Drinking in the Last-Chance Salon

The Smile of Reason

September 20, 2015

Kerry Pendergast, Gareth Evans and I were due to confer last March at the NLW, so I am thinking of a Paris Salon type meeting with them, Robert Cheshire and any others at the National Library of Wales. The thirteen episodes of “Civilization” are on youtube in HD. The episode on the eighteenth century enlightenment includes Voltaire, Rousseau, Mozart and Haydn in music, and the eighteenth century artists.”

The salons also welcomed Anton Mesmer, the quack who had them all sitting around dipping metal rods into magic water, and Benjamin Franklin, who once told them that he had a device – the size of a match – which could destroy the Palace of Westminster using some sort of death ray (recalling Ron’s current friend-of-a-friend, the Great Whore of Pseudoscience). The problem of pseudoscience is clearly not new, and supposedly great scientists have always been involved in ideas from the lunatic fringe: Crookes and D.D.Home, Lodge and any number of psychics, etc. Ron is just one of many … and is not even a good scientist.


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