South Place Ethical Society
Conway Hall Humanist Centre
25 Red Lion Square,
London WC1R 4RL
(0171 831 7723
THE POLITICS OF KNOWLEDGE
Lecture to the Ethical Society, 24 March 1996
Published in The Ethical Record, June 1996. Tel. 0171 831 7723
In a letter in Wireless World, Nov. 1981, J.L. Linsley Hood writes that "censorship has been effective throughout my own professional career....". He lists nine authors who could not have been published anywhere else but in Wireless World.
There is usually no conspiracy to suppress heretical ideas. There is no need of one, except in some specific instances, because as Charles McCutcheon wrote in the New Scientist (itself a notorious suppressor, but not as bad as Nature) on 29 April 1976, p225, "An evolved conspiracy" suffices.
A pivotal event in science was the Michelson-Morley experiment in the 1880's. I ran into a discussion in the interval at the Royal Institution seminar to celebrate the centenary of the Michelson-Morley experiment. An American who was setting up an international conference on relativity discussed with Prof. Kilminster, one of the lecturers, whether ether buffs should be suppressed at that conference. He also asked how Harold Aspden should be dealt with. That is, he was discussing how to suppress a specific dissident. They concluded that if ether believers kept to Establishment mathematics they should be allowed to put their case. The American, who told me that he was a born-again Christian and had previously been evil, said that he regarded heresy in science much as he regarded heresy in religion. More generally, suppression in science results from fear that a new idea will obstruct the normal, calm progression of academic career progress and research funding.
Suppression is the norm rather than the exception. Even Maddox, editor of Nature, who gave the Ethical Society's Voltaire Lecture on 18th November 1995, now says he is worried. Maddox says that suppression is increasing. The Daily Telegraph of 1 May 1989 quotes him; "The epoch making paper by Francis Crick and James Watson outlining the structure of DNA, which appeared in Nature in 1953, would 'probably not be publishable today', Maddox laments....". That is Maddox, the greatest suppressor of all, joining the band-waggon of concern about suppression. With his track record, that is mind-blowing. Scientists have successfully resorted to false authorship (Theocharis), and Lovelock, the inventor of "Gaia", said on radio that he resorted to a false address to get into Nature.
The most interesting, and most destructive, aspect is the pandemic suppression of advances relating to the AIDS epidemic. Other experts specialise in the allied subject of fraud in science. Stewart and Feder lead this field.
My first publication on suppression in science was "The Rise and Fall of Bodies of Knowledge", published in The Information Scientist No. 12 (4), Dec. 1978, pp137-144, where I discuss some of the cases of suppression which litter science. My article was re-published in my book "Electromagnetic Theory vol 1", 1979, p. 117. All of the content of that book is suppressed, including the point I raised at the Michelson-Morley centenary seminar, asking about the apparent paradox in their experiment that although Michelson-Morley pre-date wave/particle dualism, both wave and particle have to be assumed at different stages in the experiment to suppress anomalies. Central to the most famous experiment in science, there is an apparent paradox which may not be discussed. Discussion of the paradox is suppressed. This paradox was published in Wireless World in May 1995, and there has been no reply. What we are talking about is massive, multi-level suppression in science today. When I raised this paradox at the centenary seminar, the speaker, Professor Kilminster, said, "That has never been mentioned before". In the nineteenth century, that would have been a remark of praise, but today it is a criticism. He made no further comment. I was later disciplined by the chairman, but the other lecturer told me; "Of course, that's not my department, because I'm a mathematician, and I leave that to the physicists." Both the lecturers, chosen for the honour of speaking at the centenary seminar, withdrew from the matter.
The M-M apparent paradox has never been mentioned since, being suppressed for good reason. To raise such questions, and there are many, is cheating, like making your pawn move as a combination of knight and bishop in a chess match. Science today is the manipulation of pre-agreed axioms and old knowledge, nothing more. Further, the request for more detailed statements of the axioms, as in my case with Michelson-Morley, is resisted to the death. Not only are new ideas suppressed, but attempts to get the full description of the old ideas, if they are threadbare, is ignored. They will not play their own game of chess, let alone play your new game.
Today's science resembles the religious service, which should not be interrupted by the raising of theological questions.
I am not a failure, not an outsider, and the insider-outsider dualism is the wrong analysis. Anyone, for instance Dingle, who speaks out of turn becomes an outsider in that context. I have had major successes, which I am now citing. It is important to listen to people who have been successful in the system as well as the failures. By any criteria, I have been successful.
My work on Wafer Scale Integration, described in Wireless World July 1981, was always rejected for publication by all learned journals, even though it attracted £16 million of funding and became a widely praised product in the field. Of course, its suppression reduced the threat that it would upset the research funding being received in their universities by journal referees for their own approaches to Wafer Scale Integration. When an article comes in, the editor sends it out to the accredited experts, who are receiving the funding for their own approaches to Wafer Scale Integration. They now had the job of understanding what I was talking about. Their best defence of their own funding was to fail to understand my approach, which I am sure they did. They did not recommend suppression of a perceived rival. They suppressed some nonsense which they could not make head or tail of.
The resulting product came to market in the USA. It was featured on the front cover of the journal Electronic Design, 25oct89, and won the "Product of the Year Award" from the journal Electronic Products., January 1990. In spite of my track record, my new WSI invention, see Wireless World mar89, for which I have worldwide patents, cannot be published in any learned journal.
In a letter in Wireless World in January 1983, I wrote that during 25 years of work, I had never succeeded in publishing any of my work on electromagnetic theory. This is suppression of another subject - scientific discovery, totally different from Wafer Scale integration, which is invention. This ban now extends to 35 years. However, we should particularly think about the refusal of the Establishment, when approached, to clarify the classical theory they are teaching and researching. It is not just a matter of suppressing the new theory. It is a matter of refusing to explain the old theory when questioned on detail. We have a threadbare Establishment defending a threadbare body of knowledge. I have a question, about where certain charge comes from in the classical theory, and that question is not answered. It is called The Catt Anomaly. My colleague Harold Hillman believes that it was not an error to give it that name. The evasion would have occurred however it was described. It is not my theory - nothing to do with me. It is an elementary question about classical electrodynamics, and the answer is refused, as you will see later.
Professor Pepper FRS and his boss Professor Howie FRS, Head of the Cavendish, disagree with each other on this detail of their theory - on where the charge comes from. They refuse either to discuss it with us, or with each other, or to say that the matter is of no importance, or to say that the matter is of importance, or to say anything at all, because Catt has arrived in the middle of a cathedral service and started arguing with the preacher about theological matters. The whole notion of asking for comment on theological matters in a cathedral, thinking one is in a theological college, is absurd. We are talking about an established religion here, and asking for details of the Holy Ghost - "Where is the Holy Ghost?", or "What do you mean by the Trinity?" - might be acceptable in a theological college, although I doubt it, but it is certainly not acceptable during a service in a cathedral. We are talking here about an established religion, and Howie and Pepper are paid priests.
Not only are new theories ignored and suppressed. We also find that the Establishment is nonchalant about its contradictory versions of old theory. See for instance the co-existing, hopelessly contradictory versions of the TEM wave pointed out by me in "The Heaviside Signal", Wireless World July 1979, which has been totally ignored.
New knowledge and New Knowledge
What is suppressed and what may be communicated? The major piece of knowledge has to be suppressed and the minor piece of knowledge can be tolerated.
Basil Bernstein, Institute of Education, is one of the key contributors to the model I am developing. He himself writes in Chinese, so he has to be interpreted. Although his other subject is language, he communicates with great difficulty. In his book "Class, Codes and Control", pub. R.K.P., 1971, he wrote what can be interpreted as follows;
Knowledge is Property, with its own market value and trading relationships, to be administered and defended by those who are living off that body of knowledge.
The central control of our culture in these fields is the university lecturer, and what controls him is a slab of lecture notes. This slab of lecture notes covers a particular section of a first-degree course, and each year it brings him in sixty pounds for two hours of lecturing.
Knowledge is property. We can go more close in, to find that piece of property, that set of sheets of paper, that slab of lecture notes, which he wrote once, perhaps a very long time ago, and which will bring him sixty pounds each year, pay his mortgage and impress his maiden aunts - the maiden aunt is most important in his situation. It is his security and it is his identity. He passed examinations in that block of knowledge, maybe only very recently.
That is essentially Bernstein's theory.
I have the concept of new knowledge, which is harmless, and the dangerous new stuff is in italics.
New knowledge. Information is safe, or new, if it indicates a further section in a second degree syllabus. He just has to write some more notes and imbibe some more material.
New knowledge. Information is definitely not tolerable if it would lead to a change in an A level syllabus. New knowledge cannot be allowed in today's system, today's body of knowledge, and will be suppressed at all levels. This is totally predictable.
We come down to the interface between unacceptable, and acceptable, knowledge. If some new information led to a change in a first degree syllabus, that will be blocked. If it merely indicated a new section in a first degree syllabus, that is not new. That is not threatening.
"A capacitor is a transmission line," (Wireless World, dec78,) which is new, leads to the destruction of the text books. Twenty years later, this fact is still witheld from students. To think of the horror with which this fact is viewed, think of the Nazis burning the books. The man who brings new knowledge is a vandal, and should understand that that is what he is. He is attacking the established culture, and the established culture will defend itself against him, because he is trying to get the books destroyed. With this concept, you will understand the dialogue between those who are living off a body of knowledge and those who are attempting to develop it further, or in his terms, attempting to destroy it and him.
The Establishment has a dilemma. The parasite knowledge broker is in the science Establishment, not an accountant, because he wanted to push forward knowledge. But he must suppress knowledge in order to survive. He must not admit to himself, and even more to his wife, that he is a barrier to progress; that in order to survive, and keep paying their mortgage, he has to block advance in his field. That is where he is vulnerable. He fights an increasingly desperate rearguard against new knowledge, because of this freezing of the body of knowledge. The date I give for the freezing of the body of knowledge is 1927, at the Brussels - Solvay Conference, which mirrors the Council of Nicaea for Christianity. At Solvay 1927, the New Physics was codified and dogmatised, against Einstein's forceful and recurring objections, see Gribbin in The Ethical Record of nov95. We are well into it now, and the repercussions become more and more serious.
Grattan-Guinness said that the introduction of universal education, in around 1850, which instituted the new class of knowledge professionals, meant that in the end knowledge would be frozen. We have been feeding through this process, and finally progress comes to a halt.
It is not necessary to comprehend a frozen body of knowledge. An Establishment figure who is living off a body of knowledge remains expert in detecting heresy, but as the decades go by he becomes incompetent in the body of knowledge. In the end, that body of knowledge disintegrates, and you can see them disintegrating today. If you discuss Modern Physics with its practitioners, they will tell you that the depth of grasp of the subject by its practitioners today is very flimsy. The whole thing is highly vulnerable, so the PR and the window-dressing becomes more and more frantic and bizarre, an example being Gribbin's lecture in the November 1995 issue of The Ethical Record. As one who was employed for many years in the U.S.A. and Britain to "design computer chips", I know that, pace Gribbin's assertion, ".... the standard version of quantum theory taught in universities[was never] used .... to design computer chips." The leading High Priest of Modern Physics, Paul Davies, recently received the million dollar Templeton Prize for contributions to religion. We see today the merging of the science section with the religion section in book stores, something unimaginable fifty years ago. The message is out, that something is deeply wrong with Modern Physics, and the student uptake of A level and degree courses in Physics is dropping rapidly.
If you pay professionals to maintain a body of knowledge, it will finally disintegrate. But more importantly, a professional paid specifically to advance a body of knowledge, will freeze it.
Science is international, so this problem is worldwide. Although the English are of course the worst, all other countries are determined to copy our errors. The Chinese will not leapfrog us. They will not take advantage of our errors. They all want to follow behind. There is no way round this. They all want to go through these errors. In particular, the Israelis will not exploit new knowledge, new inventions, in order to resolve their security problems, because their scientists need primarily to find their several niches in the worldwide science hierarchy.
We now go for the core of the problem. Paid professionals sit astride a body of knowledge, trying to freeze it, trying to defend it against those who want to rock the boat. Modern Physics is a kind of science which is most defendable against new knowledge. The professional knowledge broker resembles the Pope, using the apostolic succession, rather than the fundamentalist Christian with his bible. The professional knowledge broker, like the cardinal, opts for Authority via apostolic succession rather than any written Authority which he may fail to control. An extreme form of this is Lakatos, who says that a theory is a research programme, thus trapping theories within the apostolic succession.
Four things coming from 1927 are diametrically opposed to classical science, but are now mainstream Philosophy of Science. These professional scientists have funded an entourage of Philosophers of Science who are opposed to the old Philosophy of Science, but which sustains these professional usurpers. They have reversed most of the fundamental precepts of science. The new principles are; wave-particle dualism; the Uncertainty Principle; non-causality; and the extraordinary idea that the observer corrupts the experiment. These are not scientific in the old sense.
A Frozen Discipline
You can read that electromagnetic theory was signed and sealed one hundred years ago, and that there will be no further advance. So if a college lecturer wants a quiet time, he migrates to electromagnetic theory, copies and re-arranges old text books to form his new text book, and teaches the ever more narrow and obscure body of knowledge which is today's accredited electromagnetic theory.
Einstein emphasised the importance of the subject when he wrote; "The special theory of relativity owes its origin to Maxwell's equations of the electromagnetic field." (ed. Schilpp; Albert Einstein, Philosopher-Scientist, Library of living Authors, 1949, p62.) At the core of electromagnetic theory in the world today you find the Wizard of Oz, a frightened little man who, under today's Philosophy of Science, which is Instrumentalism, (see K Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, RKP, p100,) believes that he should maintain the fiction that he knows what he is doing. Under Instrumentalism, the only value of a theory is its usefulness. Now the judgement of the usefulness of a theory is subjective, and you can be sure that for a university lecturer, the usefulness of the theory is that sixty pounds per year.
Dingle and Essen
Louis Essen, elected FRS for developing the Caesium Clock, wrote to Nature that the alleged confirmation of Relativity by the gentlemen who took Caesium Clocks round the world by airplane was bogus because the caesium clock did not have the claimed accuracy. Nature refused to publish, preferring the PC 'confirmation' of relativity to stand. Essen told me that Dingle queered the pitch by making a mistake. Essen also told me that the Inst. Phys. broke its contract with him to publish an article even after he had checked the galleys. The Inst. Phys. also broke its contract with me to publish my article which later appeared in Wireless World in March 1979. The Inst. Phys. is riddled with unscientific PC - mania.
The Catt Anomaly
Dingle wrote the book, Science at the Crossroads, pub. Martin Brian O'Keefe. He discussed the Twin Paradox, a problem in Relativity. Half of the book discusses his suppression, and the other half discusses the Twin Paradox.
Twenty-five years later, I am writing the book, The Catt Anomaly - Science Beyond the Crossroads.
When a battery is connected to a resistor via two parallel wires, electric current flows which depends on the voltage of the battery and the resistance of the resistor. Also, electric charge appears on the surface of the wires, and we concentrate on the charge on the bottom wire. In the case of a 12 volt battery and four ohm car headlight bulb, the electric current is three amps and the resulting power in the lamp is 36 watts.
Consider the case when the battery and lamp are connected by two very long parallel wires, their length being 300,000 kilometres. When the switch is closed, current will flow immediately into the front end of the wires, but the lamp will not light for the first second. A wave front will travel forward between the wires at the speed of light, reaching the lamp after one second. The wave front comprises electric current, magnetic field, electric charge and electric field. Negative charge appears on the surface of the bottom wire. All this is agreed by all experts.
Below is the version of the Catt Anomaly as it was presented to Establishment figures including Pepper and McEwan.
Trinity College, Cambridge, wrote to past members of the college including myself asking for money to finance their expansion programme. They argued that Trinity had been in the forefront of academic advance, and my money would help to keep them there.
I replied that Trinity and Cambridge had for twenty-five years refused to comment in any way on Catt's theories on electromagnetism, and for ten years on the Catt Anomaly, a problem in classical electromagnetism, of which I enclosed a copy (above). I suggested to Atiyah, Master of Trinity, a mathematician, that he cause his leading expert to comment. The result was the following letter from Pepper. I also include a part of his later letter to my colleague Raeto West, which clarifies his position;
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS
CAMBRIDGE CB3 0HE
From: Professor M. Pepper, FRS June 21, 1993
Ivor Catt, Esq.,
Dear Mr Catt,
As a Trinity physicist the Master suggested that I might provide some comments on the questions raised in your recent letter to him on aspects of electromagnetic theory.
If I understand the position correctly, your question concerns the source of the charge at a metal surface which by responding to the presence of the EM wave ensures that the reflectivity of the metal surface is virtually unity, hence providing waveguide action and related applications.
If I may restate the basis of your question, what is the maximum frequency of radiation which is reflected? It is this parameter rather than light velocity which is important. The solution lies in the maximum frequency response of the electron gas, which is the plasmon frequency w p and is calculated in a straightforward way. If light frequency is greater than w p then the electron gas in the metal can no longer respond and the reflectivity tends to zero. The problem you are posing is that if the wave is guided by the metal then this implies that the charge resides on the metal surface. As the wave travels at light velocity, then charge supplied from outside the system would have to travel at light velocity as well, which is clearly impossible.
The answer is found by considering the nature of conduction in metals. Here we have a lattice of positively charged atoms surrounded by a sea of free electrons which can move in response to an electric field. This response can be very rapid and results in a polarisation of charge at the surface and through the metal. At frequencies greater than w p the electron gas cannot respond which is the reason for the transparency of metals to ultra-violet radiation. However for frequencies used in communications the electron gas can easily respond to the radiation and reflectivity is unity.
If a poor conductor is used instead of a metal, i.e. there are no freely conducting electrons, then there is no polarisation, and as you point out charge cannot enter the system, and there can be no surface field. Consequently reflection of the radiation will not occur at these low frequencies and there is no waveguide action.
I hope that these comments provide a satisfactory explanation.
[signed] M Pepper
cc: Sir Michael Atiyah - Trinity College [Master]
Mr. A Weir - Trinity College
Telephone: 0223 337330
August 23, 1993 Dear Raeto West, I write with reference to your letter of August 19. Your description of the process is correct; as a TEM wave advances so charge within the conductor is polarised and the disturbance propagates at right angles to the direction of propagation of the wave .... .... Yours sincerely, M Pepper
The portions of Pepper's letter which strike you as either too erudite for your comprehension or else as drivel, are drivel. Generally, he has copied out irrelevant slabs of material from text books.
This was an exciting development. For the previous decade, all experts, when trapped into commenting, had insisted that the charge came from the west, and did not have to travel at the speed of light. Now we had an accredited expert, writing under instruction from his boss, saying that the charge could not come from the west, but came from the south.
There the matter rested for two years, until a group of mature, dissident Combined Humanities undergraduates at Bradford University organised a week-end conference entitled "What is Education For?" I offered to give a paper entitled "The Politics of Knowledge in Science". This was accepted, Kathy Symonds telling me that I served a useful function, because apart from me they had failed to link up with science, and also because the lecturers who asked to speak all turned out to be Establishment, which I was not quite.
This was the second time that I became kosher for a short period in a university, admittedly only Bradford, and so had more power to elicit rational comment on science. As part of my presentation, I asked Kathy Symonds in advance to ask the appropriate official to instruct the top expert to comment on the Catt Anomaly. Here is her letter, and McEwan's reply.
Dear Professor John Gardner
As part of our program,. "What is Education For?", we need comment from the accredited Bradford University expert on the subject below. I shall be very grateful if you send me written comment before the start of our seminar on 22apr95.
Thank you very much for your time and trouble
[signed] Kathy Symonds.
P.S. I enclose an S.A.E. for your reply.
To Kathy Symonds 20 April 1995
John Gardiner has passed this on to me - I think I can claim to be reasonably competent to discuss it.
To deal first with the problem raised in "Catt's Anomaly", there is definitely a correct answer, and it is just that the new charge required in the one foot of cable DOES flow from somewhere to the left! The charges DON'T have to travel at anywhere near the speed of light to do this!
The sentence that begins "Not from somewhere to the left ....." is fallacious ... such charge would NOT have to travel at the speed of light in a vacuum! The reason that the sentence cannot be grasped by those "disciplined in the art" is because it happens not to be true!!! It may be obvious to the untutored mind because they haven't had the theoretical training to see why it is wrong. It is exactly at the point where the assertion seems really obvious that you need to think most clearly to see where the logical deduction is unsound - and perhaps this is where the lesson for educators lies. The heart of the fallacy is as follows:
(a) If the voltage step originally at a transverse plane "A" on the conductors moves one foot to the right to a plane "B" (indeed about one nanosecond later) then it is true that a certain amount of charge must have entered the portion of the conductors between A and B. What is not true, however, is that any of the electrons that were in the neighbourhood of A actually had to travel to B to keep up the wave!
(b) The charge that appears between A and B is required to be uniformly distributed along the length between A and B. This charge really does enter at plane A - so how is it possible that the electrons didn's have to rush to the right at the speed of light? - I will now explain:-
(c) When the wires are electrically neutral, they are actually composed of vast numbers of positive charges and negatively charged electrons in equal densities - the total charge balances out. The thing we call the "charge on the line", which is required to account for the voltage wave is actually the unbalance between the two sets of charges.
(d) Imagine that, between A and B, you have 100 electrons and 100 positively charged nuclei arranged uniformly in pairs along one foot distance. There is no net charge.
(e) Now imagine that you push in one extra electron in at the left hand side A, and you squash the electrons up a bit so that they remain evenly spaced but now 101 electrons fill the distance that was previously occupied by 100. There is now a total of one unit of "charge on the line" between A and B, and, rather surprisingly, this unbalanced charge actually appears to be fairly uniformly distributed between A and B. The electron originally at A would only move about 1/100 of a foot as you squeezed the electrons closer together, and it would have to move this distance in the one nanosecond it took for the voltage wave to move from A to B. The electrons further to the right would move even less.
(f) If you imagine that you did this again with a larger number of positive and negative charge pairs - say 1000 becoming 1001, then as you squeezed in the extra electron the one next to it would only have to move up about 1/1000 of a foot in the one nanosecond - and so on.
If you go on increasing the density of available charges, you can easily see that the velocities required of the electrons to produce one unit of unbalance becomes smaller and smaller. (Also, the one unit of unbalance appears to be more and more uniformly distributed across the one foot of distance.)
It turns out that when you "put the numbers in" that the real number of free electrons in the one foot wire is colossal, and that consequently they only need to move at walking pace or less!
You can summarise all this by saying that the "charge" that is required to account for the voltage across the line is not produced simply by a small number of charges moving in to the section of line but by a very slight redistribution of a vastly larger number of charges that were already in that section! Putting it in still another way again, there has been a confusion over the identity of the charges that account for the voltage across the line.
You can go on describing this problem at deeper and deeper levels and it will go on revealing more and more interesting physics - which soon gets very hard. For example, there is a quite noticeable effect because you do need some force to keep the electrons moving against the collisions with the stationary atoms. This appears as resistance in the line and it can cause the advancing voltage step to become distorted, ie it smears out into a more gradual step.
At a higher level of precision there is even a very small effect from the finite acceleration of the electrons. As the voltage step passes over them, the local electrons in the conductor are accelerated (very rapidly!!!) to the very small speed that is needed. There is no paradox about the rapid acceleration of the particles, they are very light. This produces an extremely small effect on the velocity of the wave travelling down the line, but you would not be able to detect it at the frequencies used in ordinary electronics.
I hope this has helped and given you something to think about. The "anomaly" is very instructive educationally, it is a real challenge for the teacher to explain clearly, and a very good example of how fruitful it can be to be wrong about something!
Turning more generally to your 2 - day event, I am extremely intrigued about how "Catt's anomaly" came into the discussion. I do realise that progress has often been made by challenging orthodoxies, but in the case of Catt's problem I happen to think that the accepted theory gives a pretty good account, but you can learn a lot if you are really made to set out how. I would be very interested to hear what you make of my comments, and how they have been used in your event.
[signed] Neil McEwan (Dr.), Reader in Electromagnetics
[University of Bradford]
[Copy typed by I Catt, 1oct95]
McEwan was the orthodox response that I had been waiting for. I had not previously had it styled 'ex cathedra'; that is, stated by the accredited expert from an institution (Bradford University), under instruction from the appropriate top official of the institution (Professor of Electrical Engineering, Head of Department). I was now in a position to approach the accredited learned institution and ask them to help. This was a better chance to get rational comment on scientific fundamentals than I had had during the previous quarter of a century of searching. I had to tackle it in the best possible way, using comprehension and techniques that had developed since Dingle's day, as the whole of twentieth century science slid deeper into the morass of its own careful devising. Here was the best chance to scientifically establish the facts about today's science; possibly the last chance.
I took the Pepper/McEwan contradiction to the head of the IEE.
Ivor Catt, 121 Westfields,
St. Albans AL3 4JR,
Second copy sent 27june95
Third copy sent 18aug95
Fourth copy sent 3sep95
Institution of Electrical Engineers,
Savoy Place, London.
WC2R 0BL(0171 240 1871
Dear Dr. J. C. Williams,
The Catt Anomaly.
An essential component of classical electromagnetism remains unstated. There is disagreement about this feature by accredited experts, Professor Howie FRS, Professor Pepper FRS, McEwan Reader in Electromagnetics, but no discussion by them to resolve the matter.
Is the IEE the accredited institution with a primary responsibility for Electromagnetic Theory? How does the IEE proceed in a situation like this, where the theory which is the basis for its raison d'être turns out to be unstated and unclear?
21june93 statement on the Catt Anomaly by Pepper
20apr95 statement on the Catt Anomaly by McEwan
apr95 Half page note from Symonds to McEwan plus description of the Catt Anomaly
Catt letter to Electronics and Wireless World, May95
Summary of disagreement, or confusion, in classical electromagnetism, below.
Summary of disagreement.
"Dear Professor John Gardner, As part of our [Bradford university] program, 'What is Education For?', we need comment from the accredited Bradford University expert on the subject below" - Kathy Symonds, 4apr95.
"[Professor] John Gardner has passed this on to me - I think I can claim to be reasonably competent to discuss it.... .... the new charge required in the one foot of cable DOES flow from somewhere to the left! The charges DON'T have to travel anywhere near the speed of light to do this! .... It may be obvious to the untutored mind [plus Pepper FRS] because they haven't had the [Bradford univ.] theoretical training .... The [Catt] 'anomaly' is very instructive educationally...." - Neil McEwan (Dr), Reader in Electromagnetics [Bradford University], 20apr95.
".... As the wave travels at light velocity, then charge supplied from outside the system [i.e. from the left, or west,] would have to travel at light velocity as well, which is clearly impossible. ....we have a lattice of positively charged atoms surrounded by a sea of free electrons which .... move in response to an electric field...." - Pepper, 21june93.
".... as a TEM wave advances so charge within the conductor .... propagates at right angles to the direction of the wave. ...." - Professor M. Pepper, FRS., Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, 23aug93.
"Institution of Electrical Engineers - to promote the general advancement of electrical science and engineering and their applications, and to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas on those subjects; 130,000 members. President Sir David Davies" [italics by I.C.] - from p1557 of "The World of Learning 1995", Europa Pubs. Ltd.
As you will see from the dating of my letter, the reply, from Williams' deputy, was long in coming. I learned later that Williams and Secker were new men, anxious to show more willing than their predecessors. This led them into the quagmire. The new broom got stuck in old, sticky cobwebs.
Dear Mr Catt
Thank you for your letter of 18 August, to which the Secretary, Dr Williams, has asked me to respond.
Firstly, I should mention that we have had your book reviewed and that the resulting report will be published in the Electronics and Communication Engineering Journal - either in the October or December issue. [Actually oct95.]
The Institution has a responsibility to 'promote the general advancement of electrical science and engineering and their applications and to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas on these subjects to the members of the Institution'. The general view of the experts within the IEE is that the so-called 'Catt anomaly' is not an anomaly at all, and does not, therefore, require discussion or exposition. The favoured explanation aligns with the statement to which you refer, attributed to Professor Pepper, namely that as a TEM wave advances, so charge separation occurs close to the conductor surface effectively giving a transitory current flow at right angles to the direction of wave propagation.
Yours sincerely [signed] Professor Philip E Secker Deputy Secretary IEE 4sep95
Secker was politically inept to admit that the IEE had a responsibility in this matter, and in so doing he betrayed the forces of darkness. However, he showed better obfuscatory tactics by introducing the irrelevant question of the review of my latest book, which had been hanging over the IEE for more than a year. (Up to that date, there had been no evidence in IEE literature that Catt had ever contributed to electromagnetic theory. Except for the belated admission, fifteen years too late, of his contribution in another field, Wafer Scale Integration, Catt remained a non-person. The reader can learn about all these matters in Catt's may95 letter to Electronics World + Wireless World. Its present editor Eccles has since turned chicken and will not publish anything more by Catt.)
The important point is that Secker wrote that his IEE experts had backed the wrong horse, opting for Cambridge with its aberrant Pepper; producing charge from the south from inside the conductor like a rabbit from a hat. The IEE opted for prestige rather than for the more tenable explanation from lowly Bradford; that the charge came from the west, and somehow managed to do so even though it travelled too slowly. The IEE did not know that Pepper's boss Howie FRS was a Westerner, or they would have gone for his revered Cavendish seniority, and avoided the quagmire. The Westerner view could have been brazened out, and had been for the previous decade since the discovery of the Catt Anomaly in aug81, for instance in many letters to Wireless World. The ingenious but mad Southerner view of Pepper could not.
I now no longer had to take sides, but only to get Westerners and Southerners to resolve their differences, a task which was to prove Herculean, as I expected. That is, I knew that the forces of darkness in today's science were entrenched, strong and determined.
Much activity followed during the next few weeks, but first we should jump to two further comments by Secker, to give a brief taste of what followed. Whereas above, on 4sep95, Secker wrote "....The favoured explanation aligns with the statement to which you refer, attributed to Professor Pepper, ....", seven weeks later, on 25oct95, he wrote; "Dr. McEwan really has the answer ....". Thus, he was backing both the views whose contradiction was the cause of Catt writing to Secker's boss in the first place, and his boss instructing Secker to reply! Further, although on 4sep95 Top Dog in the IEE chose him as the appropriate expert to reply, after seven weeks of repeated pontification and obfuscation, Secker wrote on 26oct95; "I should explain that I am no expert in the area to which the 'Catt Anomaly' refers....". He repeated this claim on 19dec95. This earned the riposte on 15nov95 from Luca Turin, lecturer in biophysics in London University; "To claim, as Professor Secker does, that this is a problem requiring unusual erudition and expertise is disingenuous. It belongs in chapter One of all the textbooks." It also raises the question as to why Top Dog Dr Williams delegated to Deputy Dog Professor Secker the task of replying to Catt's letter. Was Professor Secker Emeritus Professor of the London School of Ducking and Weaving, not of Electromagnetism? Had Top Dog from the start seen the Catt Anomaly as a political, not a technical, problem, to be handled by his most senior political, rather than technical, Deputy Dog? Who then was Top Dog's most senior expert on electromagnetism? We get a clue from Secker writing on 19dec95; "I asked a number of 'experts' familiar with Ivor Catt's views if they would .... [review his book], but all declined." This leads us to a statement on 8nov95 by Wilson of the IEE; "The Institution does not have Technical Committees which address scientific principles." In turn, we compare this with Secker's original 4sep95 letter, above, which quoted; "The Institution has a responsibility to 'promote the general advancement of electrical science and engineering and their applications and to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas on these subjects....'", which Catt had copied to Top Dog in his original 18aug95 letter. Also we note Secker 25oct95; "The reason that the Catt Anomaly has been around so long is that the 'experts' have not thought it of sufficient standing to take the trouble to demolish it!"
The Test Case
The objective is to get the IEE (London, 130,000 members) and the IEEE (New York, 300,000 members) to comment in a rational way on the Catt Anomaly. The IEE's expert first commented, then obfuscated, then announced that he was not an expert. We are going through the same process with the IEEE. Their top professional has instructed his top expert Mink to comment on the Catt Anomaly, and Mink has initially produced a lot of waffle. The scientific prediction is that after further obfuscation, within nine months, Mink will announce that he is not an expert.
Unfortunately, other learned bodies, in Germany and France and elsewhere, have very low membership, perhaps 6,000, and so are relatively insignificant. So the New York experiment has to be conducted very carefully as a comparative study with London.
The "experts" are terrified, desperate to evade the matter. The technique for getting the "experts" to communicate includes the following;
Catt himself will never communicate.
Catt's agents will each limit to one letter, with only one question. Only sometimes is a single question answered, usually after repeated letters. If a letter contains more than one question, none of the questions are ever answered.
When ignored, the letter with its one question is repeated every six weeks for ever.
The test case of the Catt Anomaly, and the techniques developed to force the Establishment to communicate, will then be used to open up our other frozen institutions.
A scientist will refuse to use scientific method when studying the subject of suppression in science. You can test this. Ask a scientist friend to address the question of whether new information is suppressed, and he will refuse to be drawn, hiding behind discussion of Catt's egocentricity or paranoia, which are not scientific matters. Also, he will refuse to put anything in writing.
Howie and Pepper, refusing to comment on the Catt Anomaly, are front line troops. They are bitter because they will not be defended by the Establishment. Their careers are over because I approached them and forced them to comment on aspects of this body of knowledge. This is the second weakness of the entrenched Establishment, that its front line troops will not be defended. I can knock out any individual within the Establishment, and the rest of the Establishment will withdraw from him. His duty is to not notice that I exist. Once he admits that I exist, let alone my question, he is finished.
There are four people; Luca Turin, Biophysics lecturer in London University; Theocharis and Psimopoulis, and myself, who all agree that the pivotal question this century is whether absolute facts exist. Lacking the discipline of objective fact, we fall into the hands of the salaried Establishment, whatever its technical ignorance and nonsensical excesses.
Consider the statement, "It is absolutely true that there are no absolute truths." However, this is probably cheating, although worth pondering. More generally, the position that there are no absolute truths triggers all sorts of major difficulties. However, it is non-PC to analyse current PC dogma.
Theocharis (who published on this issue in Nature, 15oct87, Theocharis, 200a Merton Rd., London SW18. tel 081 870 6191) challenges the "opinion" that if Smith jumped off a high place, he would die. He challenges Smith to accompany him to the high place, and jump off, in order to test the relative strengths of Smith's imperfect view and T's certainty, that Smith will die.
For my part, I assert that the concept "Energy" was propounded. This is absolutely true, and has nothing to do with my point of view. It is an objective fact, not subjective. It is also absolutely true that no other person slept in my bed last night, apart from me. This is not a subjective view; it is objective fact. It is absolutely true that at this moment I am typing into a computer. We are immersed in a sea of objective facts. (We have direct access to them, not needing the mediation of paid knowledge brokers.) Anyone who denies the existence of these facts must deny the purpose of any communication whatsoever, and so should shut up. Communication is a superstructure based on an array of agreed absolute facts. Denial of the existence of any facts necessarily implies denial of the possibility of communication. We are left merely with mutually supportive noises of uncertain import.
In a lecture, the test of absolute truth is to ask a dissident in the audience whether it is absolutely true that he is attempting to listen to a lecture. If he demurs, he has to be ejected from the lecture hall because he is an intellectual terrorist. He denies the possibility of developing and extending a body of knowledge. The fact that he is merely going along with the vandals who have captured learning throughout most of the twentieth century does not excuse his nihilism.
For my part, I say that I hereby intend to write a sentence which starts and ends with the word "For". I have also probably succeeded, but this next step is unnecessary in order to establish an absolute truth, about my intention. Even more succinct, I intended to start and end a sentence with the same word. Absolutely true. Anyone who disputes this is disputing the possibility of any meaningful communication whatsoever, and so should not be talking, since they believe they are wasting their and our time. Disputing the validity of this exercise, the disputant is asked to communicate something (anything) within their nihilistic universe of discourse (and such activity serves a purpose). They will fail. Thus, I believe the assertion "There are no absolute truths" becomes the assertion "No inter-communication is possible". Thus, we are left only with "views", or states of mind, and all we can do is commune together. See today's Quaker. He is well on his nihilistic way.
The blocking of new information by all our institutions means the end of civilization. It is of the utmost importance that the facts of the situation be established soon, and if the crisis is as severe as I believe, that remedial action be taken. All that is required is that, should a knowledge broker be proved to have blocked new knowledge, he be held accountable, something which does not occur today. This accountability will be through his pocket by way of dismissal.
File no. w4rlectu.doc
Ivor Catt, 121 Westfields, St. Albans AL3 4JR., Herts, England