Carol White’s Book. Patrick Suppes’ Papers on QM

Carol White’s Book Involving Electromagnetism and Potential Theory

This is about the following book:
Carol White , “Energy Potential: Toward a New Electromagnetic Field Theory,” (with essays by Bernhard Riemann trans. from German by J. J. Cleary, Jr.), Campaigner Publications, New York, 1977.

I ran into it in mid-August 2009. It can be downloaded for free from here: (Search for it at this site.)

Unfortunately, I could not go through all of it. (One reason is that in order to do so, I will have to take a paper printout of it (my reading habits are old-fashioned), and somehow that has not happened so far.) Yet, I find that the book has been written very interestingly.

In our times, there is this widespread tendency to write in a self-censoring way so as not to offend anybody, to try to be as sensitive to as many desires (even whims) of as many other people as possible, to try to be “politically correct” even while writing for/on issues of hard science. Against this background, Carol White’s book comes across as a breath of fresh air. (And to think that it was published barely 32 years—one generation—ago!)

Of course, I don’t think I am going to concurr with every idea or opinion which she expresses in this book. But that hardly matters.

I still strongly recommend this book because of its directness, its freshness, its willingness to pick up philosophical issues for examination right while working through the things scientific…. All of this is so unlike our present times. Also, the engaging style in which the text has been written… You might pick up virtually any page at random and see what I mean. For that one reason alone—call it the “style” of the book if you wish—it makes for a very interesting reading.

It’s precisely because the author writes with such a passion, candor and directness, in such an opinionated manner, that her content becomes so very interesting to read.

And that was the biggest point I wanted to make here.

[And yes, Riemann’s essays might form an additional/major attraction for some of you.]

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Professor Patrick Suppes’ Papers on Quantum Mechanics

I have a confession to make about an omission that simply happened while writing my PhD thesis. … Let me begin at the beginning.

I had developed the essentials of the FAQ approach years before 2002 when I began the effort to get myself registered for a PhD (starting with IIT Bombay). My ideas had been developed independent of Professor Patrick Suppes’ publications [see here].

Later on, sometime during the course of my PhD work, I did notice Suppes and de Barros’ papers. However, for some odd reason, I completely forgot about these when I actually came to writing of my thesis.

I intend to correct this when I write my journal articles. (Some of the preliminary thoughts for these are given on iMechanica here.)

Of course, it’s not a very major issue because, once again, just like QMC, Suppes & de Barros’ work is not at the base of my method. Indeed, there are some very important differences between my approach and method on the one hand and theirs on the other. … For the time being, let me leave it as a simple exercise for the reader to find out what these differences are, starting with their 1994 papers [here and here ]. Indeed, I might have a critical comment or two to make w.r.t. their work, speaking from the physics viewpoint…

Here, a clarification is in order. Though I have been very much interested in philosophy, it is not my field. It’s sort of a hobby or a special interest for me. Indeed, most of what I know about philosophy has come out of the works by Ayn Rand, Peikoff and other Objectivist philosophers (esp. Peikoff’s course on Western Philosophy), and of course, many other readings on general philosophy, notably including two/three different translations of Aristotle and Plato (select but fairly represenative passages of each), several texts on Greek philosophy, and also some university texts and some popular books like the one by Will Durant. On the Indian philosophy side, my reading includes translations and commentaries on the Upanishads, Geeta, and numerous other books. Also, the general Enc. Brit. articles for all philosophic traditions/schools. All in all, not much.

So, I don’t think that I can place Professor Suppes’ specifically philosophic positions in context all that well… In any case, I cannot comment anything meaningful about this aspect of his work in a serious research work.

But, frankly speaking, the most relevant of his papers (circa 1994,  discovered by me sometime after 2002) can be easily read by anyone. They deal with the physics of QM rather than philosophy as such.

So, there’s an exercise for you, if you want one.

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Three Songs I Like (as decided last time; see below)

1. (Marathi) “varyaavarati ghet lakeri, gaat chaalalyaa jal lahari…”
Singer: Suman Kalyanpur.

2. (Hindi) “kuchh dil ne kahaa, kuchh bhi nahin…”
Lyrics: Kaifi Aazmi
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Hemant Kumar

3. (Hindi) “kai baar yun bhi dekhaa hai…”
Lyrics: Yogesh (?)
Singer: Mukesh
Music: Salil Chowdhary