Miscellaneous reflections on what little I know about physics
Physics today is weird. There are major chasms between quantum physics, which deals mostly with small stuff, and general relativity, which deals with the largest scales.
It seems like many of the scientists support a view of the universe that is essentially mathematical in content. But there is a difference between mathematics and physics.
Many cosmologists - and just about all scientific journalists - talk about space as if it’s an empty vacuum, yet light cannot be described without referring to waves traveling through this empty set, the medium of space. As if there is something out there that is only mathematics, and has nothing within itself. It is curved, and its curvature is reflected in the equation: curvature of space-time = (density of mass-energy) *8*pi*G/c^4, where G is the Newtonian gravitational constant for the particular location. But what is it that is curved? Space is not just mathematics. Space is not empty.
Instances of waves in physics generally involve waves, or energy, that travel through a medium. Sound through air. Earthquakes through water. But light is said not to require a medium. Well, I don’t believe it. Herbert Eugene Ives didn’t believe it either. He wrote a version of general relativity that included an “ether” medium. It was not proved wrong, but only, as Albert Einstein himself said, superfluous. Maybe I’m not up to date, but even now we have hypothesized concepts from quantum mechanics that include various types of "ether" media by different names, like dark energy, the quintessence, and such.  The point is simply that there is an unknown medium that pervades what some call "the vacuum" or "empty space".  
I believe it may still be possible to maintain the "ether" and be consistent with the currently accepted facts of cosmology. Okay, so it doesn’t pass Occam’s Razor. So what? We seem to need more.
Gravitational fields do not exist in reality as simply mathematics, hanging out there by itself, defining “space” as a geometry, and nothing more. Within what does this geometry exist? Within what lies its reality? Where are the physics of this math?


Matrix for Federal Policy

This is a policy wonkish table I made.  It could be expanded, but it lists some progressive changes on the left, and the info to the right is a sketchy view of their impacts.


What we perceive

Just a little bit ago, I heard a weird sound as I relaxed on the patio with the glass of red, and I looked up and I was unnerved by a hummingbird a few feet away from my face, staring at me. I thought that's some hummingbird with those unusual low frequencies and even ultralow beat frequencies. As I was catatonically staring at the hummer, it suddenly (how else?) exited the scene. The low frequencies remained...another source in the neighborhood. The stature of the hummingbird was a bit diminished, but not the stature of my experience.

Negative Trickle Down Theory

Now the Democrats are pedaling "negative trickle down theory". Regular trickle down has benefits at the top coming down to those at the bottom, creating a generally better prosperity for all. (We've all seen how that didn't happen.) Now, REVERSE trickle down is that if you let the guys at the top get hurt, then that hurt will trickle down to the masses. Are the D's and the R's seeing each other in the mirror? Well, I guess that's the Democratic Party of today. I think most of Congress is a combination of wimps and boughtandpaidfors. Corporate welfare is at the top of their lists.


McCain's VP Choice

Click on title for an entertaining and lucid assessment of McCain's zero-integrity VP choice. "Around and around and around we spin with feet of lead and wings of tin." -K. Vonnegut


A political blog I've been frequenting

Click on title to go to my comments at ourfuture.org.


Photo of me taken in 2006


The Death Penalty

Regarding the recent case where the U.S. Supreme Court turned over a death penalty case concerning rape of young children: Such cases beg the question as to whether the death penalty should be available in general. That is, there may be crimes that are considered just as heinous as murder, whether or not rape of children is one of them. What if the convicted person has blow torched 95% of the body of a surviving victim covered with 3rd or 4th degree burns? Does this not border on the total destruction of a life? I would say that it does. Yet for me, the death penalty should be totally abolished. Among the many reasons for doing so, one of the main ones for me is that the state should be setting the example for the highest regard for human life. When the state kills people, it fails to do that, and establishes that it is okay in certain circumstances to kill people.


Ojito Banditos Return

Comment on Objectivity

We see things, not as they are, but as we are. ~ Anais Nin While I don’t know the context of the Nin quotation, I appreciate it because I believe so much of what we believe is based on what and who we are. There are at least two levels to this idea, in my mind. One is what we believe relating directly to our sensory information, and the other is higher level beliefs based on culture. On the sensory level, we may see “red” for instance, but the color red has no objective existence as a color. The data coming into our eyes is a bunch of photons that vibrate or resonate with sensors in our retinas and parts of our brains where red “occurs”. Red has a subjective existence. If you were color blind, you would see a more limited spectrum and find it impossible to differentiate some colors. Some animals, take bees, can see ultraviolet in their visible color spectrum. We cannot see ultraviolet. Yet the electromagnetic reality of ultraviolet, photons vibrating within a particular frequency range, exists. The color ultraviolet exists for the bee but not for us. An example of the cultural dimension would be how so many Americans feel about nationalized health care, like the single-payer universal health care of Canada, with all the biases of their brainwashed minds, that there is something sinister or unpatriotic about it, even though the large majority of Canadians like their health care system. While I don’t believe that everything is subjective, I do believe that everything we believe is ultimately subjective, even though we may seek objectivity. In the world of science, the model of the world is made to correspond as well as possible with all the data, yet our models and our perceptions still cannot avoid the subjective limitations of the scientist or observer.

Time and Consciousness

Out there, there is no time. Yet without time, there is no consciousness. And without consciousness, there is no time. Thus are time and consciousness identical. If there were no conscious beings in the universe, there would be no time. And if time doesn't exist out there, does it make sense to talk about the beginning of the universe? The question of the origin of the universe disappears, and it becomes simply a matter of transformations ad infinitum. The universe does not exist in time, but we exist in time by virtue of our consciousness. Time is our virtual reality. But we surf on a timeless sea.

Pantheism and Atheism

If all is god, then nothing in particular is god. Thus are pantheism and atheism identical, except in attitude.