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“Contact” again

I would like to write here again that “Contact” is my most most favorite movies even after several years. Coz the main character Ellie Arroway, acted by Jodie Foster, had display a prefect person that I want to be in my life. Totally stubborn but very tough, And got a great passion on what she dream of. She is really my idol and what a real scientist should be in my mind.

Here is some quote from the movie and to every people who have ever dreaming for searching truth.


Drumlin: What’s wrong with science being practical, even profitable?

Palmer: Nothing, as long as your motive is the search for truth, which is exactly what the pursuit of science is.


Drumlin: I know you can’t see it now, but I’m doing you a favor.

Ellie: That’s great.

Drumlin: You’re far too promising a scientist to be wasting your gifts on this nonsense.

Ellie: Look, I don’t consider what could potentially be the most important discovery of the human race nonsense, ok? There’s 400 billion stars…

Drumlin: …And only two probabilities. One, there is intelligent life out there but it’s so far away you’ll never contact it in your lifetime, and two…

Ellie: You’re making a decision…

Drumlin: …Two, there’s nothing out there but noble gases and carbon compounds, and you’re wasting your time. In the meantime, you won’t be published, you won’t be taken seriously, and your career will be over before it’s begun.

Ellie: So what? It’s my life!


David Drumlin: I know you must think this is all very unfair. Maybe that’s an understatement. What you don’t know is I agree. I wish the world was a place where fair was the bottom line, where the kind of idealism you showed at the hearing was rewarded, not taken advantage of. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world.

Ellie Arroway: Funny, I’ve always believed that the world is what we make of it.


Executive: We must confess that your proposal seems less like science and more like science fiction.

Ellie Arroway: Science fiction. You’re right, it’s crazy. In fact, it’s even worse than that, it’s nuts. You wanna hear something really nutty? I heard of a couple guys who wanna build something called an airplane, you know you get people to go in, and fly around like birds, it’s ridiculous, right? And what about breaking the sound barrier, or rockets to the moon? Atomic energy, or a mission to Mars? Science fiction, right? Look, all I’m asking is for you to just have the tiniest bit of vision. You know, to just sit back for one minute and look at the big picture. To take a chance on something that just might end up being the most profoundly impactful moment for humanity, for the history… of history.


Michael Kitz: Your having sent this announcement all over the world may well constitute a breach of national security.

Ellie Arroway: This isn’t a person-to-person call. You can’t possibly think that a civilization sending this kind of message would intend it just for Americans.

Michael Kitz: I’m saying you might have consulted us; obviously, the contents of this message could be extremely sensitive.

Ellie Arroway: You want to classify prime numbers?


Palmer Joss: What are you studying up there?

Ellie Arroway: Oh, the usual. Nebulae, quasars, pulsars, stuff like that. What are you writing?

Palmer Joss: The usual. Nouns, adverbs, adjective here and there.


[Ellie challenges Palmer to prove the existence of God]

Palmer Joss: Did you love your father?

Ellie Arroway: What?

Palmer Joss: Your dad. Did you love him?

Ellie Arroway: Yes, very much.

Palmer Joss: Prove it.


Ellie Arroway: Dad, do you think there’s people on other planets?

Ted Arroway: I don’t know, Sparks. But I guess I’d say if it is just us… seems like an awful waste of space.


Palmer Joss: By doing this, you’re willing to give your life, you’re willing to die for it. Why?

Ellie Arroway: For as long as I can remember, I’ve been searching for something, some reason why we’re here. What are we doing here? Who are we? If this is a chance to find out even just a little part of that answer… I don’t know, I think it’s worth a human life. Don’t you?


Alien: You’re an interesting species, an interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.


Ellie Arroway: I had an experience, I can’t proof and can’t explain, but everything that I know as a human being, tells me that it was real. I was giving something wonderful, that changed me forever. A vision of the universe, that tells us undeniably, that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, and that none of us are alone.


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Contact

I have bought Carl Sagan’s Contact today. Indeed, I never finish a serious english fiction (Except those in book list of sec. school) although I have bought some in past. Hey, it is really painful if you need to ask help from your dict several for just a paragraph. Once I was really interesting on cyberpunk culture (Umm.. about 94-95) I have bought a electronic dict in order to minimize the pain and try to read Wiliam Gibson’s Neuromancer. But, of course, I have finually withdraw it before the end of the first chapter.

You can say that Contact is one of my favourite movies. I really love the main charactor - Ellie Arroway, acted by Jodie Foster. Coz it really reflect something about me. Especially when her professor Drumlin scolded her that her stubborn on SETI would only kill her career, She responsed, “So what? It’s my life!”.


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科學家 vs 科學哲學

係科大 SUSIS 個 bbs 精華區發現左我以前係 HKI BBS 照書打既一篇 Hawking (霍金) 既文章。呢篇文章取自 《黑洞興嬰兒宇宙》第六章–我的立場,原本係 Hawking 於92 年 5 月在劍橋基斯學院的演講稿。內容主要係 Hawking 以一個科學工作者既立場反擊一 d 科學哲學家對佢既批評,上年我睇到 Psyche 係 HKI BBS Science 板同宗哲板貼左一篇文章討論 Einstein 相對論是否建基於「經驗主義」,而有感而發,借呢篇文章講出科學家同哲學家思考問題既不同點以及科學哲學與真正的科學工作既差別。個討論後唻係 浸大 Comp 畢業生BBS 既宗哲板仲有繼續,當時 Psyche 誤解左我係 HKI 貼篇文既本意,所以我作出左解釋。篇回應算係表達左我心目中對呢個問題以及科學家既一d 感覺,所以亦係度拎返出唻做小小記錄。

首先那篇「霍金」的文章是我看了 Psyche 兄貼了一篇有關認為相對論的根基為「經驗主義」而所出的一點回應。個人資料不足,不知霍金受了什麼哲學者的評批,以致有以上的言論。

個人只是想說明一點,一般科學工作者在研究時,多與一些什麼主義是談不上邊兒。事實上,他們多一鼓作勁地專研自己的研究多於關心自己的思考方法是什麼主義。然而,他們無論研究出怎偉大的理論都代表不了什麼,他們仍一個凡人,也會犯錯,有自己的執念。這也是我曾引出愛因斯坦一句話說上天為了罰他年輕時不信相任何權威,而把他變成另一權威所要帶出的一點訊息。

作為一個凡人,每個一人都有他自己的立場,自己的執念和自己的信仰,正如愛氏亦不違言自己是有信仰,只是不是常人的宗教信仰。(不過不知怎搞,竟有人以為他有宗教信仰。更被人例作十大有宗教信仰的科學家之一)有人因為對阿里斯多得的理論有執念,所以反對咖里略的理論。有人因對傳統常識有執念,所以不接受愛氏的相對論。愛氏因其信仰而突破常識的規限,而導出相對論。但亦很諷刺地,因這信仰而產生宇宙項及反對哥本哈根派解釋的錯誤。另外一提,提出不確定性原理的海森堡到死時也不相信夸克(有人叫夸子,三粒夸克組成一粒質子或中子等)的存在。

本身科學哲學都有其有趣的地方,由我中學時否定宗教開始,我就思考科學究竟是什麼?對科學看事的方法的執著和一般教徒對聖經的執著有什麼分別呢?自己有否跌入科學萬能主義的深淵呢?當中看過很多書,由波培爾的「否證理論」到孔恩的「典範」,尼采對世界的理解等。一時間,很多理論堆在腦中,每樣都只是沾了邊兒,搞得一團糟。

有時總會覺得搞得這麼,是否有點鑽牛角尖。事實止,很多科學哲學理論都是根據各科學家的研究行為去堆理科學,那些科學家是否如他所想的去思考也成問題。所謂什麼主義只是一些標籤,正如尼釆的存在主義和沙特的存在主義分別,老子的道家和莊子的道家根本是兩回事。科學家們在研究行為上可能有相似之處,但內裡的立場和「信仰」可能差得很遠,如我從不相信有兩個教徒對聖經的解釋是完全相同。

標籤化對科學哲學的研究有其用處,但用這標籤去批評或劃分某科學學者那什麼什麼主義是沒有意義的。

我打個篇 只係節錄,因為要打晒都幾辛苦,全文可以睇返方舟子文庫中既 GB 版 (自己找 NJWIN P ) 。


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