31 Mar 2009

Amazing Article on Freeman Dyson

All Posts No Comments

A few people sent this NYT article on physicist and jack-of-all-trades Freeman Dyson, but it was the enigmatic von Pepe’s email that pushed me over the top.

It is really amazing. This is one interesting guy.

The article focuses on the climate change stuff, but I find it more interesting that the government (?) would fund the Institute for Advanced Study so well. I mean check out the big guns that hung out there. So isn’t it amazing that the government got this one thing right? Isn’t it odd that you and the government agree on talent, in this one area but in no others?

A clue might come from the role of “Jason”:

In the 1970s, Dyson participated in other climate studies conducted by Jason, a small government-financed group of the country’s finest scientists, whose members gather each summer near San Diego to work on (often) classified (usually) scientific dilemmas of (frequently) military interest to the government. Dyson has, as he admits, a restless nature, and by the time many scientists were thinking about climate, Dyson was on to other problems. Often on his mind were proposals submitted by the government to Jason. “Mainly we kill stupid projects,” he says.

But now the followup: What kind of a guy says with a straight face, “My important job is to make sure government projects aren’t stupid”?!?! That’s like saying, “Mainly we kill low-brow beer commercials.”

Comments are closed.