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!
 
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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
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Available in paperback and Kindle.  Click HERE for details.

Available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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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, January 16, 2022, thru Sat., Jan. 22, 2021:

January 17, 2022 - Hmm.  It seems like I run into mathematicians wherever I go.  I didn't expect to run into any on the metabunk.org forum about conspiracy theories, but as a new member I had to introduce myself, and in the process of doing that I mentioned writing science papers about Einstein's Second Postulate.  I wrote:
About six years ago, I started looking into a real puzzling science question: Why do most college physics textbooks have a WRONG version of Einstein's Second Postulate to his Theory of Special Relativity? I've been writing science papers about what I've found.
And one member of the site responded with this: 
Welcome! Wow, taking on the light postulate. That's bold. So, everyone who says that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant is wrong? And, Galilean relativity is wrong? That's bold indeed. I'd like to see these ideas brought up on the Physics Forums or Physics Stack Exchange to learn how physicists would address them.
Of course, I wrote nothing to cause him to argue that I was saying that "everyone who says the speed of light in a vacuum is constant is wrong."  He just made some false assumptions.  Fortunately, I was able to keep the argument short by pointing out to him that there was no conspiracy involved, so it was not an appropriate subject to argue about on a web site about conspiracy theories.

The current hot topic on the site appears to be contrails.  That's a conspiracy theory I haven't been involved with in years.  I briefly wrote about it on this site on August 16, 2016.  Nothing since then.  It's truly a dumb theory, almost as dumb as the Flat Earth Theory.   This morning on metabunk.org, I briefly commented on the Flat Earth conspiracy theory, providing this image:
flat earthBut I don't think the discussion will last long.  On that forum you're usually not arguing with people who believe in conspiracy theories, you're just exchanging viewpoints with people who like debunking conspiracy theories.   

January 16, 2022
- Yesterday I was reading a book on my Kindle which, to my surprise, was written by the creator of a web site about debunking conspiracy theories.  His name is Mick West.  It will be weeks before I finish the book and write a review of it, but meanwhile I'll be browsing his web site at www.metabunk.org

While browsing his site yesterday, I discovered that he also has a podcast.  It's called "Tales from the Rabbit Hole." 
There are only 54 episodes, the first is dated April 19, 2019, and the last episode is dated October 22, 2021.  I downloaded about a dozen of the ones that seem most interesting into my MP3 player.  In the process of downloading them, I had to listen to bits and parts, and they seem very interesting.  So, I added the podcast to my web page of my favorite podcasts

One of the favorite topics on metabunk.org seems to be "the flat earth conspiracy theory."  Since I have a blog page on that subject, I decided to join the forum and mention that fact. I had to wait to be accepted.  This morning I see I have been accepted, but my posts are still being "monitored," which means that someone (probably Mick West) has to look them over before they'll appear on the site for everyone to see. 

I'm totally amazed that I never heard of his web site before.  Browsing through it, there are lots of threads that I'd like to comment on.  One thread begins with a YouTube video that seemingly shows an airplane slowing and then stopping in mid-air.  Here it is:



Obviously the plane cannot be stopping in mid-air.  So what could cause it to appear to be doing that?  I think the plane must be "banking," which means it is turning away from the camera and flying somewhat sideways.  And is probably pushing against headwinds.  If you know nothing about airplanes, flying sideways seems silly, but if you think about it, a plane cannot simply turn a corner like a car does.  If you are pushing against headwinds, you can be flying at 200 mph according to your instruments while flying just 100 mph over the ground.  And if you bank to keep your nose into the headwinds, you will appear to be moving sideways.  From certain angles it would look like you're stopped.

There's probably an airport in the vicinity and the plane is turning for a landing, which would also explain why it would be flying as slow as it can and a lot lower than the normal altitude for commercial airplanes.

What's puzzling about the video is why the person who made it says the plane seems to be "parking itself in the sky," when clearly the plane is dropping lower and lower. 

It seems to be another example of what causes people to dream up conspiracy theories.  I tend to separate people into two types: those who think logically and those who think emotionally.  Someone looking at that plane who thinks logically would just assume there's an airport in that direction and the plane is turning for a landing.  Someone who thinks emotionally would look at the same thing and be totally amazed at a plane that seems "to be parking itself in the sky," even though it  obviously could not possibly be doing that.  They do not look for explanations, they just log it as something amazing they have seen, that others will probably not believe.  And they enjoy that. 
 

Comments for Sunday, January 9, 2022, thru Sat., Jan. 15, 2021:

January 14, 2022 - Yesterday afternoon, after ending the arguments I was having on the RDForum, I decided to just sit down on my couch and finish the book I had been reading on my Kindle.  The book was "Packing For Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void" by Mary Roach.

Packing for Mars

I'd started the book over a year ago, but stopped reading it for some forgotten reason.  Then, a week or so ago, I started reading it again.  While it is interesting in parts, overall it was a big disappointment.  It really has very little to do with "packing for Mars."  It's mostly about the experiments that were done (and are apparently still being done) to determine how humans can survive in a weightless environment for long periods of time.  Here's a quote from about midway through the book:
Zero gravity still had NASA spooked. “The big bugaboo was weightlessness,” said John Glenn in a 1967 Associated Press interview. “Many ophthalmologists thought the eye would change its shape and that this would change the vision, so that maybe the man in space would not be able to see at all.” That is why, if you’d looked inside Glenn’s capsule, you’d have seen a scaled-down version of the classic Snellen eye chart taped to the instrument panel. Glenn had been given instructions to read the chart every twenty minutes. A color blindness test and a device to measure astigmatism were also on board. I used to hear about Glenn’s historic flight and think, “Man, what was that like—being the first NASA astronaut to orbit the Earth?” Now I know. It was like visiting the eye doctor.
A lot of the book is about keeping clean in a weightless environment.  You can't take showers or baths, so you basically just wipe yourself down with damp cloths.  But the book goes through chapter after chapter of experimenting with different ways to bathe and keep clean, describing in great detail the kinds of oils and grease that that body emits and where it is emitted.  Here's a quote about that:
Once a set of clothes becomes saturated and oil starts to build up on the skin, what’s the end point? Does uncleansed skin grow ever greasier as the days pass? It does not. According to the Soviet research, the skin halts its production of sebum * after five to seven days of not bathing and not changing one’s increasingly well-greased clothing. Only when the person changes his shirt or takes a shower do the sebaceous glands get back to work. Skin seems happiest with a five-day buildup of oils.
The book has at least one full chapter about rumors of men and women having sex while in weightlessness.  And there were supposedly some sex acts performed on airplane flights where weightlessness was simulated by flying upward and doing a slow arc that lasts for about 90 seconds.  But it is all officially denied, and probably justly so.

I found it interesting that no one wears shoes in space.  I hadn't thought about that, but it's easy to understand.  You do not stand on anything, but you often need to hook your toes under handles of some kind to keep yourself steady as you perform some task with your hands. 

That was more interesting to me than page after page about the process of recycling urine back into drinking water or chasing particles of poop that might escape when an astronaut does "number 2" into a plastic bag while in space.
  

January 13, 2022
- I just ended my discussions on the RDForum. I started the discussions on September 26, 2020, about a year and a half ago.  While many of the discussions during that time were very educational, they've reached the point where everything is now just repetition of previous arguments.  This morning, someone who labels himself "STS-134" posted this as a response to my new paper
"Radar Guns and Einstein's Second Postulate":
What the hell? If an emitter emits a single photon, that photon has a specific frequency in the emitter's inertial reference frame. If we move to any other inertial reference frame, the single photon will be Doppler shifted in frequency. The shift depends on the difference in velocity between the two inertial reference frames. So yes, there is a Doppler shift when a photon from a moving emitter hits a stationary target, because we had to change reference frames from that of the emitter to that of the target.

It is a property of our Universe that no inertial reference frame is special and no experimental result depends on which inertial reference frame you're in. Experimental results depend only on the differences in velocity, not absolute velocities. 
I was talking about how radar guns work here on main street, and he's talking about inertial reference frames.  That shows how there is no possibility of coming to a mutual understanding.  We're just not talking about the same things - or in the same language.  I'm talking plain English, he's talking mathematical models.

I've thought about starting a discussion on the sci.physics.relativity forum about my latest paper, but, the more I think about it, the more it becomes clear that I do not care what they might think about my paper.

So, maybe it's time once again to think about my book idea where all those discussions and many others are summarized and analyzed.  Einstein's Special Relativity is something I find to be absolutely amazing, while at the same time being clear and simple.  And it seems like there are countless mathematicians out there whose goal in life is to complicate things in order to show that they are the only person in the universe who really understands what is going on.
 

January 11, 2022
Hmm.  I received another email this morning that was almost certainly prompted by me putting my new science paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Second Postulate" on viXra.org.  The email was from author Jean de Climont and included a link to a 501 page book he composed and titled "The worldwide list of dissident scientists: Critics and alternative theories."

The book lists about 4 entries per page, each with some information about a specific author and what he or she has written about some science subject.  The list was compiled in June of 2016.  I'm not in it.  But, it is searchable, so I looked for the word "special" and found author after author and links to article after article attacking special relativity for one reason or another. Occasionally there would be one which says special relativity is correct.  There are probably over a hundred links to articles about Special Relativity.

What it tells me is that my papers are just going to get lost in this heap of science articles.  But, looking at viXra.org's statistics I see that 9 people accessed my paper yesterday.  I suspect that most of them are on the RDForum where I mentioned the article yesterday.  It's really weird.  It's like they read the article and then flipped a switch which caused them to rant about things that aren't in the article, things that we argued about before and which they seem to totally misunderstand.  They just cannot accept that if light traveling at c hits an observer (or vehicle) traveling at velocity v toward the source of the light, the observer will encounter that light at c+v.  Somehow, to them, that means the light is traveling at c+v which is greater than the speed of light and therefore impossible.  The cause of their misunderstanding must be something mathematical, since it is totally illogical.  And they cannot explain anything except to argue that c+v means something travels at a speed greater than the speed of light. I cannot understand how they can think that way, and they cannot explain why they think that way.

But I find it very interesting that they think that way.
  


January 10, 2022
-  My new science paper titled "Radar Guns and Einstein's Second Postulate" is now on viXra.org and on Academia.edu.  Interestingly, I think I received my first reaction to it this morning via an email from someone in Moscow, Russia. The email said,
     SRT is completely erroneous since it is based on the wrong kind of transformations: they have lost the scale factor characterizing  the Doppler effect .
     First, Lorentz considered a more general form of transformations (with a scale factor), but then he, and also Poincare and Einstein equated it 1 without  proper grounds. Their form was artificially narrowed, the formulas became incorrect. This led to a logical contradiction of the theory, to unsolvable paradoxes.
     Accordingly, GRT is also incorrect. 
Yes, it's just another person ranting about how Einstein was wrong, and it doesn't say anything about my paper (which says Einstein was right), but the emailer's article is on viXra.org, too, and viXra.org mentioned my paper in their daily list of new papers this morning.  So, it seems certain that he got my email address from my paper, and he is responding to it by ranting about his own paper and his own beliefs.  That is a typical response.

Researching further, I found that his paper was put on viXra.org in 2018, and I downloaded it on June 24 of that year, probably as a result of him sending me an email around that time.  He's probably just still looking for someone who is willing to discuss his paper.

Unfortunately, what I'm looking for is someone who is willing to discuss my paper.  It has some things in it that should send mathematicians into an uncontrollable, screaming rage.  Specifically it says there is such a thing as a "preferred frame of reference," and it suggests a way to find it.  In a thousand years we might have the equipment to do it.  You just begin by traveling at about 1.5 million miles per hour in the direction that is directly away from the constellation Hydra.  We may be able to build the equipment that can do that in less than a thousand years, but we'd also need some way to measure time dilation, specifically the difference in the rate of time for the equipment on that trip versus the rate of time for people back here on Earth.  There seems no doubt that the experiment will cause time to speed up for the equipment on that trip, but doing the comparison could require technologies that no one has yet even imagined.  Unlike the "twin paradox" where one twin stays home and the other makes a round trip to Alpha Centauri, on this trip time goes faster when you are outbound and goes slower when you return, so the net difference when compared to a person who remained on Earth could be zero.  It boggles the mind. 

That's why I'm going to have to try to start discussions about it on the RDForum and on sci.physics.relativity.
 

January 9, 2022
-  Okay, I've got another science paper that seems ready for uploading to viXra.org and academia.edu. The paper is titled "Radar Guns and Einstein's Second Postulate."  In some ways it may appear to be a total rewrite of my previous paper "An Analysis of Einstein’s Second Postulate to his Theory of Special Relativity."  But that paper barely mentioned radar guns, and this one is all about how radar guns easily and undeniably disprove what is stated in most college physics textbooks.

The idea began with that radar gun experiment I developed while arguing on the RDForum where experts in radar guns discuss ways to beat speeding tickets that result from being caught by a police officer using a radar gun, and ways to detect signals from a radar gun before you get caught, so that you have time to slow down.

The more I discussed that experiment, which I described here in my December 27, 2021, comment, the more clear it became that I needed to write a paper about it.   

To me, it seems like a fairly important paper, since it clearly shows that most college textbooks contain a totally incorrect version of Einstein's Second Postulate, and it provides abundant proof to verify that the textbook versions are incorrect.  Plus, no one has ever been able to name a single experiment which supports what is stated in the textbooks.

While I was writing the paper I kept wanting to add other information about radio frequency photons, such as how FM radio works and how the Doppler Effect can be simulated with radio signals, but none of that had anything to do with the key point of the paper: textbooks are wrong.

In my previous paper about Einstein's Second Postulate I quoted from just five textbooks which contain an incorrect version.  In the new paper I quote from ten textbooks that have a totally wrong version, and ten more that have a partially wrong version, and 12 textbooks that have a correct version.  I also quote from 3 textbooks which explain why they use the incorrect version.  That part of the paper is important enough to merit a paper just on that subject, but without experiments that demonstrate which version of Einstein's Second Postulate is correct, it can seem like it's just a matter of opinion.  To avoid opinion-vs-opinion arguments, the new paper doesn't even use the word "mathematicians."  It's just about undeniable facts.   

If all goes well, and if I don't suddenly discover that I need to do a total rewrite for some reason, the paper should be on-line tomorrow morning.


Comments for Saturday, January 1, 2022, thru Sat., Jan. 8, 2021:

January 5, 2022 - Hmm.  I wonder if I contracted the Omicron variant of the Covid virus, even though I'm fully vaccinated and boosted.  On January 1, I woke up with what seemed like a mild cold.  The symptoms were a runny nose, a sore throat and a mild cough.  But all the symptoms seemed a bit different from a "normal" cold.  The snot from my nose was almost as thin as water.  My voice was very hoarse from the sore throat, which seemed to be the worst of the symptoms.  Things have been getting better since then, and today I think I can safely say the symptoms are all gone.

I thought about getting tested for Covid, but Walgreens and CVS required that I make an appointment.  Plus, I read or heard somewhere that they were charging for the tests.

So, I guess I'll never know if I had Omicron or not - unless I didn't have it and I get it sometime in the future.
  


January 4, 2022
- Hmm.  I've been working on a new paper that is now tentatively titled Radios, Radar Guns and Einstein's Second Postulate.  All was going very well, and then, on page 8, I found I needed to describe the difference between AM, FM and PM radio transmissions. 

PM (Pulse Modulation) is simple enough.  It's used for sending Morse Code messages.  As long as your finger is pressing on the transmitter key, you are transmitting.  Remove your finger from the transmitter key and you stop transmitting.  It is then the job of whoever is listening to the transmission to decode what you sent.  If you know Morse Code, it is easy peasy.  It's very much like turning a light off and on.  When the light is on, you're sending out photons.  When the light is off, you're not.

signal lamp

AM (Amplitude Modulation) is more complicated, but still fairly easy to understand.  You just need a fairly simple device to encode and send signals, and another to receive and decode the signals.  It was once the basis for most radio broadcasts.  The technique is similar to sending sound waves.  Sending more photons produces a louder signal at the other end. To get a higher pitched signal, you send short bursts of photons.  That causes the radio speaker at the other end to vibrate faster.  Longer bursts of photons make the speaker vibrate slower.  They used to record the sound for movies on the movie film.  In the image below, the sound recording is the jagged strip just to the left of the picture.  In principle, it is very much like how a phonograph works. If you can adjust (modulate) radio frequency photon density in the same way, you can send out radio signals. 
 
sound on film strip

FM (Frequency Modulation) is a lot more complicated.  I dug through eight books about radio transmitting, looking to see if the oscillation frequency of individual photons was modulated, or was there some kind of modulation of batches of photons of the same frequency?  Not a single one of the books uses the word "photon."  They all describe how FM radio works in terms of "waves," and you have dig through them and study the wording to see if they actually alter the oscillation frequency of photons or if they somehow combine AM and PM to somehow encode the signal without changing the photon frequencies.  A 55 page paper from 1936 HERE explains how the process came about.  It appears that they do emit photons of different oscillation frequencies to cause the receiver's speaker to vibrate at different rates.  They just never explain things using those words.

Here's how a book titled "Radio Frequency Modulation Made Easy" describes the difference between AM and FM on pages 3 and 4 (which can be read via Amazon's "look inside" feature):
The classical Marconi radio used a modulation technique known today as “Amplitude Modulation” or just AM. In AM, the
amplitude of the carrier changes in accordance with the input analog signal, while the frequency of the carrier remains the same.

In Frequency Modulation (FM), the frequency of the carrier changes in accordance with the input modulation signal as shown in Fig. 1.2 [5]. Notice that in FM, only the frequency changes while the amplitude remains the same.
Why do the books and papers say "frequency of the carrier" instead of "oscillation frequency of the photons"?  And why use the term "sine wave" when "stream of photons" would be more like reality?  It appears it is just because it best describes their mathematical models.  The fact that the mathematical models do not represent reality is irrelevant if the models produce the correct answers.  It's the crazy wave-particle duality issue once again.

As Einstein put it,
"It seems as though we must use sometimes the one theory and sometimes the other, while at times we may use either. We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do."
And the reason they cannot be merged is because mathematicians cannot cope with the idea of oscillating photons.  If that idea doesn't bother you, then suddenly things become incredibly simpler.

I know I've ranted about this before, but it's an issue I keep bumping up against over and over.
 

January 2, 2022
- While eating lunch yesterday, I finished reading another book on my Kindle.  The book was "Time Travel in Einstein's Universe" by J. Richard Gott, who is or was a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University in 2002, when the book was published.
 
Time Travel in Einstein's Universe

I started reading it in April of 2020, but I evidently lost interest when I was about 45% through.  Then, a couple weeks ago, I decided to pick up where I left off.  Looking through my notes, I can see why I lost interest.  Professor Gott seems to believe the "all observers" version of Einstein's Second Postulate.  Here's one note on that topic from early in the book:
With all of this remarkable information at hand, in 1905 Einstein came up with two astonishing postulates. First, the effects of the laws of physics should look the same to every observer in uniform motion (motion at a constant speed in a constant direction, without turning), and second, the velocity of light through empty space should be the same as witnessed by every observer in uniform motion.
That, of course, conflicts with the way radar guns operate.  An observer in uniform motion heading at speed v toward a source of light (i.e., toward a radar gun) will see the light which is traveling at c from the radar gun arrive at c+v,  his speed plus the speed of light.

Another quote, also from early in the book:
Einstein based his second postulate on the fact that Maxwell’s equations predicted that in empty space, electromagnetic waves would propagate at 300,000 kilometers per second. If you were “at rest,” light should pass you at that speed. If you saw a light beam pass you at any other speed, that would constitute evidence that you were not “at rest.” (In fact, Michelson and Morley had hoped to use this effect to prove the Earth was not “at rest,” but they failed.) Einstein thought that all observers in uniform motion should be able to consider themselves “at rest” and should therefore always see light beams passing them at 300,000 kilometers per second. Einstein’s second postulate meant that an observer traveling at high velocity and performing the Michelson-Morley experiment must always fail to get a result.
I think "at rest" means "in an inertial frame."  The passage I highlighted in red could make sense if that was the case, but Professor Gott seems to have his own unique understanding of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity and his Second Postulate.  He's a mathematician, of course.  Much of the latter part of the book is about calculating the odds of some event occurring.  It's mostly silly gibberish to me, since I cannot see the sense in this kind of comment (another quote from the book):
How long is the human spaceflight program likely to continue? In my May 27, 1993, Nature paper I noted that the program was only 32 years old; and I predicted with 95 percent confidence that it would last at least another 10 months but less than another 1,250 years. Since my paper’s publication, the human spaceflight program has lasted longer than the 10 month predicted minimum, proving half of my prediction correct already.
Duh!  Who would have disagreed in 1993 that America's spaceflight program would last at least another 10 months, but less than another 1,250 years?  It's like some kid saying he expects to live at least another week but less than a million years.

Here's another interesting quote from late in the book:
In 1989, President Bush promised to send humans to Mars by 2019.
That's George H. W. Bush, not George W. Bush.  In case you haven't been paying attention, it didn't happen.

Here's the last quote I saved from the book:
Time travel is a project for supercivilizations. Time travel to the future requires a civilization already accustomed to interstellar travel. Time travel to the past could be attempted by supercivilizations commanding the energy resources of an entire galaxy.
I wonder how he thinks time travel into the past is possible.  It is total nonsense to me.  And it's another reason why I cannot recommend the book.  

January 1, 2022
- I wish everyone a Happy New Year!  I certainly hope that 2022 will be better than 2021.


Comments for Sunday, December 26, 2021, thru Fri., Dec. 31, 2021:

December 30, 2021 - When I was changing clothes in the men's locker room at the gym on Tuesday, I overheard two guys talking, and one of them said to the other, "No, I'm not vaccinated against Covid-19.  If you get the vaccination, you can still get Covid-19, so what's the point in getting vaccinated?"

That's a view I've encountered many times in other areas.  If you aren't 100% certain, then you don't know.  All the "experts" are just guessing!  When you do not have 100% certainty, you are taking a risk.  If there is a 1 in a million chance that my child is going to get sick from getting a shot, then I'm not going to take that chance.  That belief is usually coupled with a second belief: If my child gets Covid-19, it's the fault of the stupid scientists who don't know how to stop the disease.  

I've been arguing with some mathematicians on the RDForum for the past few days.  You'd think that mathematicians would understand "playing the odds," but they also seem to believe what they want to believe.  The only difference between the guys on the RDForum versus the people on the sci.physics.relativity forum is that on the RDForum they tend to agree with each other, and they'll join together to argue with an outsider, while on the sci.physics.relativity forum they endlessly argue with each other, and an outsider is just someone new to disagree with.     

The RDForum, of course, is just discussions about radar guns, and they have a common interest: beating and avoiding speeding tickets.  On the sci.physics.relativity forum, the arguments are about science of all kinds, and their only common interest is that each one wants to prove that they are right and everyone else in the world is wrong.

I haven't argued on the sci.physics.relativity forum since mid-November, and I've decided to end my discussions on the RDForum.  I'm going to try to focus on the paper I've been writing.  I could make a New Year's Resolution to focus on my paper and stop arguing on forums, but the odds are that I'll break the resolution just because making the resolution would cause me to constantly think about it, instead of just thinking about the paper I'm writing.

On Christmas Day, my brother-in-law called me and we talked a bit about the papers I've worked on.  He wondered: How can I be so interested in Relativity and Time Dilation, things that most people never give a thought about?  The answer is: It involves a conflict that has been going on for over a hundred years!  That makes it a puzzle and a mystery. Solving puzzles is fun!  Solving mysteries is fun!  And it's even more fun if you are an analyst who loves digging into the causes of conflicts and problems.

Some day, though, I'll have done all I can do with ending the conflicts over Relativity.  Then what will be my next obsession?  Time will tell.
 


December 27, 2021
- Yesterday, I started a discussion on the RDForum about "The Einstein Radar Gun Experiment" I had just devised.  It was a discussion about this illustration of the experiment:
The Einstein Radar Gun
                                    Experiment

The illustration was designed to demonstrate Einstein’s Second Postulate: “light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.”  It also clearly and undeniably shows that the version of Einstein's Second Postulate used in most college physics textbooks is WRONG.

The experiment involves two police cars with radar guns.  Car #1 is moving down the road at 60 miles per hour and Car #2 is parked at the side of the road. Standing at the side of the road ahead of them is Albert Einstein wearing a shiny badge and buckle.  When Car #1 is exactly side by side with Car #2, men in both cars fire their radar guns at Einstein.  Even though one car is moving and the other car is stationary, the photons from both guns travel at the speed of light, c, and they hit Einstein at c.

Einstein’s shiny badge and buckle send new photons back to the radar guns.  The new photons also travel at c back to the two cars and the radar guns.

The question then is: What speeds will the radar guns display?

We know what the results will be:  The radar gun in Car #2 will show no speed.  The radar gun in Car #1 will show a speed of 60 mph.

The next question then is:  What does the 60 mph speed represent?  Clearly it is NOT Einstein’s speed.  So, it can only be the speed of Car #1 and the radar gun in it.  The returning photons hit the gun in Car #2 at c, and they hit the gun in Car #1 at c+v, where v is the speed of Car #1.  That causes the gun in Car #1 to show a speed of 60 mph when the photons it emitted are compared to the returned photons.

To my surprise, no one on the RDForum had any serious disagreement with the experiment.  The forum is a place where people discuss ways to beat speeding tickets in court and/or ways to speed while avoiding getting a ticket in the first place by using radar detectors.  They are real experts on radar guns.

I thought about going back and revising my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories" to include this experiment, but the more I thought about it, the more it became clear that I need to put it in a totally new paper tentatively titled "Radar Guns and Special Relativity."  Everything I plan to write would be totally new, and there's no point in creating a version #11 of that previous paper.  The new paper would just focus on how radar guns can demonstrate and resolve century-long disputes over Einstein's Special Relativity and its Second Postulate. It also means I need to set aside the paper I was working on, "Waves of Photons, a.k.a. 'Radio'."  The newer paper is a thousand times more important.
  


December 26, 2021
- While eating breakfast this morning, I finished reading another library book on my Kindle.  The book was "How to Think Like Sherlock: Improve Your Powers of Observation, Memory and Deduction" by Daniel Smith.

How to think like Sherlock

I had started to read it many months ago, but at about half way through, for some reason I switched to reading another book.  Then, five days ago, I finished reading a totally different book and returned to reading this book.

While it's an interesting and enjoyable book, I only got two pages of notes out of it.  Mostly the book is about common sense and paying attention.  Here's one quote worth remembering:
Holmes even stated: ‘Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person.’ If there were gaps in his thinking, talking over his deductions with Watson was a sure way to expose them.
I use that bit of reasoning nearly every day as I argue about science with people on various forums.  I state my understanding, and in the process of writing it down I think it through.  Then when it is challenged, I write down my response and think that response through thoroughly.  Every counter-argument causes me to see things from a different angle -- until the counter-arguments become repetitious and a waste of time.

Another quote:
To paraphrase our d.school founder and inspiration David Kelley: ‘If you keep making the same mistakes again and again, you aren’t learning anything. If you keep making new and different mistakes, that means you are doing new things and learning new things.’
Been there, done that.

There's a lot in the book about how to improve your memory, how to detect if someone may be lying, etc.  It's also interesting that Sherlock Holmes was not a walking encyclopedia.  There were lots of things he knew nothing about.  One example mentioned in the book is astronomy.  But, if Sherlock had a reason to figure things out, he was very very good at doing that.

It was an enjoyable book.  Finishing it reminded me of the many other books in my Kindle that I never completed.  I've reached a point where I don't see any new books that are of great interest at the moment, so I might go back and continue reading some books I started long ago and never finished.


Comments for Sunday, December 19, 2021, thru Sat., Dec. 25, 2021:

December 24, 2021 - While running some errands this morning, I finished listening to CD #8 in the 8 CD audio book set for "The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit" by John V. Petrocelli.

Detecting Bulshit

Wow!  If I had read the Kindle version, I would have at least a hundred pages of notes from this 336 page book.  And, of course, there was no way to take notes while driving, so the following quote was found on page 36 in the "Look Inside" section that Amazon provides:
Sometimes it is easier to accept bullshit than to fight it. Preferring bullshit over the truth is especially likely to occur when the bullshit aligns with our views of the world or the way we want or hope things to be. We like what we like—and sometimes what we like doesn’t correspond with the truth or the available evidence. It is not uncommon for people to prefer to believe the bullshit that global warming is a hoax than to accept the facts that icebergs are melting, floods and droughts are increasing, the Amazon rain forest is disappearing, and dangerous methane gases are bubbling up from the ocean floor all because global temperatures are rising.
Here's a good quote from page 2 that I found elsewhere:
In February 2017, just two days before the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, superstar Kyrie Irving made some interesting claims in a podcast that ended up receiving more attention than the game. He stated:
This is not even a conspiracy theory. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat.… What I’ve been taught is that the Earth is round. But if you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel, the way we move and the fact that—can you really think of us rotating around the Sun and all planets aligned, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what’s going on with these planets [finger quotation marks on planets]? Because everything that they send—or that they want to say they’re sending—doesn’t come back.… There is no concrete information except for the information that they’re giving us. They’re particularly putting you in the direction of what to believe and what not to believe. The truth is right there, you just got to go searching for it.
Kyrie isn’t the only one. When online surveyor YouGov conducted a survey asking over 8,000 US adults, “Do you believe that the Earth is round or flat?,” only 84% of respondents felt certain that the Earth is round. A total of 5% expressed doubts, 2% affirmed a flat Earth, and 7% weren’t sure.3 Even more, over 226,000 Facebook followers of the Flat Earth Society dispute the Earth’s curvature by promoting the false belief that the Earth is flat.
A "bullshitter" is defined as someone who has no concern for the truth, who just makes things up in order to win an argument and to appear intelligent and knowledgeable.  It's not the same as lying, since a lie is a deliberate falsehood.  For all the bullshitter knows, what he says could be true.  He just doesn't care one way or the other.  He's just trying to appear to be intelligent and someone you should listen to.

Donald Trump is mentioned as a constant bullshitter.  Here's a quote about Trump:
President Trump’s character-building and -assassination tactics are simple to employ because they are not based on genuine evidence. When Trump liked particular people, he promoted their character and said positive things about them with the very best of words. But when President Trump no longer liked these same people and fired them because they opposed his policies or methods, he had not-so-nice things to say about them.
And I was surprised to hear Deepak Chopra being mentioned as a bullshitter, nearly filling an entire chapter.  I don't recall much about Chopra, but he was certainly very famous years ago.  A couple quotes:
Deepak was trained in internal medicine and endocrinology, but claims to be an authority on “perfect health” and transcendental meditation. He gained popularity in 1993 after being interviewed about his self-help books on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
and
Deepak believes that a person can attain perfect health and become free from disease, pain, and aging. He speaks of the “quantum mechanical body” and how it is composed not of matter but of energy and information. Deepak believes that one’s state of mind can prevent chronic disease because “human aging is fluid and changeable; it can speed up, slow down, stop for a time, and even reverse itself.”
One excellent bullshit detector that the author appreciates is mentioned in this quote:
My ideal bullshit detector is Lieutenant Frank Columbo, played by Peter Falk in the 1970s television series Columbo. He was a homicide detective and famous for solving complicated “whodunit” murder mysteries by asking suspects “just one more question.” The last question would always be the one that cracked the case. If you analyze empirical research on critical-thinking skills, you will find many commonalities between the ideal critical thinker and Columbo.
I would recommend reading the book over listening to the audio book, since you can underline passages when you read a book (or copy and paste them to save them).  But I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it sometimes seemed that the word "bullshit" was used at least ten times a minute.   

December 23, 2021
- Yesterday and this morning I received emails from two different people advising me of an interesting article on vice.com titled "People Got Sick at a Conspiracy Conference. They’re Sure It’s Anthrax."

Conspiracy conference?  Actually, it was some kind of "tour event" called "ReAwaken America."  Speakers on the tour included disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump adviser Roger Stone, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and Eric Trump, the son of former President Donald Trump.  3,500 people attended when the tour event took place in Dallas, Texas, on  December 9, 10, and 11.

The poster below is from their Grand Rapids, Michigan, event in August:

ReAwaken America poster

During the Dallas conference, just over a dozen unvaccinated people spent a lot of time together in a "confined space," and they all developed symptoms associated with Covid-19: coughing, fever and shortness of breath.  Then, of course, since they are Right Wing conspiracy theorists, they created a theory that they were attacked with anthrax.  After all, the alternative would be to acknowledge that they made a stupid mistake when they didn't get vaccinated. 

And a lot of Right Wing leaders circulated the theory. According to an article on Insider.com
Joe Oltmann, a far-right influencer with over 60,000 Telegram subscribers who spoke at the conference, wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday that he was "sick with what could turn out to be an anthrax attack,"

David K. Clements, a far-right influencer with over 142,000 Telegram followers, wrote on his channel Monday that he spoke with Oltmann and that he, Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, and "a dozen other folks that were present in the green room" at the Dallas event were "suffering from symptoms related to an anthrax attack." Clements has shared anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and posts from supporters of QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory movement.

Pulitzer is a right-wing radio show host and influencer who has propagated the baseless theory that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Trump.
Telegram channel?  It seems to be something like a podcast network.

It's interesting that they would jump to the conclusion that they were attacked with anthrax when their symptoms are so clearly identical to the symptoms of Covid-19, and virtually everyone in America knows what those symptoms are.  Later, some of them began to back away from their initial claims and acknowledged that it could be Covid.  Evidently there are some conspiracy theories that are just too ridiculous for even far-right conspiracy theorists to continue to support when they have absolutely no evidence and there is a mountain of evidence that says they are wrong. 
  
December 20, 2021
- While eating lunch this afternoon, I finished reading another book on my Kindle.  The book was "Anti-Science and the Assault on Democracy: Defending Reason in a Free Society" by various authors, edited by Michael J. Thompson and Gregory R. Smulewicz-Zucker:

Anti-Science 

While it was certainly an interesting book, it is also a collection of thirteen essays, all on the same general topic.  That makes parts of it somewhat repetitious.  Here's a quote from early in the book:
A contradiction resides deep in the heart of modern society. On the one hand, we inhabit a world increasingly dominated by science and technology, one where the progress of scientific knowledge and technical efficiency seems without end. On the other hand, there also exists a deep-seated opposition to scientific knowledge and to science itself as a form of knowledge. A trend has been gathering momentum in modern culture away from science as a means to think about human affairs and an approach to truth. Although technology and technological forms of rationality have transformed our world, hostility toward science as a method and as a way of comprehending the social and natural world has emerged as an obstacle to a more humane and more democratic society. From religiously motivated arguments against the teaching of evolution in public schools to the denial of climate change, new-ageist espousals of alternative medicine, the regular distortion or dismissal of social-scientific data, outlandish claims about the effects of vaccinations or the fluoridation of water, and widespread basic ignorance about concepts such as “theory” or “evidence,” anti-science viewpoints are becoming more and more manifest in our daily lives. This trend is one that we call here “anti-science,” and it is characterized by more than a skepticism of science as a body of knowledge about the natural world; it is also a hostility toward the very notion that objective truth claims can be defended. 
Another quote:
Hardly anyone will openly defend muddled thinking or disrespect for evidence. Rather, what people do is to surround these confused practices with a fog of verbiage designed to conceal from their listeners—and in most cases, I would imagine, from themselves as well—the true implications of their way of thinking.
Another:
Just a little under a decade ago, the internet was being hailed for its democratization of knowledge. Leftists readily rejoiced at the work of hackers seeking to foment chaos for the “lulz,” thinking this exemplified democracy in action. On the contrary, the internet has emerged as an excellent tool for feeding right-wing paranoia, developing its own world of truths, and serving as device for uniting people with fringe beliefs or recruiting people to Far-Right causes. The internet has cultivated a world where wildly popular right-wing provocateurs like Anne Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, and the psychologist Jordan Peterson, climate-change deniers, or the so-called “citizen journalists” of Breitbart News reign freely. Some engage in the dissemination of patently false information, while others, particularly Coulter and Yiannopoulos, simply revel in the pleasures of sophomorically thumbing their nose at authority by tossing around insults.
I've got sixteen pages of similar quotes.  Mostly they are long-winded ways of saying things I would like to see summarized.  While I can certainly recommend the book, I would only recommend it to someone who really wants to understand what a terrible mess we're in as a country and as a civilization due to irreconcilable political differences.  

The audio book I'm listening to while driving is basically about the same topic, but the quotes would be just a simple sentence or two.  I should be done with that one in a few days.
  

December 19, 2021
- Wow!  It's been an interesting few days since I last wrote a comment here.  It began when I listened to a couple Astronomy Cast podcasts.  The site is hosted by publisher Fraser Cain and astronomer Dr. Pamela Gay. As of this moment, their main web site only goes back to podcast #605.  The first podcast I listened to was #603, which can be found on an alternate web site.  I enjoyed the episode because they talk about photons with different oscillation frequencies, a subject which would drive mathematicians nuts.  But it was episode #606 which really grabbed my attention, so much so that I downloaded the transcript of the show and studied it.  The episode is about Time Dilation.  And it appears that Mr. Cain has an incorrect view of how time dilation works, while Dr. Gay has a correct view.  Here's part of their conversation:
Dr. Pamela Gay: Well, so we actually got to see this with the Kelly twins. And the reality is that the astronauts on the International Space Station are experiencing time ever so much slower. And the way you figure out who experiences the change in time is you look to see who experienced the force. And who experienced that acceleration that got them to that faster velocity.  So, in this case, you accelerate yourself up to the International Space Station and to a velocity that keeps you circling the planet instead of falling back. And time slows.

Fraser Cain:  Right. And in that sort of very slightly –

Dr. Pamela Gay: Yes.

Fraser Cain:  And it’s more complicated because of course the International Space Station and the twin who’s on the ground are in a gravity well. But let’s say you have the one who accelerates up to close to the speed of light. Flies for 10 years, and then returns. And then the twins meet up. So, what you’re saying is that it’s not the speed.

Dr. Pamela Gay: Yes.

Fraser CainIt’s the acceleration that you experience to get yourself up to that speed.

Dr. Pamela Gay: That determines who is the one who is experiencing the time change.

Fraser Cain:  Got it.

Dr. Pamela Gay It’s the velocity that you accelerate to that determines how much time slows down.

Fraser Cain: Right. And so, twin No. 1 is sitting on earth. Twin No. 2 gets in a spacecraft. They accelerate – and that’s the key – to close to the speed of light. Compared to the twin who’s just sitting on the planet.

Dr. Pamela Gay:  Yes.
There's more to the discussion, but it seems clear that Fraser Cain believes that it is acceleration that causes time dilation, and Dr. Gay keeps trying to get him to understand that acceleration only determines who is going fastest.  The person who accelerated is going faster than the person who did not accelerate.  And, "It’s the velocity that you accelerate to that determines how much time slows down."

Time goes slower for the person traveling faster.  And the way to determine who is going faster is to determine who accelerated to that higher speed.

But a lot of people, possibly including Fraser Cain, believe that "all motion is relative," which translates to "all motion is reciprocal."  So, if we are clearly moving at different speeds, I can claim I am traveling faster than you, and you can claim that you are traveling faster than me.  It is what I list as the #1 dumbest belief in physics.  Somehow, those who believe it also believe that acceleration just means acceleration, it doesn't mean that you go to a higher speed.  Evidently they believe that, once you stop accelerating, you are again in the "all motion is reciprocal" situation.  That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

Meanwhile, on the RDForum, I was arguing about a somewhat different subject.  Someone who calls himself "Token" evidently lives in the Mohave desert, and he uses a ham radio to pick up signals from the International Space Station (ISS) .  When the ISS is approaching him, the signals are "blue shifted," and when the ISS is moving away from him, the signals are "red shifted."  Of course, he's not "stationary."  He's on the spinning earth, so his motion could play a role. 

My problem is to explain how that is a very different situation from a moving radar gun and a stationary target.  Token insists it is the same thing. The biggest problem is that the people on that forum ask long, complicated questions and often ask a bunch of questions in one post.  And those posts would be over a page long if printed out.  It's the type of situation where I will have to do a very careful analysis in order to provide an explanation.

This morning I awoke realizing that the explanation could be the subject for an very interesting new paper, which I might title "Radio: Waves of Particles" or perhaps "Waves of Particles: a.k.a. Radio." 

Here's a video that "Token" created:



Token argues that this is proof that photons from moving radar guns will hit the ground at a higher frequency than if the gun was stationary.  My argument is that it proves no such thing, because radar guns measure the changes in photon frequencies, and he is measuring changes in the frequency of WAVES OF PHOTONS.  I think it is a situation similar to "The Pioneer Anomaly" which was first noticed in 1980, over 40 year ago. Years ago, while studying the Pioneer Anomaly, I created this image showing photons being emitted by a moving light bulb:

Moving light bulb
The individual photons all oscillate at the same frequency in all directions, but the photons are closer together ahead of the moving light bulb and farther apart behind the moving light bulb because the photons travel at a fixed speed (the speed of light) but the light bulb moves as it emits the photons.  In Einstein's terms, the emitter moves to catch up with what was emitted.  

To fully explain Token's observations and the Pioneer Anomaly, I would need to create a new illustration showing how RADIOS work.  Radios transmit photons of a specific frequency, but those photons are emitted in bunches that also have a pattern or frequency. That pattern determines how the speakers on your radio vibrate.

I need to write it all down - maybe in the form of a new paper - to explain it in detail.  It is so simple and basic that I cannot understand why it hasn't been explained a thousand times before.  Or maybe I'm misunderstanding something.  So, I better do some heavy thinking before I write any more public comments about it. 







Other interests:

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

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