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The Plague Lockdown continues with slight relaxations. In the absence of human disturbance in this remote hideaway on the ocean shore, abstract thinking proceeds apace, so much so that the next oat cuisine innovation and beach detritus creation remain incomplete.
The ‘Crisis in Cosmology’ rumbles on with no resolution in sight between the model which measures the supposed expansion rate of the universe from supernovae luminosity and the model which measures it from anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background radiation. Jim Peebles, one of the main architects of the Lambda-CDM Big-Bang Cosmology has gone on record to say that he still considers it mostly correct, although incomplete, despite its limitations.
Those limitations do look serious. Peebles himself comments on the resemblance of the dark matter and dark energy hypotheses to the discredited Ptolemaic Epicycles idea.
Some people begin to wonder if the entire theoretical edifice may have structural faults. Yet few seem prepared to question what has become, since the 1930s, the fundamental assumption of cosmology – The Expansion Hypothesis. Ditch that by explaining cosmological redshift by another mechanism, and suddenly everything becomes clear and phlogiston free: -
Whilst awaiting confirmation or falsification of that, (343K reads and counting), speculation upon the nature of the quanta continues.
If ‘All science is either physics or stamp collecting’ (Rutherford) then The Standard Model of Particle Physics largely remains at the stamp collecting level without a coherent theory. It consists of little more than a big catalogue of ad hoc assumptions and particle types defined by a large number of parameters about whose origin we have no clues and with which we cannot calculate much, particularly about the insides of nucleons. The default Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics strongly implies that either the underlying reality lies forever beyond our understanding and/or that no underlying reality really exists at all.
Surely, we can do better than that.
A few hours tinkering with a bathrobe belt anchored at each end into heavy books on a glass table confirms the possibility of rotating a point in three dimensional space through 7200 to return it to its original orientation without tearing the belt or leaving a twist in it. You really need to do this ‘hands-on’ to appreciate the contra-intuitive strangeness of rotations of space itself. A continually rotating point in space would send out twists followed by un-twists in all directions in space.
This form of rotation known as SO(3) forms the basis of Milo Wolff’s ideas about The Wave Structure of the Electron
Here what we call a ‘particle’ appears as the point where an incoming ‘spherical wave’ rotates by SO(3) and then becomes an outgoing spherical wave. In this model we can consider a particle as a rotating point which creates the appearance of waves in the field of space, alternatively we can consider waves as disturbances in the field of space which come together to create the appearance of particles.
The outgoing wave appears as a time reversed form of the incoming wave.
The outgoing and incoming waves would together constitute a spherical Standing Wave in spacetime with the ‘particle’ at its centre and its ‘field(s)’ surrounding it.
Such time reversal, the idea that phenomena can go both ways in time forms a crucial component of the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Physics.
Such Temporal Symmetry readily explains the strange quantum phenomenon of Entanglement in which two particles once in contact can still show apparently instantaneously correlated behaviour when separated to arbitrarily large distances. In TIQM, waves pass backward in time from the particles to the point when they separated and correlate their behaviour.
In Quantum Superposition a particle can appear to occupy two (or more) mutually incompatible states at the same time, or rather it can appear to behave ‘as if’ it must have occupied incompatible states immediately before interacting and exhibiting behaviour because it doesn’t do both behaviours, just one of them chosen randomly.
A combination of Entanglement and Superposition leads to the popular idea that a particle can ‘be’ in two places at once.
Superposition implies that a particle can exist in two (or more) states at the same place, so what separates those states?
The idea of Imaginary Time may supply a possible answer. If time has the same three dimensionality as space then plainly we can only easily observe a single dimension of it, well we cannot really even observe that, we merely infer it because of the apparently linear sequences of events, we don’t usually see something do two separate things at once.
The two ‘other’ unobserved dimensions of time would constitute a plane of Pseudo-Space somehow at right angles to observed time (and space).
If spacetime does have three dimensions of time, then the waves associated with particles could also travel through imaginary time if the pseudo-space of imaginary time can undergo a similar rotation to ordinary space. The Transactional Interpretation could then model Superposition as an Entanglement across the pseudo-space of Imaginary Time.
Moreover, a mixed rotation in a plane of one spatial dimension and one pseudo spatial dimension might explain electromagnetic charges and fields, whilst rotations purely in the plane of pseudo-space might model nuclear charge and its extremely short range spatial field effect.
Rotations in occluded dimensions in general might explain the apparently probabilistic behaviour of reality and the manifestation of the whole suite of fundamental particles.
The study of Natural Philosophy seeks to explore the cosmos by any means necessary to understand the universe. A century or two ago Natural Philosophy split in two and Science and Magic went separate ways. A fuller understanding of the universe will need to include both. The ‘occluded’ or hidden dimensions of time symmetry and the pseudo-spaces of imaginary time may provide the bridge which joins them back together.
It may take a while to explore and explicate this mathematically.
Ian Read who ran several Runic courses on Arcanorium College has asked me to ask around to see if anyone has saved them, as he no longer has copies himself. If you do have copies please get in touch with me. Pete.
The Epoch Owners Club has started to attract participants http://epochownersclub.freeforums.net/
Some Chaoist Political Thinking for the silly season.
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!
How sweet that French revolutionary slogan sounds - yet it all ended in slaughter, dictatorship, and war. Fraternity rarely extends far without Patriotism.
Liberty and Equality contradict each other. If people have liberty they will compete as individuals and groups, and Equality will decline. Most developed economies have some redistributive mechanisms that take some power from the winners and distribute it to the losers to stabilise the system, but inequalities will always develop in any culture that permits Aspiration.
Equality of Outcome comes at the price of complete loss of Liberty.
Equality of Opportunity leads to the dominance of Meritocracy.
Thus, any mixture of Liberty and Equality will lead to some Social Friction.
Liberty and Multiculturalism do not sit comfortably together either. Left to their own devices within a society, subcultures will tend to self-segregate to preserve their own culture and to favour their own people. Most developed economies have some mechanisms to prevent subcultures becoming too insular or too dominant over others.
Multiculturalism implies restrictions upon Liberty, freedom of speech, and choice.
Acculturation, and the halfway house of Integration also imply some limitations to Liberty.
Multiculturalism and Acculturation create a great deal of Friction when a society attempts to promote both at the same time; when for example, it encourages the retention of a religion whilst discouraging all the social practices and attitudes that go with it.
Thus, cultures which import or contain other cultures can expect some Social Friction in addition to the Social Friction arising from the Liberty-Equality dichotomy.
Advocates of Equality will often attempt to conflate the two, and to brand culturalism as racism. The Champagne Socialists and the tiresome ‘Woke’ of the loony left specialise in this. Both the extreme left and the extreme right have a vested interest in worsening race relations.
Low Social Friction leads to dull and less creative societies. Moderate Social Friction leads to Creative Chaos in a society, and so does a lot of it, but that also brings a great deal of destructive Entropy as well.
Wealth acts rather like heat in thermodynamics, it only does useful work when unevenly distributed. If you force its even distribution, then you need other mechanisms to get things done. Naked force provides the mechanism of choice in all communist societies.
Asking how much inequality you want in a society seems oddly akin to asking how much crime you want in a society. The kneejerk answer of ‘none’ always implies a personal commitment to obeying all laws at all times, no matter how wrong or situation inappropriate they may seem.
The optimum level of Social Friction and Creative Chaos seems to arise when 1% of the population owns no more than 10% of the wealth, and no subculture or minority accounts for more than 1% of the population. Beyond these levels expect plenty of Entropy as well. There must come a point beyond which little will remain to unite us in diversity.
The current UK policy of trying to maintain economic growth despite low productivity by importing from other cultures cheap labour and skilled people more cheaply educated abroad does not seem indefinitely sustainable or cost effective. Neither did the British Empire, and for exactly the same reason - Entropy build-up.
A few of my favourite political notions: -
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
― George Orwell, 1984. (i.e. Retroactive Enchantment by censorship.)
“As a rough rule of thumb; everyone before 1800 was a bastard in today’s terms”
– An eminent historian of my acquaintance.
(If humans still exist in 200 years’ time, they will probably say the same about us for wrecking the planet.)
The ideal political system consists of a mixture of Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy.
(The Classical Greeks worked that out long ago)
Absolute Monarchy leads to Despotism.
Absolute Aristocracy leads to Oligarchy.
Absolute Democracy leads to Mob Rule.
The unelected judiciary and the unelected civil service now provide more effective checks and balances to absolute mob-rule democracy than does the aristocracy and the monarchy in the UK.
The EU failed badly here. All the power in the EU lies with its civil service which became a gigantic faceless bureaucratic Synarchist Oligarchy that completely controls mere figurehead leaders and a puppet parliament.
All schemes for Utopia seem to end in Dystopia
The best political systems seem those in which nobody wins, and the Social Friction remains at a sufficiently high level to maintain Creative Chaos but does not become so high that a lot of Entropy occurs.
We have not had a significant body count from internal politics in Britain since the seventeenth century civil war. In that period, we lurched from absolute monarchy to ‘parliamentary’ autocracy and eventually back to a peculiar messy compromise of constitutional monarchy, influential aristocracy, and gradually increasing democracy. Arguably the resulting system maintained its extraordinary dynamism for three centuries partly by externalising its excess friction in colonial and imperial activities.