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Old 27th July 2007, 12:00   #16
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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
no, if you say you have seen the mathematical usage of the so called zero, i believe you. I was not aware of that. i don't need western scientists' theories.

the fact that more false and baseless claims come from our own country than the westerner's is a fact true by itself.
All you need is the Etymology of the word ZERO:

The word Zero comes from the Italian Zefiro which in turn comes from the Arabic Sifr, which is their translation of Shunya.

Zero is not a numeral - it is a concept which made its way into mathematics.

The world today uses what are popularly referred to as ARABIC NUMERALS. The Arabs however refers to their numerals as 'the numbers from Hind'.

Read more here:

Online Etymology Dictionary

Zero

al-Khwarizmi - Britannica Concise

There's a saying in Malayalam which roughly translates to "If you spit while lying on your own back, it will only hit you in the face". "Lying on your back" meaning resting on something that supports you.

Last edited by Steeroid : 27th July 2007 at 12:01.
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Old 27th July 2007, 13:06   #17
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Originally Posted by Bullfrog View Post
How come no one has mentioned the telepathic Pushpaka Vimana of Ravana which could fly as he wished to any destination with any number of people. Something like Vertical take-off spaceships seen in movies
While in engineering college (1975-1980) I'd read a science fiction paperback novel called "Firefox" by Craig Thomas. You should read it, if not already read.
Was a gripping military thriller, written with a Cold War (USA vs USSR) atmosphere.
The novel described a MiG-31 Firefox. The picture on the cover was a MiG-25 Foxbat like what Saddam Hussain used to have.

The Firefox came with an embedded system telepathic control helmet that interfaced the pilot's thoughts to the flight control system and weapon control system. So if the pilot were to look at an enemy target in anger, the WCS would deploy air-to-air missiles (AAMs) instantly!

Kind of like the way in the Ramayana, the Maharishi Vishwamitra reduced people to a pile of ashes with his angry thoughts.
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Old 27th July 2007, 13:09   #18
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Even in the Galaxy system of Peter F Hamilton's Neutron star(Reality dysfunction series) you have these VoidHawks and Blackhawks which are neurally connected to their captains and can feel their pain/fear etc.,
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Old 27th July 2007, 13:10   #19
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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
There's a saying in Malayalam which roughly translates to "If you spit while lying on your own back, it will only hit you in the face".

Interesting line.
Will file it away for use in an appropriate context.
Would you send me the transliteration.
I'd like to be able to pronounce the original Malayalam phrase.
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Old 27th July 2007, 13:14   #20
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It is possible that an Indian did invent the aeroplane as claimed. But in the absence of proof, such a claim will not and cannot be accepted.

It is true that achievements by Western scientists/entrepreneurs will be blown up and hyped by the Western media, which calls the shots. When an Asian or Russian or East European scientist/entrepreneur does something extraordinary, it could be played down and sometimes even ignored, not only by the media but even by the Western intelligentsia. There are umpteen examples of this happening. I know of these double standards and hypocricy first-hand because I have experience in the research world.

In particular, the Western scientists will encourage outstanding achievements by people in the non-Western world and help in funding their research programs as long as these achievements are in tune with the Western scientific paradigm and further it. Anything that challenges this paradigm and attempts to offer new ones will be put down ruthlessly, especially if such heresy comes from non-Westerners. And the reality is that unless the West gives credence to the work of an Indian scientist by publishing his papers in Western journals and getting into collaborative projects, etc., the scientist in question will not survive at our "leading" universities/research labs.

The pathetic subservience to the West is all too evident for the discerning insiders in the scientific world. I am not denying that some of this is justified. It is just that it has gone too far.
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Old 27th July 2007, 13:27   #21
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Sorry rks, I disagree. While west is not exactly sin free, over here it is worst.
Have you seen the movie "Ek doctor ki Maut".
That stands very much true today also. I know people personally who's innovations/research has been killed and ridiculed by their peers and institutions, because it did not "confirm with the political line".

So research will be encouraged as long as its "in the line".
I know you are a scientist, and I am sure that in your career you must have faced the same obstacle.
I don't know what your field of research is, but atleast in agricultural and plant research, if you prove that your university's supposedly bug resistant hybrid falls quite short of the claims, you can be rest assured that the superiors will do their best to ridicule your research and put you down in the academic circles. However if you prove that "the other" univ's variety is inferior to your univ's you will get accolades, even if the research is bogus.
I know people who have faced this first hand, know them very closely.
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Old 27th July 2007, 13:29   #22
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Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
Lord of Rings talks about middle earth and many such fantasies. Has Tolkien invent that theoretically?

There is no need to put down ourselves. If we have achieved that, no point in denying. But shows us proof. Otherwise this will end up as Ramar Pillai's experiment.
I dont think it would be correct to equate LoTR and the Ramayana. As said before - just since there is no proof need not mean that it did not exist.
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Old 27th July 2007, 14:02   #23
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Sorry rks, I disagree. While west is not exactly sin free, over here it is worst.
Have you seen the movie "Ek doctor ki Maut".
That stands very much true today also. I know people personally who's innovations/research has been killed and ridiculed by their peers and institutions, because it did not "confirm with the political line".

So research will be encouraged as long as its "in the line".
I know you are a scientist, and I am sure that in your career you must have faced the same obstacle.
[...]
I know people who have faced this first hand, know them very closely.
I do agree with you and I have faced similar problems myself. It is not just in agricultural research but in virtually every field (my experience is in fluid mechanics, applied mathematics, logic, foundations and philosophy of science).

The *only* way for a young, independent and bright researcher to come up in India is to publish his work in Western journals. By "independent" I mean someone who refuses to fall in line and be a sycophant to his seniors, and someone who insists on the merit criterion rather than seniority. Once his work gets published, he will get some international recognition and then (and only then) will he get recognition from his fellow Indian scientists. Till he gets such international recognition, he will be harassed and hounded by our senior "scientists" who could go to any lengths to suppress his original and possibly brilliant work.

Let us take this specific example. Suppose a young Indian historian does discover some promising evidence that an Indian invented the aeroplane before the Wright brothers. Let us say, promising, but not conclusive evidence as yet; so he might be interested in getting funds for further investigations. He will be hard-pressed to get any credibilty for his claims even if they are genuine, because his work will be rejected by the Western journals and the Western media will not report his claims. If he turns to his fellow Indian scientists for funding and support, he will not get it. Sad, but true. Anything that the Indian media and Indian journals report will not get worldwide circulation and will not be taken seriously, even by Indian scientists. Eventually this possibly promising idea will just die out and the scientist in question would have moved on to other things in the interests of survival.

Last edited by rks : 27th July 2007 at 14:17.
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Old 27th July 2007, 14:32   #24
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Sorry rks, I disagree. While west is not exactly sin free, over here it is worst.
Have you seen the movie "Ek doctor ki Maut".
That stands very much true today also. I know people personally who's innovations/research has been killed and ridiculed by their peers and institutions, because it did not "confirm with the political line".

So research will be encouraged as long as its "in the line".
I know you are a scientist, and I am sure that in your career you must have faced the same obstacle.
I don't know what your field of research is, but atleast in agricultural and plant research, if you prove that your university's supposedly bug resistant hybrid falls quite short of the claims, you can be rest assured that the superiors will do their best to ridicule your research and put you down in the academic circles. However if you prove that "the other" univ's variety is inferior to your univ's you will get accolades, even if the research is bogus.
I know people who have faced this first hand, know them very closely.
I totally agree with you. Some 12 years back, my friend's project work (he was a trainee at ISRO) was totally deleted from the network by his manager's (Project Guide) rivals.
My brother is a scientist who has worked in india as well as abroad. I have heard many similar stories from him.
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Old 27th July 2007, 14:53   #25
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Was it the telephone about which a few years ago U.S government acknowledged that it was invented independently by some Italian or French guy ?
So forgetting how bad we are now, if we are able to prove that we did something in past, everyone would accept it.
As for as Mathematics is concerned, no one disputes the contribution of Indians.
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Old 27th July 2007, 15:00   #26
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Was it the telephone about which a few years ago U.S government acknowledged that it was invented independently by some Italian or French guy ?
Italian - Antonio Meucci
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Old 27th July 2007, 15:12   #27
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I dont think it would be correct to equate LoTR and the Ramayana.
If that is your opinion I respect it, but I would question the reasoning behind that statement. As far as I know the events in the Ramayana are pretty much legendary.

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As said before - just since there is no proof need not mean that it did not exist.
Sure - just like Unicorns, Giants, Elves and a host of other mythical entities. The point is, if we don't know enough to conclusively determine whether or not something existed, it's simpler to assume it did not. (Occam's Razor).
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Old 27th July 2007, 17:35   #28
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As for as Mathematics is concerned, no one disputes the contribution of Indians.
There were a few great Indian mathematicians, the most famous of them being Srinivasa Ramanujan. But Ramanujan was lucky because his brilliance was recognized by a famous British mathematician, Hardy. Otherwise Ramanujan could have sunk without a trace, and his notebooks forever lost. But apart from occasional brilliance, we have hardly contributed to mathematics in proportion to our size as a nation. Israel, which is smaller than some of our major cities, has contributed much more to modern mathematics than India. The Chinese have also pulled way ahead of India in mathematics.

I will now digress into a dirty little secret that few outside the specialized area of foundations are aware of. The foundations of modern mathematics, in particular, set theory (originated by Cantor about 130 years ago), are highly shaky and dubious. To give you an idea, modern mathematics has plunged headlong and unquestioningly into what is called "infinitary reasoning", i.e., it accepts the existence of infinite objects like the set of "all" natural numbers (i.e, the set {0,1,2,3,......}). Not only infinite sets, but infinite sets of infinite sets, infinite sets of infinite sets of infinite sets and so on. And the set of "all" subsets of an infinite set, etc.

But what does "all" natural numbers really mean? We humans have an intuition for finite collections, but not for infinite ones. And just where do these infinite objects "exist"? We do not have any examples of such infinite objects in the real world, so what does it even mean for these infiinite objects to "exist"? What are the logical foundations of such reasoning and can we be confident that such reasoning is sound? The *proven* and *accepted* answer is, we can NEVER be confident and all of this infinitary reasoning *could* possibly be proven to be completely meaningless nonsense.

Shocking, isn't it? But that is the truth. Infinitary reasoning is unsafe reasoning and the "rigour" that the modern mathematician talks about is subject to one BIG, UNPROVEN assumption that infinitary reasoning is logically sound. Almost every modern mathematical proof starts with this BIG, UNPROVEN assumption. You could very well ask "In that case how can we even call it a "proof", which demands certainty?" To give you just one example, the celebrated Fermat's Last Theorem, proven by the British-American mathematician Andrew Wiles in 1995 after some 300 years of efforts by mathematicians, could *still* be false, *despite* Wiles's proof. Why? Because Wiles's proof accepts and uses infinitary reasoning whose validity can never be proven. But then in what sense has Wiles "proven" FLT?

Try to talk to a mathematician, no matter how established, about the foundations of his subject and he will either be completely ignorant, uncaring and dismissive or else get extremely angry and defensive. Mathematics is one field where dissenting work will not be tolerated (e.g. a finitary logic that rejects infinitary reasoning, my own pet area of research).

Last edited by rks : 27th July 2007 at 17:40.
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Old 27th July 2007, 17:54   #29
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Originally Posted by Mayavi View Post
See the problem? You were saying that others are wrong because you are not aware of it.
no, i questioned if you (or they) mistook a circle for zero.

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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
All you need is the Etymology of the word ZERO:
if you read my post (not meaning u didn't previously ), I have no issues with this fact.

what i objected to was taking credits for things (rather stealing from others) centuries later, and creating unnecessary hype and spams out of it.

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Originally Posted by ram View Post

Interesting line.
Will file it away for use in an appropriate context.
Would you send me the transliteration.
I'd like to be able to pronounce the original Malayalam phrase.
Ram
in hindi it's called spitting on the sun/moon has the same effect.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 27th July 2007 at 21:56.
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Old 27th July 2007, 19:42   #30
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Originally Posted by ram View Post
The Firefox came with an embedded system telepathic control helmet that interfaced the pilot's thoughts to the flight control system and weapon control system. So if the pilot were to look at an enemy target in anger, the WCS would deploy air-to-air missiles (AAMs) instantly!
Firefox was made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood. If I remember correctly, it was not just the pilot's thoughts. It was the pilot's thoughts in the correct language (Russian, in this case). The concept is interesting: which language does one think in?
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