Richardson, Louise Mary

Louise Mary Richardson
Vice Chancellor
Oxford University


First email: Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 3:49 PM

Reference:  Forward for Oxford University Press

Dear Prof. Dr. Vice Chancellor Louise Mary Richardson:

Sometimes even Tacitus is wrong. [1] Some age-old “truths” actually hold us back. Two powerful obfuscations came out of the other great British university, particularly from two of their Lucasian Professors [2]: Newton with his absolute space-and-time and Hawking with his big bang. [3]

Now, I have been reading What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy. And, yes, we have been too slow to create counter narratives to the ideologues of terrorism. I would add that we have also been too slow to challenge conventional paradigms, especially when we find ourselves within circular arguments.

Now, we share a few common experiences. As a kid we would visit Aunt Nellie who worked in the Radcliffe Admissions office. My dad had been a sheet metal worker in the Harvard HVAC group and helped to keep the Mark I and II cooled down in the basement of the Cruft Lab on Oxford Street. While in high school I joined the SDS at Harvard before it was thrown off campus in 1964. By 1969 I was organizing national amendments to end the war in Vietnam with full-page ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and congressional conferences in Washington, D.C. on global priorities. There wasn’t anything we wouldn’t do.

But something fundamentally was missing.  My driving force was to understand scientific breakthroughs, creativity, and innovation. By 1971 I was onto the EPR paradox [4] and quickly found John Bell [5] at CERN labs. It became obvious that there was something very wrong with our notion of space and time, but we couldn’t break through Newton’s commonsense logic. Hawking was so hooked, the big bang seemed like the only logical choice among cosmological models. It wasn’t. [6] Then, after 100 years of being in an academic closet, the Planck units were re-discovered (2001). Then, in 2011, the first mathematically-integrated chart of the universe was made using the Planck units. Using base-2 from the first moment of physical time to the current time, there were only 202 notations.

That changes everything. Space-and-time are contained. And, now something more fundamental must emerge. Oxford should be on the forefront of understanding what that is. If I were able to assemble an Oxford team, among them would be Julian BarbourHarvey BrownArd LouisAlister McGrath, Jirina StoneRichard Swinburne, Roger Trigg, Keith Ward, I.A. Walmsley… and you.

May I follow-up this introduction?

Thank you.

Most sincerely,

Bruce Camber
Austin, Texas

[1]  We seem to settle in with concepts that actually become age-old truths, but these concepts are ultimately flawed. Of course, by and large Tacitus is right:  ‘Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.’ You use the quote within the section, “Challenges” within the  Vice-Chancellor’s Oration 2017
[2] There are comments about the debate between Leibniz and Clarke (Sir Isaac Newton)  throughout the website,  For now, you might particularly engage the second point of this page:
[3] There are pages and copies of emails to Stephen Hawking about his Big Bang theory. Ostensibly the argument focuses on the texture of the first fraction of a second of the universe and whether there is “…an infinitely small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense point…”
[4] EPR Paradox, also known as the Einstein-Podolosky-Rosen thought experiment of 1935 opens the question about non-locality and quantum entanglement.
[5] Bell’s Inequality opens the discussion to the widest community within physics and these discussions lead to the conclusions of Nima Arkani-Hamed and Max Tegmark to stop using the concepts of space-time and infinity.
[6] All cosmological models are being called into question.

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