AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] dose RATE of ANY Medicine is the decisive variable
Rainer.Facius at dlr.de
Rainer.Facius at dlr.de
Thu Sep 7 10:33:52 CDT 2006
I tend to concur with Joe's evaluation; concept rather than idea more closely approaches my understanding.
Though concept is listed among the synonyms of idea - and vice versa (Random House Thesaurus), the distinction which Goethe (presumably) intended to make pertains to the definiteness associated with the mental image provoked by a word - or rather the lack of definiteness obfuscated by verbiage. In this regard, the usage (by Kaufmann) of "idea" in the translation of "Begriff" somewhat blurs the message which Goethe through Mephisto's mouth probably intended to convey. Note that he addressed this characterization to theology.
Nevertheless, I know of no activity of the human mind which is exempted from this frailty. In science we do have control mechanisms which can guide us somewhat more effectively through the labyrinths of our minds' fabrications - provided we make use of them, which in turn is all to often against our intentions.
Particularly in politics, which according to John Jacobus has the final word in matters of radiation protection regulations - and I see reason to disagree, these control mechanisms have virtually been ostracised. I sometimes wonder, whether there the sole purpose of words is to evade the slightest semblance of definiteness which could be confronted with facts.
But yes, in mathematical probability theory, on the other hand, the word stochastic reflects a well defined concept.
Von: Joe Alvarez [mailto:jalvarez at nxs.net]
Gesendet: Do 07.09.2006 15:01
Cc: Facius, Rainer; Dr. Otto Raabe; hflong at pacbell.net; Theodore Rockwell; Jim Muckerheide-MEMA; radsafe at radlab.nl; Rad_Sci_Health at yahoogroups.com; rad-sci-l at WPI.EDU
Betreff: Re: AW: [ RadSafe ] dose RATE of ANY Medicine is the decisive variable
The more appropriate translation might be
doch ein Begriff muß bei dem Worte sein
There is a meaning (concept) for each word.
Denn eben, wo Begriffe fehlen, da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein
But then, when concepts (understanding) fail, the proper word appears.
As with all translations, the context is all important. But Goethe got it right in this case. The word stochastic was redefined or the definition extended to conform to LNT. Stochastic is still a good word in probability theory. In the world of ICRP it has taken on the sense of law.
Dear Rainer, I find:
From the notes of a 1995 law article by Theodor Schilling, at:
 ... And cf Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Faust, The First Part of the Tragedy (W. Kaufmann, transl.) (Doubleday, Garden City NY 1961) line 1995 et seq: "Denn eben, wo Begriffe fehlen, da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein" (For just where no ideas are, The proper word is never far).
 Cf Goethe, ibid, line 1993: "doch ein Begriff muß bei dem Worte sein" (Yet some idea there must be).
In the context of:
A. The 1991 Maastricht Conference on the Political Union was saved, it is sometimes claimed, by one word: subsidiarity . Indeed, this word, or the concept expressed by it, introduced into the then EEC Treaty for the first time by the Single European Act (SEA), in the context of the environmental policy (Art. 130 r (4) EECT) , has been used widely throughout the Maastricht Treaty. It is part of the European Treaties now in at least four places: the second penultimate recital in the preamble of the Maastricht Treaty (expressly), Art. A (2) of the Maastricht Treaty (impliedly), Art. B (2) of the Maastricht Treaty (expressly) and, last but not least, Art. 3b (2) ECT . It is now the second most often mentioned principle in the European Treaties; only the prohibition of discrimination is mentioned in more places. Its specific importance is underscored by the decisive rôle it played in the success of the Maastricht Conference and in the ultimately succesful efforts to dispel widespread popular concern about the Maastricht Treaty . Plainly, therefore, it appears at the outset that it must be taken very seriously indeed .
However, a lingering doubt subsists. Could it possibly be that "the word that saved Maastricht" is just that, just a word, bare of any concept ? It may well be that this was the intention of some, or even many, of the delegations at the Maastricht Conference. However, it is not possible to ascertain how the individual members of the Maastricht Conference conceived of this word. Neither is it necessary. They introduced the word into what, after ratification, became the amended treaties, and it is there, in the treaties, where its meaning, the concept of subsidiarity, must be found .
Perhaps you can your sense of the faithfulness of the English to Geothe's intent; to your intent. :-)
on 9/7/06 4:39 AM, Rainer.Facius at dlr.de at Rainer.Facius at dlr.de wrote:
<< All of these examples refer to deterministic processes rather than stochastic processes, so no LNT advocate would consider them to be relevant for evaluating radiation induced cancer. >>
Prof. Raabe's point is well taken - provided the distinction between 'deterministic' and 'stochastic' effects is more than a reflection of our drive (and associated incapability) to systematize the realm of nature with our limited comprehension. Today, for me this classification is hardly more than this. Forgive me, if I quote Goethe with his unequalled characterization in his Faust I of this dilemma:
"Doch ein Begriff muß bei dem Worte sein."
"Denn eben wo Begriffe fehlen, da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein."
(perhaps some one can provide the English version)
Operationally, after stripping off the associated verbiage, in the final analysis an effect is stochastic by definition, if its probability of occurrence increases linearly with 'dose' without threshold, i.e., "stochastic" and "LNT" are synonymous. From that definition it has yet to demonstrated that stochastic (radiation) effects do in fact exist.
Von: Otto Raabe [mailto:ograabe at ucdavis.edu] <mailto:ograabe at ucdavis.edu%5D>
Gesendet: Do 07.09.2006 00:23
An: howard long; Ted Rockwell; Muckerheide-MA; Facius, Rainer; radsafe at radlab.nl
Cc: Rad_Sci_Health at yahoogroups.com; Rad-Sci-L
Betreff: Re: [ RadSafe ] dose RATE of ANY Medicine is the decisive variable
At 09:45 AM 9/6/2006, howard long wrote:
100 aspirin - fatal at once, good over a year (to reduce clots and mortality rate).
10 gallons of water - fatal at once, necessary over a year (in some form) to sustain life
1000 usual daily doses of Vit A, D, E, R, etc all at once can poison the liver, etc.
Any prescription I write must have the frequency of the dose, or a pharmacist would not fill it.
All of these examples refer to deterministic processes rather than stochastic processes, so no LNT advocate would consider them to be relevant for evaluating radiation induced cancer.
Prof. Otto G. Raabe, Ph.D., CHP
Center for Health & the Environment
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
E-Mail: ograabe at ucdavis.edu
Phone: (530) 752-7754 FAX: (530) 758-6140
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