[Address omitted]

Dear Rick,

I thought I'd write, even though I don't have a great deal to say, seeing as the Mega/Noetic Society suffers from the malaise of all high-IQ societies--lack of contributions.

Re the editorial of Noesis #64. I think that Mega is definitely the snappier and more widely-known of the alternatives as a name for the merged Mega and Noetic societies. As a newcomer I suggest that you retain the Noesis journal name, just for continuity, assuming that the journal's format is based more on the old Noesis rather than the Megarian (which I haven't seen yet).

Re Steve Sweeney's Mobius letter (Noesis #64). I had problems with the "uniform curvature" phrase. I wouldn't say that this was "clearly what Ron Hoeflin had in mind." It is only clear if you also have the wording of the question from the Trial Test "A" to compare it with. Until I saw the alternative wording (which was after I sent off my first answers) I had two answers prepared, depending on whether "uniform curvature" referred to the mobius strips' helicities (answer: 9) or to the circularity of the whole strip (answer: 12). I think that both of Chris Langan's objections to the wording ("perpendicular to what?" and torus radial variation) can be met by requiring the answer to be unambiguous--all interpretations that yield ambiguous answers can be rejected on the assumption that any ambiguities would have been rejected by the Trial Test screening process. Although, of course, this logic is violated (in my opinion) by the "uniform curvature" phrase, which is ambiguous.

Re second attempts on Hoeflin tests. I have to declare an interest here and say that I failed on my first attempt at the Titan Test, scoring 41 (2 verbals and 5 non-verbals wrong). Getting the score report back, once I'd got over the shock, stimulated me to correct for the torus ambiguity (see above), sort out the last 2 verbals, correct 2 transcription errors (leaving one answer blank and displacing the next--really stupid!) and (doing a general check) spot an error in the second tiles answer. The two cones and cylinder question still beat me (and still does). I see no reason why a second attempt should be less acceptable than the first, except for the case of multiple-choice questions. For an untimed test retries only become unfair when entrants use the retry process to screen out errors by elimination, rather than by thought.

Re Hoeflin's qualifier to Feynman's warning of the perils of visualizing quantum event. Without having seen the context (I haven't received Noesis 61 yet) I would be inclined to guess that Feynman's warning still stands. Reducing the temperature of an electron won't dampen down its quantum behaviour, which is its unvisualizable aspect. Chemistry and all everyday occurrences are based on electron interactions and therefore matter, at any temperature, become quantised at small enough scales (i.e. atomic scales).

M.C. Price

P.S. I love the new verbal analogies! Thanks Ron.