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cousin_it comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) - Less Wrong

42 Post author: orthonormal 12 August 2010 01:08AM

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Comment author: cousin_it 11 December 2011 02:16:42PM 10 points [-]

An easy example: How do you know how far away the sun is?

Terry Tao has a really cool presentation on that topic: The Cosmic Distance Ladder.

Comment author: Nornagest 11 December 2011 11:45:15PM 2 points [-]

Parallax effects are a surprisingly good reason to reject heliocentrism. Wrong, of course, but it does seem to fail the sniff test -- and about all the Greeks had to work with were sniff tests of varying sophistication.

Although now I kind of wonder how Aristarchus' critics explained his observations.

Comment author: gwern 11 December 2011 11:21:12PM 1 point [-]

That was long, but very good. People underestimate the ancient Greeks - it's awesome to see the whole set of calculations laid out. (This reminds me guiltily of a post I keep meaning to write doing something similar for Atomism.)