Sinhala Buddhists and “Imitator Intellectuals”?   Misunderstanding mass and deconstructing de Broglie.
Posted on May 1st, 2015

by  Bodhi Dhanapala, Quebec, Canada

Dr. Nalin de Silva (NS), in his most recent article (30-04-2015) returns to one of his pet claims, namely, “බටහිරයන් හා සිංහල බෞද්ධයන් අතර ඇති මූලික වෙනසක් අනුකාරක උගත්තු තේරුම් නො ගනිති.”, i.e., a  fundamental difference between Sinhala  Buddhists” and “Westerners” is not understood by “imitator intellectuals”. These Imitator intellectuals are defined by Dr. NS as those who do  not question what the Westerners have taught or written.  For instance, an Imitator Intellectual reading Jim Baggot’s book will repeat any mistakes found in that book, with little capacity for self-correction.

In a previous article Dr. Silva  indicated his debt to Dr. Valentine Joseph for  explaining what mass is, and stated  that  if he learnt anything at the university, it was not from any Sinhala Buddhists (22-04-2015; විශ්වවිද්‍යාලයේ දී මා යමක් ඉගෙන ගත්තේ නම් ඒ ජෝසෆ් මහතාගෙන් හා ඩග්ලස් අමරසේකර මහතාගෙන් පමණකි. ඒ දෙදෙනාගෙන් එක් අයකුවත් සිංහල බෞද්ධයකු නො වී ය). The reader of Dr. Silva’s articles can ferret out many other  quotes where Dr. Silva implies  that there is a fundamental difference in the mental processes of Sinhla Buddhists and other homo sapiens who are not Sinhla Buddhists.

Before one can question others, one needs to  question oneself and weed out once’s own errors. Furthermore, if our own mistakes are shown to us, we must correct ourselves without holding onto our  mistaken view at all costs.  Recently  we showed that Dr. Silva’s Sinhala rendering of the name “de Broglie” was wrong as verified from audio-files on the internet, or as can be confirmed from native French speakers (who live predominantly  in my province of Quebec or in France). But Dr. NS  continues to use the form “de Broolie” for the phonetic rendering (de Broy)  of the name in Sinhala.

Dr. NS further claimed  (2-4-2015) that de Broglie proposed  the wave property of matter in 1927 , and that no one had thought of it before“  (එහෙත් 1927 පමණ වන තුරු කිසිවකු ඒ ගැන හිතා තිබූ බවක් සඳහන් නො වේ”). But it is common knowledge that  Schrodinger published his equation in 1926! Why did Dr. NS say this? Because he is an imitator intellectual who uncritically follows a Western writer called Jim Baggot who made an error! In fact, de Broglie’s and Schrodinger’s pre-1927 publications are well known. Some of them are:

Louis de Broglie; Comptes rendus de l’Académie des Sciences, vol. 177, pp. 507-510 (1923)
Louis de Broglie; Recherches sur la théorie des Quanta (University of Paris, 1924)
Erwin Schrödinger;   Quantisierung als Eigenwertproblem;. Annalen der Physik: 361–377 (1926)
Louis de Broglie; Ondes et mouvements (Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1926)

So how can even an imitator intellectual be so careless? In fact the verdict is worse. Even after the error was pointed out the imitator intellectual insists on repeating in a second Vidusara article (22-04-2015) the same error, with no regard  for his readers.  Thus ද බෘලි කළේ ගම්‍යතාව ඇති අංශුවකට තරංග ආයාමයක් නියම කිරීම ය. ඔහු කවදා එය කළත් ඒ අදහස් ෂ්රොඩිංගර් කෙරෙහි බලපෑමක් ඇති කළේ 1927 දී පවත්වන ලද සම්මන්ත්‍රණයක දී යැයි ජිම් බැගට් තම The Meaning of Quantum Theory නම් පොතෙහි සඳහන් කරයි. මට 1927 වැදගත් වන්නේ එබැවිනි). If de Broglie’s ideas influenced Schrodinger only in 1927, he could  not have presented the result of that influence in 1926. Yet the imitator intellectual  has to follow his masters voice!

But Dr. Nalin de Silva continues his series of articles with little regard to historical, mathematical or physical accuracy, and  returns to his usual flogging horses  in his latest article  (30-4-2015 “ සඵල ස්කන්ධ ආතානකය”), after having ascribed to Mr. Dhanapala the invention of a mass tensor. Furthermore, he likes to brag that no one has matched his challenge against his description of “western science” (“ඔවුන් කිසිවකුවත් මා බටහිර විද්‍යාව ගැන කරන හැඳින්වීම අභියෝගයට ලක්කර නැත”).

To begin with,  Dr. NS has not countered  “western science” by presenting a description of an alternative “Eastern science”. When Prof. Trishantha Nanayakkara opened him an opportunity by posing  a standard problem in classical mechanics (the chaotic oscillator problem), Dr. Silva did not even recognize it, and claimed that it was an “engineering problem”, while making some vague noises about “Vedic mathematics”.

Commenting on “western science”, Dr. Silva  (30-4-2015) says “(i) ඔවුන්ගේ කතන්දර වියුක්ත (abstract) ය. (ii)  (I) එබැවින් ඉන් ලබාගන්නා නිගමන ද වියුක්ත ය. (iii) ඔවුන් ඒ වියුක්ත නිගමන සංසන්දනය කරන්නේ සංයුක්ත (concrete) පංචෙන්ද්‍රිය ගෝචර සංසිද්ධි සමග ය. මෙහි ඇති සංගතභාවය කුමක් ද? වියුක්ත නිගමනයක් සංයුක්ත සංසිද්ධියක් සමග සංසන්දනය කරන්නේ කෙසේ ද? ”

That is, according to Dr. NS, (i) the theories of science are abstract, and (ii) hence its conclusions are abstract. (ii) these abstract conclusions are compared with concrete events captured by  sense organs, and so he asks  how can  thisd be a consistent procedure.  As the reader may note, in (i) and (ii) Dr. Silva sets up a straw-man and then he  attacks it. What is actually done in science is to use the abstract theories to  make concrete predictions of what pointer readings to expect if certain experiments are done. The sense organs (usually the eyes) also observe pointer readings from an experiment  that are to be compared with the predicted pointed readings. So far, there has been complete accord between billions of  predictions (using the new physics) and their observations.  Not a single exception has been found. But all this is (patta-pal-boru, musa), lies or what ever.

After demolishing his own straw-man, Dr. Silva turns his guns on other writers, and says “how can someone who does not understand “abstraction” understand what I say? As an example, Bodhi Dhanapala does not know what is a straight line” ( එහෙත් වියුක්තය යනු කුමක් දැයි නොදන්නා අයකු මා කියන දේ තේරුම් ගන්නේ කෙසේ ද? උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන් ගතහොත් බෝධි ධනපාල මහතාට සරල රේඛාව යනු කුමක් දැයි නො තේරෙයි”). I does not dawn on Dr. NS  that the error may well be his. He seems to think that a straight line is an object without thickness or width and claims that he cannot even create it in his mind (එහෙත් ඔහු තේරුම් නොගන්නා කරුණ නම් දිගක් මිස පළලක් හෝ ඝනකමක් හෝ නොමැති සරල රේඛාවක් අඳිනු තබා සිතෙන් මවාගැනීමටවත් නොහැකි බව ය”).

Many ideas in mathematics are  presented as the result of a limit of a processes, and it is common in high schools and undergraduate courses to define a line as what you get in the limit when the thickness tends to the limit zero. Most people have no difficulty in visualizing this concept of a line. But Dr. Nalin de Silva confesses to not being  very imaginative. Also, he shows that he is  perhaps not aware of the modern definition of a straight line that modern mathematics uses. It was the work of Guiseppe Peano and Gottlob Frege at the ned of the 19th century that pioneered the modern approaches to arithmetic and geometry.

We don’t ask if a line is thick or thin etc., but instead we accept that any object what ever, that satisfies  certain properties qualify as being labeled a “straight line”. For instance, if the opposite angles made by two objects intersecting turn out to be equal, and if the sum of the  incident and supplementary angles sum to 180 degrees, then such objects are “straight lines”!

This is not such a complex idea. A Chess piece can be anything, even an elephant,  that moves on a 12×12 lattice according to the  rules of chess. Siumilarly, numbers are simply anything that obey the laws of arithmetic (Peano’s postulates). The same approach is used in modern advanced topics like Lie groups which are fundamental to the quantum theory. The elements of a Lie group  are defined simply as anything that obey the operations of the group.

The problem is, Dr. Silva is limited to the undergraduate mathematics that he learnt (from his non-Sinhala Buddhist teachers), and even what he learnt has become rusty. His attempt to ascribe to “Mr. Dhanapala” the “invention of a mass tensor” ( එය ධනපාල මහතාග් නිර්මාණයක් විය යුතු ය.) is a clear example of this problem. In elementary classes we learrnt  that the force F is  proportional to the acceleration A of a mass m, i.e., F=mA. Thus, when Dr. Joseph told the young Mr. Nalin Silva that m is merely a proportionality term, Dr. Joseph is completely correct. Also, any mathematics student knows that F  is a vector with three components. Similarly A is a vector with three components. Then any component in A can relate to any component in F, and mathematics requires that m should involve a 3×3 set of  numbers.  That is why m is recognized as a 3×3 tensor.  This is the ”mass tensor”.

A proper choice of coordinates can be used to reduce this to just three numbers. Of course, in a space where all directions are the same, the tensor becomes diagonal, with all  three components equal. That is the simplest  case that Mr. Nalin de Silva learnt from Dr. Joseph. The general form, i.e, mass as a 3×3 tensor holds in  every field of physics, be it the elementary world of Dr. Silva, or more complex systems found in fluid mechanics, solid sate physics, plasma physics or magneto-hydrodynamics. I gave him a reference to the mass tensor in solid state physics, and I think he can at least follow up   the topic and learn about it more completely before declaring that others “have no abstract knowledge” or are insulting the reader (ධනපාල මහතා තමන්ට නොතේරෙන දේ කියන්නේ පාඨකයන්ගේ බුද්ධියට අවමන් කරමිනි., or  ධනපාල මහතාටවත් අමරතුංග මහතාටවත් වියුක්ත දැනුම පිළිබඳ කිසිම දැනුමක් නැත). The mass tensor was not invented by “Mr. Dhanapala”, but by physicists of the latter half of the 19th century.

I invite the reader to make an objective judgment, and determine if it is Dhanapala, or Nalin de Silva who  can be accused of (තමන්ට නොතේරෙන දේ කියන්නේ පාඨකයන්ගේ බුද්ධියට අවමන් කරමිනි) saying things that he does not understand, and insulting the intelligence of the reader.

15 Responses to “Sinhala Buddhists and “Imitator Intellectuals”?   Misunderstanding mass and deconstructing de Broglie.”

  1. Independent Says:

    I will have to read this in detail but I have already seen some ignorance in the statement “Also, any mathematics student knows that F is a vector with three components. “.
    This statement shows Dhanapala’s one “limited” understanding. Acceleration is a vector , true, but why should it have three components ?
    If you define three orthogonal axes , yes it can be resolved into 3 components.
    If you define just two direction in the plane of the vector, it has 2 components.
    If you define 10 dimensional space you can determine 110 components.

    So, the number of components depend on the liking or the mind of the observer.

  2. Independent Says:

    Dear Dhanapala,
    After reading all, I have come to the conclusion that Nalin is more open minded than you. However, it may be insulting to Nalin what you are saying but not to me. I did not feel insulted at all.

    Please don’t think in any way that I was biased , because of my previous comments ( on previous articles). I will give you the reasons.

    1. You appear to be a “slave” to modern concepts, Nalin has an aversion to modern concepts. So the fight goes on. Nalin should learn to get rid of aversion, otherwise he will be born in a world of “yakkhas”, unless he try hard to get rid of the first 3 fetters.

    2. After working for 37 years as an engineer, when I am alone, I feel like I know nothing of modern science or engineering. What I have been doing all these years, most the time wining admiration of people has nothing to do with my abilities but it is alertness , mindfulness and clear comprehension.

    3. I can only laugh at the modern definition of a straight line you explained ( I only learned it from you). Such a simple thing was made to understand in a complicated manner and you seems to be appreciative of it.

    4. Perhaps it the age gap, you too will understand this after another 20 years.

  3. Christie Says:

    It is time we stop fighting among ourselves, we are playing in to the hands of the Indian Imperialists.

  4. Senevirath Says:

    ක්‍රිස්ටි , බෝධි වැනි බටහිර සංකල්ප මගින් ම ජීවත් වෙන එමෙන්ම බට හිර ජීවන ක්‍රමයෙන් සන්තර්පණය වන ය සිංහල ජීවන ක්‍රමය දකින්නේ නොදියුණු එකක් ලෙසය් මොකද එය අධි සුඛෝප භෝගී ජීවන ක්‍රමය ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කරන නිසය් නලින් කරන්නේ විනාශයට යන සිංහලයන් බේරා ගැනීමට සටනක් . හින්දුන් ගේ අභාෂයෙන් බෞද්ධයන් විකුර්ති වෙන්නේ සම්පූර්ණයෙන් නොවේ කරදර අවුල් ඇතිවූ විට බෞද්ධයෝ ඉන් බේරීමට හැම එකා පස්සෙම යන බව ඇත්තය ඒ ඒ වෙලාවට විතරය නමුත් බට හිර අධ්‍යාපනය සිංහල මුල් පිටින්ම උදුරා දමන්නේ කිසිදු අනුකම්පාවක් නැතුවය
    දඹදිව බෞද්ධ රටක් දැන් නැති බවත් දැන් ඇත්තේ අන්‍යා ගමික රටක් බවත් එයට නොරැවටෙන ලෙස කියා දුන්නේ ත් නලින්ය දැන් නලින් විශේෂයෙන් සටන් කරන්නේ බටහිර ගති ”උගතුන් ” සමගය .

  5. Raj Says:

    ඕක දැන් අත් ඇරල දාමු. නලීන් කියන දේ බොධීපාලට නොතේරෙනවට මොනව කරන්නද

  6. Independent Says:

    සෙනෙවි,
    ඔබකිවූ අන් දමේ නලින් ගේ සටනක් මෙතන නැත​. නලින් කතා කරන්නේ බුද්ධියට වඩා ප්‍රග්ඤාවෙන් ය​.
    හින්දුන් ගේ අභාෂයෙන් බෞද්ධයන් විකුර්ති වීම කතෝලිකයන් ගේ ආභාෂය ලැබීමට වඩා දරුනුය​. ඊට හේතුව ඉතාම ලඟින් හින්දු වන් බිලියනයක් සිටීමයි.
    ඔබත් ප්‍රග්ඤාවෙන් කටයුතු කරන්න​. නලින් පස්සේම නොයා තනිවම හිතන්න​. තුනුරුවන් පස්සේ පමණි යාහැක්කේ.

  7. Dharmasiri Weerasinghe Says:

    Independent
    I am surprised to hear that after working for 37 years as an engineer, you know nothing of modern science or engineering. I am sure they must have given you a clerical work. If you are working as a design engineer in England you will be handling the top end of the technology and science.

  8. Independent Says:

    DW,
    If you are sure of what you think of other people by reading few lines, there is something wrong.

    I have been a design engineer( fully qualified with UK Charter) for 95% of 37 years. What my work require is simply,
    1.) Identify the problem
    2.) Model the problem as close as possible to the nature
    3.) Find out own mistakes and adjust
    4.) Give your best solution
    5.) Communicate effectively

    Absolutely no science here.

  9. Ben Silva Says:

    DW, Please have some sympathy for Independent. He says he tries for Nirvana weekly. In the case of Independent, I would blame Allah or any other creator God for giving Independent only one brain cell. Independent does not have a clue about F but knows the power of the triple gem.

  10. Dharmasiri Weerasinghe Says:

    Independent
    I am sorry, I did not challenge your qualification nor your scope of work. Looks like your work does not involve innovative thoughts.
    Fair enough.

    What I meant by design engineering is design, installation and commission of grass root installations like for example Nuclear Power Station, Thermal Power Station, Offshore oil production Platform, Oil and Gas Refineries ( or even big strutures) where you need input from various disciplines like Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical, Structural , Safety and Instrumentation and control engineering.

    For that you need to know latest International Standards like ISO, American, Russian and European standards and also latest equipment, Instrumentations and control, and safety devices available in the market and their respective reliabilities based on reliability and availability on demand figures to finally assign and guarantee safety integrity (SIL) levels. We use least amount of Academics in England for this type of work except in case of Russia we use Academic Institutions for model testing etc.

  11. Independent Says:

    DW,
    I was a key member of the world’s largest building until 2013. It is No. 2 or 3 now. I have trained in nuclear power station design ( not done one) but I have never done offshore oil platforms but many high rises and modern bridges. But the process involve is as I have given above. Many innovative thoughts has gone into many projects as I often deal with alternative designs ( my speciality) for contractors saving millions of dollars.
    Of course you can surely imagine a lot of work, analysis , design , brainstorming and coordination is involved but that does not mean that a lot of “scientific knowledge” is needed.

    For the success what one needs is basically the qualities defined by Lord Buddha. Zeal (ඡන්ද​) , courage or effort (විරිය​) , (intense) thoughts (චිත්ත) and investigation (විමංස).

  12. Dharmasiri Weerasinghe Says:

    Independent

    I understand your point. You are mainly in project management type work, not very much of nitty-gritty of design where you have to employ your scientific knowledge.

    If you are using simulation package like SESAM for structural analysis then you will come to know how useful your scientific mind-set is. However I am not a structural engineer, but I have seen how the structural engineers used this simulation skill in gravity base structure in sub-arctic sea where structure have to withstand the ice crust movement ( ice breaker technology).

  13. Senevirath Says:

    බෙන් ගේ වැඩේ බෞද්ධ කමට හිනා වෙන එකමය් පවු කාරයෝ කාමහිම ගැලී ජීවත් වෙති නිවෙන්නට කැමති නැත, දැවෙන්නට මිස. ඉන්ඩිපෙන්ඩන්ට් කැමති අපව දවන විද්‍යාවට වඩා බෞද්ධ ප්‍රතිපදාවටය .ඔය කියන විද්‍යාඥයින්ට වැඩිය දේ දැනගත් අජාන් බ්‍රහ්මවන්සෝ හාමුදුරුවොත් බටහිර විද්‍යාව අතහැර මහන වුනේ ඉන්ඩිපෙන්ඩන්ට් වාගේම ඉදලය් .. ඉන්ඩිපෙන්ඩන්ට් ට නියම මග වැටහී ඇත . vv

  14. AnuD Says:

    That is what Buddha said too.

    Investigate within in order to find every thing.

    No point of blame games or blaming others for every thing.

    It is we, Sinhala buddhists who are doing the blame game Lord did not ask those. They are doing what they are supposed to do. Why do we blame them.

  15. Independent Says:

    සෙනෙවි,
    දෙමළ කොටියා හැකි සැම මුහුනුවරකින්ම තම ප්‍රහාරය ගෙනයති.
    1.සිංහලයා කෙටවීම​
    2. දුප්පත් අහිංසක සිංහලයින්ට දෙමළා සිංහලයාට වඩා බුද්ධිමත්බවක් ඒත්තු ගැන්වීමට උත්සාහ කිරීම​​
    3. සිංහල සම්ප්‍රදායන් නිසා සිංහලයා දුබලවී ඇතිබවත් , කවදාවත් මේවා බදාගෙන දියුනුවීමට නොහැකි බවත් ඒත්තු ගැන්වීමට උත්සාහ කිරීම​
    4. බුද්ධාගම විනාශ කිරීම ( හින් දු වන් දනා ක්‍රම , මන්ත්‍ර හා භූත අවිද්‍යාව මගින් සහ වෙනත් ක්‍රම මගින්)
    5. සිංහල වචන උවමනාව්න්ම දෙමළ සද්දයෙන් කීමෙන් දෙමළා අපිට කලින් මෙහි සිටි බව ලෝකයට පෙන්වීම​.
    6. හෙලදිව බොහෝ රටවල් සමග (විශේෂයෙන්ම ඉන් දියාව සමග) සතුරු කරවීම
    7. කතෝලික කරනය​
    8. අපේ සංඝයා වහන්සේලාගේ වැරදි ඉස්මතුකොට පෙන්වා එමගින් බොදු දහමට පහර ගැසීම​
    9.බෞද්ධ භික්‍ෂුව වටා විහිලු කතා ගොතමින් හාස්‍යයට ලක්කිරීම​.

    යනාදී තවත් බොහෝ දේ කරති. කොටියන් පමණක් නොව දුෂ්ඨ අන්‍යාගමිකයන් ද මේවාට ජොයින් වෙති.

    1.ජනප්‍රිය ආන් ඩුවල සහ දේසපාලකයන් ගේ පැත්තම ගනිමින්
    2. ජනප්‍රිය නැති අයට සහ කාන්ඩ වලට අසබ්‍ය ලෙස බනිමින් සහ මඩ ගසමින්
    3. විශේෂයෙන්ම බොදු බව ඉහලට නංවා කතාකරන නායකයින්ට මඩ ගසමින්

    Gon Silva නමැත්තගේ 2009ට පෙර කතාවල නිර්වානයට පහරගැසීමක් දරුනුවට තිබුනේ නැත​. එහෙත් 2009න් පසු, ජාතිකාභිමානය ප්‍රයෝජනයට ගනිමින් කෙලින්ම චතුරාර්‍ය සත්‍යයට පහර දීමක් දියත් කලේය​. සැරින් සැරේ මතුවන නිසා මොහු මානසික රෝගියෙක් දැයි සිතා අනුකම්පාකළත් , කොටියෙක්දැයි සැකයක් ඇත​.
    මේ පුද්ගලයාට විරුද්ධව බෞද්ධයෝ නිහඞව නොසිටිය යුතුය​.
    මෙවර මා ජනරැල්ල සමග නොයන නිසා මොහුට වාසිය​. නැත්නම් මෙලහකටත් මේ නිවටයා නිහඬවී හමාරය​.
    ඔබට ස්තුතියි.

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