Wearable and other forms of decentralized power is just around the corner. Don’t let liberty-haters and war mongers divert the funds. Pay attention to American politics and the world, central banks.
November 5, 2011
Leave a Comment
August 13, 2011
Leave a Comment
Ron Paul does not want to isolate any individual on the planet from any American. He wants individuals to freely trade with one another.
The authoritarians consider government intervention into other people’s business, in other countries is the proper way for civilized people to behave. It usually means activity involving the inevitable loss of innocent life, is how they prefer to deal with other people in this world.
The “isolationist” label is false and intentionally misleading. One can engage politically and economically with other nations without flying drones over their country and killing innocent children.
Politics is simply a word to express how humans interact with one another. We compromise and negotiate. War is a bronze-aged mentality mind set, with no notion of, or proper understanding of modern concepts of liberty, economics, science, the arts, and literature built in.
What happens when one country bombs and occupies another country? What happens when two countries do trade with each other? One answer is ” blow back”, and the other is “more friends and/or more wealth”. It is easy to see which answer goes with each question.
It is hard to think what it might be like for Americans to freely trade with our foreign friends. The corporate oligarchy, with the military industrial complex leading the way, but others not far behind, have formed agreements with the federal government, by lobbying Congress to exercise powers that give them favor over ordinary citizens. They are anti-liberty and anti-free-trade.
It is the pro-war folks who encourage isolation of ordinary Americans by barring them from freely trading with our good friends.
Some say that the purpose of government is to “protect us.” A more precise description is that the purpose of government is to defend our liberty. Each individual is responsible for, and is entitled to her own body and her own actions. The purpose of the federal government is not to stop people from making their own mistakes.
The present-day government of The United States is granted a monopoly on force, for the purpose of defending the liberty of the American people.
Instead, the Government abuses it’s powers beyond the intentions, as described by the Constitution, and beyond moral decency, by any modern standards or measurement.
February 22, 2009
Leave a Comment
Upgrade 01A; Part II, Version 1.7
(grammar, spell check, removed 'extra words' and will continue to modify)
Author: David Saxton Ullery
Imagine relatively high speed boats for travel between SD, New LA, and SF California. They are automated, high speed, low cost, safe.
You get out of the electric jet boat at your destination. The battery packs generating all of the power are of the latest, high density, nanotube variety.
Sensors on the boat tell the processors the current location, other boat locations, temperature, wind, other weather conditions, wave conditions, passenger location, current mass distribution, direction, speed, acceleration rate, ….
Boats tend to line up like birds when they can to optimize on the drafting effect. They skim over the surface with pressurized air squeezed under the center of the bottom of the craft and rushes out the back. The boats utilize group think strategies whenever they sense one or another. The typical “V” will tend to spread to account for current speed.
Jets of water scream out of the back of the boat in five huge jet thrusts. The top two mix water with the squeezed air. They kick in during the mid-trip cruise period. SF to LA in 53 minutes plus.
Fast enough and considerably cheaper than rail.
No private car parking fees either.
The bulk of the craft, including the passenger compartment, floats over a current of air as the craft’s bottom three engines get the boat up to a minimum speed.
The sleek design is heavily dependent on the newly available, ultra-strong composite materials, with very large, thin and dynamically controlled water wings that constantly adjust to stabilize the craft. They act as shock absorbers and the energy is fed back into the battery packs. The boat flies over foam of water, waves, and air.
The ride is smooth.
The extra surface area that can be created when utilizing nanometer-sized components allows for a fractal-like layering of material with air. The choppy waves are absorbed by the unique structure, thus the passenger(s) inside do not feel the bumps.
Stand on the moving sidewalk and start walking in the fast lane on your left. Move over to the higher-speed sidewalk. Walk fast to get up to 15 mph in the fast lane of the faster walkway. It’s good to keep legs and heart and lungs active between transports.
The end of the walk approaches and
those not moved into the slow lane will step to the skid transition or simply over to the transition walk.
In the reverse direction, one is free to walk straight to the fast walk in a similar way. Slow walks have multiple exits to the sidewalk as well as multiple entrances and exits to the fast walk. You are very familiar with it and seem to enjoy transitioning effortlessly from one belt to the next, passing the slow and idle passengers on the way.
You exit the walk at the Space Tube station. Space craft are accelerated inside of a 500 mile, near vacuum tube over a magnetic rail system. They reach escape velocity in the most economical manner, with considerations for total mass and cargo. Human cargo is delicate. Water and supply cargo generally is not.
Other people continue on with some getting into high-speed, automated ground vehicles of various kinds. They automatically line up with one behind the other, and travel down a narrow, virtual road; very light weight due to carbon nanotube composites. They utilize group think networking too.
Toward the end of the rail, is another 20 miles of acceleration in a parabolic curve toward the sky. The tube narrows as the track ends. Of course, by this time you are much further south, than when you first started, and headed east, to take advantage of the extra velocity boost gained, by being closer to the equator and heading with the earth’s rotation.
Hydrogen plasma high-speed, strobe pulse engines kick in, from within the launch tube, so that mass need not be added to the ship. It is gently pushed from behind and the passenger seats adjust, to smooth the experience for the passengers. The timing is flawless and very fast, as high-powered lasers burst and instantaneously focus just below the craft, orchestrated by the sophisticated software systems in place. Tiny hydrogen jets are instantly converted to their plasma state by these focused bursts.
Powerful, and very fast bursts of electromagnetic energy is generated to provide power to both the lasers and the rail system. The lasers are switched on and off and so are the magnets lining the rails. Any function that can be provided by the tube system is, in order to lower the cost of extra mass on the craft itself.
Fresh, pure water rushes down the tube as the cooling hydrogen quickly combines with the oxygen in the newly supplied air near the end of the tube.
Massive amounts of pure water is collected at the bottom, just as the solar paint coating the outer surface of the tube assists in power regeneration by partially morphing its shape for optimization within parameters, as the craft exits.
As if all is connected in instantaneous triggers
Too fast for human minds alone to comprehend.
At the tube’s exit, the ship smoothly transitions to it’s ultra-light-weight rocket powered by highly compact nano battery packs capable of generating a modest, but constant acceleration rate for up to 31 minutes.
Passengers cannot help but feel smooth, but considerable acceleration toward the end of the tube, for about seventeen seconds, but it is nothing that a healthy body cannot easily tolerate.
The ship exits the tube where the air is thin. The rocket engine joined and linked with the craft at the last moment, at the end of the tube. There is always one waiting for passenger flights and the few freighters, mostly older (and always smaller) that utilize this tube.
They slide into place at the back of the craft much like a ring slides on a woman’s beautiful finger at a wedding. In either case, There is always much preparation and care in the planning and execution. Neither is taken lightly.
The linking mechanisms are very quick and dynamically adjust, test, and verify all seals before ignition.
Before the link, the bullet-like ship, with a concave curved back, forms a near seal in the tube, but leave a minuscule gap to avoid friction. The effect of the pulses is maximized in this way.
Most of the heavier, bigger freighters (at this facility) launch in a different, nearby, parallel tube, and are accelerated utilizing much larger amounts of a special hydrogen plasma-based fuel compound ignited by powerful, highly-focused lasers.
Your craft drifts directly to it’s destination with plenty of power to spare for any minor corrections that may take place, and for docking to the Station. It is a long flight, but it is comfortable when you can afford the better seats.
The craft is constantly in recharge mode once docked in the direct sunlight. The protective shields are lowered, the treated water shield is drained, and the solar paint is fully exposed on all usable surfaces. No need for this craft to utilize Station power today. Much of the craft had enough exposure during the flight to partially recharge, but only about 3% was recovered.
The public area on the Station is huge. There is a park with a small fresh-water lake. Water also blocks some of the cosmic rays. Filtered sea water is used for this purpose.
Wetware is used to help repair damage from DNA. Passengers casually rub the lotion in their hands before takeoff. You can even get some with aloe. Another lotion deactivates the wetware after returning to earth.
The Station rotates to provide gravitational substitution, so that bones do not deteriorate, but nanobots are available for monitoring and delivering calcium and stimulating bone growth. Better ingest a few to monitor, just in case. No harm done.
A spectrum exists: from human to cyborg to android to machine that stretches out with an array so large that the distinctions blur. Yesterday’s cyborg, with few augmentations, may as well be known as human today. People may sometimes effectively transition from one form to another and back again by transmitting their unique human patterns as digitized data streams.
Artificial ears replaced with new ears booted up from stem cells then augmented with more sensors that may selectively listen to other sounds of bees or whales or bird songs. Eyes with similar cycles are able to see beyond ordinary human spectrum. Progress continues on to provide the engine that feeds these cycles.
Global warming melts the ice. Sea water generates fusion power, supports sealife, generates power from the sun, absorbs carbon, and gives off oxygen.
Water is easily purified by nanotube filtration and is obtained from space tube launching exhaust reactions, glacier melt runoff, and directly from the large water plows that filter, transport, and deliver as needed. Fully automated, powered by solar and high-tech sails, these ships are true wonders. They absorb carbon from the air on their journeys between the Great Plastic Junk Heap and Africa as a kind of parallel “service”..
Valuable, protein rich fish are identified and captured by fish recognition nets. Intelligent algorithms assure ecological balance and seemingly endless supplies. Some fish are cloned and grown on farms for more efficient food resource purposes. Some end up very very far from home on plates and aquariums on outposts in space, but they often arrive as simple, light fish eggs.
Dead plankton, live plankton and other tiny sea life are utilized for their parts. The dead machines are replace for artificial purposes. Stuffed full of tiny processors.
Life is reprogrammed, rebooted, rearranged in countless ways.
Endangered species in the sea are identified by the great nets. Some are automatically tagged, others are captured alive for study and release. The vast majority of the sea creatures pass through the sensors, making up the net, unharmed.
Africa is provided with vast quantities of fresh, clean water and protein in exchange for cooperation for generating solar power and fighting world pirates, criminals, and terrorists. The war paradigm is no longer distinguishable from ordinary violent criminal tracking and capture. Targets are highly specific.
Collateral damage is minimal. There are one or two or maybe 3 victims in any year. Still too high some say.
Open source software, music, art, science, and math dominate the market. People must push buttons or talk to perform their jobs.
Sometimes, a lot of thought is required to know which button to push or command to make to the machines. Research is highly integrated with technology. Pushing a button may produce vast arrays and networks of activities and sub activities.
You arrive at the station and settle into your timeshare living space. Your online intelligent agent checked you in an deposited your last payment.
The view of the new lake made the payments worthwhile. Jacobal should be arriving soon. Chasey’s daughter was understandably anxious about her dad. She unpacked her new aerogel high heal shows to get ready to go out. They reminded her of her mom’s coffee table that her dad, the General (The Libertarian King was his nickname for a time), had accidentally smashed to bits.
Janus was tired after her two trips. She had been traveling now for three days, including the trek more than half way to the moon. The ship mostly drifts. A great deal of power was used just to launch the mid-sized craft.
Lately, water was the bulk of transport mass…
Now, there is clearly a disruption of sorts in the status quo. Everything just did not add up.
The General was clearly attacked. Perhaps Jacobal was too! Or so thought Janus.
Janus was curious about the new UG.01A install in Jacobal. Apparently it was unharmed.
Janus had remembered that one of the rebuilt units her grandfather, Trevor had been counseled by testified: “no two units are alike anymore.” and “the first decade of last century was the last full decade of relative, non-integrated, not fully automated technology – where the foundation was not in the current state -the status quo was very different.” at the disappearance hearings.
Janus never forgot the odd incident her mother had gone through years later. Even the General was involved, had met her mom and that was that. Janus was alive!
Shields of that type were so new then. Nobody could quite believe that such a technology was already available and in use.
Nobody knew back then that a mind could be manipulated by means of a tiny radio drone hidden inside of a cloak. The drone device itself was only seventeen by thirty one nanometers with the cloak only slightly larger.
She was wondering what it was that nobody knows now… today … this second. She wondered if her grandfather would know if he really is still alive. She wondered many things right now.
She was wondering what joys Jacobal would bring as their bodies join, more than what information he has to offer right at this moment, in spite of her fears for her father and Jacobal. She enjoyed dancing for him in her shoes. She decided that she must have an aerogel fetish. She was a traveler, a dancer, a pioneer, and a free thinker. No qualms and plenty of grey matter, silicon matter and sex drive to please Jacobal.
Real travel was great. It was such a joy to have that extra kick of knowing for certain that you are actually, absolutely with someone in the most direct, non-virtual mode possible. You just melt together in the most complete of ways. Virtual joining may be combined and was often fun to introduce a nice mix in. Pleasures may reach a certain peak, and soon introducing more does not add much – diminishing returns. We extend and augment and rejoice, but the wall returns, if not just a little bit further down the road. We live to enjoy again another day.
Why is it not boring?
This pleasure thing.
Repeat, Loop, Repeat again. For how much longer? To what extent?
At what point are we slaves and should we care? We have but one life. Do we not? Go with the flow! Come together right now over me!
or something like that, she recalled (some old song her grandpa liked and played for her).
The meeting place was great. Real Chopin played on a real piano with a real pianist.
Exotic dancing was fashionable here in this little place.
Bring your own, meet them here, or one will sure to drop by if you are a single male or a single female.
Jacobal walked in, and walked over to Janus. The room was too dark for eyes to adjust – ordinarily, but those days were long gone. No more searching for ones love in a dark room, unless you turn virtually everything you own off. Janus and Jacobal liked to merge initially with augmentation off. It had a more lasting and prolonging affect on their long-term relationship. Start slow, then build up and make meetings have meaning. They both felt that the brain was the ultimate sex organ and size really did mater.
First things first today though. Jacobal transfers the protein coated digital information that details the entire processing of the merged thinking of Jacobal with Upgrade 01A to Janus on their first kiss. Janus must pause to absorb it all in. She is shocked, but still driven by her passion. There is no escape or turning back. It is best to pause before acting on this anyway. Might as well go ’till all has drained for a reasonable delay before the cycle must repeat.
This time, there will be a total of eleven wonderful days together. Or so she thought and wanted and hoped. Jacobal already had plans. She knew that from the invisible protein cap. Her eyes close, and she fell asleep. New information unfolded that neither Jacobal nor Janus could have known about. It was hidden away – a private package within a private package. Janus dreamt of fractals.
Jacobal Lectomen dreams of plans. A cloak, a sprayer, lighting adjustments, location, time, the surprise to his opponent, and a station copter – all in sync. As architect team lead and having powerful connections, Jacobal was confident that he held the advantage. The target would not be able to resist showing up.
Janus woke to find Jacobal already up, and was delighted to find a perfect, sphere of pure gold in his place on the bed, that she knew came from the ocean filters. Jacobal appreciated the technology that went behind retrieving and forming that perfect sphere. Now Janus had three of them. It was becoming interesting. Not knowing if or when another might be found there.
Jacobal just cut himself while making breakfast. He enjoyed working with eggs, cheese, green onions, garlic, a tiny amount of milk, chopped mushrooms, and sometimes salsa.
A drop of blood dripped from his finger. He was not being mindful. How could he be sure to be mindful at the critical moments in his plans? He turned the labor over to the kitchen machines, walked away and plopped down on the nearby chair. His head was buzzing with data at so many levels and he felt tired still. He thought of Janus looking at the gold sphere in his mind’s eye. He smiled. He wondered why the image in his head was so clear and real.
His finger immediately began to heal itself. It would be better by the time his breakfast was served. The equipment and furniture was still fairly minimal here, but it was adequate. It was located in the newest, habitable, civilian sector of the Station.
Jacobal would meet the representative later today. A tiny clump of 11 potential cancer cells died in Jacobal’s prostate. Zapped by a suicide nanobot wrapped in a DNA bomb. Jacobal scratched himself. Breakfast was served.
© All rights reserved, with the exceptions given on the home page. In short, feel free to use this material in any public URL with “.com”, or “.edu” domains for non-profit purposes. Please link back to whatever you reference.
October 17, 2008
Leave a Comment
The following is a long list of brainstorming ideas.
Idea number “0” is of fundamental importance and serves as a basis for the remaining concepts, although they are mostly not directly dependent on it. My belief is that without at least acknowledging the individual, there is little point in carrying on.
Post Update Note: If a concept interferes with basic individual liberties, these concepts need to be re-examined. Perhaps the spirit of an idea did not translate well into words at the time of the writing, or the contradiction was simply not apparent, due to the nature of ” brainstorming” as applied on this blog. Concepts may only sound good in a superficial way, or perhaps they stray from original intentions.
Needs more editing, but there is no time.
0. Part A. Individual Liberty and Misplacing Blame
Do not blame “the free market” for the problems of this world. A true free market does not exist. A free market is what results when people are free. It means that people voluntarily exchange goods, services, and ideas. It means that the people involved are not committing fraud, stealing, or utilizing coercion in any way, shape or form.
A moral society demands that all individuals have a right to their own lives, their own liberty, and their own pursuit of happiness. It took each of us 13.7 billion years to arrive, and we are here for a short time. No individual, or group of individuals should be so arrogant that they feel that they can morally impose their will on anyone else: Not Ted Kennedy, not George Bush, not Jesus, not Jacobal Lectomen, nor even Upgrade01A . Nobody and no machine, no matter how sophisticated, is qualified to know what is best for you or any individual; only the individual can decide. The individual is ultimately responsible for her actions. Not even the “majority” of people have a right to tell you what to do, because that is just mob rule.
1. Encourage telecommuting (I am working from home at the moment, and my company encourages it). You save lots of energy and resources that way.
2. Reduce interventionism, starting be pulling out of Iraq. Gradually phase out intervention in the 130 or so countries we live in now.
3. Create charities that help people live in their own countries. The Bill Gates Foundation is a wonderful example of this, where the foundation is working on wiping out malaria. Warren Buffet, Obama’s chief economic adviser is the largest contributor (other than the Gates family). Most of these countries need plenty of pure drinking water, which I get to later down my list.
4. Legalize Hemp. Legalize medical marijuana.
5. Teach children around the world how to use the internet to do research. Follow the model of MIT and create free, online, open source schools with language translation software, high-speed connections. Encourage “out-of-the-box” brainstorming and thinking. Encourage ideas like the ones here, some are good, some not so good. Some will stimulate other ideas that will work better. We should no longer be restricted to working in one narrow field. All of us have ideas. Some will spark others. Let the memes replicate!!!! Let them mutate! Write open source storie! Write open source poems that include links to other ideas including music, science and poetry! Write open source philosophy! Make your own movies and tv shows! Think of new ways of storing and manipulating data.
6. Come up with ways to create products directly in the home or at something like a Kinko’s. Print your products and contribute to the design. Print your own chairs.
7. this is an idea I have been thinking about by integrating various known technologies: Instead of pumping carbon into the air, when burning coal to generate electricity, for example,
(a) pump the pre-scrubbed gas directly into a large cavern under the ground. The cavern will be quite large and deep. The cavern may contain an algae pond at the bottom
(b) punch thousands of tiny holes at the top of the cavern over a few acres of land so that the gas may escape over several locations spread out evenly. There may be
air pressures involved, causing gradients that may be exploited for additional energy recapture.
(c) Populate the ground above the ground with carbon-loving bacteria and thousands of soil eating earthworms closer to the surface.
(d) cover the ground with a ground plant that loves carbon
(e) cover the ground with trees. research the best trees
(f) cover the roof of the coal plant with solar panels, if they are efficient in the area where the coal plant is, which should be built very close to the actual coal deposits. Use the
solar panels to generate the power consumed by the plant itself
(g) float helium-filled generators over the roof, at least 300 feet above, to the height where the wind is always blowing to generate additional power.
(h) supplement the trees with air-carbon extraction units.
8. Another idea I have thought about: Build a fish-recognition “net”. Just as Las Vegas Casinos, have very sophisticated face-recognition technology, we could develop fish-recognition software to do this. High-protein, common fish would be directed down one path. Fish of interest to scientists would be sent down
another path (very wide tube). This path can be activated and deactivated so that it captures only a certain number of fish of any kind desired. Endangered fish and dolphins could be directed into another direction.
9. Stop corn subsidies since it is a waste and based on the same logic as a perpetual motion machine, stop tobacco subsidies, stop water subsidies to alfalfa growers in California. Not only does the alfalfa suck up a lot of water, since the farmers can get their water on 10 cents on the dollar, it makes red meat much cheaper which is bad for health in large quantities. Animal-based food is less efficient than directly eating plants. Cutting off subsidies will automatically be reflected in price differences. Meat will be more expensive
10. Utilize ocean water for the toilet facilities that are near the ocean.
11. Recycle water like the Toyota Financial Services facility in Torrance does. They filter the water and reuse it to wather their landscape and to use in their fountains and toilets.
12. As we pull out of oil producing counties and as we use up more oil, the prices will naturally rise. Once it hits $200 per barrel, then solar power technology as of the year 2000 becomes economical. Surely the progress in this field is improving so that the newer technologies will become cheaper and cheaper. There is much work in this area, where the entire spectrum of the sunlight can be used.
13. There are new and improved technologies that are much more economical to desalinate ocean water and others that can use any water (see the guy who invented the Segway’s invention). Utilize these technologies as a carrot to countries in Africa and Asia to help find terrorists like Bin Laden. The point is to encourage the capturing of criminals and discouraging the bad war paradigm that does not work.
14. Since Global Warming will cause the ocean levels to rise, we should be using technologies to help us remove this excess water and make use of it. One is converting the ocean water into drinking water, another is capturing the minerals such as salts and gold using nanotechnology. A giant space station will need billions of gallons of water to protect life from gamma ray and other cosmic ray bursts. We can build electro-magnetic rails inside near-vacuum tubes that will have very low friction to create extremely high-speed rails to slowly increase the speed of a rocket full of supplies, such as water, into space. The external engines could be attached to the end of the rail launcher and attached to the rocket at the last moment. The launching tube could be several miles long, on the equator to exploit the high speed of that location due to the rotation of the earth.
15. Private space exploration can retrieve Helium-3 from the moon and economically harnessed to generate non-radioactive fusion power (when combined with with deuterium – FROM THE OCEAN mostly)
16. Build a city on the ocean to integrate many of these ideas. Oceanographer would work side-by-side with other scientists to study the earth’s ocean, extract deuterium, generate wind power, develop new battery technology, capture protein from fish, purify drinking water, extract hydrogen. The city would be a series of specially design craft able to link together and separate, so that many parts of it could move to different areas. It would be situated outside of major storm areas. Microorganisms could be filtered, captured and converted into nanomachines of various types. The city could be covered with solar nanopaint. Windmills could be covered with solar panels and used as another type of hybrid energy generator. They could be attached to new battery technology or air pressure chambers – both can store energy for later use.
17. Exploit resources on asteroids. Start by going after the ones that are close to Earth and may someday threaten the Earth.
18. Exploit resources on Mars, on comets, on Jupiter’s moons.
19 Utilize already existing technology to project holograms of people so that they need not travel to give presentations.
20. Synchronize traffic lights and include integrated technology inside cars. Have the cars slow down, but avoid stopping as much as possible. Synchronize the cars so that they do not need to stop most of the time. Volvo already has breaking technology that could be adapted for this. They use AI neural nets modeled after dragon fly brains that are used to avoid collisions by automatically applying the breaks.
21. Put motion detectors on street lights, so that they need not stay on all night. One motion could trigger a chain of lights in front of the driver who may be the only one on the road at 3 AM.
22. Utilize technology to eliminate the need for assembly line technology. Use little robots to move the inventory around. This is already being done in some situations
23. Develop a robot that can put a pillow case on a pillow. Develop a robot that can change the oil on your car and do simple repairs on its own. These are two hard problems, much harder than playing chess or even walking.
24. Have electric charging “slots” at traffic lights. A little latch (like a those on a slot car) can lower itself down and recharge the car while it is waiting. Wireless recharging could be utilized even cheaper. This is new technology that is almost ready for prime time.
© All rights reserved, with the exceptions given on the home page. In short, feel free to use this material in any public URL with “.com”, or “.edu” domains for non-profit purposes. Please link back to whatever you reference.
August 8, 2007
Leave a Comment
Every person, no matter what their opinion is, consistently follows the laws of nature, whatever those laws turn out to be. At this fundamental level, we are all consistent. We all must follow the laws of physics (or nature), because we have no choice – whatever nature is, we are a part of it. We just don’t know what those laws are.
In my opinion (at the time of this posting at least), the Universe and everything in it, including all the people living in it, are made up of matter, energy, and within the framework of causeless spacetime, where a state of nothingness probably never existed. There are many possibilities of “true reality” that fall within this general theme. This view may be considered as a Materialists point-of-view (if one is permitted to include in this definition energy, space and time are a part of the overall fabric), but the term “materialist” can be misleading (it does not mean that I value material possession over love of my family, or that I believe everything is made up of very tiny little pebble-like bits). In any case, it is my considered opinion that what we think of as atoms and sub-atomic particles are highly underrated and under appreciated by the majority of my fellow humans.
Still other people have multiple variations on the opinions or belief that there is another, supernatural aspect to life and the cosmos that somehow exists outside of nature.
Many people hold beliefs that on the one hand embrace the more-or-less materialist viewpoint, but to some degree hold onto the Dualist point-of-view. They hold onto a kind of middle ground, if you will, between the realm of the spiritual and the material. Usually this middle ground involves a spirit or soul that somehow effects human beings and possibly all living things, but not inanimate objects.
Not all of these opinions can be correct. Some people may not agree with the statement just previous to this sentence.
Regardless of where the ultimate truth may be (I was tempted to say use the term “lie” here instead of “be” but decided against it), it seems to me that there must be a single, underlying foundation, a single law or set of laws that can describe the entire universe, even if we never fully understand what those laws may be. Of course, those that believe that each of us make our own reality will not agree with the me on this point. If the laws are never discovered, does it follow that the laws do not actually exist and is this merely an argument over semantics?
If the current understanding of the laws of the Universe can be bent or changed, or in some way altered, then we have yet to discover the fundamental laws. The laws that are altered, must not be the entire story. It may be the case that the fundamental laws can never be discovered by humans, but we should never give up trying.
By “The Universe”, in this context, I very roughly mean that part of the Universe that most physicists believe to be about 13.7 billion years old and is commonly believed to have “started” with a big bang (probably much bigger than the Hubble Volume, but no one knows for sure). Explaining what I mean here is but one example of where talking about “beliefs” can rapidly become very fuzzy and difficult to accurately discuss. The meanings of many words are ambiguous. The everyday use or missuse of words tends to increase the ambiguity of words (Is there such a thing as language entropy and does my very reference to the word entropy in this metaphorical context further contribute to it?).
Our “understanding” of what the Universe “is” is even more ambiguous, given that the nature of science itself is a dynamic process, and there are various competing theories, none of which are completely worked out. Most people (and I include myself) do not understand much beyond the high-level concepts described to us by scientists (and most of us can forget about ever understanding the mathematics involved) to really understand any of the details. On the other hand, I think that those that side with the Supernatural camp have much much bigger hurdles to cross, and they must admit that they at least have hurdles of similar magnitude.
Perhaps we can all learn from each other, and try to find the positive aspects of the opinions of others. Everyone’s opinions (or set of beliefs, or worldview) must be based, at least in part (even if the Dualist point-of-view turn out to be correct), on their previous experiences, and ultimately the initial state of their entire set of atoms and energy, and the state of all their surrounding atoms. At least to a certain extent, people really cannot help what they believe. Furthermore, natural human language has far too many ambiguities built into it to for any lay person to fully and completely describe their beliefs accurately to another human being.
To make matters worse, I would wager that most or all people would have a difficult time explaining their own beliefs to themselves in a completely consistent, non-dynamic way that does not drift at least a little bit from day to day and from one emotional state to another. We each think we know what our beliefs are, but when we delve deeper into our own thoughts we run into inconsistencies, ambiguities, doubts, and other forms of uncertainties. We change our minds in subtle ways that we may not always be consciously aware of.
When we are sad or frustrated about our own life, we may begin to doubt some of our own beliefs. When we are on top of the world, and everything is going our way, we are often so certain that we know what we are doing. Even those that have dogmatic beliefs (as seen from the outside by the rest of us) and can recite their beliefs word for word from one book or another, or perhaps from memorization will inevitably run into ambiguities in the very words they speak. They will realize (or they should realize) that they do not understand everything they utter or think or pray with one hundred percent understanding.
I was just lucky enough that “my” particles, or rather my patterns (life is more like a process than a thing) collided with other particles in such a way that my opinion turned out to be the more or less correct one! I can’t help it if I’m lucky! I cannot help it if I think that I know that I am mostly right, at least in the bare-boned essential fundamentals. You probably feel the same way about your opinions. You think that you know that you must essentially be correct about what you consider to be important. Of course, you and I are probably wrong about many of our personal beliefs. There is a good chance that we both are missing more than a few important details about the reality of this Universe. You probably believe know a few facts that I do not know and some of those facts may be important insights that I am missing. On the other hand, you are most likely missing bits of information that, if you knew them, might alter your view of this world in some very radical ways.
As an example, most people are in denial about how much their own political opinions have changed over time.
As another example, most people are in denial about how much their personal viewpoints have changed after they fall in love. Compromises inevitably take place. New ideas and concepts are learned from your partner. We fail to see flaws in the person we fall in love with. That is a part of the nature of falling in love. Many (or most? or all?) people had doubts about the existence of the kind of love they experience only after falling in love (which is of course at least somewhat different than the love we feel for our siblings, which is different than the love we feel for our parents, and the love we feel for our neighbors, our friends, and chocolate). Most people do not want to make love to a piece of chocolate or to their parents, for example.
Beware, here comes a tangential point (or is it a fuzzy wave? or both?):
I could not resist creating this post. Of course, I created this post because I wanted to create this post, but I did not create it on my own free will in the traditional sense. If free will did exist, that would imply that I could choose to do something other than what I want to do.
I am certain that other’s do not agree with this post. I am reasonably certain that my opinion and understanding of the world has already and will continue to change over spacetime. I am certain that my opinions are not made very concise or clear in this post. I have changed this post several times already today, and it is still not written down to my complete satisfaction. New ideas and variations on ideas keep popping into my consciousness.
Using logic and rational discussion is another way, but consider the following bit of simple logic:
In one sense the above statement is true. It is the Law of Identity first described by Aristotle and seemed to be one of Ayn Rand’s favorite statements. However, the moment we try to apply this simple bit of logic to any entity in the real world, even for this most simple fundamental truth in logic, it does not absolutely apply in all instances.
Here is a silly example of what I am (not) talking about, but it does give a point of how confusing even simple concepts can become misunderstood: In the real world, that first “A” exists several pixels to the left of the second “A”. The statement “A is A” above is located on your computer screen at time X, while the same sentence is located on my computer screen at time “Y” (and it looks different inside the editor than it does to me when I save and post again).
Suppose instead, as was presumably intended by both Aristotle and Ayn Rand, we take “A” to represent an entity. In that case, the second “A” can be said to represent the same entity as the first “A”. However, in the real world, both the laws of thermodynamics apply and time exists. Real entities change over time. In the real world entities do not have precise edges on them, even if we discount quantum theory. Atoms constantly break away from the outside edges of physical, material entities. Electrons move around, jump from one atom over to another, absorbing light that came from other places, both from outside and inside of the entity.
Suppose we take the word “is” to apply to entity “A” in a single instance of time. In the real world we cannot freeze time at a single instant.
Suppose we could freeze time at a single instant, and the variable “A” represented the single musical note “A” (at 440 cycles per second). In this case, the note would vanish, since frequency implies time.
Instead, let us suppose that “is” is taken to mean “to exist”. If I play A-440 on my piano, by the time I tell you about this note, it will have faded away. What is meant by “to exist”? Does a musical note traveling through the air exist in the same sense that a solid rock exists?
If “A” stands for “apple” and I tell you “this apple is delicious”, that could mean that I ate the apple and found it to be delicious, or that I ate a similar apple, perhaps from the same batch of apples at the store. It does not mean that “apple” and “delicious” are two words for the same entity. It does not mean that all apples are delicious. Yet I said:
apple is delicious.
In this sense of “is” we do not mean equality, but we mean that a particular entity (an apple) as a specific attribute (delicious). It gets even more complex, because the attribute “delicious” is subjective. It is a matter of opinion.
Furthermore, your tongue may have superior taste buds to mine, or your neurons in the taste sensory section of your brain may have superior synaptic connections, and you may sense a bit of bitterness in the apple. Your sensors came up with a different answer.
If I did take a bite out of the apple to determine that the apple is delicious, the apple is no longer a whole apple anymore.
I dare say that the most experienced logician will have a difficult time explaining to a layperson (and perhaps to their selves) how and when or if logic every really does apply to the real world. Is logic merely to be taken as an academic subject, as a kind of model of the real world? Is the real world logical? Is logic logical?
Everybody misunderstands everybody else to at least some degree. Even the best of philosophers have changed their own minds over time. Whenever a person learns more about the nature of his or her world, that person will change in subtle or not so subtle ways. Even mathematicians do not agree completely on what mathematics is?
I do not mean to imply that life is meaningless. And please do not take my one remark about mathematics, or my statements about logic or science out of context. It is my opinion that science with math, logic and rational thought are the best and most effective ways of discovering the truth about the universe around us.
On the other hand, “truth” is not the only game in town worth pursuing. What is “true” or “false” about music, art, poetry, literature, or love? Is the music of Bach “true” and the music of Miles Davis “false”? I don’t think so. Perhaps religion is like music or art for some people. A lot of people probably enjoy a nice religious service.
Perhaps my previous statements about music are somehow wrong or misguided, or perhaps a particular musicologist has an opinion that I am somehow not understanding or listening to music properly in some respect, and if I would only learn what music was all about I would understand that my taste for music was poor and silly and stupid. On the other hand, perhaps the musicologist does not understand properly how the musical notes of a piece of music stimulated a set of neurons in such as way as to cause a cascade chemical reactions that resulted in part of the pleasure zone in my brain to light up making me feel good.
What I am arguing is that we should listen to one another and not use violence against those that do not agree with our own point-of-view. I prefer having the freedom to decide what the meaning of life is for myself. Is it not written the you choose your own path? (now it is written)
Live and let live. If your beliefs lead you to think about flying an airplane into a building full of innocent beings is good, or that dropping bombs on innocent people, in the desperate hope of perhaps killing some of your enemies is just, please take another look at your beliefs. I was hoping this post will get you to change your mind.
Avoid becoming dogmatic in your beliefs, whatever they may be. Consider the possibility that you have no idea what you are talking about. Consider the possibility that people you look up to admire, and respect are perhaps even more confused and misguided than you are. Consider the possibility that much of what you believe is essentially correct, but that you are mistaken in some areas where you might least expect.
Belief in Einstein’s equations did not cause lunatics to fly an airplane into an office building, but neither did belief in Mohamed’s philosophy make the atom bomb possible. Stalin was an atheist, but Adolf Hitler was religious. Terrorism is evil, but so is a misguided foreign policy.
Blaming 9/11 only on religion, without considering the political and the economic components, as some prominent scientists and philosophers seem have recently done (some that I admire and respect in many other regards, and as a fellow atheist, at times I find myself sympathizing with their points about religion and do not completely disagree them on this matter – I am referring to Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens ), makes little or no more sense than blaming the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima completely on Albert Einstein. Such thinking can lead to dangerous ideas.
It was Albert Einstein who persuaded Roosevelt that the atomic bomb was not only possible, but that the Nazis were developing one. Einstein later regretted sending that letter to the president. My feeling on the 9/11 terrorist situation is that Ron Paul, a Christian, has a much more clear understanding of foreign affairs and American foreign policy than any of the above mentioned atheist, scientist, or philosophers. Although I do admire and respect their work and feel that have important comments to consider on this topic as well. If the pro-Iraq camp has a valid point, they certainly have not presented their case very clearly or accurately (see: this, for example – or this). Is it oil, or weapons of mass destruction, or terrorist, and how many innocent lives and how much tax payers money is justified in this fuzzy pursuit, and what about a Declaration of War, and on and on.
My opinions are definitely not 100% correct and your opinions are most certainly not 100% wrong. There is probably exactly one reality, but there are more than six billion perceptions of that reality. The scientific method is designed to be unbiased and self-correcting, but in practice, there will always be politics. Religious institutions promise hope and love, but often promote fear and death.
Science does not have all of the answers, but that does not imply that other institutions have any real answers to any questions. It may be true that science and religion are mutually exclusive, but that is not necessarily the case. No one knows for sure.
If truth is beauty and beauty is truth, then in that sense, music is beautiful can be true for me, a religious sermon may be beautiful and true for you, and a mathematical proof may be beautiful and true for another. Is one person’s pleasure center more true than anothers? Are you arguing with the laws of physics? The particles in your brain followed the same laws of physics that my brain followed.
At the moment, both the religious and the authoritarians have been a lot more successful at passing both their genes and their memes along than either the atheists and the libertarians. If you want to change someone’s opinion to be more in line with your own, then try to have a little empathy for how they got to where they are. Remember how lucky you are that your particles and patterns happened to collide in just the right ways to give you your the intelligent, rational, and objective insight that you believe you have.
…but when you observe something, don’t you have to shine light “photons” on that something, so the electron would “know” it is being observed, right?
The Dawkins Delusion
Climate Catastrophe Cancelled
Why Do Atheists Care About Religion?
Lovely song, but on the other hand:
… but is that really how he feels (and do people change over time?)
Morning Has Broken
Bach – Glenn Gould talks about Art of fugue
Wayne Dyer: Power of Intention … some of this sounds nice …
It’s nice to have an optimistic outlook on life, but doesn’t luck have something to do with it? Do the children starving in Africa not “intend” or “think positive thoughts” hard enough? …. Does Quantum theory really say anything about macroscopic objects?
George Carlin on Religion
The Sistine Chapel
Bach – Matthaus Passion – 52. Aria A – Koennen Traenen meine
Was Bach thinking of the bad bits of the Bible when he wrote this? I doubt it.
… but Christians are not praying with the hateful side of the Bible on their minds are they? Aren’t they mostly pretty nice people who want to help others? Answer: Some are and some are not.
I like much of what Ron Paul has to say… but he is a Christian and I am an Atheist…
I agree with Richard Dawkins that atheists in America should come out of the closet. He has written many wonderful books explaining evolution (I recommend “The Selfish Gene” and “The Blind Watchmaker“, but I think politically he is a bit too “left leaning” when it comes to centralized government, and government spending. Maybe I am wrong about that.
© All rights reserved, with the exceptions given on the home page. In short, feel free to use this material in any public URL with “.com”, or “.edu” domains for non-profit purposes. Please link back to whatever you reference.
June 3, 2007
Leave a Comment
Perhaps it is true that death and taxes are inevitable, but we can always strive to minimize taxes and to increase our health and wellbeing while we are still alive. Federal income tax did not exist prior to 1914, except for a brief period during the Civil War (phased out by 1872). This is less than 100 year ago, so we have American citizens alive today whose parents did not pay a dime in Federal income tax – hardly the distant past. Furthermore, mandatory withholding was not established until 1943 (Current Tax Payment Act). This allowed the government to take the American citizens money in monthly or weekly “installments” (pay as you go), a psychological ploy making it appear not so bad to the average tax payer. This “pay as you go” technique is similar to making car payments over a period of time allowing the car dealer to persuade the customer to buy a more expensive car that the customer really should not purchase.
In 1914, the tax rate was 1% on taxable net income above $3000 with the maximum of 7% for incomes above $500,000. During World War I, the top tax rate rose to 77%, went down slightly during the Roaring 20s, but then during World War II, the top rate skyrocketed to 91%! It was not until World War II that the majority of Americans were directly affected by the income tax when exemptions were lowered and a 5% “Victory Tax” was introduced for incomes of over $624. By 1945, nearly three quarters of Americans where paying income tax. The year 1945 strikes me as being neither innocent times nor the distant past.
War can only be justified to stave off the coercive domination of a foreign army or an existing domestic tyrannical regime. The type of violence that blocks coercive force is legitimate. Any group that initiates violence against another group only serves to block cooperation among all the people. In other words, violent coercive acts are the enemy of freedom-loving individuals and the friend of an authoritarian, tyrannical state and its allies. This type of violence is illegitimate.
War only serves the ever increasing dominance of the state over the individual. War and other forms of violence decrease the wealth and freedom of the individual and of society. During time of war, including so-called “Cold Wars”, society’s attention is diverted away from making useful goods and providing desired services. Trade between the warring countries comes to a grinding halt. Civilization’s progress slows down or even reverses.
In the United States, the Cold War led to the rise of the Military Industrial Complex, making a few wealthy at the expense of everyone else both in the United States and abroad. It did not take very many decades of the Cold War before there were U.S. military bases in the majority of countries in the world. The Cold War diverted a significant percentage of the World’s raw natural resources and individual ingenuity away from new innovations, progress and increased wealth, to the creation of property destroying, people killing war machinery. The actions of the U.S military over the last 50 years, causing death and destruction whenever it rears its ugly head, is one reason some international organization’s like al-Qaeda have been so successful at signing up new recruits.
War is much worse, both for society’s progress as a whole, and to the individual’s freedom, than even Socialistic-style domestic regulations placed on commerce. The primary reason is that war and violence permanently destroy lives and property. Governments use war to both justify emergency measures that take away its citizen’s freedom and property, and to increase their hold over their own citizens. War forces young men and women to give up their freedom and even their lives in their prime.
I close by paying even more attention to the wisdom of our founding fathers from that “distant and innocent past”
Here is an excerpt from the original George W’s farewell address:
“Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand: — neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; — consulting the natural course of things; — diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with Powers so disposed — in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our Merchants, and to enable the Government to Support them — conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit; but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that `tis folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; — that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character — that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from Nation to Nation. `T is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.”