Paul Gregory Bator

Contact Information:

Office Phone: 650- 723-1361
Office Location:
Sweet Hall Room 331, PWR 3rd Floor Office, Stanford, CA 94305

Office Hours:

T 11:00am-01:00pm


Reflections of ideas I’m interested in exploring with you:

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967, observes: “When you express your anger you think that you are getting anger out of your system, but that’s not true. When you express your anger, either verbally or with physical violence, you are feeding the seed of anger, and it becomes stronger in you. It’s a dangerous practice.”

Ever notice if you sometimes hold your breath while you write?
Notice at what other times, places, you hold your breath?
Any connections?

In Syntactical Structures (1957), Noam Chomsky put forward his theory of “universal grammar” based upon innate structures or predispositions that are part of all of our brains. He observed two-year olds, who, seemingly magically, start to talk, absorb, and use language—without being formally “taught.” Steven Pinker, in The Language Instinct (1995), reifies Chomsky’s concept of “deep structure,” pointing to “a revamping of primate brain circuits.” In The Nature of Generosity (2000), William Kittredge reminds us, “Genetic analysis suggests that our lineage split off from the one leading to African apes about 6 to 8 million years ago. Recent discoveries of hominid bones in Kenya and Ethiopia are more than 4 million years old. About 2 to 3 million years ago, African hominids began making stone tools.”

As I write, the Hubble Telescope is directed at a galactic bulge deep field, which, apparently, means we’re looking at the center of a galaxy. Activity Report reads:
“We propose to observe a Galactic bulge field (center of a galaxy) continuously with ACS/WFC over a 7-day period. We will monitor ~167,000 F, G, and K dwarf stars down to visual magnitudes V=23, in order to detect transits by orbiting Jovian planets. If the frequency of "hot Jupiters" is similar to that in the solar neighborhood, we will detect over 100 planets, more than doubling the number of extrasolar planets known.”
And they’ll do that in like seven days...way done by the time you’re reading this—maybe 300 new planets by now? Makes me wish fervently that Galileo were around. Imagine the old guy’s joy. At the same “time,” it takes light 100,000 years to travel from one side of our Milky Way to the other—even though it’s speeding along 186,000 miles per second.