Beware how you use them, because discoveries made with Big Data research skills will make you hot!
Call me a heretic if you will, but I do know for a fact that, ever since the great time when the intellectual Enlightenment movement of the 17th century shaped modern science and scholarship that institutions of veracious knowledge are supposed to weigh all knowledge on its merits, rather than judge it merely according to the status of the informant. And it is from that very enlightened cause, in pursuit of veracity, that the Royal Society took its wonderful Latin motto: "Nullius in Verba".
In fairly strict translation of meaning attributed today to the Latin, Nullius in Verba it is understood to mean - 'not on word alone', or else 'on the word alone of no one'. However, the Royal Society took the term - and its more precise meaning - from the work of Horrace - who wrote: Epistles1.1.14: nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri, "I'm not committed to swearing by the words of any guru."
Hence, on the wider principle behind the Royal Society's motto: Nullius in Verba, scholars are today expected to employ gumption and check the veracity of any new claims of new discoveries debunking existing knowledge beliefs.
That the official magazine of the Smithsonian should have Twittered today that its professional and salaried 'expert' editors prefer not to examine independently verifiable hard evidence that they are publishing proven fallacies is quite simply astonishing! That the Smithsonian Magazine is happy to peacock in social media a policy of wilful fallacy dissemination is most disheartening fo all of us. Moreover, its failure to move with the times might lead to the same slothful relative demise that beset the Encyclopedia Brittanica.
Getting now to the precise case in point, I have proven that Charles Dickens most certainly never coined the word 'boredom'. Because right here on BestThinking I 100% proved the point by revealing that another author had used the word in a book years before Dickens used it. I informed the Smithsonian of their error - directing them to the newly discovered text in question. Their publicly published response is incredible - coming from the official magazine of an institution that is supposed to pride itself on veracity:
"Thanks - but we look to @OED as a valued resource, who still put Dickens as the first usage http://ow.ly/CT8jf"
From this case alone dear Reader, we can observe in the public domain that pre-Enlightenment thinking of the exact same kind that is currently getting many people hopping mad about my new Big Data discovery that Darwin and Wallace can no longer, rationally, be considered independent discoverers of the theory of 'natural selection', is alive and very unwell in our great institutions of science. The shame of it!
Incidentally, the living fossils at the OED and Smithsonian might like to know that - contrary to existing orthodox knowledge beliefs - Charles Darwin never coined the term 'living fossil' see here.
Evolve or die! Because Big Data cuts through claptrap like a buzz-saw in 'bulloney'!
Beware dear Reader, because a wind of change is on its way. By comparison to what is coming, the gale the Smithsonian is currently sheltering from behind high-status books no longer fit for purpose is nought but a warm and gentle breeze blowing through the history of discovery.
Dr Mike Sutton is author of 'Nullius in Verba: Darwin's Greatest Secret:' the book that employed newly available Big Data technology in 2104 to re-discover hidden books and other literature to prove that Darwin and Wallace took the entire theory of natural selection from Patrick Matthew.
NOTE: This book also contains an A-Z of myths busted by Big Data in 2014.
Having spoken to a compiler at OED some years ago he talked of fixing mistakes regularly there, some 100s years old. One recently about an explanation for the word associated with a simple chemical process. I think they have an appetite for truth and will publicise updates. Worth a try. Also I believe the Smithsonian were emphasising the validity of Natural Selection (versus Creationism) rather than bowing down to Darwin. They have different pressures in a country where there s so much resistance to science in classrooms. Good luck!
Hi Terence - many thanks the information about the OED being receptive to updates is useful.
Actually, this blog post (above) and its is particular story about the Twitter with the Smithsonian Magazine is about who first coined word "boredom" and it has nothing to do with Darwin. It's about Charles Dickens.
Mind you - outside of this particular.story Dickens did once replicate an entire paragraph by Matthew and refused to cite its source.
So getting back to the story of Darwin and Matthew we DO also find Dickens involved.Let me explain:
Contrary to what the textbooks would have you believe, the Big Data ID research method proves that Robert K. Merton never coined the phrase, not did he discover the concept of the 'self-fulfilling prophecy'. In fact, the phrase appeared in print at least as early as 1841. However, with no reference to Patrick Matthew, Merton did coin the phrase and originate the self-fulfilling prophecy of the Matthew Effect (Merton 1968), which is a concept whereby the work of already established scientists, such as Charles Darwin, is irrationally viewed by their peers as having superior merits to the unique and ground-breaking work of less established scholars, such as Patrick Matthew. The phrase is taken from The Book of Matthew 25:29 in the King James Version of the Christian Holy Bible (Bible 1611):
‘For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.’
The Matthew effect in this story is perhaps no better demonstrated than by the fact that while searching the internet on the unique Matthewism ‘engrossing anomaly’ I found it first second published in Charles Dickens’ weekly journal ‘All the Year Round’, which dedicated several pages to discussing the merits of Charles Darwin's (1859) book The Origin of Species and celebrating the greatness of Darwin. On that journal’s pages 177 and 178, on June 2nd 1860, text was replicated word for word directly from Patrick Matthew's (1831) book On Naval Timber and Arboriculture. And yet Dickens’ journal made no mention of Matthew’s name or book:
‘Some writers believe that man has, at last, “begun to reap the fruits of his tedious education, and has proved to how great a degree ‘knowledge is power’; that he has now acquired dominion over the material world, and a consequent facility of increase, so as to render it probable that the whole surface of the earth may soon be overrun by this engrossing anomaly, to the annihilation of every wonderful and beautiful variety of animated existence which does not administer to his wants.” ’
Whether it was Dickens who included Matthew’s unique prose and attributed it merely to the work of “some writers”, or whether that deed was done by his journal’s Chief Editor William Henry Wells, we may never know.
NOTE - the above information is from my book. See here: CLICK
October 19, 2014 at 6:19 pm
Apologies Mike. Got my articles mixed up. Must be tired.
No worries Terence - It does not help with both having beards, being famous Victorians and both called Charles with a surname beginning with D. I think I even confused myself one or twice whilst writing the blog. :-)