Comments on Hoff's letter

Dewey B. Larson
755 N.E. Royal Court
Portland, Oregon 97232

Sept. 10, 1981

Mr. Jan N. Sammer
78 Hartley Ave.
Princeton, N. J. 08540

Dear Jan:

Enclosed are my comments on the letter from Hoff. I have separated them from the rest of what I have to say to you, so that you can send them on to him, if you are so inclined. Just by way of general comment, I will say that what he is trying to do—to analyze the details of some of the applications of the theory without first getting a grasp of the nature of the theoretical development—is extremely difficult. Unless one gets the broad picture first, it is almost impossible to avoid mixing the ideas that I have developed with conflicting ideas from current thought. As I said in the other letter, this is what he has done in his approach to gravitation.

The problem that I have had to contend with from the start is that none of the changes that I find to be necessary in physical theory can stand by itself. The existing theories have been modified and adjusted on an ad hoc basis until they almost (but not quite) constitute a self-consistent system. A change in any one major component of this system puts that component out of line with the rest. To get a consistent new system I have to make the appropriate changes in many of these components simultaneously. In order to make sense out of the new explanation of gravitation, for instance, I have to introduce a number of new concepts, each of which requires considerable discussion.

This obstacle also stands in the way of explaining the “main features” of the theoretical system in an article, as suggested by Ms. Philip. I think that what we should do is to try to get her to accept something that actually makes a significant point that can stand on its own feet, even if it is not just what she had in mind. If you know how long an article she wants, and how soon it is wanted, or can get this information, I can write something that will be more appropriate than anything that is now available. If she doesn’t like it, we can go back to square one and try again.

I think it would be well to stall on the matter of handling my books through her book service until the plans for the new book now in preparation are more definite. If no policy changes are made, I don’t believe that the discount could be any higher that that currently given to the big wholesalers such as Baker & Taylor, which is 33 1/3 percent. But something might be worked out on the basis of a higher price, as suggested. Or my people would be willing to handle drop shipments, which would cut her shipping costs about a dollar per book.

With best regards,     

D. B. Larson   

International Society of  Unified Science
Reciprocal System Research Society

Salt Lake City, UT 84106

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