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The _Applied_ Science of Plant Nutrition

> Date: Sat, 02 Feb 2002 23:30:37 -0800
> From: Thomas Barr
> Subject: PO4 limited in FW/references/evidence

> ...Sometimes a good analysis can apply a reference
> to shed new light on some very different research.
> That's cool. That's a wonderful skill to possess.
> But sometimes it goes nowhere. One cannot address
> everything all the time but coverage of the main
> points and response to critique is not a bad idea...

Tom's remarks were directed, of course, at a request for very _precise_
references, but the thought behind these statements is what I'd like to
address. Or rather the trend behind the question that prompted them, at

There is an amazing array of experiences found within this List, but because
these disciplines don't specifically address direct questions about "plants
in water-filled tanks" the accumulated knowledge tends to go largely
ignored. Or maybe merely overlooked, as we seek forevermore to replace
interpolation and extrapolation with "specificity" in an affliction I label
"precisionitis". To boil all of this down to a salient point, on some days I
feel we're still "examining Elephants with microscopes".

And no - this isn't something restricted to this particular list. Rather, it
tends to happen on any of them dedicated to a singular subject matter. One
of my own oft-repeated battles elsewhere is the difference between an
exponential shift in hydrogen concentrations (a change in pH) and its
accompanying _exponential shift in osmotic pressures_ (the change in
hardness required to affect a shift in pH). Specificity with blinders when
floating a bag of fish...

The recent "discovery" that CO2 can benefit low-light situations is a good
one. I'm "tickled pink" that someone finally thought to apply this
specifically to "plants in water-filled tanks" so we can all marvel at the
final results. After all, terrestrial farmers and feed suppliers have only
been playing around with the carbon:nitrogen ratio for *decades*...


David A. Youngker
nestor10 at mindspring_com