Character Notes

The website is all about his life and work; here, let us focus on defining and celebrating his outstanding personal qualities.

Re: Character Notes

Postby Rose » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:04 pm

Mikado,

As long as the fawn in the woods has protectors such as yourself the black arts will continue to be no more than diversions. She remains safe were only the pure of heart can reach her.

But you must also protect yourself, you know. Have you looked into chelation therapy? In the process of removing heavy metals from the system, it also removes plaque and reopens narrowed arteries. Some cardiologists diss it, either because it is an alternative treatment or because it cuts into their slice and dice income, but many are honest enough to admit that the benefits are undeniable.

I'm glad that life is bringing you ecstasy on some level. I hope it all balances out.

Yes, the Vapordyne was reported to have speeds up to 240 mph.

A fluid bed locomotive? If it's not a waterbed on a flatcar, I can't even begin to imagine what that means. Off to goose up teh google.

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Re: Character Notes

Postby htmagic » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:08 pm

Rose wrote:BTW I've noticed that Trains are the theme of the day!

Even Bill Lear/Lehr, in the 1960's was still close emotionally enough to the steam powered train age that he thought a steam driven racecar had great possibilities. But something happened in that same decade to convince him that 240 mph wasn't worth pursuing. What was it???

rose

rose

Rose,

Maybe "Doc" Brown convinced him he needed only to get up to 88 MPH as in Back to the Future 3! LOL! :wink:

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Re: Character Notes

Postby htmagic » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:22 pm

Rose wrote:A fluid bed locomotive? If it's not a waterbed on a flatcar, I can't even begin to imagine what that means. Off to goose up teh google.

rose

Rose,

Fluid bed is short for fluidized bed. Rather than spread the coal across a grate and burn it, it is suspended in a bed of fluidized (in motion) air and coal. Fluidized beds have been used in drying applications and combustion as the particle is better exposed to the air so more complete combustion occurs. But fluidized beds are tricky to operate and it is hard to adjust the proper air to fuel mixture and get fluidized conditions. Too little air, the bed will not be fluidized and the particles will not "float" (be suspended) whereas too much and you blow all the particles out the top of the bed. There are problems with channeling and bypassing as well.

I think the nail in the coffin was the reporter that asked "How do you start it?" As with any steam engine you cannot hop into it, turn the key and go. You must wait for it to warm up before taking off. Gasoline engines are relatively cheap to manufacture and oil was cheap cheap cheap back then.

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Re: Character Notes

Postby kevin.b » Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:53 pm

It's the alteration of water to steam and back to water that should be thought about, imho.
The transmutation of state creates the transfer of work.
In the steam engine additional heat is utilised to create steam, then that or the vacuum is employed .
In the planets case I consider heat is given off as explosion occurs out of the surface, hence we get heat,not from the sun, probably light and gravity as well?
As it's a two way deal, the heat may be from explosion , and the cool from implosion, anyone a frige expert?
Anyway, implosion and explosion, there seems to be lots of explosion,car engines etc, so where's the implosion?
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Where's Kramer ?

Postby Paul S. » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:16 pm

Mikado14 wrote:Musing the other day over the weekend and trying in vain to clear my head, I started to think about Dr. Brown. I wandered what would I say to the man if he approached me or if I met him?


This post from Mikado showed up here last week just as I was getting ready to fly down to Texas to join Ann there and help her with (literally) the care and feeding of her ill and elderly father. However, I thought about this post a lot while I was out of town. I am rather intrigued to learn that readers still have questions like "What was he like?"

I think the question is fair, if a bit misdirected. So I want to address it comprehensively. And then I will attempt to take the constructive parts of this commentary and get back to work.

I have read the book as presented, all 500 plus pages of it. I have read of the forlorn hope and love of a young couple and a couple that went through their personal and public trials and tribulations. I have read about science known and science unknown. I have read about voyages under and upon the sea, of sky jumps and possible time jumps. Of visitations either actual or jointly dreamt. Of multiple moves and moves made multiple times.


And...what? That's not enough?? <g>

And yet, I still have certain unanswered questions.


Don't we all. I think I wrote to Linda early in our correspondence -- back when it was all still via snail-mail -- that this book would, of necessity, have to be more about the questions than the answers. There have been many times since I made that statement that it has presented a standard that has proven maddeningly difficult to adhere to. Nevertheless it is the reality that defines this undertaking.

"What was he like?"


The question arises at a time when many of the fundamental issues that afflict this entire enterprise arise anew, as I revisit the material and try to determine what effectively drives the narrative and what are pointless tangents that spin the story off into (pardon the expression) empty space.

I confess, it is a little disconcerting to learn that after reading 500+ pages, some readers maybe still don't have at least some idea "what was he like?"

I think I find it even more unsettling to think that some readers might think that things like his favorite color or meal preferences some how reveal meaningful insights into Townsend Brown's "character."

I have to be careful here. If you have read all that has been offered so far, and still don't have any idea "what was he like?" then it would be very easy conclude that this whole enterprise has failed pretty miserably, and maybe I should see if they're accpeting applications at Wal-Mart (Ann says, "no... Target or Lowe's..."). But I honestly don't think that's the case; given the constraints we (chiefly Linda Brown and I) have had to contend with, I think we've probably got 95% of what we're ever going to get regarding the course of Townsend Brown's life -- or any meaningful insights into "what was he like."

Perhaps a bit of my own background is in order, to give you a more precise idea of where I'm coming from, the approach that I bring to this work, and the attitude that informs my response to this question.

When I was in Hollywood in the 1970s and trying to learn a little something about the craft of screenwriting, I was introduced to one of the seminal texts on the subject, "The Art of Dramatic Writing" by the Hungarian playwright Lajos Egri.

The premise of Egri's approach to stagecraft -- which, I think, translates into any form of narrative art -- has stayed with me long after the rest of his text has faded from my memory. The premise can be summed up in a simple phrase:

Action is character.

Translation: you discover the character of a person by witnessing their actions. When you see how they respond to situations, what sort of situations they initiate, how they deal with people, how they handle conflict -- then you have the ingredients you need to assess that person's character.

Action reveals character; conversely, character drives action. Yes, it's a symbiotic equation, but the end result is the same: if you know how a person acts, then you have all you need to judge their character.

The rest is window dressing.

If you can accept that premise, then it's easier to understand the fundamental obstacle we face in creating a coherent biography of Thomas Townsend Brown. It should be clear to everybody within the sound of my key-strokes by now that, even with all the anecdotes, the travelogue, the meetings, the demonstrations, the confrontations ... the inescapable fact is that we still do not know what Townsend Brown's life was really all about.

At least I don't. Maybe I was supposed to have figured it out by now. And maybe my inability to do so reflects some fundamental failure of my own character, i.e. the oft invoked admonishment that maybe I'm "not ready" for some deeper truth that I've spent the last nearly 6 years now trying to determine. If that's the case, then maybe somebody else should finish the book.

In any event, the question of "what was he like" boils down to a simple fact for me: If you don't really know what the man really did, than you cannot truly know his character, and you are left instead to ruminate on fluffy details like his favorite color or dessert.

In other words: if you're not getting enough "character" out of this story, that's because my sources are not supplying me with enough truly consequential "action."

What was Dr. Brown's favorite color? He enjoyed his green Cadillac but was that his favorite color? Did he enjoy a Turkey dinner, Roast Beef or Ham? Did the family have Thanksgiving dinner with relatives, friends or no one? We know that he enjoyed a taste for Earl Grey tea but did he enjoy coffee, milk, juice or Coca Cola?


I dunno... those might be interesting details, but they are also the sort of sparkle that has to be addressed within some kind of context or they just look like rhinestones.

The things you mention, if they truly interested me I might have asked more about them. But I have been more focused on finding the unifying "arc" that makes this story make any kind of sense. I've been trying to build the bridge that connects one end of Townsend Brown's life to the other. The sort of details you're describing are embellishments along the way. Like the shiny lights hung from the suspension cables of a bridge, they sure are pretty and sparkly. But they are not the bridge, and without the bridge, you simply cannot get from here to there no matter how well illuminated the trail.

Action is character. Absent compelling action, the sense of character necessarily suffers. You wind up with... a bridge to nowhere.

What pissed him off? We know that he threw his glasses down at Decker's and we were told that his point was reached but what would get him to that point?


I think that's an excellent example of precisely the quandary that this line of inquiry poses: you tell me who was on the other side of that phone conversation -- and what they said -- and then we will all know what pissed him off. But the people who DO know that information, well, they are apparently not at liberty to divulge.

I hope that doesn't sound like a complaint. I resigned myself to this predicament a long time ago. And so we just keep moving right along...

Did he ever reach that point with Linda or Josephine? Out of all the years that they were married did they ever not talk or did they ever sleep in different bedrooms? It is ever so possible to love someone but not agree.


Well, we did learn (almost by accident...) that Townsend and Josephine were divorced at one point. But since neither Dr. Brown nor Josephine are around to fill us in on the details (nor did either of them ever confide in Linda), we just have to go with the bare facts. Unless, you know, there was some fly on the wall that I can call and interview...?

We know that his daughter Linda enjoyed horses and that she had named all the fish in the pond but what does that tell us? It tells me that she learned that from someone, was it Mom or was it Dad? Did he like dogs or cats? Did he enjoy crossword puzzles or riddles, or both? Did he enjoy mathematical word problems and what type of books did he read for leisure? History, Science, Biographical, Drama, Science Fiction etc.


I guess those are all interesting questions. Maybe if all of my effort had not gone into building the impossible bridge, I would have been more inclined to devote some energy to those kinds of issues. Again, though, they have to arise in some kind of context.

We know, for example, that he was fairly well versed in the Bible. He knew all of the places where "flying saucers" show up in the Old and New Testaments. That would seem to reveal some depth of his interests -- not only in unexplainable phenomena, but in how the ancients interpreted them. Does that not give us some idea "what was he like?"

By the same token, Linda Brown did mention a number of times that her father was very enamored of the writings of the French Jesuit philosopher Teilhard de Chardin, whose book "The Phenomenon of Man" attempts to make some sense of the unfolding of history and the universe. Maybe I should slip that in somewhere...

We know he enjoyed the "Day the Earth Stood Still" but what did he think of "Star Wars" or "2001"?


Which reminds me... what is Luke Skywalker's favorite color? What did Han Solo like for dessert? What color was the pod bay door, Hal?

Now that you mention it, I don't think the first draft mentions that Dr. Brown closed his lab and took everybody to see "The Day The Earth Stood Still" the day it opened in Los Angeles. I guess that's another detail I need to squeeze in. I suppose that's an action that reveals some facet of the man's character.

Nor have I mentioned the business Morgan told me about Dr. Brown predicting a big UFO flap over Washington in (I think) 1952. But... what would that tell us about what he was like? That he was clairvoyant...or... that he just knew something that the rest of us will likely never know? There's another illustration of my central point here: if we had a better idea of what precisely drove his actions, then we'd have a much clearer understanding of his character.

What about Josephine? I realize that the book is about Thomas Townsend Brown but owing to the fact that Josephine is a large part of it, what was she like? Wouldn't some of Townsend Brown's actions have been precipitated upon by Josephine's likes and dislikes?


That gets some coverage, I think. For example, Josephine's determination that the family would not move to Hawaii until Linda was 2 years old speaks volumes. Or, similarly, Josephine's insistence that the family stay put in Philadelphia for two years so that Linda could finish high school in one place. Doesn't that tell you something about what motivated her in life?

Conversely, what do we learn about Dr. Brown from his treatment of his only son? Not a pretty picture, really, is it? But if we knew more about what Dr. Brown was really engaged in during those years... would we not have a better appreciation for the character who became so estranged from his son?

Action is character. No action... no character.

How about these little truths that perhaps no one knew: Dr. Brown would apply absorbine jr. to his legs, Josephine liked her brand of "tea" in the afternoon, there were separations in the marriage.


Separations in the marriage, have, I think, been addressed -- again, to the extent that any factual data is available. The business about Absorbine Junior, well, sorry, that just never came up. But the part about Josephine's "tea" (a euphemism for the harder stuff Josephine imbibed while Townsend was taking his afternoon break), I might be able to squeeze that in too. It was something she had in common with Charles.

I for one believe that there are anecdotes and stories that can be had by asking the correct questions from several sources.



Ask the right question? Of whom?

You seem to forget: with the exception of Linda Brown, my "several sources" would not even actually talk to me. Maybe that's because they know that, in the course of an actual, two-way conversation, I might find the inspiration to ask "the questions for my answers," as Morgan said to me once. But Morgan, and Twigsnapper -- as far as I know, the only two people on the planet who know the answers to the real questions -- have made it a point to keep me at arms length throughout this process. They have communicated with me only through intermediaries like Linda, through (admittedly copious) e-mail exchanges, or via messages posted to an internet forum.

And so we are left to guess at the answers to the questions that would tell us the actions that would reveal the underlying character.

I would like to see a bit more, if possible, as to the man that made the decisions that he did.


And my contention remains: if we knew what the REAL decisions were, and what motivated them, then we would know all we could ever hope or want to know about Townsend Brown's character.

And I dare say that you would then agree with me that all the rest is... just... "stuff."

I know this probably sounds like more whining from me but... really: are these the things that you what you really want to know? Do you want know how he liked his steak cooked -- or what was in those notebooks he spirited away in the last weeks of his life?

Those may be interesting details, but they are a poor substitute for a clear understanding of exactly what the man did with his life.

But I guess you're right. Absent those kinds of details, what we really wind up with is a 500-page Seinfeld episode -- without the laughs.

--PS
Paul Schatzkin
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Re: Character Notes

Postby htmagic » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:38 pm

kevin.b wrote:It's the alteration of water to steam and back to water that should be thought about, imho.
The transmutation of state creates the transfer of work.
In the steam engine additional heat is utilised to create steam, then that or the vacuum is employed .
In the planets case I consider heat is given off as explosion occurs out of the surface, hence we get heat,not from the sun, probably light and gravity as well?
As it's a two way deal, the heat may be from explosion , and the cool from implosion, anyone a frige expert?
Anyway, implosion and explosion, there seems to be lots of explosion,car engines etc, so where's the implosion?
Kevin

Kevin,

The heat is from the combustion of the fuel. Each fuel has a different heat of combustion where it is the energy released as heat when a compound undergoes complete combustion with oxygen. The chemical reaction is typically a hydrocarbon reacting with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, water and heat.

The implosion is what nature uses and Schauberger realized that. So did Keely. Both created motors to run on implosion rather than explosion. A steam engine could run on implosion if the steam is allowed to condense and create a vacuum in the chamber where the piston is.

Kevin, the cooling in a refrigerator comes from when a gas is compressed by the compressor and then cooled in the condenser. The condenser is outside the refrigerator and usually the coils on the back or underneath. The heat is removed and the refrigerant gas turns to liquid. This high pressure liquid is allowed to expand in an expansion valve and drops in pressure and temperature. This cold 2 phase mixture is sent to the evaporator (coils inside the refrigerator) where the heat changes the 2 phase refrigerant mixture into a gas again and cools the interior of the refrigerator. Tha vapor is sent to the compressor again in an endless cycle. It's a little more complicated than that but that is the basic cycle as depicted below.

Image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigeration

Hope this helps!

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Re: Where's Kramer ?

Postby htmagic » Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:19 pm

Paul S. wrote:I am rather intrigued to learn that readers still have questions like "What was he like?"

I think the question is fair, if a bit misdirected. So I want to address it comprehensively. And then I will attempt to take the constructive parts of this commentary and get back to work.

<SNIP>

The premise of Egri's approach to stagecraft -- which, I think, translates into any form of narrative art -- has stayed with me long after the rest of his text has faded from my memory. The premise can be summed up in a simple phrase:

Action is character.

Translation: you discover the character of a person by witnessing their actions. When you see how they respond to situations, what sort of situations they initiate, how they deal with people, how they handle conflict -- then you have the ingredients you need to assess that person's character.

Action reveals character; conversely, character drives action. Yes, it's a symbiotic equation, but the end result is the same: if you know how a person acts, then you have all you need to judge their character.

The rest is window dressing.

If you can accept that premise, then it's easier to understand the fundamental obstacle we face in creating a coherent biography of Thomas Townsend Brown. It should be clear to everybody within the sound of my key-strokes by now that, even with all the anecdotes, the travelogue, the meetings, the demonstrations, the confrontations ... the inescapable fact is that we still do not know what Townsend Brown's life was really all about.

At least I don't. Maybe I was supposed to have figured it out by now. And maybe my inability to do so reflects some fundamental failure of my own character, i.e. the oft invoked admonishment that maybe I'm "not ready" for some deeper truth that I've spent the last nearly 6 years now trying to determine. If that's the case, then maybe somebody else should finish the book.

In any event, the question of "what was he like" boils down to a simple fact for me: If you don't really know what the man really did, than you cannot truly know his character, and you are left instead to ruminate on fluffy details like his favorite color or dessert.

In other words: if you're not getting enough "character" out of this story, that's because my sources are not supplying me with enough truly consequential "action."

<SNIP>

I think that's an excellent example of precisely the quandary that this line of inquiry poses: you tell me who was on the other side of that phone conversation -- and what they said -- and then we will all know what pissed him off. But the people who DO know that information, well, they are apparently not at liberty to divulge.

I hope that doesn't sound like a complaint. I resigned myself to this predicament a long time ago. And so we just keep moving right along...

<SNIP>

Conversely, what do we learn about Dr. Brown from his treatment of his only son? Not a pretty picture, really, is it? But if we knew more about what Dr. Brown was really engaged in during those years... would we not have a better appreciation for the character who became so estranged from his son?

Action is character. No action... no character.

<SNIP>
You seem to forget: with the exception of Linda Brown, my "several sources" would not even actually talk to me. Maybe that's because they know that, in the course of an actual, two-way conversation, I might find the inspiration to ask "the questions for my answers," as Morgan said to me once. But Morgan, and Twigsnapper -- as far as I know, the only two people on the planet who know the answers to the real questions -- have made it a point to keep me at arms length throughout this process. They have communicated with me only through intermediaries like Linda, through (admittedly copious) e-mail exchanges, or via messages posted to an internet forum.

And so we are left to guess at the answers to the questions that would tell us the actions that would reveal the underlying character.

I would like to see a bit more, if possible, as to the man that made the decisions that he did.


And my contention remains: if we knew what the REAL decisions were, and what motivated them, then we would know all we could ever hope or want to know about Townsend Brown's character.

And I dare say that you would then agree with me that all the rest is... just... "stuff."

I know this probably sounds like more whining from me but... really: are these the things that you what you really want to know? Do you want know how he liked his steak cooked -- or what was in those notebooks he spirited away in the last weeks of his life?

Those may be interesting details, but they are a poor substitute for a clear understanding of exactly what the man did with his life.

But I guess you're right. Absent those kinds of details, what we really wind up with is a 500-page Seinfeld episode -- without the laughs.

--PS

Paul,

I think you did a GREAT JOB on the life of Thomas Townsend Brown. You preface the book saying that his life is sketchy and he was apparently involved in secret projects. You did a fine job of research, along with others to find what you did find.

From your book, I know that T.T. Brown would not carry a gun nor would he use it, even if his life depended upon it. I believed he loved Josephine a lot and trusted her to run the home when he was away. He had a positive nature (It's going to be allright, Sweetie.). He was the inventor of several things including the Ionic Breeze and apparently some of the items used in the military today. He was on his own timetable based upon his driving (and he loved his convertible with the top down). And I could keep going.

Paul, I do not see your book as a 500 page Seinfeld episode without the laughs. I see a man that deliberately hid behind the curtains (to protect his family?) and was involved with a mysterious international group, researching on subjects we still know little about today.

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Re: Where's Kramer ?

Postby Mikado14 » Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:53 pm

Paul S. wrote:
This post from Mikado showed up here last week just as I was getting ready to fly down to Texas to join Ann there and help her with (literally) the care and feeding of her ill and elderly father. However, I thought about this post a lot while I was out of town. I am rather intrigued to learn that readers still have questions like "What was he like?"

I think the question is fair, if a bit misdirected. So I want to address it comprehensively. And then I will attempt to take the constructive parts of this commentary and get back to work.

How about these little truths that perhaps no one knew: Dr. Brown would apply absorbine jr. to his legs, Josephine liked her brand of "tea" in the afternoon, there were separations in the marriage.


Separations in the marriage, have, I think, been addressed -- again, to the extent that any factual data is available. The business about Absorbine Junior, well, sorry, that just never came up. But the part about Josephine's "tea" (a euphemism for the harder stuff Josephine imbibed while Townsend was taking his afternoon break), I might be able to squeeze that in too. It was something she had in common with Charles.

PS


The one and only time I might consider an apology is now and that would be for causing so much consternation in your life.

Your snips have been noted as to my inability to master the action is character thingy. I never once intended to imply you did a poor job and your quick response to that action shows something about character....or yeah, I forgot, I exhibit an inability in that area to ascertain that of an individual.

If you do manage to include the "tea" be sure to add that she kept it in a cut crystal decanter and I am sure you will be able to verify that with her daughter..and she wasn't stingy. As to seperations in the marriage, well, you don't know them all and I would recommend asking Linda or perhaps Mr. Twigsnapper, they might know. The abosorbine jr., well, you really, really don't want to know where that came from.

The truth would be stranger than fiction, Cap'n.

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Re: Character Notes

Postby Mikado14 » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:28 pm

htmagic wrote: A steam engine could run on implosion if the steam is allowed to condense and create a vacuum in the chamber where the piston is.


You need to rethink that.

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Re: Where's Kramer ?

Postby Mikado14 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:04 am

Paul S. wrote:I think the question is fair, if a bit misdirected. So I want to address it comprehensively. And then I will attempt to take the constructive parts of this commentary and get back to work. .................


But I guess you're right. Absent those kinds of details, what we really wind up with is a 500-page Seinfeld episode -- without the laughs.

--PS


Paul,

I am sure that in writing your response to my "essay" as you called it, that you proofed it many times but "Have you read what you wrote?"

I fear that perhaps you may interpret my previous response in an inappropriate way. I will admit that I do understand the phrase: action is character. Does this apply to only writing or does it apply to observations of individuals on an everday basis?

Again I say, "Have you read what you wrote?"

I do understand that there are times that any endeavor that a person attempts to achieve, self doubt always creeps in at some point along the way.

Again I say, "Have you read what you wrote?"

The 500+ pages you have written were written by YOU! As far as I can tell, you can document a good portion if not all of your facts, regardless of who or whom obliquely gave the information to you, YOU did the research to verify the facts. YOU can show where in the public record the facts are that you gleaned. There are many here on the forum that have helped you but in the end it was still YOU who committed the words to paper.

Again I say, "Have you read what you wrote?"

You are correct in your assessment as to what difference does the way he preferred his steak or what he ate etc but it does add a human side, that I believe you fail to see. From my point of view, there are at the very least, a handful of people that could give you the human side to the man, no science, no patents, no cloaks of secrecy etc. I will say this, if you were to evaluate me from the way I post, you would not have a full picture of me but then there are those that know, does my actions show my character?

Again I say, "Have you read what you wrote?"

I feel honored, perhaps rightly so or perhaps not, for the answer you gave shows thought and concern and was not done off the cuff. You took the time to say what you wrote and what you were after. How you put it together....YOU explained yourself in a manner that you never have before...

Have you read what you wrote? Do you see that the act of writing and explaining about what you wrote has shown the character that you have in wanting to be as accurate as possible? The action of your writing has shown your character.

Read it, leave out the sarcasm and the self doubt for you don't need it and I believe that for future readers of the book who have never read the creation of the book, your response to me would be the basis for a very good forword.

I stand beside you Cap'n, and not facing you.

YOU are a writer

Mikado
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Re: Where's Kramer ?

Postby natecull » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:19 am

Paul S. wrote:
I have read the book as presented, all 500 plus pages of it. I have read of the forlorn hope and love of a young couple and a couple that went through their personal and public trials and tribulations. I have read about science known and science unknown. I have read about voyages under and upon the sea, of sky jumps and possible time jumps. Of visitations either actual or jointly dreamt. Of multiple moves and moves made multiple times.


And...what? That's not enough?? <g>


Not really, no. And I think we all know that.


If you can accept that premise, then it's easier to understand the fundamental obstacle we face in creating a coherent biography of Thomas Townsend Brown. It should be clear to everybody within the sound of my key-strokes by now that, even with all the anecdotes, the travelogue, the meetings, the demonstrations, the confrontations ... the inescapable fact is that we still do not know what Townsend Brown's life was really all about.


Indeed.


In any event, the question of "what was he like" boils down to a simple fact for me: If you don't really know what the man really did, than you cannot truly know his character, and you are left instead to ruminate on fluffy details like his favorite color or dessert.


That's pretty much how I feel, having read the first draft, having tried to explain it to a friend, and having gotten nothing but raised eyebrows and the comment that 'we'd need a flowchart to understand you'. I try to sum up the book and my interest in his life in one line and I can't. There isn't really a unifying theme to Townsend Brown's life, from the material that we've so far been allowed to see, other than 'mystery'.

That in itself is an achievement, I think. That feeling has been there all along, but you've *proved* that the man is worthy of study, simply because his life is so well hidden and paradoxical. That he is a legitimate mystery and not just a fabricated one.

It's not enough, but perhaps raising these questions carefully and honestly is the real goal this book can aim to achieve.



Conversely, what do we learn about Dr. Brown from his treatment of his only son? Not a pretty picture, really, is it? But if we knew more about what Dr. Brown was really engaged in during those years... would we not have a better appreciation for the character who became so estranged from his son?


!!!

I'm sorry, I totally missed this in reading the first draft. This is huge. Can you remind me about this?

We've focused so much on the relationship between Townsend and his parents, Townsend and Josephine, Townsend and Linda, Linda and Morgan, Townsend and Morgan -- but so little on Townsend and his son that I'd completely forgotten.

Where? When? What?
It's a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.
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Re: Character Notes

Postby greggvizza » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:08 pm

Mikado14 wrote:
htmagic wrote: A steam engine could run on implosion if the steam is allowed to condense and create a vacuum in the chamber where the piston is.


You need to rethink that.

Mikado


A few points to help with the rethinking:

A typical coal fired power plant with a superheat section produces steam at a pressure of 2400 PSI. Some exotic systems can go as high as 4000 PSI. A system operating on vacuum or implosion can only achieve 14 PSI, which is the force of the atmosphere pushing on the opposite side of the evacuated chamber. I have seen vacuum chambers used for nano scale electronics that evacuate every single atom from the chamber. That is about as perfect a vacuum that you will ever see. At that point the vacuum chamber is experiencing 14 PSI from the outside atmospheric pressure. That is as good as it ever gets.

Now if you are talking an implosion of the fabric of space-time as in an imploding of the aether, now that is another story. Condensed steam doesn’t usually pull in the fabric of the universe.

GV

EDIT: This discussion has been moved to here:
http://www.ttbrown.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=308&p=16786#p16786
Last edited by greggvizza on Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Character Notes

Postby Paul S. » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:50 pm

Ummm... can we please take steam engine discussion to a new thread somewhere?

Thanks,

--PS
Paul Schatzkin
aka "The Perfesser"
"At some point we have to deal with the facts, not what we want to believe is true." -- Jack Bauer
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Re: Character Notes

Postby greggvizza » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:59 pm

Sorry Paul, those dirty coal burners, they made me do that. I am all for thread order. This discussion should go to Notepad For Random Ideas under General Discussion.

I will repost there. Here is a link to there.

http://www.ttbrown.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=308&p=16786#p16786

GV
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Re: Character Notes

Postby Rose » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:11 pm

Nate, It's easy to overlook Dr. B''s, since there isn't much about him in the book. We don't hear his voice because he was 12 years older than Linda and he died a few years before Paul started writing this story.

Paul, I believe you have done the very best you possibly can with the information you have been given, and as far as I'm concerned it's just fine. Perhaps it is the very size of the book that make the personal details appear to be sparse, but they are there and I feel that I do know this man. He traveled with peanut butter for emergency food, enjoyed sunbathing in the nude, was a night owl, adored his daughter, and let his wife call the shots when she felt it was really, really important. All of that tells me that he was a practical, freethinker who strove to get the most out of every day, but put his family first when push came to shove.

And in return we know that he inspired tremendous loyalty and affection from Twigsnapper and Morgan. That says a lot about a man's character.

You have probably been given this vignette of Dr. B, playing with the family cat which is lying upside down on his lap, He's holding its paws and flexing its claws,saying, "Just look at that design!" I'm passing the story on, in case you haven't heard it. It' says a lot about his curiosity and his ability to feel wonder, as well as his gentleness...cats don't hold still for that kind of treatment by just anybody!

rose
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