Ed Lake's web page
Time Work cover
If you want my opinion ......
you've come to the right place.
Welcome to Ed Lake's web site!

I also have an interactive blog open for discussions
at this link: http://oldguynewissues.blogspot.com/

My latest comments are near the bottom of this page.
You can go directly to them by clicking HERE.

Click HERE to go to the site archives.

A Crime Unlike Any Other book
Available in paperback and Kindle.  Click HERE for details.

Available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

clipper cover, b
Click HERE to go to my web site about the anthrax attacks of 2001.
Click HERE to access my scientific papers about time dilation, Special Relativity, etc.
Click HERE to go to my Facebook group about Time and Time Dilation. Click HERE to go to my notes about scientific topics discussed on this web site.

My interests are writing, books, movies, science, psychology, conspiracy theorists,
photography, photographic analysis, TV, travel, mysteries, jazz, blues, and ...

just trying to figure things out.

Astronomy example picture big sleep
time article
Available to read on Kindle.  Click HERE for details.                                   I have a fascination with Time and Time Dilation.         Other interests: Movies and Science Podcasts Click on the above image to view a larger version.

My Latest Comments

Comments for Sunday, June 13, 2021, thru Saturday, June 19, 2021:

June 13, 2021
- Groan! 
It's Sunday again, and once again I have nothing written for my Sunday comment.  So, I'll have to write something from scratch. 

On September 28, 2005, I took this picture of 19 boxes of books in my garage.

books in my garage
Each box contains 44 copies of my first self-published book "Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks: The First 3 years."   Those were the days before Kindle, which wasn't made available to the public until November of 2007.  So, if you wanted to self-publish a book, you had to contract with a printer to do it.  I had 1,000 copies printed, each wrapped tightly in plastic to preserve them.  The anthrax attacks of 2001 were still in the news back then, as they continued to hunt for the culprit.  And my anthraxinvestigation.com web site was the #1 place for information about the attacks.  I thought for sure I'd be able to sell 1,000 paperback copies of the book via Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  I probably sold less than 50.

Then, of course, in 2008 the FBI figured out who the culprit was.  Unfortunately, he committed suicide before the FBI could arrest him.  In 2012, I  wrote another book about the case, "A Crime Unlike Any Other."  This time I self-published it via Amazon in both Kindle and paperback form.  I tried to get a regular publisher to publish it, but they felt it just said what my web site said, and people could read my web site for free.  In reality, it summarized what my web site said into 353 pages.  My web site, in printed form, would probably be at least 10,000 pages. 

Additionally, of course, my second book about the case made my first book totally obsolete and definitely not worth buying.   

So, last week, 16 years after they were printed and about 9 years after they were made totally obsolete, I began hauling the boxes, one by one, to the dumpster.  I thought about giving away copies, but I gave 2 to my local library when I first published them.  Who else would want them?  I pondered the idea of just tossing a copy onto lawns around town, or dropping copies in parking lots.  But my name is on every book, and I pictured the police arresting me for littering.  So, into the dumpster they went.  Each box weighs about 50 pounds, which means I got some exercise out of it.  And I have one box of books in my closet, just in case some quirk of fate makes the book newsworthy and a collector's item. 

I should have taken a picture of the boxes before I began carrying them to the dumpster.  In another brilliant move, I put newspapers under the bottom boxes to protect them from water when snow on my car melted and water covered the floor around the boxes.  The newspapers absorbed the water, of course, and the bottom boxes turned to pulp, but the plastic-wrapped books inside were still in perfect shape.

So, now I'm once again contemplating writing another book.  There's no point in trying to find an agent or publisher for it, since once again they just say that people can read my science papers on line for free, so why would anyone buy a copy?  For the same reason I want to write the book!  It would show how all the pieces fit together.  When you see how all the pieces fit together so simply and neatly, it becomes difficult to understand how topics like Time Dilation and the variable speed of light can remain as points of heated disagreement in the world of physics for over 100 years.

Comments for Sunday, June 6, 2021, thru Saturday, June 12, 2021:

June 10, 2021 - When I went to the gym on Tuesday afternoon, they had removed all the "This machine is not available for use" signs that were on half of the exercise machines in order to enforce "social distancing."  While the gym has dozens of treadmills and about a dozen exercycles, they have only two row machines, two chest press (reverse row) machines, and only two each of a bunch of other weight lifting machines.  So, previously, if someone was on one of the machines, you couldn't use the other machine of the same type.  Now you can.

Additionally, only about 10 or 15% of the people there on Tuesday were wearing masks.  I was one of them.  In previous weeks it was about 60%.

When I went to the grocery store after my gym session, the store no longer had any signs on the entrance doors requiring masks to be worn.  About half the customers, however, were still wearing them - including me.  At another grocery store, less than half of the customers were wearing masks.  In both stores the employees still wore masks.

I've been fully inoculated against Covid-19 since March 2nd, but I'll probably still be one of the last to stop wearing a mask.   And then it will because I don't want to look like an odd-ball, not because I think it's safe to mingle with other people without wearing a mask.

But it is still nice to see visible signs that the Covid-19 pandemic might actually come to an end someday.

Meanwhile, I'm still getting indications that someone somewhere is discussing my papers Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories and Relativity and Radar Guns.  Yesterday, I got 14 "reads" of my papers on Academia.edu.  That's an all-time record for that site.  The previous record there was 10 "reads" in one day.  Four people each read the two papers about radar guns.  It's possible it was the same four people, but it still a high number.  Most people read my papers via the Vixra.org web site.  There I once got 31 "reads" of my paper on The Reality of Time Dilation in a single day.  The total number of "reads" of my Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories paper on Academia.edu is just 58.  The total on Vixra.org is 806.

I suppose it's possible that I'm causing the "reads" by mentioning my papers in discussions on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group.  But I haven't been mentioning my radar gun papers.

June 8, 2021
- Hmm.  As expected, rather than continue to argue against solid facts, the person on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group who was arguing that "
TIME is a measurement we Homo sapians invented to mark the passage of existence and NOTHING more" has stopped posting.  Presumably, he could not conjure up an argument against my claim that humans didn't invent Time, humans observed Time via its effects on aging and decay, so he probably went somewhere else to continue to argue his beliefs.

And that may mark about the one-thousandth time that someone has walked away from a discussion with me because they could not argue against solid facts, and rather than admit that they were mistaken, they just go somewhere else to argue their beliefs. 

That doesn't just apply to arguments about science, it also applies to arguments about just about everything.  I spent more than a decade arguing with people about the anthrax attacks of 2001.  The facts clearly showed that the culprit was an American scientist, but today, nearly twenty years later, you can still find people who do not accept the facts and continue to argue their beliefs.

Politics is the prime example of facts vs beliefs.  No matter how many facts you have, you cannot use facts to change someone's political beliefs.  It is only when their understandings (not beliefs) are based upon facts that you can use new and additional facts to change their minds.  If their beliefs are based on emotions, there is little or no hope.  The key emotion, of course, is self-esteem.  If admitting you are wrong means losing self-esteem, then it can be a fight to the death.  Nothing demonstrates that more clearly than the facts which show that Donald Trump lost his bid for re-election. Admitting he lost is to lose self-esteem.  So, Trump will fight to the death to avoid that.  Meanwhile, his supporters are working to make certain that as many people as possible who voted against Trump are never able to vote again.

The only thing that is different today is that the Trump supporters who are out to undermine democracy are no longer acting in secret.  They are proud of what they are doing and they want everyone to know that.  As they see it, they are fighting for what they believe is "right."  And anyone who disagrees with them is attacking their beliefs and their self-esteem.

Meanwhile, I can see that there is no point in arguing politics with rabid True Believers, so I focus on science.

As I see it, my science arguments are entirely based upon facts.  If there are facts that I'm unaware of that would change my understandings, then I seek those facts. 

I began writing science papers because I found that mathematicians were arguing against science, due to their belief in the infallibility of mathematics.

When I write papers, I'm describing my understandings based upon the facts I'm aware of.  I'm also looking for additional facts to help refine my understandings. And when I learn new things, I revise my papers, I do not destroy my old papers and write new ones.  My errors are there for everyone to see.  A prime example of that is my May 2015 paper titled "Time Dilation Re-Visualized."  It ends with this definition of "Time":
Time is the fourth dimensional distance from the Big Bang to another point.
Huh?  Back then, I was writing sci-fi novels about anti-time.  It seemed logical that there could be such a thing, and in my two novels about anti-time I explained in great detail how anti-time worked.  (I recently self-published the first novel in that series, "Time Work".)  But then I gradually learned that there is no such thing as anti-time.  It's still a good idea for science fiction (Time Lords in "Dr. Who" used it), but it's not good science, and when I rewrote that paper over a year later, the new version ended with this:
We can all theorize about how Time works, but it’s better if someone performs experiments to demonstrate how time works. The key points being made here are (1) Time Dilation is a real, it is a natural phenomenon, and it is not dependent upon Relativity; (2) although time may move at different rates for virtually everything and everyone, we all exist in the same “now;” and (3) there is much we do not yet understand about how Time works.
Meanwhile, I began to examine the idea that "Time is particle spin."  That idea still sticks with me today, and maybe it's time to examine that idea in greater detail.  

June 7, 2021
- This morn
ing produced a "first" for me.  As part of my morning routine, I check to see what is happening on several different Facebook groups, one of them being Astrophysics and Physics.  In a thread about Time Dilation, I've been arguing with "Michael Jones" who keeps insisting that "Time is just a measurement."  A measurement of what?  Of time.   That makes no sense, plus we know that motion and gravity can affect how fast time passes.  I keep explaining that to him, but he just argues the same thing again.

This morning, one of the group's moderators stepped in to say, "Michael Jones you should really listen to Ed Lake because he is correct on all counts."

Hmm.  That is definitely a "first."  I don't recall anyone ever actually supporting me in an Internet argument before, much less a moderator. The most I would get is some "likes," indicating that there were people who agreed with me.  Sometimes I might get a favorable comment, but only if no one was actively arguing with me.

Michael Jones responded to the moderator: " I have been beaten severely about the head & shoulders concerning this in the real world of Science & Technology.
TIME is a measurement we Homo sapians invented to mark the passage of existence and NOTHING more."

Of course, I had to respond to that.  I wrote:
          Time was not "invented," it was OBSERVED in the form of aging and decay. In cave man times, a human lived about 25 winters and then died of old age. The start of one winter was about 12 full moons before the start of the next winter. And full moons were about 28 days apart. A day was measured from noon to noon with a sundial of some kind. Noon occurred at a different time almost everywhere, since it depended upon when the sun was at it highest point in the sky.
          Meat would decay and become poisonous if not eaten within a few days. Different kinds of fruits and vegetables decayed at different rates.
          Days were divided into hours and minutes when people needed to schedule things, like when to open and close a shop.
          Einstein made us aware of the fact that aging and decay are affected by motion and gravity. A man who ages ten years on Earth can have a twin brother who aged only ONE year in that same period of Earth time because the twin was traveling at very high speeds on a round trip to Alpha Centauri.
          Muons are particles that are created when cosmic rays collide with atoms in the upper atmosphere. How long the muon exists depends upon how fast it travels. A slow moving muon will decay before it reaches the earth. Fast moving muons age slower and can easily reach the surface of the earth.
     And that brings us back to the same question: What IS Time if motion and gravity can slow it down?
We'll see what happens next.  Most likely Michael Jones will simply argue his same argument over again: Time is a measurement.

The topic was of extra interest to me because last night I listened to a recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Astronomy Cast.  It was episode #606 on the topic of "Time Dilation - Skipping Through Time."  While no one on the show said anything that was totally incorrect, what they did say was more confusing than enlightening.  Pamela Gay is an astronomer and one of the hosts.  What she said was okay, but not very clear in what she meant.  The problem was her co-host, Fraser Cain, publisher of the Universe Today web site, who just kept repeating that acceleration was the key to understanding time dilation, but he never explained what he meant by that. 

Acceleration is the key to understanding the so-called "Twin Paradox," since mathematicians will endlessly argue that "all motion is relative, so each twin is moving relative to the other twin, which means that both will see the other aging slower."  The correct response to that argument is that one twin accelerates to a higher speed, the other twin does not accelerate, so he is "stationary" while the twin who accelerated is the one who moved away at high speeds. 

I'm waiting for them to put a transcript of the show on-line.  Then I'll decide if I should write them a comment or not.  I really like their show, which makes it doubly disappointing when they talk about one of my favorite science topics in a very confusing way.

It also makes me feel that I need to overhaul my 2016 paper "What is Time?"  to incorporate all the things I've learned since 2016 that help clarify the subject.

June 6, 2021
- This is another Sunday morning when I have nothing prepared for my Sunday comment.  So, I'll have to write something from scratch.

I was involved in a number of interesting Facebook discussions during the past week, mainly on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group.  Unlike the arguments I've had on the sci.physics.relativity UseNet group, the Facebook discussions are generally polite and educational.  Additionally, people have the ability to "like" a comment without actually joining the discussion and creating a situation where you have to explain why you agree with a statement.

One discussion was on the topic of time dilation, a favorite topic of mine.  Someone started the thread with the question "Is Time Dilation real?"  I responded by asking "How many time dilation experiments have to be performed before people will accept that time dilation is real."  And I gave them a link to my list of time dilation experiments.  Then, in the same thread, someone asked how "time" is defined in dictionaries. I produced a list of 10 such definitions and explained that NONE answer the question: "What IS "Time" if it can speed up or slow down due to the effects of motion and gravity?"  And, of course I provided them with a link to my paper that answers that question.  The thread is currently going in circles with the argument: Time is a measurement.  A measurement of what?  A measurement of time. So, Time is a measurement of itself?      

In another thread we politely discussed Black Holes.  Since I'd just read a book about black holes (and another book that had a lot to say about black holes), I was prepared to explain how black holes come in various sizes.  If black holes come in different sizes, how can they all have a "singularity" of "infinite density" at their center?  The discussion is mostly about word definitions, but it's still interesting.  And in the 59 comments in the thread, none contains any personal attacks or name calling.

I also spent much of the past week just staring at my computer as I tried to figure out what I should work on.  When that happens, I tend to drift into researching and downloading podcasts.  And then I sit down and listen to podcasts.  I listened to a LOT of podcasts last week, and I downloaded a lot more.  Mostly I wanted to get rid of the celebrity interview podcasts which took up so much space in my MP3 player so that I could create space for more science podcasts.  Somewhere I heard about a new "science" podcast called "Periodic Talks."  I've only sampled a few, and they've only produced about 15 episodes.  One of the two people hosting the podcast is Diona Reasonover, who plays the lab assistant on the TV show "NCIS." That's enough by itself to make me curious.  Her co-host is Gillian Jacobs, another TV actress.  Two TV actresses doing a science podcast?  Why?  How come?  I'll have to listen to a few shows to find out.

Comments for Tuesday, June 1, 2021, thru Saturday, June 5, 2021:

June 2, 2021 - This morning, although I had lots of things more important to do, I sat down and started reading another book on my Kindle.  Less than 3 hours later, I finished it.  The 160 page book was "Black Hole Survival Guide" by Janna Levin.

Black Hole Survival Guide

I read the book because I expected it to be hogwash, and I was curious how the author could justify the opening sentences:

Black holes are nothing.
Black holes are special because there’s nothing there. There is no thing there.
Reading the book, I found more of the same.  Here's one sample:
The black hole is a not a thing. It is nothing. A bare black hole is pure empty spacetime—no atoms, light, strings, or particles of any kind, dark or bright. It’s empty space—or, in physics slang, the vacuum.
And another:
Black holes are a place in space and they barricade their secrets. They are a place that can also behave like an object. They are empty but have mass.
But then the author finally explains:
When I talk about the mass of a black hole and then say there is no stuff there, that seems like a sleight of hand. If there is no stuff, it would be fair to ask, how can it have any mass? The original star might be gone, but the energy equivalent of the mass of the star was imparted to the black hole. In the case of stellar collapse, physical things made of real material and having conventional mass impress their heft on space, leaving behind a gravitational attraction of equivalent value. If we discover a means by which the imploded object could form a remnant, an unrecognizable vestige of crushed matter, deep inside the event horizon, then we might rely on convention and connect the mass of the black hole to actual extant material. But this interpretation would be misleading, would allow the challenge to go unnoticed. The black hole is not the remnant, even if it hides one. Since the event horizon obscures from the outside the fate of the infalling matter, the black hole is indistinguishable whether the matter is destroyed, survives as a remnant, or finds life in another universe.
The author considers the "event horizon" to be the black hole, and it is indeed empty.  It's like an empty doorway, through which things can enter but nothing can exit.  We do not know what is inside, but the effects of the mass inside can be felt as gravity.  You can orbit a black hole just the way you orbit a planet or a star.

The author then clarifies her earlier claim:
So this is what you must remember: The black hole event horizon is empty. The black hole is no thing. The black hole is nothing.
In other words, the black hole event horizon is like an empty doorway.  But if you look at the whole thing, you see a black sphere.  What is inside, beyond the event horizon?  No one knows for sure.

It turned out to be a very interesting book, and the author explains that while the Black Hole itself is "nothing," there is probably lots of stuff inside the Black Hole.  Here's another quote:
A black hole is a place, a location in spacetime, eerily dark and bare and empty. And yet, scientists have not been able to answer the seemingly simple question, Where do we go if we fall in? The mystery of the black hole interior imposed by the event horizon gives black holes a special cultural aura not permitted most astrophysical phenomena.
The book also gets into Time Dilation and the speed of light, but the author writes in a way that is somewhat poetic, and there is absolutely no math in the book.  She loves the mystery of it all, and black holes are one of the most mysterious things in the universe -- even if she does not consider them to be "things."

Although there are some areas in the book that I disagree with, I can definitely recommend the book. 
It caused me to think about some things I've never thought about before.   

June 1, 2021
- During lunch this afternoon, I finished reading another science book on my Kindle.  The book was "What is Relativity?: An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein's Ideas, and Why They Matter" by astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett.

What is Relativity?

While it was an interesting book, it also got somewhat tedious at times.  I'm totally fascinated with Time and time dilation, and the book seems to explain Time Dilation correctly, but "relativity" can get boring when you get a dozen different descriptions of how different observers will view the same things differently.   And why do so many scientists (including the author of this book) insist that nothing gets "sucked" into a Black Hole?  They argue that things fall into a Black Hole, and then they describe how gravity pulls things in. Here's an interesting quote about Black Holes from the book:
Before Einstein, anyone proclaiming that there could be holes in the universe bounded by event horizons where time comes to a stop and light becomes infinitely redshifted would probably have been considered to be crazy. Even after Schwarzschild used Einstein’s equations to show that they allowed for the existence of the things we now call black holes, nearly all scientists assumed that they were still too strange to be true. As recently as the 1960s, any poll of scientists would likely have found most of them assuming that some undiscovered law of nature would ensure that such strange objects could not really exist. Today, that situation has been completely reversed, and it’s difficult to find any physicist or astronomer who doubts that black holes are both real and common in the universe. This dramatic change in scientific outlook is a direct result of the evidence-based nature of science. No matter how strange any idea may seem at first, if the evidence becomes strong enough, scientists will ultimately come to accept it. That is why my personal favorite definition of science is that it is a way of using evidence to help us come to agreement.
But that interesting quote is later followed by a description of the universe as being like an expanding balloon, with nothing outside of the balloon.  And sometimes the author uses the raisin muffin analogy, with nothing outside of the muffin.  The problem I see is: If you talk about spots on a balloon as being like galaxies within the universe that get farther and farther apart as the balloon expands, then the spots also get larger as the balloon gets larger.  It isn't just the space between the spots that gets larger.  If you talk about the expanding universe being like a raisin muffin where the raisins get farther apart as the muffin bakes, you are ignoring the fact that the raisins (i.e., galaxies) were once tiny particles which came together to form raisins (i.e., galaxies.)  And, of course, he talks about neither the balloon nor the muffin having a center, because that would mean that the Big Bang universe had a center and began at a point. 

The author not only argues that the Big Bang universe is all there is, so there is nothing for the expanding universe to expand into, he also advocates the idea that the universe will continue to expand faster and faster until it becomes a cold, dead fog of particles too far from each other to be drawn back together again.  How far apart would that be if every particle in the universe is attracted by gravity to every other particle?

While the book contains a lot of interesting information, it is also annoying in that it promotes ideas which are not logical.  What it makes me want to do is figure out how a universe that seems to be expanding faster and faster is actually going to stop expanding some day and collapse back into a ball that will then expand and create another Big Bang Universe, maybe the kazillionth one since the process began.  It seems all you need to do is stop thinking about the Big Bang as an "explosion" and start thinking of it as a sudden decompression of a ball consisting of countless compressed springs.  The springs on the outer edge will travel much faster than the springs that were down near the center of the ball.  But when all the springs have been released, gravity is gradually going to bring them all back into a ball once again.  That is more or less the way I describe things in my paper "Logical vs Mathematical Universes."

Comments for Sunday, May 23, 2021, thru Monday, May 31, 2021:

May 31, 2021 - Hmm.  That company in Hooghly, West Bengal, India, sent me three more emails overnight, all exact copies of their previous email, except for the title of the paper of mine that they want to publish -- providing I pay them to do so.  The emails were sent to the email address I put on my papers.  Hopefully they won't be sending me emails for all 16 of my papers.

There were a couple dozen junk emails in my other inbox (the email address that is at the top of this web page), including two emails offering a one-day cure for tinnitus, which is a ringing in the ears.  Interestingly, yesterday afternoon I happened to listen to a Science Magazine podcast from October 8, 2020, in which they stated that there is no cure for tinnitus, although there might be a way to gradually turn down the volume a bit.  So, the emails I'm getting definitely aren't advertisements, they are scams.  The podcast episode was also about the NASA mission to the asteroid Bennu, which will bring a sample of that asteroid
back to Earth in 2023.  I'd forgotten about that.  It has the sample and it's on its way home.

One thing I really like about science podcasts is that they tell you about other science podcasts and about new science books that are available.  The authors go on the podcasts to advertise their books.  On a Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast from November 2020, author Janna Levin talked about her new book "Black Hole Survival Guide."  That caused me to browse through an on-line sample of the book and I found it begins with these three sentences:
Black holes are nothing.
Black holes are special because there’s nothing there. There is no thing there.
The rest of the book seems to be an argument that black holes contain nothing.  That makes absolutely no sense to me, since you cannot get gravity from nothing. It's only a 143 page book, so I may read it just to find out what the author is talking about.  

May 30, 2021
- Sometimes I wonder how many times per day people try to scam me in one way or another. 
I get a truly annoying number of scam phone calls.  As a result, if I do not recognize the caller's phone number when my phone rings, I just wait for the answering machine to take over.  Phone scammers will normally just hang up instead of leaving a message.  I also get a lot of email scam attempts, maybe 40 or 50 per day, although most of those could just be simply classified as "advertising."  I get at least 5 emails per day advertising a quick cure for tinnitus.  And there are two or three emails a day advertising contacts with Russian or Asian women.  

I mention it, because last week I got an email from someone wanting to put my paper An Analysis of Einstein’s Second Postulate to his Theory of Special Relativity into a book.  It was a fairly long email, filled with praise for my efforts, and it wasn't until the fifth paragraph that it started mentioning the fact that it would cost me money to have my paper included in their book.  (They say they have published 82 books in the past month!)  
They evidently do their publishing in Hooghly, West Bengal, India, but they also have an office in London.  Using Google Maps, I can see that their address is just a doorway between two shops, a doorway that leads to elevators to the offices on the 2nd and 3rd floors. 

If my papers ever get into a book, it will almost certainly be a book I publish myself via Amazon.   The only other "possibility" is if someone pays me to let them publish my papers.

Somehow, a change in my daily routine last week caused me to stop thinking about working on science papers for awhile.  Instead, I listed to podcast after podcast, mostly Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcasts. I'd downloaded 8 of them from the fall of 2020, each nearly 2 hours long.   When they talked about the Covid-19 pandemic, it was like going back in time.  Back then, there was no vaccine and no one had any idea how long it would take to develop one.  When I finished listing to those podcasts, I started going through others in my MP3 player, mostly just sampling and deleting them, since I'd somehow lost interest in celebrity interviews.  Then, on Friday, I finally began thinking about science subjects again.  I inexplicably awoke thinking about the first second after the Big Bang, specifically the period known as "inflation."

Here is how the period of "inflation" is illustrated on Wikipedia:

Big Bang Universe

And the image below is from a NASA web site:

Big Bang Universe

During the "period of time" known as "inflation," there were no atoms or sub-atomic particles and the universe expanded faster than the speed of light. But there was no light, either, so who knows?  According to my paper "What is Time?",  when there were no spinning particles, there was no "time" - except in the sense of history being a "period of time."  Without atoms and sub-atomic particles, there is no way to measure time.   Plus, according to an article in Forbes magazine, the whole idea of "inflation" is just a way Quantum Mechanics mathematicians invented to explain things. 

A New Scientist article says "Inflation was invented to explain a couple of features of the universe that are really hard to explain without it."  One alternative explanation is that the universe was never a single dot or infinitely small particle as mathematicians insist it was, instead it was a clump of dark matter of unknown size that had been crunched down when the previous version of the Big Bang universe collapsed.  So, we have a Big Bang Universe that expands until gravity stops it from expanding further, then it collapses until it can collapse no further, producing a massive sphere of dark matter which then explodes in a new "Big Bang" and starts the whole process over again.  There is no "period of inflation" because there is no need to explain how the universe expanded from a point to something much much bigger.

The only problem with this scenario is that no one knows what "dark matter" is or what properties it has - other than that it seems to be mass that does not emit or reflect light.  I'll bet that it doesn't "spin," either, so it does not experience time. Compress it too tightly, however, and BOOM - the whole thing explodes.

It's something I haven't thought about very much before.  Mathematicians may find it impossible, because there are too many unknowns, but logically it seems to make perfect sense.  It is called "The Big Bounce Theory" by the many scientists who like the idea - regardless of how many mathematicians hate it.  I like it.  Even though I hadn't thought much about it before, somewhere in the back of my mind I always envisioned the "Big Bang" as actually being a "Big Bounce" that may have happened countless times before.  It certainly makes more sense than the "Big Bang" being a one time thing.  And it's the way I would want things to be.  There is something satisfying and appealing about it.

May 27, 2021
- I didn't write any comments for the past few days because I had an appointment for a physical at my local Veteran's Administration clinic.  That prevented me from thinking about anything else.  The physical took place yesterday morning, and everything is fine, but I still couldn't think about any thing else for the rest of the day. 
Mostly I just thought about things I should have mentioned to the doctor or to the nurse, but didn't.  Somehow I forgot to mention my paper on "A Different Covid-19 Problem."  Less seriously, when we talked about my diet, I forgot to mention that I eat a cup of yogurt every afternoon between 2 and 3 p.m.  I'll  have to remember that when I go again next year.

Now I have to get back to thinking about science questions again.  But which question should I work on?  What I'm doing is just sitting in front of my computer trying to think of what to work on.  Sigh.

May 24, 2021
- Evidently, the discussion I was having on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group has come to an end.  It was definitely the best discussion I've had about physics and science in years.  Unlike the arguments I've had on the sci.physics.relativity UseNet group, in the 156 posts to the thread there was no name calling or vicious personal attacks.  In addition, on Facebook you can indicate that you "like" a post without getting into an argument about it.  As of this moment, my post has 263 "likes" and 60 "shares," which I think means that 60 different people made a copy of the thread and put it on their own homepage. 

I thought that was very good, but this morning I noticed a thread that was started just yesterday (15 hours ago) and already has 772 "likes" and 165 "shares."  The thread is about old science fiction stories which assumed that by now we would have humans exploring every corner of the universe.  "2001: A Space Odyssey" is the best known example.  It's 20 years past that date and we still do not have Pan Am passenger flights to some rotating space station.

My discussion thread hit on some key points of disagreement in physics.  I was asked a lot of questions, and I answered all of them.  But the person I was arguing with could not answer even the simplest questions, like "What is the expanding universe expanding into?"  To him, the universe is everything there is, so it cannot be expanding into anything.  It is an infinite universe that is getting bigger.  How can something that is infinite in size get bigger?  He could not answer that.  I found that fascinating.  It says he has a BELIEF that he has never analyzed.  I don't think I changed his mind about anything, but maybe I made him think about things he'd never thought about before. 

How can anyone believe that the Big Bang Universe is infinite in size and is getting bigger and bigger?  
But clearly the guy I was arguing with has the same belief as many many others.  And he somehow thought that no one in the entire world of scientists disagrees with him - until I showed him article after article about scientists who do disagree.  That is when he stopped posting and the thread came to an end.

Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon I listened to podcast #773 from the Skeptics Guide to the Universe series.  When I first discovered the world of podcasts, I downloaded samples from many different series and then began listening to them.  But I first listened to all of the podcasts in my favorite series.  That took months and months.  Meanwhile, my MP3 player is nearly filled with samples from series I never actually listened to.  Among them were episodes #773 through #801 of the Skeptics Guide.  Today, their most recent episode is #823.  They have been podcasting since 2005.

Anyway, I found podcast #773 to be fascinating.  The only problem with it (and all the others in the series) is its length.  Episode #773 is 1 hour and 43 minutes long.  And that seems to be about average.  The most recent episode (#826) is 1 hour and 55 minutes long.  It would take me years to listen to them all! 

Based on what I heard in #773, they cover a lot of topics in each podcast.  #773 was first aired in April 2020, so it began with a discussion of Covid-19 conspiracy theories and other crazy beliefs.  Then after 15 minutes or so, they changed topics and talked about creating new elements for the periodic table.  Then they talked about good and bad ways to make coffee.   Then they talked about UFO videos, which also happen to be in the news right now.  If the video is blurry, it is a UFO.  If the video is clear, we know what it is, and it is never an alien ship.  There were a few other topics, too, including hail cannons, something else I'd never heard of before, even though farmers have evidently been using them for decades to disrupt the formation of hailstones in the atmosphere.

Hail cannons

Anyway, based on that one episode, I moved The Skeptics Guide to the Universe into position #6 in the Top 10 in my list of interesting podcasts.  

Added NOTE: When I listened to Episode #774, they said that while some farmers may still use hail cannons, the consensus is that they do not work.  

May 23, 2021
- On Friday morning, during breakfast, I finished reading another library book on my Kindle.  The book was "Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth" by Avi Loeb.


It was a very interesting book, mostly about 'Oumuamua, the mysterious object that passed through our solar system in September and October of 2017.  Unfortunately, no one got any good pictures of it.  Below, from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day web site for November 22, 2017, is an artist's drawing of what it may have looked like:


According to Avi Loeb's book, however, it probably more likely looked like a disk, and the artist's drawing above just shows it edge-on.  It was first noticed by astronomer Robert Weryk using the Pan-STARRS telescope at Haleakalā Observatory, Hawaii, on 19 October 2017, 40 days after it passed its closest point to the Sun on 9 September. When it was first observed, it was about 21 million miles from Earth and already heading away from the Sun. The name 'Oumuamua is the Hawaiian word for "scout," and reflects the way the object is like a scout or messenger sent from the distant past to reach out to humanity. The word also roughly translates to "first distant messenger".

The author of the book definitely feels the object was most likely of alien origin and was not something natural.  There's a lot of evidence to support that belief, but none of it is conclusive.  It is just different from anything we've ever seen before.  It reflects light differently (almost like it was made of shiny metal), it did not emit gasses as a comet would while passing the sun (which is why astronomers initially failed to notice it), and it's certainly unusually shaped.  In addition, when our solar system is viewed as a nearly flat disk, 'Oumumua dropped down from above, fell between the sun and the orbit of Mercury, changed directions as a result of the sun's gravity, and passed back through the solar system disk again, this time between the orbits of Earth and Mars and once again heading upwards.  

The author of the book spends most of the book arguing that more time and money should be spent on the hunt for extraterrestrial life.  And he hits on a gripe of mine: the massive amount of  time and money spent on mathematical projects which can never be proved or disproved, such as String Theory and multiple universes.  Here's a passage about that from the book:
I have long been aware that within the discipline of astronomy, SETI faces hostility. And I have long found that hostility bizarre. Mainstream theoretical physicists now widely accept the study of extra-spatial dimensions beyond the three we are all familiar with—plainly put, height, width, and depth—and the fourth dimension, time. This is despite the fact that there is no evidence for any such extra dimensions. Similarly, a hypothetical multiverse—an infinite number of universes all existing simultaneously in which everything that could conceivably happen is happening—occupies many of our planet’s most admired minds, again despite the fact that there is no evidence that such a thing is possible.
Coincidentally, I was arguing the same thing on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group yesterday, and I was able to quote from Avi Loeb's book to support my arguments.  And the "hostility" against SETI (The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) was unknown to me before reading this book, and before someone brought it up in a podcast I listened to last week.  It may have been in an interview with Avi Loeb on Sean Carrol's Mindscape podcast.  The hostility seems to be just more friction between mathematician physicists who seek funding to solve mathematical problems that have nothing to do with reality, while scientists seek funding to explore and learn more about the universe around us.  

The more I learn about this battle, the more insane it seems.  As Avi Loeb says in his book,
Rather than spending one’s entire career going down mathematical alleys that will be regarded as irrelevant by future generations of physicists, young scientists should focus on those areas of research where the value of ideas can be tested and cashed in during their lifetimes. There is no field of research where the risk-and-reward calculus is greater than in the search for extraterrestrial life. What is more, with just eleven days’ worth of accumulated data gleaned from ‘Oumuamua’s passage, we already have more suggestive, observable evidence than we do for all the fashionable thought bubbles that currently hold sway in the field of astrophysics.

Comments for Sunday, May 16, 2021, thru Saturday, May 22, 2021:

May 20, 2021 - Hmm.  Yesterday afternoon, some question I saw posted on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group prompted me to start a new thread there.  I began the thread with an illustration I created a couple years ago:
Our three universes

And I wrote this comment:
I'm wondering if things aren't a lot simpler than they are typically described. In the illustration, dark energy is simply the energy from the Big Bang Universe that we cannot see because it is beyond the Observable Universe. And Dark Matter is simply material that has been highly compressed to the point where it cannot reflect light nor emit any energy. It is also the stuff that is inside Black Holes.
Astrophysics and Physics is a moderated group with 286,500 members.  So, I would have to wait for my post to be accepted by a moderator.  This morning, when I checked the group I found that my comment was on-line with 201 "Likes" and "Loves," plus 49 comments and 44 "shares."   And only about a half dozen of those 49 comments were from mathematicians arguing against the illustration because:
The Big Bang didn’t happen at a single point, it happened everywhere!

There is no center for big bang.

No. First of all there is no "point of the Big Bang", because it happened (still does) everywhere at once.

Wasn’t there not a center though? I thought the expansion was equidistant everywhere, like the surface of a balloon when you blow it up.

The big bang did not occur at one point in space. There is not a 'center' of the universe.
What the thread seems to show is that the VAST MAJORITY support what I wrote.  It is only mathematicians who cannot cope with it.  Since I only argue with mathematicians, it sometimes seems like their numbers are a lot greater.

May 19, 2021
- Groan!  I've spent the last two days staring at Part
§2 of Einstein's 1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies," trying to find the best way to explain this section:
          Observers moving with the moving rod would thus find that the two clocks were not synchronous, while observers in the stationary system would declare the clocks to be synchronous.
          So we see that we cannot attach any absolute signification to the concept of simultaneity, but that two events which, viewed from a system of co-ordinates, are simultaneous, can no longer be looked upon as simultaneous events when envisaged from a system which is in motion relatively to that system.
It involves a moving object within a stationary frame of reference, something I don't recall any mathematician ever mentioning.  In the truck experiment I describe in some of my papers, it would be like having a child on a tricycle pedaling back and forth in the trailer while the experimenters use radar guns try to determine if the truck is moving or not.  In theory, due to "length contraction" the child would measure the length of the truck to be shorter than what the adult experimenters measure, and he could see some events as not being simultaneous while the experimenters see them as simultaneous. 

As I see it, there is no such thing as "length contraction," but if you are a mathematician who only understands math, there definitely is such a thing as "distance contraction," so there must also be such a thing as "length contraction."

Speed is distance divided by time.  A speed of 70 mph means you travel 70 miles in one hour or 140 miles in 2 hours.  When you start talking about time dilation, the fact that you are moving also means that time is running slower for you.  Therefore, an hour is longer.  But to a mathematician it also means that the distance you travel in one hour is shorter than what that same distance would be if you are not moving.

What Einstein does in his paper is use a "rod" with clocks at both ends of the rod to measure "length contraction."  Describing exactly how he does that is where I came to a screeching halt.  Wikipedia has a page on Length Contraction which contains this:

In Newtonian mechanics, simultaneity and time duration are absolute and therefore both methods lead to the equality of and . Yet in relativity theory the constancy of light velocity in all inertial frames in connection with relativity of simultaneity and time dilation destroys this equality. In the first method an observer in one frame claims to have measured the object's endpoints simultaneously, but the observers in all other inertial frames will argue that the object's endpoints were not measured simultaneously. In the second method, times and are not equal due to time dilation, resulting in different lengths too.
As far as I'm concerned, distances and lengths do not change due to motion.  Only time changes.  Alpha Centauri is the the same distance from Earth whether I travel there at a small or large fraction of the speed of light.  My speed doesn't change any distance, it only changes how long it takes me to get there as I measure it and as someone back on earth measures it.

But is there any way I could get a mathematician to accept that?  My hope would be that my paper would make it undeniable. But can I do that?  Is it even worth trying?  That's where I am as I stare at my computer while doing nothing.

May 17, 2021
-I keep thinking I should work on a book that puts together all the ideas about Relativity that are in my science papers.  But as soon as I start thinking about that, I start thinking I really need to write a new paper in which I go through Einstein's 1905 paper "On The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" part by part to explain in plain English, without mathematics, what that paper is saying.

That immediately generates a question: Can I do that?

I know I can do it for the first few parts of the paper, but the paper has TEN parts.  Part #6 is "Transformation of the Maxwell-Hertz Equations for Empty Space. On the Nature of the Electromotive Forces Occurring in a Magnetic Field During Motion."  Groan!  And part #9 is "Transformation of the Maxwell-Hertz Equations when Convection-Currents are Taken into Account".  Can I translate those two parts into plain English.  Of course, I won't know until I try.  But that poses another question:
Do I want to?  I want to write about the first few parts, and, for all I know, the other parts could be available in plain English and free of mathematics in some book or paper somewhere.  Or, hopefully, the two parts I mentioned might be translatable into a few simple sentences.  All I want to do is summarize what those sections are about, I don't plan to attempt to convert mathematical formulae into instructions in English. 

I also know that, many times when I write a comment about what I plan to do, my plans immediately go astray and nothing happens.  As a result, I keep telling myself that I shouldn't write comments about my plans.  Someday I might implement that plan.

May 16, 2021
- Yesterday morning, as part of my morning routine, I checked to see how many people had downloaded my science papers from academia.edu.  I was surprised to see that about a half dozen people had read two of my papers about radar guns, specifically "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories" and "Relativity and Radar Guns." 
It's very rare to get more than one or two reads in a day on that site, and usually there are none at all for day after day.  Most people access my science papers via the viXra.org web site, even though, when doing a Google search for my papers, it seems Google will usually first send you to academia.edu, not vixra.org.  That made me wonder what I'd find if I did a Google search for "Edward Lake Radar Guns."

What I found was that my paper on Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories is cited in one scientific article on vixra.org. That means that someone used my paper as a reference in their paper.  I think that is a first.  As far as I know, no one had ever done that before.  Even more strange was the title of the paper; "Paper Car Speed Detection Using Computer Vision."  And it seemed it was also available on Google's Semantic Scholar web site.  I'd never heard of "Semantic Scholar" before, either.  So, I did a Google search for "Semantic Scholar" and that led me to Wikipedia's web page about it, which says,

Semantic Scholar is an artificial-intelligence backed search engine for academic publications that was developed at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and publicly released in November 2015.[1] It uses recent advances in natural language processing to provide summaries for scholarly papers.
Ah!  Something else I'd never heard of before!  And that probably means "Paper Car Speed" and "Computer Vision" are artificial intelligence translations of whatever was originally written in Hindi.  (Does "Computed car speed" translate to "Paper car speed"?  Does "Digital processing" translate to "Computer Vision"?)  Here's the part of that paper where my paper is cited as reference #3:
The main objective of this paper is to create a car speed detecting software which can inform the concerned authorities if a car is over speeding. This software allows monitoring of cars through a single digital camera. Car and its speed are calculated the moment car enters into the region of camera’s FOV. This would help in more efficient and software-based surveillance.


Earlier, in the past decade the technologies used for this task were more hardware based. This included a handheld speed monitoring gun [3]. The traffic officers used to hold this gun in their hand. Aiming towards the speeding car they used to get to know its speed. These devices were based on Doppler’s Effect [4]. These sent a beam of radio waves to the moving car and then speed was calculated based on the change in the reflected frequency waves. These devices worked well when there was only one car in the field of view of the gun sensor.
The paper is kind of interesting.  It suggests using computer images to measure traffic speeds instead of using radar guns and the Doppler Effect.  You measure how long it takes a car to pass through the FOV or "Field of View" of two different cameras.  It seems very similar to a technique used in the 1950's when they put down two rubber hoses on the road, a fixed distance apart.  When a car ran over the first hose, that squeezed the air inside and registered on a measuring device.  When the same car ran over the second hose, you could calculate how fast the car was traveling in order to travel from hose #1 to hose #2 in x seconds.  The difference in this setup is that the hose technique required one car at a time to run over the hoses, while the two camera technique allows you to tell which of multiple cars traveled the fastest between Point A and Point B.  The authors evidently never heard of lidar guns, which solve the problem by sending out a much narrower beam that only hits the car you want to track.

It appears that Google now does the searching on vixra.org when you want to look for something.  I'm not sure when that changed, but previously it was vixra software that did the searching.  That probably explains why I'm getting more reads of my vixra papers, but it doesn't explain why so many people are suddenly interested in my papers on how radar guns demonstrate Einstein's theories.

Comments for Sunday, May 9, 2021, thru Saturday, May 15, 2021:

May 13, 2021 - I'm getting indications that someone is talking about one of my papers, but I don't know where the discussion is taking place. All I see is unusual activity on on my vixra.org page for the number of "Unique IP downloads" of the paper.  A "Unique IP download" is a download by someone who has never accessed the paper before from a specific IP address.

In the past month I've had 56 new readers for my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories."  During that same time period, the total number of reads for my newest paper "Analyzing: 'Constancy of the speed of light'" is just 49.

The Radar Guns paper was first uploaded in May of 2018, and since then 771 new readers have access the 9 versions of the paper.  My most popular paper is "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments," which has had 1,308 new readers since the first version was uploaded, also in May 2018.  In the past month that paper has gotten 24 new readers, less than half the number for the Radar Gun paper. 

Looking over the Radar Guns paper, it seems like someone might be doing the experiment that the paper recommends: using two identical radar guns to measure the speed of a truck from inside the truck.  Or maybe they are just discussing it.  A couple days ago, a government agency that might be interested in such an experiment accessed my web site.  I might be putting 2 and 2 together and getting 74,504, but it certainly has perked my curiosity. 

Meanwhile, I've decided against starting a new discussion about "What is Time?" on the
sci.physics.relativity forum.  Any discussion there would almost certainly follow the pattern of all previous discussions, it would just turn into them calling me a lot of names while insisting that I take college courses in physics so that I can discuss mathematical formulae with them. 

That troll who posts insults to my web site log is still at it.  Most of his posts are just hurling insults, but he did pose an interesting question.  Yesterday he claimed that I had somewhere stated that "Time is a measurement of particle spin."  I said no such thing.  I said "Time is particle spin," and I said "you can use any particle as a clock to measure time."  Does that mean that "Time is a measurement of particle spin"?  No.  Time IS particle spin, is it NOT a measurement of particle spin.  There are many types of particles, and each type evidently spins at a different rate.  If Time was a measurement of particle spin, every particle would measure time differently.  So, Time definitely not a measurement of particle spin, it IS particle spin. 

If Time were a "measurement of particle spin" time could not dilate.  Twenty spins would always be twenty spins.  That is what we observe when we travel very fast.  All particles seem to spin at their standard rates.  No dilation is observed or measured.

Due to the fact that Nature has a natural speed limit, particles must slow down their spin when the particle is moving through space in order to stay within the "speed limit."  That slowing down OF TIME is measurable when you compare a clock against a second clock that is moving slower than the first clock.  You are not measuring particle spin, you are measuring time.  Time IS particle spin, it is not a measurement of particle spin.  If it were a measurement, there would be no measurable time dilation because x spins would always be y amount of time. 

There's probably a better way to explain that, but I've run out of time for today.

May 12, 2021
- I spent most of yesterday just staring at my computer screen trying to think of some way to explain "Time."  Of course, I also did a Google search for "What is Time?"  That didn't really help.  The standard answer seems to be:

Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in an apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future.
However, that same Wikipedia article also says:
Time in physics is operationally defined as "what a clock reads"
When you look at those two definitions, it seems clear that they are talking about different forms of time - or different views of time.  I would define those two views as "Observed Time" and "Measured Time."

"Observed Time," therefore, is "history" plus what we can predict in the future based upon what was observed in the past.

"Measure Time" is what a clock reads, and that includes any type of clock that measures amounts of time, from atomic clocks to orbits of the sun and moon.

But neither of those definitions is a true definition of "time" itself.  They are just ways of looking at time.  If you want to know "What is Time?", you have to ask that question in a different form: "What is Time if it can be slowed by motion and gravity?"

"Observed Time" doesn't explain how and why someone on a space ship can observe time passing at a slower rate than someone on earth.

"Measured Time" doesn't explain how the person on the space ship and the person on earth can use identical clocks and get very different measurements of time.

Furthermore, the way time is observed on the space ship has absolutely no effect on the way time is observed on earth.  Time is simply observed and measured to pass at two different rates in those two different locations.  The question remains: What is Time if it can be slowed by motion and gravity?

That brings us back to the answer I came up with in February of 2016: Time is particle spin.

The troll who posts to my log file would undoubted argue:
One does NOT measure Time... Time is the measure
Time is the measure of what?  How long it takes water to boil?  How do you get an answer?  You get the answer by measuring the time it takes water to boil.

Particle spin is not a measurement of time.  It IS time.  Every particle of every unique type can spin at a different rate than all other particles.  So, by itself a particle is not a measurement time.  You have to measure the spin of a particle to learn how fast it spins.  The key point is: Every particle spins at a steady rate.  If you have ten different kinds of particles, each can spin at a different rate, but each spins at a steady rate.  Therefore, you can use any particle as a clock to measure time.  You just need to know the spin rate.  Particle-A may spin x times per second, Particle-B may spin y times per second, and Particle-C may spin z times per second, but if you know the spin rates, each can be used to reliably measure seconds, minutes and hours.  The spin rates are all steady.

And all the spin rates will be proportionally slowed by motion and gravity.  We know that because that is how atomic clocks work.

So, Time is particle spin.  When you measure how fast a particle spins, you are not "measuring time," you are merely obtaining a basis for using the particle to measure time.  A machine that is designed  to measure time will operate at a steady rate because all the particles within the machine spin at steady rates.

If particles didn't spin, there would be no time.  If particles didn't spin at steady rates, there would be no time. We know that particle spin slows when motion and gravity are applied.  Concepts and ideas do not slow when motion and gravity are applied.  Thus: Time is particle spin.

At least that is how I understand things.  I wonder what the folks on the sci.physics.relativity forum would say about it.  Do I really care?  I'll have to think about that.

May 10, 2021
- A couple days ago, I decided it was time to download some more podcasts into my MP3 player.  One of the sites I visited while hunting for things of interest was "The Geeks Guide to the Galaxy," which is mostly about discussing new science fiction books, movies and TV series.  However, Episode #462, from April 8, was an interview with Julia Galef, someone I'd never heard of before.  The blurb about the episode said:

Julia Galef, host of Rationally Speaking, joins us to discuss her new book The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t.
Rationally Speaking?  What was that?  I looked it up, and it turned out to be a podcast I'd never heard of.  Here's the blurb for that podcast:
Rationally Speaking is the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. Join Julia Galef and guests as they explore the borderlands between reason and nonsense, likely and unlikely, science and pseudoscience. Rationally Speaking was co-created with Massimo Pigliucci.
I was a bit wary of any podcast that advertises itself as being about skeptics, but I started looking through the 255 episodes that have aired since the podcast first began on February 1, 2010.  Then I listened to four episodes, #1, #3, #5 and #228.  Here's the blurb for Episode #1:
Why is "speaking rationally" a worthwhile goal, anyway? It’s not self-evident, at least not to many people. Human beings certainly don’t seem made for it. Aristotle may have famously dubbed us "the rational animal," but cognitive science tells a different story, with plenty of evidence that our brains blithely flout logic all the time and are excellent at rationalizing our irrational decisions after the fact. Indeed, it is reasonable to ask why fight our irrational natures to begin with? After all, some argue that irrationality can make us happier, at least in certain situations. Then again, perhaps there is a problem with the whole idea of arguing for irrationality.
It was a very interesting discussion, even though one of the hosts, Massimo Pigliucci has a bit of an accent which occasionally makes him difficult to understand. (That may be why he is evidently no longer a host on the show.)  They also talked about Wikipedia's list of Paradoxes, which looks very interesting.  And they talked about "ad hominem" arguments, where people attack the person, not the argument made by the person.  That's something I'm very familiar with.  " Episode #3 had a guest with an even stronger accent, but I still managed to get through it and enjoy it.  Episode #5 had Neil deGrass Tyson as their guest, and it was fascinating.  Episode #228 was about Elsevier, "the world's largest scientific publisher."  It fit right in with the comment I wrote yesterday about my attempts to publish my science papers. 

My point here is that I'd discovered a new podcast that I really like.  This morning I added it as #5 in my list of favorite podcasts, bumping Joe Rogan off of my Top 10. 
I'm looking forward to listening to more of the podcasts.  All I need to do is find the time.

Meanwhile, that troll who posts insults to my log file was at it again yesterday.  He posted 5 copies each of 4 new messages.  Three of them were just the same crap he always posts, but one can be used to explain his problem.  He wrote:
Imbecile Ed Lake quotes Einstein: "Time is what clocks measure" ... moron Ed Lake will die without ascertaining the fact that by that definition -Time is MEASURING 'particle  spin'- NOT 'partilce spin' itself
Is someone measuring particle spin?  Who?  How?  As I see it, it is a basic FACT of Nature that nothing can go faster than the speed of light.  No one is measuring the speed of objects relative to the speed of light.  It's just a fact of Nature.  And if fast-moving particles must slow down their spin to avoid conflicting with Nature's maximum speed limit, no one is doing any measuring.  The only time anyone does any measuring is when some human compares the time difference between two objects (such as atomic clocks) moving at different speeds or positioned at different altitudes.  When doing so, he is not measuring particle spin.  He is simply observing the difference in the tick rate of two clocks.  The question then becomes: What causes one clock to tick slower than another clock when the first clock is traveling faster or is at a lower altitude than the second clock?  The only answer I see is that the first clock is in greater conflict with Nature's maximum speed limit than the second clock.

If no one is doing any measuring, the first clock will still tick slower than the second clock.  If you do not use clocks, the faster moving object will age slower than the slower moving object.  How can that be?  It is because the atoms and particles that make up the first object are spinning slower than the atoms and particles that make up the second object.  If no one is doing any measuring, it is still happening.  That says that time is particle spin.  It is Nature's clock, i.e., Nature's way of measuring time.

I could go on and on, but I've explained all this many times before, including in some of my papers.  There's no point in explaining it again to a troll who refuses to discuss the subject, and who can only state his beliefs without any capability of explaining his beliefs.  So, I'm not going to write any more comments on this web site about that troll's posts to my log file.  Our disagreements cannot be resolved without a discussion.  And a discussion is best held in a public forum, such as my blog.  If the troll wishes to continue, here is the link to where to do so: https://oldguynewissues.blogspot.com/2016/02/what-is-time.html

And he can begin by answering a simple question: What is time?

May 9, 2021
- There were no new attacks in my log file, nor did the troll post anything to my blog file.  Someday I'd really like to get one of the mathematician physicists from the sci.physics.relativity forum into a discussion on my blog where we can try to discuss "What is Time?" or some similar topic. Usually, discussions on the sci.physics.relativity forum aren't very helpful, because anyone can join in, and it is very difficult to hold a discussion when 15 different people are asking complex multi-part questions, each of which would fill an entire page in a book. I am the moderator on my blog, and nothing gets shown there unless I first approve it.
  On the other hand, the last time I had a lengthy discussion there was in July of 2015, which was before I started writing science papers.  Back then I was mostly arguing on blog files.  It now seems centuries ago.

Meanwhile, last week I got another view into the past when I checked my web site log file for May 5.  Here's a small part of that file.  You can click on it to view a larger version.

Log file data from May 5, 2021

As you can see, there were 17 accesses from IP address which is located in Tafresh, Iran.  The fact that it was someone in Iran wasn't particularly unusual, since I get visitors from just about everywhere.  What struck my eye was the fact that the access seemed to come via Google Scholar.  Plus, they were accessing a file on my web site that I couldn't recall putting there.  The file is Second-Postulate-01.pdf   The log entries indicate that someone did a full access of the file at 06:55:35 a.m, and then 16 partial accesses.  I have no idea what that is all about, nor why the full access shows up last in the log.

Checking my web site, the pdf file is there, of course.  And it appears I uploaded the file on the morning of April 20, 2017.  Since my web site is somewhat like a diary, I just had to look to see what I was doing on April 20, 2017.  What I was doing back then was trying to get that paper published in a journal and placed on arXiv.orgOn May 2, 2017, I was informed that it would cost me $127 per page to get it published in the journal that had agreed to publish it.  It's an 18 page paper!  I hadn't seen the part of their web site where the cost of publishing was given.  I thought they published for free.  Later, arXiv.org turned the paper down because I didn't have the proper credentials for putting papers on their web site.

I remember all that.  It basically ended my attempts to get my papers published.  Paying thousands of dollars to get my papers published would be a waste of money.  I am not in any "publish or perish" situation.  I just wanted to get other people's reactions to the ideas in my papers.

I put my first paper on viXra.org on February 22, 2016.  It was the first version of my paper "What is Time?"  ViXra.org doesn't have editors. So, you just upload your paper and it's on-line within a day.  When arXiv.org turned down my paper about Einstein's Second Postulate, I put it on viXra.org, too.  And, just as with my paper on "What is Time?", I gradually buried the paper under "revisions" that didn't include all the stuff that got me started.  I was writing new papers on the same topic, not revising the original paper.  The originals are still amazing, while the revised versions just seem to address some specific issue.  Plus, for some reason, I also started double-spacing the papers.  I'm going to have to find some way to fix all that and put the best version at the top of each list of versions.  I should also put the best ones in book format, too, but maybe getting the best versions into separate files will help me decide exactly what should be in the book.  All I need to do is find the time to do it all.  Groan!

Other interests:

fake picture of snow on
                    the pyramids
 Click HERE for an analysis of this fake photo.

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