OT: Speed of light [was Re: Why not a Python compiler?]

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at gmail.com
Thu Feb 14 09:35:09 CET 2008

On 14/02/2008, Steven D'Aprano <steve at remove-this-cybersource.com.au> wrote:
> On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 22:13:51 +0000, I V wrote:
>  > On Mon, 11 Feb 2008 14:07:49 -0800, Erik Max Francis wrote:
>  >> experience.  The notion of impetus -- where an object throw moves in a
>  >> straight line until it runs out of impetus, then falls straight down --
>  >> is clearly contrary to everyday experience of watching two people throw
>  >> a ball back and forth from a distance, since the path of the ball is
>  >> clearly curved.
>  >
>  > It's clear _to us_ because when we think about such things, we think in
>  > Newtonian terms. I'm not at all sure it would have been clear to people
>  > in the middle ages; when you throw a ball, it whizzes by so fast, it's
>  > hard to be sure how it's actually moving.
> If they asked an archer to fire an arrow through a distant window, he'd
>  aim slightly above it. You can't spend dozens of hours every week
>  shooting arrows at targets without learning to compensate for gravity.

You are forgetting two importance things here. One, the archer does
not have a crosshair that he puts slightly above the window. He is
going mostly by feel and experience. I shot quite a few arrows when I
was of the age that does that, and as skill builds, the arrows know to
find their target. The archer is not moving dials or crosshairs.

The second thing that you are forgetting is that archery skills are a
classified military information. Should one develop a system for
improving accuracy, he would not tell it to everyone. Thus, unless the
medieval version of the physicist was an archer himself (actually
likely, if he took an interest in both, but then he would be military
as well) then he would not know the archer's secrets.

Dotan Cohen


A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?

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