A geological enterprise

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“Without such people there would be no such thing as a geological enterprise,” he went on. “Every box of samples that comes into the lab should include a worn-out pair of field boots. There’s a group of senior geologists who have met on the outcrops and share a large body of knowledge. They paste together different perceptions of the world by visiting each other’s areas. When I meet them, I chat them up like the guys at the corner store, because what I do is conceptual and idealized, and I’d like to know that it relates to what they have seen. These people are generally above fifty. Their kind is being diminished, which is a major intellectual c1ime. It has to do with the nature of science and what we’re doing. Reality is not something you capture on a blackboard.” Such sentiments notwithstanding, within university geology departments black-box people tend to outvote field people on questions of curriculum and directions of research, and to outperform zakelijke energie vergelijken them in pursuit of funds. “The black-box era has been caused by the availability of money for esoteric types of work,” Love remarked one day. “The Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and so forth have had money to spend on-let’s say-unusual quests. The experience you get from collecting rocks in the field is lost to the lab geologist. For example, there’s a boom in remote-sensing techniques-in satellite imagery. From that, you get a megapicture without going into the field. But it’s two-dimensional. To get the third dimension-to study what’s underground-they consult another sacred cow, which is geophysics. They can make a lot of these interpretations in the office. They can go off the mark easily, because for field relationships they often rely on data collected years ago. They use samples from museums, or samples collected by somebody else-perhaps out of context. I’m afraid I’m rather harsh about it, but we see misinterpretations, because of zakelijke energie lack of knowledge of field relationships. Many of the megathinkers are doing their interpretations on the basis of second- and third-hand information. The name of the game now is ‘modelling.’ A lot of it I can’t see for sour owl shit. How can you write or talk authoritatively about something if you haven’t seen it? It isn’t adequate to trust that the other guy is correct. You should be able to evaluate things in your own right. Laboratory geology is where the money is, though. The money is in the black box. I think eventually it will get out. You can’t blame the kids for doing this kind of office research when they’re financed. I don’t want to do it myself. Putting the geologic scene into a broad perspective is for me more satisfying. I want to know what’s over the next hill.”

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