JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
This is just a very quick post making use of the excellent cigarette advertisement resource at Stanford University (all images used below are found in their archive, here). This is the third installment on this blog on cigarette advertisements that are as wrong as wrong can be, so wrong--as I've said in earlier posts--that they aren't even wrong, that they are on-beyond wrong in that classification that defines terminal wrongness.
This stuff is worse than wrong--it is substantially a wrongness where the word "wrong" is too weak and impotent to describe a particular wrongness, much like the very-overused and not-replaced "spill" could be used to describe what happened in the Gulf Coast. There is no one word in English I think that described that occurrence, just as there really isn't one suitable word to describe this behavior of the tobacco industry. The wrong that isn't even wrong isn't that it is nothing, but that the wrongness of the thing is too weakly described by the word.
Rudolf Peierls (a phsyicist of very high order and co-author of the Frisch-Peierls memorandum of 1940 that theorized a workable weapon fahioned of U-235) described the original use of the "not even wrong" phrase, attributing it to the great Wolfgang Pauli (Nobel physics 1945), who when shown a paper by a young physicist commented sadly that it wasn't right, and it even wasn't even wrong. It was nothing. (It is interesting to note that if you took two of the things that these physicists were known for and placed them out of context in a literary/philosophical arena, they kinda work to describe Pauli's wrongness principle: that would be the Peirels Instability and the Pauli Exclusion principle.)
These ads weren't nothing. And the odd thing is that they exist in their contemporary flavors today, efforts that will be seen in our short future as being as impossible as these antique ads seem to us today. More's the pity when we know almost all of the story.
And this one is just "__________":