Richard S. wrote:That article is quite old, I read it a long time ago.... “His mind is still so open and flexible,” Sacks says. Which makes Dyson something far more formidable than just the latest peevish right-wing climate-change denier. Dyson is a scientist whose intelligence is revered by other scientists — William Press, former deputy director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and now a professor of computer science at the University of Texas, calls him “infinitely smart.” Dyson — a mathematics prodigy who came to this country at 23 and right away contributed seminal work to physics by unifying quantum and electrodynamic theory — not only did path-breaking science of his own; he also witnessed the development of modern physics, thinking alongside most of the luminous figures of the age, including Einstein, Richard Feynman, Niels Bohr, Enrico Fermi, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Edward Witten, the “high priest of string theory” whose office at the institute is just across the hall from Dyson’s. Yet instead of hewing to that fundamental field, Dyson chose to pursue broader and more unusual pursuits than most physicists — and has lived a more original life.
Among Dyson’s gifts is interpretive clarity, a penetrating ability to grasp the method and significance of what many kinds of scientists do. ....
Richard, the vids are charming and very eccentric and all that, and I have no doubt he's a bright and stimulating guy. But note that, with all the talk about his personal theories of "stratospheric cooling" and "atmospheric respiration" (and the "terribly small" amount of grant money he's gotten for development of that theory), he says the only way you can deduce an effect is to observe that. He never confronts the essential question of whether that'll be too late.
And let's not forget, scientists are all in competition with each other for money to develop their ideas. And you'll scarcely find one ever who thinks his idea is either inferior than the other guy's, or has been disproven.
Finally, once again, the vids pre-date the "Climategate" leak, so they're not at all helpful in assessing its impact, which really is what these threads are about, isn't it?
Funny how much of a stickler you are about staying on-topic -- sometimes.