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28 Aug 2013

What is the mind - Part 3

I originally wrote only two posts in this series defining the mind (Link to What is the mind? and What is the Mind? – Part 2). However, I found some information that so aptly concluded this article. (What a treat!)

Ludwig Boltzmann was an Austrian physicist. He was born in 1944 and committed suicide in 1906. Shocking! What’s more shocking thought are the circumstances that surround his death. Albert Einstein was the first conclusively to prove that atoms (the building blocks of all matter) existed. However, Ludwig had long before realized that atoms existed. Unfortunately, he struggled to prove it to other members within his circle of influence. Those that Ludwig worked with mocked and ridiculed him for thinking such "nonsense."

Boltzmann suffered from mental illnesses. Most medical professionals assume he had bi-polar. However, those in the know have partly attributed his suicide to the constant mockery he received from his so-called peers. All because his colleagues couldn’t perceive the atoms that we know to be real today. The sad part here is that in 1905, (a year before Ludwig hung himself), Albert Einstein conclusively proved that the atom existed. Unfortunately, the message had not reached Ludwig and his contemporaries.

To prove that atoms existed, Einstein elaborated on a discovery with which humanity has credited Robert Brown: Brownian motion. In 1827, Robert dropped grains of pollen into water and watched the particles "dance" around under a microscope. The scientists of the day discarded the discovery and said it was mundane and boring. Such was Einstein’s brilliance, that after humanity had sat on this knowledge for almost a century and did nothing about it, Einstein saw magic. He wrote one of his ground-breaking papers that proved atoms existed and their size.

The point here is that we are always learning and progressing. Moreover, the more we learn, the more we are able to prove what is really going on in the world. Don’t laugh at other people’s bravery when they present a revolutionary idea. I wrote something similar in most blog What makes you an expert in your field?. There is a chance there idea is correct, but the tools needed to prove it, don’t yet exist. There are other similar cases in the world of science. One scientist sat on a paper proving that quarks (the building blocks of protons and neutrons) exist for ten years. He did this for fear that the science community may think that this is too strange. Imagine how much information and progress has been lost because of man’s ego: our unwillingness to accept knowledge to which we won’t be credited. Vilifying others isn’t going to get humanity anywhere.

Just because we can’t see something, doesn’t meant it’s not there, i.e. the mind.
O and PS, the image is a bust of Ludwig.

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