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KRONOS Vol. I, Issue 3
Copyright © 1975 by FREDERIC B. JUENEMAN
Editor's Preface[See Note (1)]
Since the publication of WORLDS IN COLLISION (1950), there has been no dearth of critics eagerly willing to find fault with Immanuel Velikovsky and/or his work. What began in 1950 has not yet run its course, though a full twenty-five years has elapsed. The legacy of Harlow Shapley, et. al., is still very much with us.
Having exhausted a variety of media, including TIME, NEWSWEEK, and the popular press, the latest detractors have found comfortable refuge in Science-Fiction outlets such as GALAXY and ANALOG. It is an article in the latter which especially concerns us here.
In the October 1974 issue of ANALOG, Isaac Asimov wrote a rather bizarrely muddled piece, "CP", in which he vilified Velikovsky in typical ad hominem fashion. Not wishing to seem condescending by employing the term "crackpot", Asimov condescended to substitute "the more nearly neutral initials CP" which served as the title and theme for his "vituperation in CP sharp." No objective criticism was put forth. Instead, readers were referred to Worlds in Confusion– an earlier (1969) Asimov tirade against Velikovsky, long since refuted in its entirety by progressive scholarship in various disciplines.
"CP," however, goes beyond the pale and is heinous to the point of not even being worthy of any comment or rebuttal. Yet, it is so misrepresentative of Velikovsky and his ideas that some retort is necessarily called for in order to set the record straight, if nothing else. The readers may judge for themselves how well the following article - "pc" - by Frederic B. Jueneman accomplishes that task. As for Isaac Asimov, he would do well to remember the old adage - "He who laughs last, laughs best!"
It is a pathetic situation when one person is reduced to elevating himself by denigrating another. If this were done to one's own colleagues it would be tantamount to committing academic suicide. But, since there appears to be safety in the numbers of like-minded critics, such behavior can be exercised with impunity - even lauded by one's peer group when applied to a scholar whose work is something less than popular with conventional thought. Not only is this behavior reprehensible and repulsive, it is also trenchantly immoral - in the broadest sense of the term. A grievous wrong has been committed and a peccavi is definitely in order. I'm referring specifically to Dr. Isaac Asimov's article "CP", published in the October 1974 issue of Analog wherein Asimov mounts and ill-advised emotional and subjective attack on Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky. Since it is quite obvious that no forthcoming apology is likely from the sthenic Dr. Asimov, I feel impelled to answer him, and in kind. Therefore, I shall couch this belated and somewhat parodied reply in the Asimovian manner - but with just cause.
In his article, Asimov considered Velikovsky to be merely one of a large bizarre group "who have hovered about the fuzzy borderlands of science." Furthermore, he equates Velikovsky's work with that of von Daniken's creative history, and in so doing he is insidiously and intentionally confusing scholarship with opportunism.
I must ask somewhat rhetorically at this early moment if an Asimov, or a von Daniken, or anyone within acquaintance, has retired into an "exquisite seclusion" for a dozen years or more to pursue his or her work? Such dedication is an extremely rare quality which should by all means be cherished instead of airily dismissed as "bizarre."
Other than Velikovsky, three examples of such dedication come immediately to mind: Sigmund Freud retired in isolation from 1895-1905 to complete his theoretical work on human behavior; Wanda Landowska, the harpsichordist, came out of a 14-year retirement to electrify audiences with her genius; similarly, Vladimir Horowitz, the pianist, returned to the concert stage after a long hiatus of study. This is unusual, even extraordinary behavior, but hardly bizarre.
And, being involved with research myself, I might consider Asimov's comment to be a personal affront, for research by its very nature is concerned with those selfsame fuzzy borderlands of science. These are the very frontiers which have to be explored, whether one is as pioneering an archeologist as the 19th century discoverer of Troy, Heinrich Schliemann, or as careful a worker as the most assiduous contemporary researcher or Nobel laureate.
Without belaboring the point, Asimov's "world of confusion" is an artifice of his own design. If there is a disagreement with Velikovsky's conclusions, let him by all means voice his antithetical opinions, but in a more scholarly fashion. I realize that Analog would not have been the most appropriate vehicle for such a high level of dissension and discussion, nevertheless the readership is comprised of rational human beings who can at least grasp the essence of the argument, if not the fine detail - something which Asimov and his editor, Ben Bova, appear to have overlooked. (There is no need to reduce everything to an absurdity.) But this high level of discussion has not been achieved outside of the ten issues of Pensee, the single copy of Chiron, or the pages of KRONOS, all of which have limited circulation, and more certainly wouldn't be expected of Analog.(2)
Asimov pursues what he calls "CP-ery" through the subterfuge of relying on the reader's ignorance of facts, a criticism often leveled at Velikovsky by "acknowledged experts". Indeed, Asimov claimed to use Velikovsky as a convenient exercise, when in fact it was editorially agreed upon that he would write a counter-article to my own piece, "The Search for Truth," in that same issue.
Asimov very astutely and rightly felt that he was not personally free of the CP virus. But quite frankly, who is? It's one of the qualities which makes people human - though not necessarily humane. If a CP can scent persecution from afar, as Asimov says, then he himself must have a well-developed sense, for he fully expected to receive "endless, furious letters" in response to his article. I should think that he would be highly chagrined if such responses failed to materialize. In fact, it was this statement which stayed me from writing to him directly - for I am the kind of sadist who, when a masochist says, "Beat me!" I say, "No!"
It would be of casual interest and perhaps something of a revelation as to where Asimov gets his sources of information regarding "the self-pitying martyrized claims of the Velikovskians." I have had personal contact with a wide variety of Velikovsky's supporters for nearly four years, and none reveled in the notion of being persecuted by "the forces of orthodoxy." Most of Velikovsky's supporters, and a good share of his following, hold responsible positions in industrial or academic communities within the confines of everyday orthodox science, and have jeopardized themselves by having the temerity to speak out on Velikovsky's behalf. I shouldn't doubt that there are others whose timidity has kept them silent. In this same vein, I become impatient with those supporters who wave Velikovsky's banner without having read any of his books, and really don't know what it is they're championing, to the same extent as his critics who haven't taken the trouble to open his works and blindly attack them with hearsay evidence and half-truths. For one like Gordon Atwater to speak out for a serious consideration of Velikovsky's thesis and then be summarily fired from his position as Curator of the Hayden Planetarium, and not to find gainful employment in his chosen profession for over 20 years, is not only immoral - it's criminal!
If the sins of the fathers are being visited upon the sons, it's because the progeny are no better. Asimov's revisiting the events of the 1950's, in order to show the social and political climate which shaped the decisions and blunders made by those who were concerned with Velikovsky, is just a disapproving view of his academic forebears by an emulating son: Dad has blatantly sown his wild oats, and now I must needs- do the same, but more discreetly. This philosophy was very much in evidence at the February 1974 American Association for the Advancement of Science Symposium, "Velikovsky's Challenge to Science," held in San Francisco, and spearheaded by Dr. Carl E. Sagan - who really wasn't all that discreet. Such behavior from an avowed conservative and objective science belies that it is led by a controlled, disciplined hierarchy. I would grant Velikovsky all the distrusting tendencies one might accumulate in almost thirty years in the face of such a wonderful reception. (And I might even have some myself while I'm at it.)
Asimov next is guilty of a factual non-sequitur. Thus his exemplary use of syllogisms compounds the error, where he says in mock defense, "As all men know, Galileo was persecuted as a heretic and CP and turned out to be a genius who discovered truth. Since I am being persecuted as a heretic and CP, I am certainly a genius who has discovered truth."
Although Velikovsky's supporters have compared him to Galileo, Velikovsky himself has discouraged this. For one thing, Galileo was intimidated by the opposition, and he fumbled the ball four out of five times before making a score. Historically, Galileo won the ballgame, which was an accident of events. Velikovsky, on the other hand, has not been intimidated by the opposing team, but has pressed doggedly for each first down, with only a bare minimum of verbal credit for his efforts. And rarely a mention in the literature.
At any rate, Velikovsky has never compared himself with anyone but himself, contrary to Asimov's assertions, and simply stated that his work stands on it own merits.
The epistemological weapons with which the church threatened or harassed heretics such as Galileo or Giordano Bruno were physical and brutal. Today's measures are much more subtle, more psychological, but no less brutal. For Asimov to say that scientific orthodoxy is incapable of bringing pressure to bear because it is the weakest and most powerless ever invented doesn't conform to the facts - so's an octopus out of its element. If Asimov believes this he shows a naivete of the sociological power structure of science's hierarchy even if science appears virtually powerless in controlling and disciplining the antics of its more unruly members, and this is simply incredible for a man who has written so many erudite books on as many different subjects. The power structure of science is a political arena, and as such is more than spiritually tied in with governmental affiliation, which itself is closely allied with the power structure of the economic-financial suzerains. If an event is important enough to perturb any of these citadels, the phonon-phonon interactions reverberate throughout the system like a gong. If the Velikovsky incident was of inconsequential importance, why are we still hearing echoes?
Perhaps Asimov– considering that he said that he's among the ten or twenty thousand "rationalists" out of nearly four billion of us lesser fortunates who inhabit our planet– feels cold and friendless, and "exposed to the winds of logic," because he is actually out there in the wind and weather washing the dirty windows of the power citadel. What's worse, and far less complimentary, perhaps he is just the window dressing and hence merely the tool of the power structure, which calls attention away from itself and its shortcomings by his manipulation.
No, I prefer to think that Asimov is what he says he is, alone and miserable, cold and exposed. There is very little that is more soul-purifying and perspective-giving than such an Arctic dip. But perspicacity is not the central issue here, though one might wish it were so.
Having thus bared himself to the expected "machinations" of Velikovsky's defenders, Asimov seemed to have literally found himself in an exceptionally isolated position. He therefore rushed to comforting security at the side of Carl Sagan, pathetically (if not comically) raised his bodkin, and proclaimed that he was an emotional, willing-to-die-for-him supporter of the Cornell astronomer. It is indeed frightful to be so lonely.
Sagan, from the other side of the spoon, had prepared for the 1974 AAAS meeting what the press touted as his ten plagues for Velikovsky, a document ostensibly written to demolish the basic tenets of the Princeton scholar. I certainly wouldn't accompany Asimov in staking my reputation, much less my life, on such rubbish. Sagan has the enviable talent to string out quotable-quotes and aphorisms that please the media, but when it comes to indulging in polemics against Velikovsky his underlying philosophy has been: If you can't dazzle them with dialectics, baffle them with [expletive deleted].
Asimov took Velikovsky to task for saying "that not one word of his 1950 book has had to be changed as a result of scientific advances since its publication." This wasn't an accurate interpretation by Asimov, but I won't enculer des mouches with him over it. Actually, Velikovsky doesn't consider himself infallible. He constantly is guarded in his published material to be as accurate as possible, and hence is a cautious scholar. Certainly there are passages in his, books which he would like to rewrite or reconsider, but there is little to be gained in rewriting an awkward phrase or sentence. Moreover, he has in fact, reconsidered and expanded on several of his thoughts in subsequent publications of Pensee. In the main, he is confident that the seventy-odd advance claims made in Worlds in Collision are couched in sufficiently lucid language to eschew any modification. There aren't many books which have engendered this kind of confidence, and having written some 163 books himself Asimov should be most acutely aware of this.
Next, Velikovsky is accused of not accepting "such trivialities" as the laws of motion, conservation of angular momentum, and conservation of energy, and therefore couldn't possibly be anything but a "CP." All of this is Asimov's ill-conceived smoke-screen, using the standard timehonored ploy of misquoting, holding it up for ridicule, and then attacking the misquote. This is great sport when you're not on the receiving end.
However, Velikovsky had said many times that Venus was "torn" from Jupiter(3) by the close encounter of one such as Saturn, but in his commitment to this idea, Venus may also have been a rather large satellite of the Jovian planet that had the misfortune of being caught in vortical forces by the near-encounter passage of these giant planets. And this occurrence took place some millennia earlier than the 15th century B.C.
There is nothing here which contravenes natural law. Nor is there any suspension of a physical law by the subsequent near encounter of Venus with the earth and the slowing down or stopping of the earth's rotation, or of the illusion caused by a tilting -of the axis. Velikovsky had said time and again that electrical forces were the guiding principles by which the earth stopped and was restarted, or tilted and was restored, forces which even now are just barely beginning to be understood. The electrical nature of the sun as recently theorized appears to be the source for planetary charges, and these charges are electrostatic, coexisting within the magnetospheres of those planets which exhibit dipolar fields.
If the earth were to be stopped in its rotation through the discharge of its electrostatic field, or by magnetic braking, or both, once the disturbing influence has left the vicinity of our planet the earth would be restarted through the mechanism of the interplanetary electric field. The direction of rotation may be independent of these fields, much as a dynamo can be made to rotate in either direction. Such a "howling catastrophe," as decried by Asimov, was not forgotten by our ancestors. Before learning the art of writing, legends of such occurrences were handed down as inviolable ritual stories from generation to generation, from culture to succeeding culture, and not as has been so often intimated from individual to individual. The writing down of historic or scientific events doesn't make them any more true or false than the spoken word - to which the nonsense in Sagan's AAAS paper will attest.
Even Plato bemoaned the written word as bringing about the destruction of the well-told-tale, that man's memory will suffer as a consequence. He was very likely right in his estimate, as those of us without eidetic memories or instant recall are handicapped enough without the additional burden of collective amnesia. But we know so little about the workings of the brain and that ephemeral interface between our grey matter and the mind which we call consciousness. Irrational behavior such as we all have seen certainly affirms that some genetically inheritable characteristics are the legacy of our ancestors, and Velikovsky's concept of collective amnesia does not evoke any new or unusual phenomena to account for these abnormalities, any more than he evoked new or unusual physical phenomena to account for planetary aberrations.
Asimov continued his pastiche about the imagined infallibility of the ideal CP he had created for himself, and for reasons known only to himself continued to stick verbal pins into his idealized mannikin. None of it had any bearing on the consideration of Velikovsky's work, however, until he eventually wandered onto the question of the high temperature of Venus.
All of us agree that it is a popular subject with Velikovsky's defenders, but it doesn't become the stuff and substance of Velikovsky's theories– albeit a very important part. Back in the mid-1940's Rupert Wildt postulated that a greenhouse effect would raise the temperature of Venus some tens of degrees. Sagan's new-improved model of a runaway greenhouse effect– backed by the spaceprobe finding of the 90-odd atmospheres pressure of the carbon dioxide surrounding Venus which he advocated was the necessary condition for the 750 degrees Kelvin temperature– is a neat circumvention of Velikovsky's catastrophic model. Asimov conceded that the high temperature of Venus was a lucky hit by Velikovsky, but that five more like it won't turn folderol into gospel. However, what does one do with 70-odd "lucky hits"?
I don't believe that Sagan, and definitely not Asimov, have considered the Venus problem exhaustively. With a runaway greenhouse phenomenon that has been going on for untold eons, one is left to inquire why Venus still has any atmosphere left. Over the hundreds of millions, if not billions of years that Venus is supposed to have been circling the sun in its self-same orbit, this greenhouse effect would have had the tendency to void the planet of any atmosphere whatsoever, except for some nominal residue. Or, perhaps there could have been a cycling phenomenon wherein after a certain critical temperature had been reached the atmosphere would have expanded into a voluminous ball many times the present apparent diameter of Venus, and then when the expansion-cooled gases would have once more contracted the process would begin anew. If Venus became such a "thermal nova" every so often it would be much more in accord with Velikovsky's hypothesis, especially if the hot gases carried an electrostatic potential capable of generating interplanetary thunderbolts. But the current dogma seems to preclude any allusion to historical catastrophes within a celestial context, and particularly not if Velikovsky's name is associated with it.
Yet, even if Venus exhibited this sort of cycling process it could not continue this indefinitely, and we wind up back where we started. Personally, I have serious doubts that a comprehensive analytical survey of Venus' atmosphere will confirm or deny either theory or both. The latest analysis of the visible cloud surface of the Cytherean planet has shown the presence of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and perhaps a little neon, but I am content to wait for the upcoming planetary probes to dip deeper into the atmosphere and radio back in situ information. Then, maybe, we might find out if Venus could have been Velikovsky's pet dragon, Typhon, or something more akin to Sagan's pet theory.
Asimov believes that Velikovsky's work is swallowed whole, unchewed and undigested, by his supporters, and then spewed out as a great truth for the edification of humanity. There are a few who are such believers, to be sure. But those of us who do take his work seriously have investigated each of his points from the stance of our respective fields of expertise and scholarship; we have compared notes and raised questions over unresolved arguments; and we have digested his material many times over and found it palatable. It is structurally sound.
For a somewhat simplistic example, the "sudden" stopping of the earth's rotation over a period of a few hours would have a far lesser effect of deceleration than that experienced by a jet pilot coming in for a landing a few moments after a 1000 mph flight. In the same light, natural formations such as stalactites and stalagmites would sustain only minimal damage. Even Sagan admitted to this, and Asimov who stated his opinion to the contrary appears to have had less contact with Cornell than he would have us think.
Asimov's own books on science are remarkably free of profundity or any so-called "lucky hits," and only in his fiction are there two memorable ideas: his Three Laws of Robotics and the archetypal imagery of his Foundation Trilogy. This singular lack doesn't detract from his efforts, nor should it. As he said, one swallow does not make ten thousand summers. By the same token, his comparison of the literary efforts of Jonathan Swift with that of Velikovsky is like comparing oranges and tangerines and coming up with orangutans - a syllogistic non sequitur which we are earlier warned to avoid. Swift was a master satirist ' and it might behoove Asimov to reread Swift's works for the stinging commentary that holds just as true today as it did 250 years ago. Or, if our contemporary science writer fancies himself as one of Swift's ape-like yahoos of the Houyhnhnms, he should move into the trees lining a more well-traveled avenue.
The ridiculous case that Asimov built around legends of talking animals - presumably including the horse-like Houyhnhnms - merely served to make us more aware that Hugh Lofting was the clever author of the enchanting Dr. Doolittle series books for children. As a satire, a la Swift, "CP" might have been uproariously funny, but Asimov quenched the humor by saying that he was serious.
Yes, I'm sure he's serious, deadly serious. Unfortunately he could have buttressed his case more strongly. There is an enormous repertoire of mythology about talking animals being generated every Saturday morning on television - which could lead some paleontologists in the far distant future to remark that Yogi Bear was an extinct species of rhyming baseball catchers, who possibly expired of too many Burpsi-Colas. (One swallow does not make ten thousand belches.)
Certainly, there are stories of fish talking, or spiders, or even rocks and statues, not to mention mirrors. Has it ever occurred to anyone to inform our literati that such tales are allegories, whether told by Aesop, the Brothers Grimm, or Louis Ginzberg. But allegory goes much deeper than making ethical and moral pronouncements, particularly when one digs into world mythology. A superficial or cursory reading of myth delights the child-mind, but the intrinsic message of myth relates a fragment of an historical event that demands the attention of a mature, sentient mind.
As Asimov correctly surmised, Velikovsky has indeed plucked my musical strings and attracted my otherwise intelligent person, as no doubt he has done for many others. But his is not the sort of messianic idea, as Asimov seems to think, that one would be willing to die for. My own education was in conventional science and conventional art and conventional humanities, which had their own exciting aspects. Velikovsky offered excitingly bizarre alternatives, albeit bizarre in the sense that his ideas opened new inroads which crossed outside the paradigms of conventional thinking, and exciting in that they bridged the gaps between the disciplines.
When I had first read Velikovsky's work the thought never occurred to me that he was a Jewish nationalist, until others broached the subject in their criticism. I dare say that he is also an Olmec nationalist, for he was the first to push the frontiers of that Mesoamerican culture back to the 15th century before our era and on a par with other great ancient civilizations. That Asimov equates conventional historians as being the only "real" historians shows himself on the same wavelength with Arnold Toynbee, who studiously ignores Jewish history as if it were merely tribal internecine squabbling.
Being a Jew himself, Asimov also shows peculiar signs of anti-Semitism by his own ignorant distortions of recent history, for Velikovsky's theories were conceived in bulk during the late 1930's through the early 1940's, anticipating if not coincidental with the establishment of the state of Israel, whereas it was in the early 1920's that he worked for the establishment of what is now the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. To labor for the education of a people who had no facility of higher learning is more than nationalistic, it is humanitarian. For Velikovsky to set aright what he believes to be a chaotic chronology by making use of ancient Jewish history among other things, might indeed appear as a chauvinism or a threat to a jealous or paranoic person. And a condescending sympathy or understanding from Asimov, who thinks that Velikovsky's work is an outgrowth of Israel's uneasy nationalism, are lipservice words by one whose mental synapses have long become ossified to other than what he believes to be good and pure and true.
I am not a Jew myself, but my name bears a homonymous relationship to these people, yet beyond this I find it incredible that the continuing distortions by so-called historians - not history! - have been the principal fountainheads of such prejudice and hate, and out of empathy I would be proud to associate myself with Hebraic culture.
Asimov's further spurious analogy about Olof Rudbeck, who thought in the 17th century that Atlantis was located in his native Sweden, was just another attempt to discredit Velikovsky's scholarship. Interestingly, Velikovsky is convinced that if Atlantis did exist it was in the Atlantic - rather neutral ground I should say, and not even remotely nationalistic. My own diggings have shown that the consensus of commentators over the last several centuries have wondered about Atlantis being positioned in the northern part of our hemisphere, whether they have called it by such synonymous names as Shangri-la, El Dorado, Nirvana, Valhalla, Garden of Eden, or whatever. I am personally swayed by the idea that if Atlantis did in fact exist it most likely was the planet Mars, but this thought would probably make me out to be more of a nut than a "Martian" nationalist, especially by those who are unaware of the historical puzzle which has been painstakingly put together. But, no matter.
The real issue, as it has always been, is to discredit Velikovsky by any and all means, and the more emotional the appeal the better. This turned out to be the final fusillade of any consequence by Asimov, for he called upon western man's Judeo-Christian belief in God and all the guilt feelings associated with these beliefs that the subconscious can muster. From a personal standpoint, I find myself immune to these blandishments. For one thing, Velikovsky stated that the events in biblical literature were historically true, not "literally" so, and that local embellishments by any culture, Hebrew, Egyptian, Icelandic, Indian, or other, were not germane to his thesis.
In the instance of water turning to blood, Velikovsky very clearly said that ferruginous rains were the cause, a phenomenon which has been observed with many a volcanic eruption, and in some not fully quantified instances the fall of meteoric material. The plausibility of the fall of manna or manna-like substances of a sweet, oily consistency, also discussed by Velikovsky, has been substantiated in detail elsewhere;(4) and its mixture with water to form a whitish emulsion, could both quite reasonably give rise to stories of fabled lands rich in milk and honey. There is nothing unscientific about these observations, nor is there anything mystical, and if Asimov wants to reserve a part of his mind for the existence of God and supernatural miracles, he should not let it cloud his judgement in what is purported to be a rational argument. Theosophical subtleties apparently are not Asimov's forte, in spite of his having written a guide to the Bible. And, I'm afraid, for all of his millions of words of published writings, he has called the spade with the "you-don't-know-so-much" syndrome.
Moreover, complicating his position by putting a smear on the soft sciences isn't going to garner any good-will, and can only succeed in sowing the seeds of Asimov's own scholastic downfall. Sociologists "and other miscellany" are among a rather sizeable group of clear-thinkers, on which no single discipline has a lock. That sociologists have been in the forefront of the Velikovsky movement isn't at all surprising; since the irrational behavior of man against man has focused on Velikovsky, the sequence of events has afforded a unique laboratory to exercise their talents.
1, myself, have not been unaffected by Asimov's article. Its emotional and subjective content has moved me. Heretofore I have had a great deal of respect for Velikovsky, but to see him treated in this day and age in so inhumane a manner has just about crowned the weight of a quarter-century of vituperation, and now I am moved to enter into the fray and take up his cause more actively for an impartial consideration of his work.
If this sounds like a clarion call to do battle, it is. And it is also fair warning to the Asimov-style opposition to muster their arguments well. This is, after all, no laughing matter.
Prof. Lynn Rose of the Dept. of Philosophy, SUNY-Buffalo, read Asimov's "CP" and counted a near-record 134 errors of fact and logic. (Shades of Howard Margolis! who only hit 54 foul balls with his "Velikovsky Rides Again," in the April 1964 issue of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.) To metaphrase Alfred de Grazia, it behooves Asimov not to increase his score, but increase it he will since he isn't inclined toward scholarship. Coincidentally - and amusingly - in the October 1974 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov said, "I am a science fiction writer. Nothing more than that." Unquote.
I must believe him, for a man is what he says he is. Asimov makes his coin being contentious, not by being reasonable. Our asylums are filled to overflowing with reasonable people.
For such a man to be moved to write "CP" is a sad commentary on our age; instead of meaning crack-pot it really means counter-productive. Having written this corrective, without any intention of dignifying "CP" by it, perhaps we can now go on to better things which are more productive. So-long, Isaac.
1. PC = Psycho-Ceramics.]