Author Archives: Mel Acheson

The True Disbeliever

  Jan 19, 2016 “I’ll believe it when I see it” could be the motto of the empiricist. His not unreasonable belief is that reasonable belief in an idea should be governed by tests that give results which can be … Continue reading

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Gravity vs. Plasma

  Dec 24, 2015 Kuhn’s 1962 essay (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions) exploring the nature of changes in scientific theories, and a plethora of commentaries since, have made it out to be a Big Deal and to be also somewhat mysterious: … Continue reading

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Blindness, Stupidity and Speculation

  Dec 8, 2015 Ignorance is not bliss. In discussing the question of progress in scientific revolutions, Kuhn noted: “There are losses as well as gains [in a paradigm shift]…, and scientists tend to be peculiarly blind to the former.” In … Continue reading

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Playing the Jokers

  Dec 3, 2015 The house of cards which is modern astronomy contains two jokers. Both lie in the foundation; both are being played; and the house is doomed to collapse. The first joker is the assumption that redshift is entirely … Continue reading

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Plasma Star

  Sep 22, 2015 Recent images of the star CH Cygni reveal the electrical circuitry that drives it. Radiation in radio (blue), optical (green), and X-ray (red) highlight the several inner components of the plasma discharge. The outer red circle (large … Continue reading

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The Basics

  Sep 17, 2015 Imagine a rock. Now, imagine breaking it into pieces. Break the pieces into smaller pieces. Continue breaking until your eyes can no longer resolve the pieces. Get a microscope. Now you can distinguish the pieces. Break them … Continue reading

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Notes on an Incipient Cosmos Part Four

  Aug 31, 2015 Decisions, Decisions: A Choice Not an Echo Editor’s note: This is the last installment of Mel Acheson’s epistemological treatise, originally meant to be a presentation at a Thunderbolts conference in 2009. Leon Rosenfeld, a coworker of … Continue reading

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Notes on an Incipient Cosmos Part Three [DO NOT RE-RUN]

  Aug 24, 2015 “Really and Truly” Thinking is done with nerves and words. Nerves don’t transmit information: the discharge of one nerve stimulates another to discharge, discharges of many nerves are linked and sorted into patterns of activation, and … Continue reading

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Dark Dreams

  Aug 18, 2015 An apparently empty patchwork of darkness strung across this field of stars is actually full—of dust and gas and Other Things. The dust and gas doesn’t show up because there’s not sufficient light that we can see … Continue reading

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Notes on an Incipient Cosmos Part Two [DO NOT RE-RUN]

  Aug 17, 2015 Plasma: The New Kid on the Block Institutional astronomy’s blind spot in intellectual vision is in the beginning. Although astronomers acknowledge that everything they see is plasma, they fail (or refuse) to see the empirically discovered … Continue reading

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