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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Reality isn't really real

      You have to love science, scientist come up with just the cutest things. I have had a love affair with science basically forever. My first science experiments as a preteen boy involved blowing things up. An eleven year old boy that has learned now to blow up a watermelon, will devote every waking moment to blowing up more watermelons, nothing else will be appealing, not drugs, not fighting or stealing cars.  With growing maturity, I moved on to starting fires and taking stuff apart. Sometimes I managed to put stuff back together, but not very often, I also managed to extinguish most of the fires. Taken all together, I was hooked on science

      As a passion, science has a hidden quality, it never ends. Science is a journey without any end, not only can you not learn everything, you can’t even learn very much about everything. Our current understanding of scientific reality is so limited that we cannot answer the most basic questions. Such as: What is gravity? What is time? Why is there something instead of nothing? What is life? We are learning a lot, we have some good clues about the foundations of reality, and we have a general idea about what questions to ask. Even with this highly limited understanding, we can launch satellites, set broken bones, build IPads, and nuclear reactors. All of this in the 400 years since Galileo showed us now to do science.

      Research scientist collect data, and write down everything. The theorist then try to explain all this data. All the data will be challenged until verified, and the theories will be examined in detail. In science a thousand experiments cannot prove you right, but one experiment can prove you wrong. That is a high standard. Science is the only human endeavor based exclusively on verified data, you cannot cheat or lie, rule one is that the data must be accepted. This fundamental principle puts science at odds with many other human endeavors, imagine a politician that had to tell the truth. I find science an expression of what is best of humans.

      I have recently learned that space-time is not fundamental. Space-time is an emergent phenomenon, what we perceive as space and time results from something more basic. Measuring time is measuring change in space. We measure the vibrations of some atom, or the change in position of a light photon, and then label that time. Time at its most basic appears to be the ordering of events. Time allows us to distinguish what the sequence is. Time is different based on your reference frame, time slows as you speed up, and the strength of gravity can slow time. The Newtonian idea that one hour passing on earth is precisely match by one hour passing on Mars, has been proven wrong.

      Space is very flexible, it can stretch and shrink, and it can twist and curl. Space can twist back onto itself at the boundary of black holes. Space is infinitely pliable, space is so elastic it cannot be torn apart, well… maybe, not real clear about this point.

      So space-time is not fundamental, what seems to be the very fabric of reality is built of some mysterious, inscrutable, puzzling unknown. The data is pretty clear that space-time is not fundamental. The data is not clear at all as to what space-time ultimately is, many think this is because we don’t know what experiment to run, what question to ask.

      Don’t worry that you will suddenly disappear, then pop up somewhere else, nothing has changed about reality. Only our understanding, or actually, our lack of understanding, has changed. I cannot even imagine what will be possible once we figure out space-time and gravity.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

You are what you read?

      You are what you eat.  Have been told this many times, usually by a female with my best interest at heart. Eating a greasy hamburger, with greasy French fries, washed down by a sugar rich Coke, will make you a sugar pumped greasy sort’ a guy. Living off of Butterfinger candy bars and 1 liter cokes will make you a diabetic. The McDonald’s clown is apparently a long term customer who took all meals at McDonalds, for several years, slowly morphing into the present day clown. Wandering around the grounds, an addled brain waiting for the next Breakfast Mac.

      Your body takes the food offered then repairs physical damage, and constructs replacement parts for worn out parts. It certainly makes sense, one cannot argue the logic. A clear case of garbage in, garbage out, except the garbage out is your heart muscles.

      The second point is that we eat what we like. Many of us find a greasy hamburger tasty, and high sugar drinks are almost addictive. Our better long term judgment is trumped by short term pleasure. Although an interesting side question would be, why do women make this better long term choice more often than men? But, who cares? (A typical male response).

      If this is true for our bodies, what about our minds?

      You are what you read. I could expand this to audio and visual input, you are what you listen to, and you are what you watch. Constant input of greasy intellectual rot will result in greasy mental processes. The brain will become clogged with conspiracy theories, just as the blood arties become clogged with fats.

      This seems only partially true, I read conspiracy theories all the time, mostly for entertainment, I find the various claims and ideas so ludicrous as to be astounded. The irony and total lack of self-awareness is wondrous to observe. I watch Fox News, but I have not started to believe that President Obama spent $100 million on some vacation jaunt, because the book keeping doesn’t work.  I read the writings of the climate change deniers, but I haven’t started to believe that climate change theories are invalid because it is not possible to measure temperature.

      (Just a moment to side note. The climate change deniers do argue that temperature measurement systems did not exist before the Laws of Thermodynamics were written. There forth, any claims about global temperatures from, say the time of Christ, are completely bogus. Furthermore, any claims about temperature or carbon dioxide for, say the Precambrian era, are invalid because no one was there to measure it.)

      Getting back to the “you are what you read” idea. While I personally read mentally toxic material, I possibly have immunity due to a pre-existing cerebral condition. I was exposed to far right ideology by a very kind, and wonderful Grandfather.

      We take vitamin supplements to offset dietary imbalance, and we workout to fight the excessive calories. Perhaps something similar can be done to protect us from the bad science mafia?

Friday, May 9, 2014

America's Decline

      This is a direct copy and paste from my weekly Kevin Brady email, my congressman in the US House of Representatives.

“I don't know about you, but I'm tired of losing ground to America's global competitors when it comes to technology and innovation.  While China's percentage of global research and development continues to increase exponentially, America's share continues to decline. In fact, experts predict that China could surpass us by 2022. That's unacceptable and I've been working for several years to do something about it.”

      I get similar notifications from John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. I have all Republican representation and they have a consistent answer. Lower taxes, reduce government, and spend more on the military. As a small innocent child, I remember my grandfather telling me the same solutions. This approach is very old, if it worked we wouldn’t be in the condition we are in now.

      Senator Ted Cruz’s email outlines “The Legal Limit Report No.4”, in which he catalogues President Obama’s unconstitutional abuses of power. 78 reasons to arrest the tyrant. Does anyone seriously think this will improve the condition of middle class Americans? The politicians are being political, nothing unusual there, but I would expect at least one offical out of over 400 elected representatives, to be concerned about America’s future. Can’t we get just one to start with?

      This decline in America’s world standing is a continuation of a trend that started in the 1980s, the stagnation of wages is a trend started in the 1980s. At the start of the 1980s America dominated all measures of wealth, technology, education, health, science, etc. We stood above everyone by any measure.

      Starting with President Reagan we adopted a fiscal policy of “Supply Side Economics”, the Reagan white house called this “Trickledown economics”. Whatever the name, the idea is to lower barriers for companies and reduce the marginal tax rate on companies. This preferential treatment for companies will then result in higher rates of employment, and somehow, higher wages.

      My question is simple, with 40 years of supply side economic policy, where are the promised middle class wage earners benefits? The rich have certainly benefited, the nation’s GDP has benefited, the average working stiff has not benefited.

      We have fallen behind on all metrics, if Supply Side Economics is so great, shouldn’t we have improved somewhere? We continue same policies and now expect a different result?

      I find all this very frustrating, while some Americans think all this happened in 5 years, the data clearly indicates this happened in 40 years. We all actually agree that things are worse. While some Americans rationalize the precise cause (Obama/Democrats), I think it is a larger question of overall government policy. We did very well from post WW2 to the early 1980s, then we lost ground from the 1980s to 2014. Blaming President Obama does not explain the 40 year data trend.

      Much has happened since the 1980s. A fiscal policy shift to Supply Side Economics, Globalization, technological destruction (remember Kodak Co.), the wage earner’s ability to negotiate has become essentially zero, a monetary policy shift at the FED, the rise of China/India/Brazil, etc., the collapse of the USSR, the repeal of banking laws, overall a very long list. Much of this change is due to the rise of other nations, while we kind of set still and argued about politics. Other nations used “Best Practices” while we pretended our “Exceptionalism” protected us from change.

      All the politicians are playing a similar game, streaming platitudes and bumper stickers, while blaming the other team, as America continues falls further and further behind. Political scientist (if there is such a thing), write that a Democracy can only change at a moment of crisis. (Yes, I know, we are not a Democracy, we are a Republic.) This is a sad statement about politicians, a statement I would agree with, for clearly politicians do not understand government, economics, or history. Their sole skill is campaigning for office.

      Crisis is a dangerous method for creating change. The last mega-crisis was the “Great Depression”, a worldwide economic collapse. From that crisis we got Hitler and FDR, one a negative solution, the other a positive solution. Based on that example the odds are 50/50 for any improvement.

      I do not know the answer, but then, I’m not getting paid $175,000 per year (plus great benefits) to deal with these problems, and to find solutions. Based on performance, 40 years of performance, our political leaders are a failure. There is not a single political leader, from either party, proposing any “best practices” policy. I would use “best practices”, I would investigate what countries are ahead of us, and ask how do we copy that, how do we improve on that. This approach worked at company after company across my career. It is also how the other countries caught up with us, and then surpassed us.

      China studying America’s manufacturing “best practices” did not change China into America. Our studying Sweden’s educational “best practices” will not change America in Sweden.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Perfect Day

      How do I write about a perfect day? Should I write of the sensual pleasure of a cool, clean breeze caressing my body, the soothing sound of birds singing, or maybe the gentle sway of a hammock? Should I write of how I am truly blessed to have such a day, privileged beyond measure?

      Nothing happened today, part of what made it perfect. I didn’t go anywhere today, well, OK, I did go to the bathroom. The entire day passed without event. No expectations, no challenges, no schedule, me and a book, on a hammock. A very simple life was today. How to end the perfect day? I will lay it the hammock and count shooting stars tonight.

      As humans we have a deep need to Do Something. We plan, we strive, we hurry, and we rush through life. We rise early, hurry to work and then spend 8 hours Doing Something. Hurry back home, make dinner, clean the dinner plates, play with the kids, call our mother, then off to bed with the brain still motoring at 100 MPH, take an Ambien and finally fall asleep, tomorrow calls for a redo.

      Even on vacation we are driven to Do Something. Rush to catch the airplane, run to be first for the rental car, go Scuba diving, tour the Mayan ruins, rent that Jet Ski, maybe this trip we’ll sky dive.

      Today I watched other people Doing Something, while I did nothing. How do I write about the perfect day?

      Even perfection eventually becomes boring. I already feel the need to Do Something. A stirring to stand up and get moving. I’ll put it off till tomorrow. I think I will go out for breakfast in the morning.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The True Benghazi Story

      I have been curious as to what this Benghazi incident is all about. I had thought it was just another tragedy involving American diplomats in a Middle Eastern country. A very sad, but recurring theme in the relationship between us and them. With little else to do (I am retired now), I decided to research the episode in depth. I collected relevant information from Fox News, Breitbart News, Red State, and American Thinker.

The True Benghazi story.

      A homosexual President nominates a bi-sexual Secretary of State to go kill Qdaffi. The bi-sexual Secretary of State sends an openly gay newly converted Muslim ambassador to manage a weapons smuggling operation in Benghazi. The weapons are taken from Libya, smuggled through Turkey, then into Syria, at which point the weapons are given to Al-Qaeda operatives to kill Christians. With a Presidential election underway in America all this had serious political risk, a fall back cover story about an internet film (faked by the CIA) is drafted just in case something goes wrong. The homosexual President tries to cheat a pro American Egyptian ruler. The Egyptian ruler then decides to kidnap the gay ambassador and hold him for ransom, then exchanging him for a “blind sheik”. An American general in Germany (who doesn’t know the secret plan), starts to fight back and is immediately ordered by the homosexual president to “stand down”. Things quickly spiral out of control and the openly gay ambassador is murdered, plus three more Americas. At this point the democratic party cabal running this entire scam sends a power mad, and extremely arrogant, Susan Rice to blame everything on the internet film (that fall back cover story). The political futures of the homosexual president and the bi-sexual Secretary of State (she is also a drunk), is saved, and that is why Governor Romney lost the election. Candy Crowley plays a significant role by torpedoing Mitt Romney at a carefully plan moment.

      In the interest of clarity I have presented just the bare facts, the straight story. This has been peer-reviewed by the smartest of people using only crystal clear rational thinking. Digging out the facts has been hard work by a dedicated group of enlightened, honest, investigative reporters with integrity and honor.

      But, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The original plan was created in a gay bath house in Chicago, attended by the LGBT and Feminist political leaders of Great Brittan, Germany and France. All part of the One World Government’s never ending effort to take our freedom and destroy our liberty.

      Why haven’t more people heard of these facts? Simply because the Main Stream Media is under the control of the One World Government, the MSM is completely in the pocket of the liberals. Logic alone predicts that liberals must protect their satanic homosexual President. Liberals will believe anything they are told, only free and independent thinking Christians can understand and accept the real truth. The masses have been brainwashed since kindergarten to follow orders, the few that went to college had all ability for independent rational thinking removed. Wake up, people.

      Given what we now know, what can we conjecture? We must be careful to not become farfetched, reaching the uninformed public is too important. We must stay close to the verified truth, then any sane person will conclude that impeachment is essential. Once the truth is out, all Americans will vote straight Republican.  The tyrant will be in chains, locked away in Gitmo awaiting execution. That would be a start to slowing the Marxist Islamic Mexican invasion. A fight to the finish against Agenda-21, CORE education, NSA spying, IRS suppression, fast and furious, etc., etc.

      That is the true story of Benghazi. It did take about 4 hours to do the research.

      It seems to me that if I ever need to argue with a conservative, I should just keep him talking, eventually he would scare anyone.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Vacation in Mexico

      A gentle rain, a warm breeze, the murmur of waves on the beach, today will be a little cooler than yesterday, it will only reach the low 80s. The tropical rain forest is experiencing a little rain and that has cooled things off a bit. The hammock is under the upstairs neighbor’s balcony and only a light mist lands on my bare legs. The IPad seems not to notice the small droplets. Reading of my vacation book list is unhampered, I can immerse myself in worlds of the imagination. I can travel faster than light across galaxies, I can delve into the mysterious world of thermodynamics, I can read about the earth’s geology, I can be the white sorcerer in Middle Earth. I have so much reading time available I can even waste some on American politics. This trip we are staying 22 days.

      The real Mexico is vastly different from what is depicted on American news programs, no one in the Yucatan was beheaded by a drug lord today, or yesterday, or last week. The food is tasty, the sea is an aqua blue, and the beach is clean, white, soft sand. The sand is so fine and deep that I sink as I walk, that is my major hardship, even that will help build my calf muscles. A little muscle toning is OK when you are in your late sixties.

      It took me 40 years to get here and I intent to relax now. I have always been lazy but never had the opportunity to be lazy. I had to complete college, raise a family, pay bills, buy cars and houses, train dogs and get up early 6 days every week. That went on for 40 years, and darn near wore me out. There was just no time for being lazy, now there is. I will read every the books I brought with me.

From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time. (Thermodynamics)

The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World’s Greatest Empire (History)

The Synchronicity War Part 1 (SciFi)

A Memory of Light (Final book in The Wheel of Time)

Battle Cry of Freedom (Civil War History)

The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years (Geology)

The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett, don’t know the genre)

Making Money (Another Pratchett novel)

Deep Space: Star Carrier (SciFi)

A sixth Grade textbook on Sentence Diagraming (I’m trying to learn how to write blogs)

The Elements of Style (College Freshman textbook, more about learning to write)

      I’m not really reading the last two titles, it is more like studying the last two titles. I’m most of the way through the sentence diagramming text book, I catch myself diagraming road signs as I drive. I can’t tell if it has helped my writing any, but at least I can tell a noun from an adjective, and all my sentences now have a noun/pronoun and a verb. You know. This puts me ahead of most other political bloggers.

      I’ll be posting essays and short rants over the next two weeks. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.