specularium

Rebel Physics

Peter J. Carroll

Latest Blog Post

  • Februlog

    Februlog.

    Esoteric Horticulture.

    Finally, eight years after the planting of her seed, Circe, the largest of the three Mandrakes at Chateaux Chaos, has given birth. See the fruit of her labour below.

    These somewhat antinomian plants (Mandragora Autumnalis), prefer to flower in autumn and to produce fruit in spring. During summer they shrivel back to their huge humanoid bifurcated taproots. Perhaps they do this to avoid insect pests or desiccation during the hotter months in their native Mediterranean lands.

    I don’t think they like it here on this chilly island, but I’ll distribute the seeds amongst some Druids with instructions for their nurture.

    Alternative Physics.

    Below see a couple of graphs based on the observational data of a substantial number of Type 1A supernovae at various Redshifts. We can measure Redshifts with great precision but Apparent Magnitudes, particularly of transient events, much less precisely.

     

    The blue line shows Apparent Distance at various Redshifts. Here I derive Apparent Distances from observed Apparent Magnitudes by converting Apparent Magnitudes to Fluxes and then applying the inverse square principle (taking the Magnitude of a Type IA supernova at 10 parsecs with negligible redshift as a baseline).

    Clearly, any luminous object with a high Redshift will have a ridiculously vast Apparent Distance as the graph curves upwards. Herein lies the basic peculiarity that led to the hypothesis of ‘Dark Energy’ powering an apparent acceleration of the expansion of the universe.

    The orange line shows Actual Distances against Redshifts. Here I derive Actual Distances from Apparent Distance by applying a Hyperspherical Lensing Formula based on the principle that we observe the Hyperspherical Universe in Stereographic Projection because of it positive spacetime curvature.

    The derivation of this Hyperspherical Lensing Equation appears in section 7 here: -

    https://www.specularium.org/hypersphere-cosmology

    In this graph redshift 1 corresponds to half antipode distance and the distances to far supernovae become much more reasonable. The graph shows that the universe will have an antipode distance very close to 13 BLY.

    The Universe does not expand, let alone does it have an accelerating expansion, so called ‘dark energy’ does not exist.

    Great! The universe remains eternal, we can abandon the philosophical burdens of an apocalyptic beginning or ending to it.

     

    Magic/Culture/Politics

    Identity and Individualism in the Pandaemonaeon.

    A wandering Scholar dropped in for an evening last week. Forced to compete in an oversubscribed tournament profession with zero security of contract he seemed underpaid and underemployed. A Professor did recently mournfully describe to me how a vast new exploited Academic Proletariat had arisen.

    I suppose this class of Scholars must account for the tsunami of usually rather inconsequential esoteric papers which now appear daily on Google’s Academia.com. It boasts 114,376,069 Scholars and counting.

    We had a lively discussion till late about many matters Magical, Cultural and Political, touching on everything from the weird phenomenon of Professor Patricia MacCormac https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_MacCormack to Populism, a world going apparently mad, and my part in this.

    All this behoved me to check my predictions for this era.

    The Psychohistoric Mechanism of the Aeons, discovered in 1988 and published soon after in my Liber Kaos, predicted the Pandaemonaeon - an era characterised by the ascendancy of Scientific and Magical Thinking and the nadir of Art and Religion. It seems to have come upon us rather quickly, assisted by globalisation and the internet.

    Mind you, I didn’t say that everyone would necessarily like the Pandaemonaeon. On a broad raft of criteria some sociologists conclude that quality of life peaked in the technically developed world somewhere around the 1970’s and that dissatisfaction has risen since. Most people have more stuff, but they don’t seem to get any more satisfaction from it and their lives have become ever more frantic, complicated, and insecure.

    Religion has largely ceased to engage with transcendental concepts. Theology (which always meant politics in the broadest sense) has now become overtly political, and religion now acts as little more than a social group identity badge. Religion no longer tells us a story about our inner self(s), it merely tells us which groups we belong to or despise.

    Since humanity achieved the wealth and the technical ability to produce Art to any required degree of beauty and brilliance, Modern Art has abandoned any quest for meaning or spiritual uplift and now celebrates the empty rubbish of those whose talents remain limited to self-promotion, on the contra-intuitive principle that it must contain something worthwhile because of the price tag, even if we lack the wit to see it. Modern Art no longer tells us a story about human aspiration, at its best it merely illustrates human folly as artists become the keepers of useful sarcasms, along with our philosophers. Only the amateur and commercial art which does not attempt to mimic modern art seems to have anything interesting to say.

    Science now tells us the dominant story about ourselves. We exist as randomly evolved mortal animals with unusually large brains, on an unremarkable planet in a stupendously vast universe. Deal with it.

    Whilst I question the current official scientific creation myth (the Big Bang hypothesis), I do accept the above and I find the scientific story both liberating and exhilarating. I consist of the totality of what I do. I have no mysterious ‘real self’ or inner ‘being’ to worry about, but a lot of people seem to think they must have such a thing and today imagine that they express it through Identity and Individualism.

    Yet the demands of individualism begin to outstrip supply in a demand-based consumer economy, and it becomes increasingly difficult to become a genuine eccentric as all eccentricities become Identity brands in a hyperconnected society.

    The State has taken over so many of the legal and financial functions of the Family that few people now identify strongly with their Familial or Tribal status beyond what remains of it in the nuclear family.

    Regional identities now seem quaint and faintly ridiculous in an era of mass travel and mass communication. Sports teams supposedly representing ‘our’ cities now draw most of their managers and players from distant cities and continents.

    In an era in which we think we know so much, Nationalism and Patriotism have become unfashionable because few people particularly like their own governments or the way they run the country, they just despise other countries more, so they do not usually wish to define their Identity by it.

    (The European Union has failed to raise any vision of a European Identity beyond that of an unloved common bureaucracy.)

    Nobody really believes in anything about themselves. We have become Lost in the Cosmos, with no metaphors for self, we just have choices of individualism and identity, and mass exposure to everyone else’s assigned or chosen identity.

    Individualism in the age of Identity centres on trying to control how others regard you, not on how you regard yourself(s).

    We must suspect those who preach their Identity loudest harbour the most doubts.

    In this Pandaemonaeon, Identity/Individualism has become the Religion of the age because it has become fragile and mutable.

    We now find ourselves passing laws to prevent anyone criticising anyone else’s Identity.

    Such laws represent the official theology of the religion of Identity.

    The UK police now seemingly devote more resources to investigating everything on the spectrum from ‘hate crime’ to ‘mild disdain crime’ whilst theft, fraud, and violence frequently seem to go un-investigated.

    In the new religion of identity, the cult of celebrity provides a rolling pantheon of minor deities that we adulate for a time and then discard or crucify with guilty pleasure.

    The culture wars that rage within our societies, the polarisation of opinions, the rise of currently fashionable forms of victimhood and mental illness, the usually secret and officially sinful pleasures of despising other people’s identities may all find their roots in the paradoxical relationship of Identity to Individualism and the increasing fragility of both.

    Today we expect all of an individual’s opinions to conform to a recognisable identity.

    Extreme left, hard left, centre left, centre right. hard right, extreme right. Social liberal, social conservative. Economic liberal, economic conservative. Racist, culturalist, cultural-relativist, multiculturalist, anti-racist. Rights-based moralist, responsibility-based moralist. Social Darwinist, socialist. Theocrat, militant atheist. World destroying kapitalist, extinction rebellionist. Carnivore, vegan.

    Express an opinion that someone considers to fall within any of these categories and they expect you to hold all the opinions that they think necessarily go with it. Of course, none but extremely right-on woke-ists or those right-off the other end of the scale hold opinions of such imagined coherence. Hitler practised vegetarianism for example.

    The ascendancy of Magic in the Pandaemonaeon often passes completely unacknowledged unless you realise that the bottom line of magical thinking comes down to: -

                                                        ‘Thinking Makes It So’.

    This may seem a completely deluded idea, but if handled skilfully it has enormous power.

    Positive thinking can lead to extraordinary achievement, if you believe you can do something you increase your chances of accomplishing it. Negative thinking has similarly powerful effects, you can sabotage any venture with it. Placebos which we expect to work often have effects as great as treatments based on rational theories, and so do Nocebos. Curses and supposed pollutants which rationally should not have effects, can have quite damaging ones.

    Thinking that you have helpful spirits on your side often gives you an edge over those who don’t, particularly for those who made such spirits deliberately and magically.

    Labelling phenomena by their supposed ‘essences’ makes it easier to agree or disagree with others or to persuade others about them.

    The bullshit believed about any product tends to make it sell better than its objective properties. This applies to all commodities, - religions, scientific hypotheses, political parties, celebrities, and individuals.

    We live in an era where commercial, political, and personal ‘fake news’ and propaganda dominate communication. We generally prefer this now because in conditions of massive information overload, most simplifications become welcome in themselves or afford us the pleasure of contradicting them.

    The magical ‘Thinking Which Makes It So’ requires considerable skill and experience. Not everyone can write persuasive propaganda or advertising copy or even convince themselves of something without practise and help.

    The pandaemonaeonic magician can hold mutually contradictory opinions and beliefs on a situational basis for pleasure and profit. Free from the illusion of unitary Identity and the struggle to maintain and defend one, the magician remains inwardly aloof in a fortress of supreme arrogance built upon the meta-belief that beliefs and actions shape reality.

    The effects can seem parapsychological.

    Written on Wednesday, 19 February 2020 09:45 in Blog Read 58 times

Latest Games Post

  • Frontier Space War

    Herewith a recent sci-fi board game system. The board represents space using star systems as nodal points connected by posible jump routes. All movement takes place simultaneously on the declaration of pre-wriiten destinations for starships. Combat between opposing ships that land on the same star system takes place by the simultaneous revealing of ship order of engagement and chosen tactical cards, the effects of which appear on the combat octagon charts. The system does not use dice or other sortilege procedures, everything depends on trying to anticipate an opposing commander's intentions in movement and tactical combat. Does this make it a game of chance or not?

    The various classes of starship and the starsystem bases all consist of various nuts and bolts and masonry anchors and plumbing fittings painted matt mettalic. Such pieces have the advantage of standing upright and not cluttering the board, vessels of the same class all have the same appearance, and the pieces have a pleasing weight. Combat takes place only at star systems. Although the system used a 2D board to represent 3D space we can consider the stars as lying both above and below the plane of representation.

    Legemeton flotilla threatens a Terran position.

    Legemeton ~ Little Green Men of unknown origin and appearance. 

    Frontier Space War.

    A boardgame system for modelling interstellar conflict as it may develop in coming centuries. This system uses concealed simultaneous choice of movement and concealed simultaneous choice of combat tactics rather than sortilege procedures to model the uncertainties of conflict.

    1) Starships in the FSW Universe.

    Common Classes of Vessel.

    Common Name      Firepower       Defences              Cost  

    Battleship                     5                     5                       5

    Cruiser                         3                     3                       3

    Destroyer                     1                     1                       1

    Factory                         1                     1                       5

    Reinforcement Vessels.

    Common Name      Firepower      Defences               Cost

    Battlecruiser                5                     3                         3

    Heavy Cruiser             3                     5                         3    

    Frigate Carrier FC       3                     3                         3          (Carries up to 5 Frigates)

    Frigate                         1                     1                     2 for 1.     (Not jump capable)

     

    2) Ship Movement in the FSW Universe.

    At each turn all ships on all sides can move simultaneously.

    All ships that move must move two star systems, slingshotting via an intermediary system at hypervelocity. (The presence of other ships at the intermediary star makes no difference)

    Commanders write down the next position of each of the ships under their control on a log-sheet and then all commanders reveal their secret orders and move their ships accordingly.

    A log-sheet for a small flotilla might look like this: -

    Ship           Initial position      1st Move,      2nd Move,    3rd Move,    4th Move,       etc  

    Battleship          N36                     D43            H67    

    Cruiser              N36                    X14             L65

    Destroyer          N36                    D43             H67

    Destroyer          N36                    D43             H67  

    Destroyer          N36                    X14             L65

    Here the flotilla starts at star system N36. On successive moves the flotilla splits in two with a pair of Destroyers accompanying the Battleship to D43 and then on to H67, whilst the other Destroyer goes with the Cruiser to X14 and then to L65.

    3) Ship Combat in the FSW Universe.

    When opposing vessels meet at a star system, combat occurs if any commander elects to attack opposing vessels. Combat proceeds by combat rounds until only the vessels of one side remain, the others having become destroyed or having managed to evade, or all commanders elect not to attack further.

    A combat round begins with the Assignment of vessels. Commanders put forward a piece concealed within a hand against an enemy commander who must then put forward a concealed piece and then both reveal them simultaneously, until all attacking ships become paired.

    If one side’s ships outnumber that of the other, then the commander(s) of the greater number may then assign any spare ships to join in where desired.

    Combat rounds then take place between vessels assigned against each other. Each commander selects a tactical card for a vessel and puts it forward, both commanders then reveal their tactics and consult the tactical chart to assess the result.

    If vessels from both sides survive their individual duels, then any vessels which did not evade successfully can go through another cycle of assignment and combat rounds. Ships which manage to evade during a combat round can voluntarily de-evade and participate in another cycle of assignment and combat rounds if desired.

    Where more than one vessel becomes assigned to attack a single vessel the commander(s) of the multiple vessels may order them to attack individually and put forward a concealed tactical card for each. In this case commanders assess the effects of each of these chosen tactics against the single tactic chosen for the single vessel. Alternatively, the commander of the multiple vessels may coordinate Destroyers or Frigates with other vessels (subject to certain restrictions below) and chose a single tactic for them.

    Ships coordinated together on a single tactic simply pool their firepower and defences and act in effect as a single more powerful vessel.

    Restrictions on the grouping of Destroyers or Frigates arise from the telemetry problems associated with closely coordinating their actions:

    a) A single Destroyer or Frigate can coordinate with a heavier vessel such as a Cruiser or a Battleship or a Jump Carrier or a Factory.

    b) Two Destroyers or Frigates can coordinate with each other.

    c) Destroyers or Frigates cannot coordinate with vessels from different allied civilisations.  

    The arrows on Combat Octagon 1 show the effects of eight possible tactical choices upon each another. A thick arrow shows that one ship has scored 3 against another. Middleweight arrows add a score of 2. Lightweight arrows add a score of 1. Red arrows or red circles show a score of 1, 2, or 3 against both ships.  

    If adding the arrow score to the firepower of the ship that scored the hit gives a number higher than the defence value of the target, the target ship becomes destroyed. In the unforgiving environment of space, shield and generator breaches invariably prove fatal.

    Dotted lines show that a vessel which has chosen tactic 7 or 8 has achieved an evasion. To achieve an evasion against multiple opposing ships, a ship must evade them all.

    When Ships attack Factories based on planets, commanders use Combat Octagon 2 in which they have fewer tactical options.

    When a Factory comes under attack, commanders treat the Factory in the same way as a Ship for the purposes of Assignment. If all defending Ships have become destroyed or have managed to evade, the attacking commander may simply declare an evasion of remaining attacking Ships if an attack no longer appears worthwhile.

    After the resolution of all combats, another turn begins, and commanders write new movement destinations for all the Ships they wish to move.

    Thus, a complete turn consists of the following three phases.

    a) Spending of Ship Units to create Ships which appear at the Factory.

    b) The writing of movement orders on a ship-log. The mutual revealing of movement orders and the implementation of movements.

    c) Combat resolution.

    e) Production of Ship Units at Manufactories which lie on planets and have not moved during the turn. (Only one Manufactory can operate at any Planet.)

    4) General Notes on Scenarios, Strategy, and Tactics in the FSW Universe.

    a) The FSW system uses Topological Nodal Mapping of the contested areas of space. Points on the map denote star systems. Yellow points or markers show stars with inhabitable rocky worlds in an appropriate temperature range. Blue and Red points show stars which do not have such planets, Ships can go to such systems or slingshot past them whilst jumping but they cannot establish bases there. In most areas of space, uninhabitable star systems outnumber habitable ones by about five to one. Lines joining star systems show those within navigational range of each other and hence the possible ‘jump routes’.

    Two dimensional representations of contested areas (with the stars and jump routes understood as projecting both above and below of the plane of representation and with some jump routes thus perhaps appearing to cross each other) prove most convenient. The scale of the map in relation to the sizes of the pieces should allow for the unambiguous positioning of groups of pieces around any star system.

    To settle larger battles at star systems commanders may temporarily move all involved pieces off board to a convenient space and then replace the surviving ones on the board afterwards.

    b) Scenarios.

    In Tournament Scenarios both or all commanders start with equal forces on a board with an appropriate (if somewhat unrealistic) symmetry, and the contest continues until one side achieves set victory conditions such as the elimination of all enemy Factories or Ships or the establishment of a set number of new Factories.

    Initial set ups and dispositions should ensure the dispersal of forces between well separated Bases to avoid excessive force concentration and cataclysmic battles too early in the scenario.

    Asymmetric Scenarios.

    Empire Building. Players start with some Factories placed and strive to expand their spheres of influence. Alliances may form and break.

    Raids. An empire can over-extend itself by providing insufficient protection to peripheral areas or to areas where it has started to establish new Factories. This may offer opportunities for cost effective raids by smaller vessels against areas defended by too few heavier vessels. Deep Penetration Raids against Factories designated as politically important can also justify the commitment of heavy warships.

    Convoy Operations can involve moving Factories or designated warships carrying items of great value from one side of an area to another against enemy interdiction.

    Insurrection Scenarios can arise after cyber-warfare and/or political propaganda causes some Factories and Ships to rebel and fight for independence.

    Tactical Notes. Jump Carriers enter combat with their Frigates already launched. Thus, a fully loaded Jump Carrier could in some circumstances engage several opposing ships by effectively reconfiguring itself as (3+1), (1+1), (1+1). Alternatively, the Jump Carrier could attempt to evade carrying its Frigates.

    The civilisations from which fleets originate may not wish to allow commanders to become too powerful and may limit the number of replacements and reinforcements they can build.

    5) Diplomacy and Treachery in the FSW Universe.

    Scenarios involving more than two players provide opportunities for the making and breaking of alliances.

    The simultaneous movement of ships requires trust between allies, and treachery can exploit this.

    During a multi-player battle of several combat rounds, ships can change allegiances.

    Diplomacy can proceed openly and/or by the passing of private notes.

    The complexity of FSW lies above that of ‘family game’ but below that of ‘afficionado game’. However, game aficionados can easily complicate to game to any required degree of sophistication by adding house rules.

    Whilst a two player game becomes a straight conflict based on bluff and an asymmetric rock-paper-stone type combat, multiplayer games tend to also involve elements of Diplomacy and Poker.

    The rules do not forbid the use of psychic powers.

     

     

    Written on Thursday, 07 November 2019 15:20 in Games Read 458 times

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