Examples of Contemporary Faux Pas

There are thousands of these in science, literature and art. The most important poet of the early twentieth century writing in English, Yeats, was dismissed in Ireland for having betrayed the Georgian style of “The Lake Isle of Inisfree” for example. I know what Inis Free means from Ynys y Brwyn in Welsh, the Island of Heather. The most important novelist of the twentieth century writing in English, Joyce, was banned in Ireland for many years. They were both Civil List Pensioners (Yeats 1911, Joyce 1916). Turner was dismissed as soot and whitewash, Jackson Pollock as a random dripper, van Gogh and Gauguin as wild beasts (les fauves), Dylan Thomas is still castigated in the Swansea area as an idle waster despite the crass commercialization of his name. Science is particularly prone to dismissing new ideas out of hand, nearly every new idea has been dismissed by some contemporaries or authority, starting with Galileo and Bruno. General relativity was dismissed out of hand by the classicists. ECE was subjected to a barrage of fraud and misrepresentation using the media. This has now faded away almost completely. Almost every single item of ECE and ECE2 now appears on the first page of google by using an intelligent selection of key words. Only history can judge properly, and the scientometrics show how history will judge. In our times science is far more intolerant than ever before, and pseudoscience is made into mediaeval idolatry. I am sure that some of my contemporaries would have burnt me at the stake opposite Aberystwyth pier if they could. These people have been long forgotten already.

%d bloggers like this: