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A discussion on todays perception on monsters

But was that really enough?

Myth or reality todays perception of monsters

I think it is because the compromises, recriminations and judgements formed have echoes, weak but clear, in so many other arguments going on today. It is difficult to be nuanced about Nazis. There are obvious reasons for this, but it is nevertheless sometimes important to try. That genocidal ideology came from somewhere, and looking back on the period through a lens which colours everyone as hero or monster is not necessarily helpful for gaining understanding, and therefore not necessarily a good approach to the prevention of such abominations in future.

Even that previous paragraph is fraught with difficulty, of course.

When the Murdoch media ran a video of the six-year-old future Queen giving a Nazi salute, I thought it defensible to show the film - not as an attack on the Royal Family, but as a reminder that such things could be deemed acceptable at that time.

Queen's Nazi salute a sign of ignorance shared by many in scary times Read more it is difficult to believe that any real change has taken place in his aims and opinions. So how can anyone who worked within such a system be anything other than evil?

A History of Classic Monsters: Frankenstein’s Creature

Surely any stance other than total opposition makes one a villain, and to argue otherwise make one an apologist for murder? His book is a study of the lives and actions of some of the great 20th Century physicists who stayed in Germany throughout the thirties, and in some cases throughout the war.

Ball focuses on Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg and Peter Debye, all brilliant, and Nobel prize winners even though the Nazis officially boycotted the prize from 1935. The first two were founders of quantum mechanics who remained in Germany throughout the war.

To be honest there is little else good to say about Heisenberg. The best is that he never joined the Nazi party, even though that would probably have helped his career. Other than that he seems to be have been an arrogant opportunist, whose post-war attempts at self-justification do him more harm than good in light of the secret recordings the British secret service made of interned German physicists after the war at Farm Hall.

  • Journalistic hyperbole makes them appear to be much more threatening to society than they actually are;
  • Perhaps even the distance he retained between himself and the party was calculated - his colleague Pascual Jordan was probably the most distinguished founder of quantum mechanics not to receive a Nobel Prize, possibly because he was an enthusiastic Nazi;
  • Just as science can end up creating dual reactions, electricity holds this same power;
  • Bill Condon, director of Disney's Beauty and the Beast , will running the project, and it's projected to be released on February 14th, 2019;
  • The book serves to warn readers, both past and current, of our own powers;
  • Frankenstein has become merely "the mad scientist" while his monster has become Frankenstein.

Perhaps even the distance he retained between himself and the party was calculated - his colleague Pascual Jordan was probably the most distinguished founder of quantum mechanics not to receive a Nobel Prize, possibly because he was an enthusiastic Nazi.

Like Heisenberg he had a very high opinion of his own importance and his ability to moderate the excesses of the Nazis - an opinion that eventually became unsustainable.

In 1935 he stepped down, under pressure, from the presidency of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft KWG - later renamed after him. It seems impossible not to feel sympathy for him — even those driven out of German physics under his watch seem to have held him in high regard, and his son was killed by the Gestapo for involvement in a plot to assassinate Hitler.

However, Max Planck himself is no simplistic hero. Debye is arguably the most confusing, and probably the a discussion on todays perception on monsters discussed to date. A Dutch citizen who rose to lead the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, he left when it was set to become so militarised that he was told that in order to continue his leadership, he would have to give up his Dutch citizenship and become German.

He refused, but it is not clear this was due any moral objection to working for the Nazi war effort. He moved to Cornell University, and the until-then largely uncritical assessment of his war record was suddenly attacked in 2006, 40 years after his death, when he was controversially accused of being a keen anti-semite who probably moved to the US in order to spy for the Nazis. Such extreme accusations seem unconvincing, especially given that Debye was, for example, instrumental in helping Lise Meitner escape.

Even the Nazi hierarchy were not stupid enough to confuse science and racist ideology completely, especially when potentially war-winning technologies were at stake. Ball concludes that the physicists in general had a complete lack of a a discussion on todays perception on monsters, or even of moral position. She knew most of them personally, and was acutely aware of the pressures they were all under, as well as the consequences of inaction.

Her moral authority is higher than most. I want to read a book about her now. He changed his mind, partly influenced by conversations with Jewish friends. That a man who later went on to work enthusiastically for the allied war effort against the Nazis could make such a mistake is illustrative of the times.

Colleagues in the story sometimes help, are sometimes indifferent, and sometimes overtly sexist. It is remarkable how often these are the same person. Like Ball, Gaillard manages to critique the actions while holding back on condemning individuals. Some actions and attitudes are definitively right or wrong; but people themselves are complicated. Heroes are fallible, and there are few unmitigated monsters.

And whatever its strengths, science is not very useful for sorting them out, and not very good at providing moral guidance. Helping Lise Meitner escape was good.

Peter Debye did both. He is also on Twitter.