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Old 14th Mar 2018, 10:11 am   #1
Paul Stenning
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Default Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Although not directly relevant to our interests, this exceptional man deserves a mention.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/...r-dies-aged-76

Like many I didn't understand much of his work, but he achieved so much and inspired so many. He showed that disability is not a barrier to achievement.

Quote:
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark" - Stephen Hawking.
I will not say RIP because it is not relevant to him, but he will be missed by many.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 10:25 am   #2
Argus25
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Apart from Prof. Hawking's accomplishments in the field of Physics and Black Hole theory, the thing that really impressed me about him was the way he handled his diagnosis of MND. His attitude to it and his will to survive and stay alive, so he could keep thinking and problem solving. It is extraordinary, mind blowing and beyond inspirational.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 10:27 am   #3
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Simply making it to 76 with his level of illness and disability is a major achievement in itself.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 10:28 am   #4
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

We will not see his like again. Sad loss of a very brave man.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 10:42 am   #5
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Apart from his immeasurable contribution to science in all its forms, he'll always be remembered for his synthesised voice, which goes by the name of "Perfect Paul".

Over the years, synthesised speech has developed beyond measure - used on answering machines, sat-navs, mobile phone apps - goggle maps etc. They sound much more human and far less robotic or 'Dalek like'. But apparently he was very attached to his voice and it was part of his character and how we came to know him in more than thirty years since he lost his ability to speak.

Prof Hawking lost his ability to speak in 1985, when - on a trip to CERN in Geneva - he caught pneumonia. In the hospital, he was put on a ventilator and his condition was critical. The doctors asked Hawking's then-wife, Jane, whether they should turn off the life support. She vehemently refused. He was flown to Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, where the doctors managed to contain the infection. To help him breathe, they had to perform a tracheotomy, placing a tube into his windpipe. As a result, he irreversibly lost the ability to speak.

"How Intel Gave Stephen Hawking a Voice":

https://www.wired.com/2015/01/intel-...hawking-voice/

Tragic to loose him, but remarkable that he lived to 76, and that his mind was sharp right to the end.

I liked his comment on life and death - humanist, and with a wry wit.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 10:51 am   #6
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Stephen Hawking overcame the most horrendous physical barriers and showed the world that he was a truly a giant among men. I have no way to gauge his abilities - I'm at the foot of a mountain, he sat at a peak that is unattainable for me - but what is abundantly clear is the impact his amazing mind has had upon the scientific principles driving the advancement of cosmology. We all were, whether we know it or not, made richer by his presence, his insight, his sheer bravery.
He will be missed. He may be gone but his legacy will go on.

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Old 14th Mar 2018, 10:52 am   #7
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

I bought a copy of "A Brief History of Time" when it was first published but struggled with it and in the end gave up. Quite recently I watched a you tube video in which Brian Cox explained the light cone (one of the things in Stephen Hawking's book) and then understood it. That encouraged me to return to "A Brief History of Time" but I am still struggling.

Stephen Hawkins was an remarkable scientist, one of the giants on who's shoulders the human race stands. He was, by the way, not an American as many across the pond believe.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 10:53 am   #8
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Great man.

It's not possible to derive any value put on a human life from his materialist presuppositions. That's unfortunate given the value placed on his own life which, in some more thoroughgoing materialist societies, might have been allowed to come to an end some time ago. Perhaps he believed his undoubted value as a 'computer' of rare insight, made such an observation petty. Pity the disabled with no such genius - or rather, don't.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 11:12 am   #9
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukcol View Post
I bought a copy of "A Brief History of Time" when it was first published but struggled with it and in the end gave up. Quite recently I watched a you tube video in which Brian Cox explained the light cone (one of the things in Stephen Hawking's book) and then understood it. That encouraged me to return to "A Brief History of Time" but I am still struggling.
Yes that book was a mind bender. Interestingly it was actually simplified considerably because it wouldn't be accessible to anyone if it wasn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukcol View Post
Stephen Hawkins was an remarkable scientist, one of the giants on who's shoulders the human race stands.
Indeed. Farewell Mr Hawking.

Interesting television moment which always sticks in my mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg8_cKxJZJY
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 11:55 am   #10
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

I worked near Cambridge in the 80's and often saw him out and about when I was in the city. This was before he was ultra-famous and mobbed for selfies, so everyone just ignored him and his wife, just thinking "Oh - there's Hawking". He'd lost control of his neck by this time, and as I was walking along behind them one day, he went over a bump in the path and his head flopped forward. He stopped his chair, his wife put his head vertical again and off they went again.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 2:03 pm   #11
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Quote:
Originally Posted by David G4EBT View Post
"How Intel Gave Stephen Hawking a Voice":

https://www.wired.com/2015/01/intel-...hawking-voice/
That is a really interesting article, thank you for sharing. I am pleased he wanted and was able to keep his original computer voice, it was so distinctively him.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 2:41 pm   #12
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

A great loss but it's been pointed out already that in "theory" [pun intended] he really shouldn't have had the last two thirds of his life which would have depriving the world of so much on so many levels-especially his role in the Simpsons. In that period he achieved much more than many of us can ever hope for, unencumbered by illness. A determined man but not without a sense of humour! Ironically and despite his apparently straighforward view of the afterlife, much of current Physics now seems to morph into that kind of area.

Dave W

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Old 14th Mar 2018, 3:19 pm   #13
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Stenning View Post
I am pleased he wanted and was able to keep his original computer voice, it was so distinctively him.
Indeed. It is the only voice of Stephen Hawking known to nearly everyone. Considerably better known than his natural voice from before he lost his ability to speak.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 3:24 pm   #14
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
...his role in the Simpsons.
Along with that other offering from Matt Groening, Futurama.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 4:16 pm   #15
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

When at Cambridge in the 80's I met and spoke to Mr Hawking at a pedestrian crossing, he didn't take prisoners, literally forcing cars to stop. Brilliant!
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 4:56 pm   #16
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_in_manc View Post
Great man.

It's not possible to derive any value put on a human life from his materialist presuppositions. That's unfortunate given the value placed on his own life which, in some more thoroughgoing materialist societies, might have been allowed to come to an end some time ago. Perhaps he believed his undoubted value as a 'computer' of rare insight, made such an observation petty. Pity the disabled with no such genius - or rather, don't.
If he had belonged to a religious society and wore religious robes and had said "absolutely nothing at all went bang and then there was everything" he would have been dismissed as a quack.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 5:01 pm   #17
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Went to a lecture in maths at Cambridge, at the back of the hall there was an empty wheelchair with added bits that looked familiar! Sure enough he appeared on stage later on and gave an unexpected talk. So brilliant.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 6:20 pm   #18
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Simply making it to 76 with his level of illness and disability is a major achievement in itself.
Absolutely .
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 7:17 pm   #19
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Quote:
If he had belonged to a religious society and wore religious robes and had said "absolutely nothing at all went bang and then there was everything" he would have been dismissed as a quack.
Rightly so.
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 7:40 pm   #20
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Default Re: Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

RIP.

As I may have said before, a very accessible book on the development of E=mc2 makes good reading: ' E=mc2- a biography of the world's most famous equation'

David Bodanis, (Macmillan) ISBN 0-333-78033-7.
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