This is been a running theme of this blog, but sometimes, readers might suspect that I have been biased in my accounts here: perhaps Gene notes the falsity of the typical view of the Middle Ages simply because he is sympathetic to religion, or contends that the typical understanding of Berkeley is false because he is sympathetic to idealism.
But tonight I offer a case in which I cannot see that the persistent falsehood has any religious, ideological, or social implications, and yet it just goes on and on: The idea that Einstein's formula E=mc2 explains the power of atomic and nuclear weapons. Here is a good version of the true story. The true story has been pointed out again and again, yet the falsehood just keeps circulating: tonight I read it in a recently published Italian history book. Once a falsehood becomes popular, it is seemingly almost impossible to eradicate it from the world of thought.
"If your approach to mathematics is mechanical not mystical, you're not going to go anywhere." -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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Is shaping up nicely .
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