Category Archives: society

A rare good news from Middle East: SESAME opens

image credit I mentioned SESAME in a post last year. SESAME is the Middle East’s first synchrotron light source.  It is located in Allan, Jordan. SESAME is a joint project of Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan and also … Continue reading

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EDGE 2017 question and 206 responses by invited contributors

The EDGE 2017 question: What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known? You can find the 206 responses by the invited contributors at the following address (the EDGE web site is a little slow, the initial load of this web … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy, physics, science, society

Knowledgebase

My dream is to see the day when we have a world-wide-knowledgebase. The word “knowledgebase” is inspired by the word “database.” A knowledgebase, however, is supposed to be much more than a database. The entire internet (world-wide-web) can be thought of as a rudimentary … Continue reading

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A lot is happening

A lot is happening in my life, in the physics world, and in my home country Turkey. I watched in horror what happened in Turkey last month. I am very proud of my fellow Turkish countrymen. I admired their courage … Continue reading

Posted in physics, psychology, science, society

Galileo’s Diagramma Della Verita

Galileo’s mysterious booklet “Diagramma Della Verita” is mentioned in Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons.” The rumor is that there is a copy of this booklet in the Vatican Archives. I doubt it. It is clear that “Diagramma Della Verita” is a … Continue reading

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Curious about lunar calendars

Image credit I don’t understand lunar calendars. They are complicated, they don’t follow the seasons. What was the original reason for adopting lunar calendars? During the Paleolithic period when most humans were hunter-gatherers the accurate measurement of the solar year … Continue reading

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How long astronauts stayed on the moon?

Image credit I have watched the documentary titled “The Last Man on the Moon” which is a documentary about the life of the astronaut Eugene A. Cernan. I did not know that Gene Cernan and the geologist astronaut Harrison H. … Continue reading

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EDGE 2016 question and 198 responses by the invited contributors

Nicholas Humphrey Edge-Serpentine Gallery-MAPS for the 21st Century ************************************************** The EDGE 2016 question: What do you consider the most interesting recent [scientific] news? What makes it important? You can find the 198 responses by the invited contributors at the following url: … Continue reading

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Sad state of physics education in Turkey

I am very sad to report that only 16 Turkish universities have physics undergraduate programs. There are currently 193 universities in Turkey. At least 50 of them had undergraduate physics programs until recently. The Council of Higher Education of Turkey (Turkish … Continue reading

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alla turca time

Image credit In the alla turca time Sun always sets at the 0’th hour and rises at the 12th hour. The hours of the alla turca time have variable length. During winters the length of 1 (alla turca) night hour is longer … Continue reading

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Nobel Prize Ceremony 2015

I watched the 2015 Nobel Prize ceremony live this morning. I have never done this before. I maintain the Nobel Laureates in Physics but for some reason I was never interested in the audio-visual of the actual ceremony before. This … Continue reading

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The Crackpot Index versus the Anti-Crackpot Index

People with new ideas are often attacked by the people who are invested in the old ideas. Sometimes it is an ego thing. Intellectuals attack an idea just because it is not their idea. This goes on at all levels … Continue reading

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1995: The Revolutionary Year in Technology

in April 1995 the NSFNET was retired and the United States Government no longer funded internet with public money. In 1995 Microsoft released Windows 95. The programming language Java was introduced in 1995 as well. This was a significant event in … Continue reading

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Crazy-old-guy syndrome among theoretical physicists

Image credit When I saw this funny text in John Preskill’s blog post I smiled broadly and wanted to share it with you. “I suppose most theoretical physicists who (like me) are comfortably past the age of 60 worry about … Continue reading

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Aziz Sancar: the first Turkish scientist to win a Nobel Prize

Today, the Nobel Foundation announced that Aziz Sancar shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Tomas Lindahl and Paul Modrich.  Sancar was recognized for his work on DNA repair. My heartfelt congratulations to Aziz Sancar! Author Orhan Pamuk received the Nobel … Continue reading

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Institute for Advanced Study (IAS)

I wrote about the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in a post titled “Piet Hut the Hero Physicist.” In that piece I mentioned that many legendary mathematicians and physicists worked at the IAS. Gödel, Einstein and Weyl were faculty members at … Continue reading

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World population trends

World population in 2015 = 7.3 billion Worldwide average life expectancy in years = 71 (men 69; women 73) Worldwide average gross income (before taxes) per person per year = $15030 (developed countries $39020; underdeveloped countries $2270) Note that these averages … Continue reading

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Art and Science for Service and Beatitude

Image credit It has been a while since I used the slogan “Art and Science for Service and Beatitude.” I was very fond of this slogan in my younger days. I love the word “beatitude” which may have Christian connotations … Continue reading

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Statistics for Physics PhDs conferred in the US

References https://www.aip.org/sites/default/files/statistics/graduate/graddegrees-p-08.pdf https://www.aip.org/sites/default/files/statistics/employment/phdinitemp-p-12.pdf  

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On this day of Ananda Purnima wishing all scientists more intuition

Image credit While watching the full moon and remembering Shrii Shrii Anandamurti on this happy night of Ananda Purnima I was also reading John Horgan’s interview with legendary physicist Steven Weinberg who has been a vocal defender of atheism. After … Continue reading

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The Life of the Mind in the Heart of the City

“The Life of the Mind in the Heart of the City” is the motto of the Graduate Center in New York City. It is located in the north-east corner of the 5’th Avenue and the 34’th street. It is diagonally … Continue reading

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Internet Archive (Wayback Machine)

Illustration by Harry Campbell (New Yorker) There is an excellent New Yorker article titled “The Cobweb” by Jill Lepore. You don’t have to be a subscriber to New Yorker, this article is open to public. This is a very informative … Continue reading

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Few comments on universal spirituality

  I have read John Horgan’s book “Rational Mysticism” many years ago. I returned to it recently because this book represented some unfinished business as far as I am concerned. Horgan is a great writer and he knows how to extract emotional … Continue reading

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Science and Engineering PhD Feeder Schools

National Science Foundation (NSF) keeps statistics on Science and Engineering (S&E) PhDs. In the list below the University of California-Berkeley and Cornell University stand out. These two schools produce the highest number of baccalaureate graduates who go on to receive a PhD … Continue reading

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Reading Sohail Inayatullah (1)

I was fascinated by Sohail Inayatullah’s intellectual tour-de-force “Understanding Sarkar: The Indian Episteme Macrohistory and Transformative Knowledge.” “Understanding Sarkar” is written in the academic style. The author is very careful about maintaining an emotional distance to the subject (P.R.Sarkar and his teachings) … Continue reading

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Einstein did not have any PhD students

There is a great tradition in academia. If you are a successful academic you are supposed to have PhD students and guide them in their dissertation research. The more PhD students you have the better. It is a great responsibility … Continue reading

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Piet Hut the Hero Physicist

This is the first installment of a 3 part series. This post was followed by “Hut-Alford-Tegmark Debate on Math, Matter and Mind” and “My Response to Hut-Alford-Tegmark.” This is also the 3rd installment of  “the physicist” series. The first two … Continue reading

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Soma

Going into the darkness of the underground coal mines and coming out after few hours and looking at the bright Sun is a special experience. You feel the contrast – the contrast between the darkness and the light. You feel … Continue reading

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Skipping an Age

Image credit In my native language Turkish there is a phrase “çağ atlamak” which literally means “skipping an age” but it actually expresses a desire for rapid progress. This phrase has been on my mind lately. In school they taught … Continue reading

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Difference between sidereal day and solar day on Earth

An Earth day can be measured in different ways. Measure the time it takes for a complete rotation of Earth around its axis. Measure the time it takes for the Sun to appear in the same meridian in the sky. … Continue reading

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Few comments on measurement?

According to wordnetweb.princeton.edu the term “mental measurement” means “a generic term used to cover any application of measurement techniques to the quantification of mental functions” According to thefreedictionary the “physical measurement” is “Quantitative information on a physical condition, property, or … Continue reading

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Few Trends

Few trends as indicated by the searches at Google in the last 10 years. search term: spirituality search term: soul search term: consciousness search term: poetry search term: Higgs boson search term: Ananda Marga (search activity dominated by Philippines, Australia, … Continue reading

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On liberation, union and identity

The concepts of liberation, union and identity are typically discussed in the context of social philosophy. This short piece is not really social commentary even though I make a point at the end. This is primarily a follow-up on the … Continue reading

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π Day

March 14 is the day. Coincidentally, March 14 is also the birthday of Albert Einstein. The best encyclopedic resource for anything related to mathematics is Wolfram MathWorld which is created, developed and nurtured by Eric Weisstein. I have tremendous respect … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics, society, tutorial

Miletus, Constantinople, Istanbul, New York

Most of my friends don’t know that I write. My family members know about my blog, of course, but they don’t read my writings. I am so thankful that I have few readers who are curious about the things I … Continue reading

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Stephen Wolfram on Richard Feynman

There is a gem of an article by Stephen Wolfram titled “A Short Talk About Richard Feynman.” I found these comments from that article very interesting: “I think Feynman—at least in the years I knew him—was much more driven by … Continue reading

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On the late adoption of the printing press in the Ottoman Empire

The printing press with movable type was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany circa 1439. Ottomans were first introduced to the printing press by the Sephardic Jews in Istanbul in 1494. Ottoman Empire granted protection to Sephardic Jews who … Continue reading

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H-index

An academic friend of mine mentioned that his H-index was 12. He is a professor of medicine at a major university in Turkey. He was very proud of this accomplishment. I have been away from academia for a long time … Continue reading

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Force/Consciousness; Midichlorians/Microvita; Jedi/Sadvipra

This article is not about Microvita. I am not ready to write about Microvita yet. It is a huge subject. I don’t know where to start. Consciousness is huge subject too but I have been writing about Consciousness. You may … Continue reading

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Edge Organization’s Annual Questions and the Responses by the Leading Intellectuals

Edge.org is an online forum bringing together the intellectuals and scientists from different fields. I enjoy their annual questions and the responses by the leading intellectuals. Here’s the links to the responses. The year and the question is in the … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy, physics, science, society

Those who walk in darkness shall see a great light

I wanted to share Barbara Cannon’s opening remarks at the Nobel ceremonies. This is one of the most eloquent speeches I have ever heard. She quoted Prophet Isaiah who said “those who walk in darkness shall see a great light.” … Continue reading

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Electronic Edition of the Works of P.R.Sarkar (Shrii Shrii Anandamurti)

Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar (May 21, 1921 – October 21, 1990), also known by his spiritual name Shrii Shrii Anandamurti was one of the highest expressions of Universal Teacher in human history. He was the founder of Ananda Marga. He was … Continue reading

Posted in history, inspiration, Intuitional Science, linguistics, literature, philosophy, poetry, psychology, science, society, spiritual philosophy, spiritual practice, spirituality, yoga | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

On the fascination with zombies

What is all this fascination with zombies? Just take a look at the list of zombie movies and the list of zombie novels. Even philosophical essays!   I blame David Chalmers for this 🙂 David Chalmers is one of my favorite … Continue reading

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Sometimes it takes courage to become a vegetarian

In 1980, after I became involved with Ananda Marga I felt that I was in a vortex, a wonderful vortex that transformed me completely. The most visible change was my vegetarianism. I became one of the few vegetarians in the … Continue reading

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If all the polar ice melted

The super typhoon Haiyan devastated Philippines. I experienced the super storm Sandy in the NYC area. During Sandy the sea level rose 12 ft (approximately 4 meters). During Haiyan the sea level rose 16 ft (approximately 5 meters). 12 ft … Continue reading

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Blessed are those who illuminate the darkness by their thoughts and ideas

The title of this post comes from Haji Bektash Veli. He also said “Science illuminates the paths of truth.” He lived in the 13th century. I remembered his famous sayings this morning when I heard the news that the Nobel … Continue reading

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Narcissistic Mystic against Scientific Materialism

Popular media is under the impression that physicists are becoming more open-minded about the mysteries of the universe and the dominance of the “scientific materialism” – most dogmatic form of materialism – is waning. My observation is quite the opposite. … Continue reading

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Amos Tversky and the Prospect Theory

Amos Tversky (1937-1996), Davis Brack Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and one of the world’s most respected and influential psychologists died June 2, 1996, of metastatic melanoma, at the age of 59. Amos Tversky was going to share the … Continue reading

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Sensitive subject among scientists: new mega prizes

Last year several new science prizes were launched. The monetary awards are much bigger than the Nobel Prize. Zeeya Merali wrote an interesting article about this in the Nature journal. http://www.nature.com/news/science-prizes-the-new-nobels-1.13168 This is a sensitive subject among the scientists because … Continue reading

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Ananda Purnima 2013

Shrii Shrii Anandamurti was born on May 21 in 1921 on the day of the full moon. We celebrate his birthday on the day of the full moon in May every year. This happy day is known as Ananda Purnima. … Continue reading

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Mystery of Mount Ararat

Mt. Ararat is shrouded in mystery. The legends of the Great Deluge and Noah’s Ark contributed to the mystery but there are other reasons. It is understandable that human imagination runs wild when it comes to Mt. Ararat because it … Continue reading

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Mars Curiosity

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ I watched a documentary on NASA’s Curiosity rover with teary eyes. It may be surprising for non-scientists to hear that scientists can be so emotional over a technical and scientific matter! My tears were the tears of happiness because … Continue reading

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Textual Analysis and Psychological Dictionaries

It is becoming common these days for researchers to comb through and process large data sets such as tweets and other web based data. The purpose of such research is to determine the general mood of the society. Researchers are … Continue reading

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Darkness

The super-storm Sandy hit my area on Monday evening (Oct 29, 2012). I am not going to discuss the devastation in my area. I cannot express the frustration and suffering experienced by the people of New Jersey and New York … Continue reading

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Not all scientists are atheists

Huffpost Science (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/science/) is doing an excellent job. I congratulate their editors. Their news articles are very informative and readable. But, I have mixed feelings about their blog entries. Huffpost Science editors are very smart. They know how to maximize … Continue reading

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Fundamental Physics Prize

The Milner Foundation announced the Fundamental Physics Prize today. This is a US$3 million prize. It is almost 3 times bigger than the Nobel Prize in terms of money. Monetary value of Nobel Prize is US$1.1 million. The Nobel Prize … Continue reading

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All particles are God particles

Ever since CERN announced the discovery of a new particle behaving like the theorized Higgs boson on July 4th 2012, the phrase “God particle” went viral on the internet. Everyone is talking about the “God particle.” Discovery of the Higgs … Continue reading

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Dharma

Definitions from the Web basic principles of the cosmos; wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn the principle that orders the universe; one’s conduct in conformity with such a principle; one’s obligation in respect to one’s position in society; the teachings of the Buddha; one’s path … Continue reading

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Salonika, you are on my mind

My paternal grandparents were forced to immigrate to Turkey from a village near Salonika. This happened in 1923 as part of the “mübadele”  (population exchange between Greece and Turkey). They were traumatized by this experience all their lives. When they … Continue reading

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The Renaissance Problem

Renaissance is dear to my heart. I volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement and I often think about the significance of the European Renaissance. Renaissance means rebirth in French. It is often stated that the European Renaissance started in Florence, … Continue reading

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Spiritual Undercurrents of Anatolia

Turkish (Anatolian) society is going through a tumultuous transformation. On the surface, it seems as though the society is becoming more dogmatic. Sunni Islam is taking over all state institutions. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Mustafa … Continue reading

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