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Thomas Kuhn’s Ashtray

14 Jun

Ludwig Wittgenstein once threatened Karl Popper with a poker. Years later, philosopher Thomas Kuhn threw an ashtray at his student Errol Morris. Morris would go on to quit philosophy and become an Oscar winning documentary filmmaker.

A recent episode of the podcast Hi-Phi-Nation tells the story and I highly recommend it. For many years I have thought that Kuhn’s explanation of scientific change  is deeply flawed and cringe anytime someone utters the phrase “paradigm shift.” You can also read Morris’s own account here.

One minor geeky criticism, philosopher Lydia Patton misidentifies a Leyden jar as a battery containing liquid acid. Actually a Leyden jar has no liquid, but holds static electricity. I think she either means a either voltaic pile or a Daniell cell.

Here is the trailer for one Morris’s documentary:

The great Haruo Nakajima

22 Mar

You may not have not heard the name Haruo Nakajima, but you have undoubtedly seen his acting. Nakajima played the monster Godzilla (Gojira in Japanese) in many movies. It is true that there have been many bad Godzilla movie, but the first one is a significant film. The American release with its terrible dubbing and the added presence of Raymond Burr gave viewers the wrong impression. You must see the original film as it was intended for Japanese audiences. It is a deep metaphor for the position of post war Japan and the meaning of nuclear weapons.

(hat tip to BoingBoing)

Here is the trailer for the original movie:

And, just for comparison, is the trailer for the film as it was released in the United States:

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