[PREV - TOYING_WITH_TRUTH] [TOP]
Quoting from Tolstoy's
"War and Peace" (1865-1869):
Examples of metaphors using technical
subjects, comparing the human to the
latest in the technical and scientific Comparing the familar
realm. to the unfamiliar?
No matter what he thought about, he
always returned to these same
questions which he could not solve
and yet could not cease to ask
himself. It was as if the thread
of the chief screw which held his
life together were stripped, so
that the screw could not get in or
out, but went on turning uselessly
in the same place.
Book V, Chapter I, p.459 (WC)
If many simultaneously and variously directed forces
act on a given body, the direction of its motion
cannot coincide with any one of those forces, but will
always be a mean -- what in mechanics is represented
by the diagonal of a parallelogram of forces.
Book XII, Chapter VII, p.242 (WC)
A lump of snow cannot be melted instantaneously.
There is a certain limit of time in less than
which no amount of heat can melt the snow. On the
contrary the greater the heat the more solidified
Book XIII, Chapter XIX, p. 281 (WC)
A nice try at a
but the physics
Tolstoy is probably thinking
He might about the fact that phase
have be changes take place at a fixed
confused temperature. Slowly adding heat
by personal to an ice/water mixture will
experience: not budge it over 32 degrees F;
the energy of the heat entirely
Warmer weather goes into the phase change,
at first breaking atoms loose from the
just results crystalline form. The
in a coating proportion of ice will
of ice on the gradually decline, and only
snow, from when the ice is gone, then the
partial melting temperature will start to rise.
This indeed could be used
in an analogy for initial
resistance to change, but
Tolstoy didn't quite get
... military science assumes the strength of an
army to be identical with its numbers. Military
science says that the more troops the greater the
For military science to say this, is like defining
momentum in mechanics, by reference to the mass
only: stating that momenta are equal or unequal to
each other simply because the masses involved are
equal or unequal.
Momentum (quantity of motion) is the product of
mass and velocity.
In military affairs the strength of an army is the
product of its mass and some unknown x.
That unknown quantity is the spirit of the army [...]
Book XIV, Chapter II, p. 288-289 (WC)
To find component forces equal to the composite or
resultant force, the sum of the components must equal
the resultant. This condition is never observed by the
universal historians, and so to explain the resultant
forces they are obliged to admit, in addition to the
insufficient components, another unexplained force
affecting the resultant action.
Second Epilogue, Chapter II, p. 495 (WC, text here GP)
[NEXT - TERRIBLE_KNOWLEDGE]