, we spent large amounts of time doing completely useless stuff like memorizing every phylum and class in the animal kingdom. We spent maybe a day on the scientific method (that obligatory single day that is in every science class), but we never learned how to apply it or what it means.

Re:Science (1)

betterthancats (660632) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694430)

And to add further, the term Theory of Evolution is misleading the lay person.

Evolution happens, it is an observable fact. We observe speciation all of the time.

The theory part is speculation on the mechanism by which evolution occurs, not whether or it actually happens.

Re:Science (1)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694564)

Experience has forced me to agree with von Mises, public schools should be banned from teaching science because they incapable of presenting it correctly and will only cause confusion.

The von Mises institute is capitalist extreme. I'm sure they think that all public schools should teach the masses how to better serve the elite who go to private schools.

Why do they not suggest ways to fix issues they have with science in public schools other than to completely take it away? Do they prefer for the masses to be ignorant?

Re:Science (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694653)

Lugwig von Mises was an economist and social philosopher. He was pro-capitalist. He was very critical of the Nazis, the Soviets, AND the Americans. I fail to see why any of this is precludes understanding or evaluation his theories.

Mises taught that left alone, people would and could take care of themselves and that they would naturally seek their own happiness, but that powerful interests used the power of government to gain special privilages causing the masses to suffer. His life's work was dedicated to demolishing the excuses that were made for promoting special interests at the expense of general welfare.

You should evaluate his theories and attack the logic if you disagree, not try to attack him personally. It is very strange that people often ignore the parts of his work where he attacks corporate welfare and other "capitalist" programs. People seem to do this though. F.A. Hayek is promoted by conservatives as a brilliant theorist but he went so far as to claim that the American system of government could not work. John Rawls's theories, often cited by liberals, preclude most of their programs.

The problem isn't teaching science (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694595)

The problem is that they try to teach concepts that have emerged from scientific practice without teaching the processes the practices use.

Re:Science (2, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694276)

Of course science isn't bad just because it's old. But even old science that's good is mostly useless now, because it's based on premises that modern scientists just can't work with.

Leonardo's contributions to science and technology are mostly in the form of meticulous observation and clever design. That sort of thing doesn't get invalidated by the passage of time. If he had been more of a theoretician, modern scientists would sneer at him, they way they do at Aristotle — whose theories were the basis of most western science for centuries.

The protection of red tape. (4, Insightful)

zippity8 (446412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694041)

It's funny how much you can get done once you blow bureaucracy out of the way. Exhuming corpses for study probably broke a billion laws back then as well, but so much has come from his approach.

Then again, I might be confusing the Da Vinci Code with reality. Damned fiction based on facts. It's probably safest to just say that I HEARD that he exhumed corpses. I didn't know him personally.

Re:The protection of red tape. (4, Interesting)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694091)

It's funny how much you can get done once you blow bureaucracy out of the way. Exhuming corpses for study probably broke a billion laws back then as well, but so much has come from his approach. Then again, I might be confusing the Da Vinci Code with reality. Damned fiction based on facts. It's probably safest to just say that I HEARD that he exhumed corpses. I didn't know him personally.

It's not that he exhumed corpses, it's that he studied them. (Which is partly how he became so good at realistic stone carving.) Ya see, if you studied the corpse, you could eventually figure out how they died. And well, so many members of royalty and people involved with powerful people died under "mysterious circumstances" that the survivors (who in many cases were the next in line for the position) didn't want to be implicated/accused/beheaded, so that anything that could lead to autopsies were pretty much outlawed.

Funny you should say that... India. (2, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694359)

It may have come from a bit of a sensationalist reporter, Donal MacIntyre, but I have no reason to doubt his footage.

In India it is not unheard of that doctors will take organs from persons or bodies, such as valves in the case of bodies, for transplantation to 'customers' who need them.
The deceased may never have signed a donor form, and the family is not informed.
Neither is the recipient - they simply aren't told what type of valve they're getting (artificial being the common assumption).

To paraphrase a statement from one hospital CEO/doctor : "We open them up, take out the valves, sow them back up, and no harm is done. The body gets cremated and nobody will ever know."

So, yes... blow bureaucracy out of the way, and a lot of good can be done. But at what cost?

Re:Funny you should say that... India. (1)

scheme (19778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694687)

n India it is not unheard of that doctors will take organs from persons or bodies, such as valves in the case of bodies, for transplantation to 'customers' who need them. The deceased may never have signed a donor form, and the family is not informed. Neither is the recipient - they simply aren't told what type of valve they're getting (artificial being the common assumption). To paraphrase a statement from one hospital CEO/doctor : "We open them up, take out the valves, sow them back up, and no harm is done. The body gets cremated and nobody will ever know."

That sounds a lot like urban rumors. You don't simply open up a body and harvest organs. Most organs such as kidneys, hearts, etc. require that the donor get prepped before hand while the donor is still alive or within a few minutes of death. The organs need to be matched and harvested within a few minutes of death otherwise the organs are damaged and become useless.

Unless the doctors are systematically matching potential donors on a massive scale, they simply won't have a viable donor ready for potential recipients. Remember, most transplants need to occur within a few hours of harvesting and donors have to match a lot of criteria (MHC, blood types must match; donor can't have diseases such as aids, hiv, colds, infections, donor organ must be free of congenital defects, previous damage, etc.).

Well (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694042)

Well, there's only one way to perform surgery on a heart........ verrrrrrrrry carefully.

Ahead of his time (0, Redundant)

Crixus (97721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694044)

We always knew that Da Vinci was ahead of his time. Now we know just how far. :-)

Re:Ahead of his time (2, Insightful)

jack_csk (644290) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694081)

Do you really know how far he is / was?
Most of the time you don't really know until you get there.

Re:Ahead of his time (2, Interesting)

E8086 (698978) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694295)

Maybe not that far ahead. Good medical knowledge/practices seem to have gotten lost over the years, at least in "western" civilization. The Romans had decently trained medics/doctors with the ability to successfully treat lots of injuries and illnesses. I don't know about heart and brain surgery but they were good at eye surgery. So they missed the observation that discovered penicillin, but they knew it was a good idea to keep hospitals clean, they went with the option of buildings with lots of big open windows to provide plenty of ventalation to carry off the stuff that was coughed and sneezed out could be carried away by the wind instead of sealed buildings covered with bleach a few times a day. Today it seems a common solution for treating people is pump them full of drugs, broad spectrum antiboidics, pain killers and sedatives to the point where they can't think straight and see what happens. Then came the dark ages when everything good was lost of considered bad, the church considered it unholy to examine a body and taking a bath is bad because it removes the layers of protective dirt covering your skin. Advancement in western civilivation was halted or went backwards for a thousand years, The people of DaVinci's time only rediscovered the works of those a thousand years before. Yes, their building material were a little different, basic cement and iron and lead and oil lamps instead of steel reinforced hardened concrete and light bulbs and nuclear power plants but society behaved in much the same way.

unfortunately "covered" with bleach gives them too (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694721)

much credit. If you go looking in a hospital for gunk, you're sure to find some. They'd be better to apply probiotics, but somewhere they picked up "biotic is bad"

how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (3, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694047)

Disclaimer: this post is philosophical drivel...

I wonder how many insights from the past we as a "civilization" may be whistling past. In our smug (seemingly) mastery of technology I often feel a sense of something missing, or just not quite in the right place. Today we can instantaneously retrieve and play on our mp3 players any song that tickles our fancy, but to what end? When sales of Britney outstrip sales of the Emperor Concerto something is out of whack.

Base and rank commercialism has overtaken sensibility. Our choices are far less choices and far more subtle (and sometimes otherwise) manipulation of our choices by mass market driven money making machines.

For example, the food industry: did you know that one of the most healthy foods you can eat is tuna? And if you're trying to lose weight it can be a keystone in that goal. Did you know that some brands of tuna have artificially introduced certain appetite inducing chemicals? No intrinsic added value to the food, just a manipulation of you to buy more food (hopefully, their tuna).

Now, to relate all of this back to the original article. What percentage of medical breakthroughs and research have anything to do with cumulative knowledge? What percentage is just purely money driven?

It's only my opinion, but "we" as a civilization will show true evolution when we take use of true knowledge and think less about everything as "business". Business is an artifact. Truth and knowledge serve more faithfully.

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694106)

Think of how much pure knowledge we should discard.

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (1, Insightful)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694158)

Either you have been brain washed by Marxists or you really have no understanding of economics. See this: http://www.mises.org/etexts/mises/anticap.asp [mises.org]

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694180)

See this: http://www.mises.org/etexts/mises/anticap.asp [mises.org] Wow, a pro-capitalist book that was actually panned by the economist. It must be REALLY bad.

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694395)

First there are dozens of review of the book, you picked one of the few negative ones. That the publisher put negative reviews on the same page of the positive ones is a sign of honesty. Second, the author of the book and The Economist never saw eye to eye. The Economist didn't like Mises's critisism of the US and the UK, and Mises didn't like the habbit they held for promoting the theories of British economists and ignoring the work of prominent German and Austrian ones.

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694454)

As a side point, the review that says this isn't Mises's best book is correct. Socialism [econlib.org] and Human Action [mises.org] are both MUCH better. Readers looking for a short book that covers the basic topics might want to read Economic Policy [mises.org] . If you are interested a discussion Nazism and Fascism, Omnipotent Government [mises.org] may be more up your alley.

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (1, Interesting)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694184)

Dear whoever modded me flaimbait,

The post to which I was refering is a traditional Marxist arguement. That's why I linked an example of a book dealing with the very issue. If you don't like what I have to say, respond and prepare to defend your point of view. Don't mod me down because you don't like hearing the truth.

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694243)

It is quite well known, and has been repeatedly demonstrated that, e.g., the pharmaceutical companies will not put any effort into validating results that they cannot profit from. E.g., folk medicine. Occasionally someone independent of the pharmaceutical companies will do so, but the process of getting something new validated has become so expensive that it's quite difficult for someone only moderately wealthy to be able to fund such a thing, even if he is obsessive. (I can't remember the particular example which this statement refers to, but one of the requirements is a set of extensive double-blind studies.)

Even if a medicine is known to be persrcibable for some particular problem, if the patent is near expiration it will not be investigated for further uses.

If the Marxists claim this to be true, then not all of their arguments are invalid. (I.e., don't use ad hominem arguments.)

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694353)

Why should the pharmaceutical companies, or anyone, waste money getting FDA approval on stuff you can already buy over the counter? All that would do is take something currently readily available and turn it into a highly regulated product. Everyone already know's it's safe, it might work; why spend the money on that instead of trying to come up with a new medicine?

But that has nothing to do with what yagu posted. He listed a bunch of problems he has with the world: people not liking his favorite music, technology having been worse in the past (so that Leonardo's knowledge couldn't be used), a large selection of providers for the same good, etc. Then he proceeded to blame "business" for corrupting truth and knowledge and calls for it's overthrow (or at least a reduction in its importance).

As I said, this is a standard Marxist arguement. It also has no bearing on reality and the supposed connections are caused by a philosophical bias. that's why I linked to a book that dealt with the issue, so that slashdot readers could decide for themselves.

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694705)

A quotation from the book (Section 4, under heading "3. INJUSTICE"):

Nature is not bountiful but stingy. It has restricted the supply of all things indispensable for the preservation of human life. It has populated the world with animals and plants to whom the impulse to destroy human life and welfare is inwrought.

At this point I stopped reading. When someone starts claiming that not only animals have an inborn impulse to destroy human life (they don't; they have an inborn impulse to eat and protect themselves, their territory and their offspring), but that plants have this impulse too (which would be quite an accomplishment for entities lacking a nervous system and therefore anything resembling instincts or impulses), I think it's a safe bet that the guy is either delusional or trolling.

Not that this is particularly surprising. People who devote themselves to economic systems, be those systems communism, capitalism, mercantilism or whatever, tend to be idiots. Economic systems are tools for achieving goals (usually success and prosperity for all), not goals by themselves. Devoting yourself to laissez-faire capitalism makes no more sense than devoting yourself to a hammer: sure, it is a very usefull tool, but you're still not going to get the screws tightened with it.

Mayhaps... (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694198)

As far as Britney outpacing Concerto sales, far more people hear classical music (on a ratio basis) in the modern world than they did in the 1700s or even 1800s. They simply choose other things because they like them better because of their friends, who like it because of the radio play, who play it because record companies pay them to, because they have a lot "invested" in crap artists like Britney.

The problem isn't commercialism, it's the value placed on wealth above all other things. This is a cultural problem, exacerbated by the fact that fools and their money are soon parted, and the more fools we make as a society the richer the .5% at the top get at the expense of killing their own culture.

America needs leadership, but most of that seemed to disappear in the 60s. JFK, RFK, MLK, where art thou? I've got hopes for Mbarak Obama and John McCain, but they're both writhing in the bureaucracy of their own political parties.

Re:Mayhaps... (1)

madhippy (525384) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694572)

emperor concert written around 1809 (first google result) - people still listen to it ... even if people don't know what the full concerto sounds like they often know bits of it from adverts/films etc

britney - been around 5-10 years ...

will people be listening to Beethoven in 20 (or 300) years? - more than likely ...
britney ? probably not.

(I wonder if the number of people hearing Beethoven over the last 200 years is really less than the number of people who listened to Britney ...)

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694208)

An interesting thing about 'Truth and knowledge' is that it will eventually be 'discovered'
by someone. Einstein formalized relativity, but if he hadn't, Feynman would have.

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (2, Insightful)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694551)

Yep, that's interesting, but I believe that the past has proven (I think there are some examples in mathematics) that lost knowledge can take a very long time to be rediscovered...

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694213)

Your order currently is:
-> 1 OpenBSD 3.7 CD @ USD $45.00
-> 1 Wireframe Daemon Shirt (L, Black) @ USD $16.00
-> 1 OpenBSD 3.8 CD @ USD $45.00
-> 1 Wireframe Blowfish Shirt (L) @ USD $20.00
-> 1 OpenBSD 3.8 Poster @ USD $10.00
-> Total: USD $136.00 + Shipping.

i hope u get the joke.

Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694412)

Didn't get it.

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694459)

hahaha that owned!

Re:how much pure knowledge have we discarded? (3, Informative)

garat (899448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694346)

one of the most healthy foods you can eat is tuna

While tuna is actually an excellent source of protein (remember that a healthy diet needs many other things as well), there is a downside: eating large quantities can introduce the risk of consuming too much mercury; here's two interesting links:

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:1dWBudmqB9cJ:ww w.mercurypolicy.org/new/documents/CanTheTunaReleas eFinal061903.pdf+tuna+mercury&hl=en&client=safari [66.102.7.104]
http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/tuna.as p [nrdc.org]

different views (5, Interesting)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694051)

Does anyone else here get the feeling from this that doctors have a sort of "well, that's how it's always been done" approach to medicine? I mean, you'd think that at some point, somebody would have stopped and said "is there a better way to do this?" I guess, in some ways, this guy is that "revolutionary" thinker...

Re:different views (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694094)

One time a R.N. told me that the difference between God and a surgeon is that God doesn't think he's a surgeon.

Re:different views (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694223)

Does anyone else here get the feeling from this that doctors have a sort of "well, that's how it's always been done" approach to medicine?

I think there's a good reason for this: the way it has always been done has proven to work, and most patients don't like to be experimented on.

Am I missing something? (4, Insightful)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694064)

Am I missing something or does the article say nothing about what the new technique was? And why only the Da Vinchi drawings were the only ones that could have lead to this discovery.

Re:Am I missing something? (2, Interesting)

mpontes (878663) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694090)

I was wondering that as well, what can the Da Vinci drawings of a heart have that a realistic computer model doesn't?

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694139)

Apparently, it wasn't just the drawings but also Leonardo's written observations that helped the doctor achieve his insight.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694506)

yeah, the article seemed to be a fluff piece just to promote some documentary. Absolutely no information in there.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

WiFiBro (784621) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694646)

thank you for seeing this too; i was reading through all of the above comments thinking hey, what do they think they are talking about...

so, anyone with a useful link?

Floppy mitral valve (5, Informative)

karvind (833059) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694077)

Mitral valve prolapse [nih.gov] , fortunately, is not deadly. But the usual treatment always has the potential danger of valve infection. I hope the new technique will help prevent that problem.

BS (3, Insightful)

numLocked (801188) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694086)

You have got to be kidding me! This passes for news? Some doctor says 'whoaaaa mannnn, Da Vinci made some nice drawings' and then invents a new way to repair the heart, and the media links the two together. There is NO mention of what the new procedure consists of or why Da Vinci's drawings helped him invent it. I find it very hard to believe the Da Vinci really had some understanding of heart physiology that we don't and when the article makes no effort to convince me otherwise...well, color me skeptical.

Go read http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/badscience/ [guardian.co.uk] backstories and learn why you should never listen to the mass media when it comes to scientific discoveries. I'm really surprised this got posted to /.

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694143)

" I'm really surprised this got posted to /." I really hate to say this but "Are you new here?"

Re:BS (1)

CapnGrunge (233552) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694173)

Oh, so you actually RTFA?

Jokes aside, I agree. TFA couldn't be more uninformative and misleading. Hey, they'll probably file a patent or claim a bogus one.

Re:BS (4, Informative)

pg133 (307365) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694188)

Maybe this article Da Vinci decodes heart valve surgery explains it better [news.com.au]
rancis Wells, a consultant cardiac surgeon at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England, said he had a "eureka moment" as he pored over drawings and notes by the artist in the royal collection at Windsor Castle.
With Da Vinci's understanding of the importance of the opening and closing phases of the valve, Mr Wells has worked out how to restore the valve's normal and full variability in opening and closing properly.

"That has been a big step forward," he said yesterday.

So, yes the work of Da Vinci 1500, did lead to some modern improvments in medicine today!

Re:BS (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694231)

Maybe it's just me reading between the lines, but I gathered as much from TFA.

Re:BS (3, Informative)

Effika (517254) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694410)

I think this is the better part of the article. This quote actually explains what the new technique is.

Until now, surgeons have narrowed the diameter of the valve by removing a square portion of one of the flaps. Now, by closing the gaps on each side of the prolapsing flap and cutting out the excess tissue in a V-shape, the surgeon can make the valve work properly again.

Re:BS (1)

numLocked (801188) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694496)

Sure, there's one sentence that alludes to the new technique, but why was this not an option before? What was preventing people from simply fixing the valve? This seems like the natural solution to me - it seems obvious that narrowing the valve is an inferior solution to simply fixing it. There's no meat to the article.

Re:BS (2, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694197)

The steps to calling bullshit:

1. Read article.
2. Don't get answers to questions.
3. Don't be willing to investigate further into the matter.
4. Don't know anything about the article's topic.
5. Don't want to look like an idiot on Slashdot.
6. Call bullshit to save face.

Well done.

closed source? (1)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694100)

has this guy not shared his new technique with anyone? I've only read this particular article about it, so I only know what it states about it. Which is nothing, it just says that this guy knows a better way to repair it now. Not that the medical community now knows. But that *he* knows. Well, he actually says 'we' but the rest of what's said is stated in a fairly cloaked manner, as if to say he knows and he ain't sharin'. You want it done, pay me 9 zillion dollars, or go get it done the old fashioned way by any of the other multitudes of surgeons that know that old technique. I'm probably just reading too much into the words used, I don't follow the medical community much. Don't they usually share everything?

Now medicine is a monopoly (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694117)

When Leonardo was alive, 500 years ago,there was no monopoly; barbers and other people with dubious trainng were involved in medicine.

Before Leonardo, in the early Middle Ages, say, when the Decameron was written (13++) physicians were not called "Doctors" because they did not have doctoral degrees. Only Theologians and Lawyers were Doctors. The best eaxample is Toma De Aquino, "Doctor Universalis" who had all the doctorates of the time, but was no physician.

Re:Now medicine is a monopoly (3, Interesting)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694155)

"there was no monopoly; barbers and other people ..." Yeah and numerous people were killed in their dubious attempts at medicine. BTW medicine is not a monopoly ... anybody can join if you (i) finish medschool (ii) pass an exam. If you are not smart enough to do these ... there is no need to involve antitrust law in this.

Re:Now medicine is a monopoly (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694168)

Not everybody can get into med school. No matter how well you do on the MCAT's, most med schools will still screen applications. For example, a 60-year old will probably not be admitted.

Leonardo's best contribution may be... (5, Insightful)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694175)

From the article:

His anatomical knowledge came from his post-mortem dissection work, which the Church forbade.

Great minds of the past shouldn't just be honored for their great contributions to art and science. In fact, it may almost be more important that they defied the religiously dictated laws of their times. Even Isaac Newton, who may the most important scientist in our history, dabbled in occult beliefs that some feel led to his gravitational theory.

I tip my hat to Leonardo, Galileo, Newton, and others for having the guts to stand up to the religion to advance humans forward.

Re:Leonardo's best contribution may be... (1)

grogdamighty (884570) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694202)

Let's stop the anti-religion crusade and consider the fact that he was digging up corpses. Did he have a signed informed consent form for that?

I don't know about you, but I want the the choice to donate my body to science rather than giving free rein to anyone who wants to have a good ol' time.

Re:Leonardo's best contribution may be... (2, Informative)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694219)

Ok, let's say I wanted to donate my body to Leonardo's research when I die.

Guess what? The Church won't let me do what I want with my body because it is against their beliefs. And I'm sure the Church scared the hell out of people with ideas that they couldn't go to heaven if their deceased bodies were "desecrated."

Leonardo did his work in the only way he could. Would you rather the world still be ignorant of the body to this day and not have life saving surgeries performed?

Re:Leonardo's best contribution may be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694404)

A good cause that needed my body is welcome to dig me up after I die and do some research. Consider that at the time of his work there was NO WAY to consent your body for research.

Re:Leonardo's best contribution may be... (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694442)

I tip my hat to Leonardo, Galileo, Newton, and others for having the guts to stand up to the religion to advance humans forward.

I think the illegally and immorally exhumed corpses had the guts; the scientists of the past merely examined them

Re:Leonardo's best contribution may be... (1)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694530)

Please see my and an AC's response to the reply before yours.

Anyway, what about Galileo and Newton? What bodies did they exhume? That's right, they had guts to defy asinine laws that prevented free thought.

Why didn't they think of this earlier? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694207)

This is one of those inventions that comes along every now and then, of which you think: why didn't they think of this earlier? Some things stare humanity in the face for years and years before someone finally sees the light. This one took remarkably long...

Old Joke (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694220)

A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a Harley, when he spotted a world-famous heart surgeon in his shop. The heart surgeon was waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike. The mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey Doc can I ask you a question?"

The famous surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic working on the motorcycle.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So Doc, look at this engine. I also can open hearts, take valves out, fix'em, put in new parts and when I finish this will work just like a new one. So how come I get a pittance and you get the really big money, when you and I are doing basically the same work?"

The surgeon paused, smiled and leaned over, and whispered to the mechanic..... "Try doing it with the engine running!

Doing things 'differently' in medicine is the root (5, Interesting)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694224)

... of malpractice suits. If you do something differently, and something goes wrong, the lawyers come out and sue because you were doing something non standard. I find it a bit spooky that a doctor would even need to look at old drawings to know how heart valves work. Isn't this why they are made to work on cadavers, so they know the body inside and out? Doesn't the real thing trump some old drawings?

BS to promote exhibition (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694312)

Leonardo was a genius and good drawsman BUT it has nothing to do with modern heart surgery.

Nowdays U have movies of heart in action taken by cameras traveling through it - so every medicine student or engineer can spend hours watching how heart and its subelements work.

Old drawings have no chance to stand up to this. Thats all - unless this "doctor" spend most of the time sleeping instead of learning and his only knowledge comes from exhibitions hes visiting with family from time to time

heh (0, Redundant)

andreyw (798182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694342)

Am I the only one who expected the actual newly-discovered method to be described, but didn't find it in this fluff article?

I feel... cheated. RTFAing doesn't pay.

Leonardo as an artist not as a scientist (2, Insightful)

wired_parrot (768394) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694413)

I think the article is improperly attributing Leonardo's role in the discovery. Leonardo made accurate anatomical drawings of the heart from which the heart surgeon took inspiration. In this sense, I see da Vinci as having provided artistic inspiration for this medical discovery, much as artists throughout the ages have provided inspiration for countless scientists. It is likely that the heart surgeon could have made his discovery based on any other accurate drawing or illustration of the human heart, but da Vinci's beautifully drawn anatomical sketches provided the inspiration. Admitedly da Vinci often blurred the line between art and science, but in this case it seems to me his role is that of an artist and inspiration, not of a scientist.

BBC News Article Repeats Itself About 3 Times... (1)

DJRikki (646184) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694433)

...and fails to actually say anything more than "Doc finds Da Vinci drawings helpful". Bunch of twunts. -Rikki

Good medicine is weakening the human species. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694500)

Because we now prop up the weak and infirm with better medical trechnology, survival of the fittest is being thwarted. Where in the past unhealthy humans would have died, they are now being kept alive, and then they are reproducing and passing on their imfirmities to their children. Eventually there will be a time when EVERYONE is born with some major infirmity, healthy babies will be a rare exception.

Good medicine is killing the human species.

Re:Good medicine is weakening the human species. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694685)

And think, If we didn't have good medicine, we wouldn't have to deal with the likes of you! SHucks!

Fellow Is A Fraud (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694542)

Like the Chinese Kung-Fu master who always keeps some secrets back (and claims to keep secrets he doesn't have), this fellow is not releasing any details about his claims.

He wants to make $$ off of his "secret Da Vinci heart procedure", whether it's real or not.

heartbreak! (1)

middlemen (765373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694612)

surgeon to pioneer a new way to repair damaged hearts."

Cool, so I could goto him when my girlfriend breaks my heart by running away with Joe Sixpack!!!
Oh wait, she already did!!!

Leonardo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694724)

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop using "da Vinci" as a surname! The guy's name is Leonardo. This is supposed to be a geek site, dammit - you should know better!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo [wikipedia.org]

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...