Archive for
February 2016

Comments for Sunday, February 28, 2016, thru Monday, Feb. 29, 2016:

February 29, 2016 - Since I seem to get a lot more visitors to my web page about Time Dilation than I get readers of my scientific article on the subject, I decided I should also have a comparable web page about "What is Time?"  So, as of this morning I have a web page titled "Time -- as I Visualize It." 

Instead of just putting up a copy of my article, I basically rewrote and rethought it all from scratch.  That means it's a somewhat different explanation of the same topic.  The web page also clearly says that it is just how I visualize Time (in other words, it is an "hypothesis"), and at the top and bottom it asks people to contact me if they see any errors.  That's implied with a scientific paper, but on my web page it is stated clearly.

Having a web page about Time also means I can revise it a lot more easily.  There are "unresolved issues" at the bottom of the page that might someday get "resolved," and there are definitely things I'll notice that could be rephrased to make them more clear.  I can change a web page 15 times a day as I think of  better ways to explain things, but that's not easy to do with a published scientific article.    

February 28, 2016 -  I keep watching for some news about the 4th Rational Physics Conference, which presumably went off as planned in Acapulco on February 22nd.  So far, I haven't seen anything in the news, nor on any Facebook group where Rational Semantic Methodists ("RSMists") frequently post.

I did however, notice something on one web site that I never saw before.  In a web site page about "Anarchapulco," the conference of anarchists, conspiracy theorists and nut cases of all kinds that was held immediately before the RSMist conference in the same hotel in Acapulco, there is this comment:
Acapulco ex-pat David Robison has pulled together some of the most liberated minds in science to create the 4th Annual Rational Physics Conference on Mon, Feb 22nd.  The conference will feature Bill Gaede who will discuss his Rope Theory of physics and David himself discussing the Scientific Method and its relationship to modern scientific orthodoxy. The conference is just $30 to attend, and 100% of the ticket sales will be donated to the Free Ross campaign!
The Free Ross campaign?  Whazzat?  I had to do some research.  That led me to articles about Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the Silk Road web site, a "black market" web site where illegal drugs were sold using untraceable bitcoins as currency.  Ulbricht was arrested in 2013, tried and convicted in 2015, and he was then sentenced to life imprisonment. I vaguely recall seeing it mentioned on the news back then, but it wasn't something that particularly interested me, and I'd basically forgotten about it.

So, in order to attend the conference you not only have to want to listen to anti-science Truthers describe their bizarre, unsupportable beliefs, you also have to agree to donate $30 to help free the convicted "kingpin of a worldwide digital drug-trafficking enterprise."  Hmm.

I'll keep hunting for news about the conference.  I'm really curious about how many people attended.  If it was a lot of people, we'd almost certainly be seeing posts about it on the various blogs and Facebook groups.

Meanwhile, the argument I had about my paper "What is Time?" with someone on the "Quantum Physics" Facebook group came to a screeching halt.  I showed how his claims were in error, and he never responded.  It appears he may actually have accepted my explanations, but instead of saying so, he just clicked on the "like" icon for the thread.  The "Quantum Physics" group supposedly has 5,235 members, but very little discussion.  There are frequent posts to create new threads about news articles on scientific subjects, but very little discussion of the articles.  I get the feeling that quite often no one understands what the other person is talking about when someone does post a comment.  Questions are usually answered with dogma in the form of stated beliefs, instead of explanations.

One frequent poster to the group has a web site of his own where he rambles on and on about various subjects related to quantum physics.  I followed a link in one of his comments, which led me to his web page about "The Physics of Time." There I got into an argument with the operator of the page about how he keeps making declarations without explanations, as if what he is saying about particle physics is established fact instead of what it really is, his personal interpretation of various unproven theories.  As usual, I'm getting no new information, but the argument is causing me to view my paper "What is Time?" from various different perspectives.  So far, it holds up very well.

After being on-line for 7 days, only 33 people have downloaded my "What is Time?" paper from  But, my paper on "Time Dilation ReVisualized" has been available for 9 months and has only been downloaded 62 times.  So, by comparison, my new paper seems to be doing very well.  It's like self-publishing a book.  With no advertising campaign to make people aware of it, the only ways people will find out about it is by accident or by "word of mouth."   

On the other hand, I'm seeing a weird surge of visitors to my web site page about "Time Dilation ... as I understand it."  My web site logs seem to show that most of it is coming from Internet "crawlers" and search engines.  It's another mystery where a lot more information is needed to reach any kind of understanding.  I'm considering creating a web page about "What is Time?", where I explain the content of my scientific paper in a somewhat different way.

Lastly, during breakfast and lunch every day for the past week or so, I've been reading "The Beginning of Infinity" by David Deutsch on my Kindle.

The Beginning of Infinity
                  by David Deutsch

It's going to take me a long time to finish, because I keep stopping to highlight or make copies of sections of the book.  Plus, I occasionally re-read parts to make certain I understand what the author wrote.  It's like the author had his own argument with RSMists at one time and wrote a book to explain what science is really all about.  He says it's about finding the explanations for things.  He even provides his definitions for certain words he uses in the book.  Here are a few of his definitions that I found to be particularly interesting (the definitions appear at the END of Chapter 1 where all the words were used in context):

Explanation: Statement about what is there, what it does, and how and why.

: The ability of some explanations to solve problems beyond those that they were created to solve.

: The capacity to create new explanations.

: Attempting to solve problems by seeking good explanations; actively pursuing error-correction by creating criticisms of both existing ideas and new proposals. 

Problem: A problem exists when a conflict between ideas is experienced.
I'm only 10% done with reading the book and it has already given me tons of things to write comments about.  But, I'm going to try to save them for when I finish the book.

Comments for Sunday, February 21, 2016, thru Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016:

February 25, 2016 - I've got two interesting discussions going about my new paper "What is Time?"  One is with a skeptic who evidently doesn't understand Time Dilation (click HERE), and the other is with someone who seems to be trying to argue against himself (or herself) (click HERE).  The second discussion has already proved productive, not by any argument from the other person, but because I had to explain something in a different way, which made me realize I failed to mention a key factor in my paper.

When a particle begins to move, its increased velocity will cause the particle to gain mass.  Added mass is probably going to cause some problem with rotational speed.  It could very well be the reason that Time slows down.  So, it wouldn't be the fact that the rotation or orbit is distorted by movement, it would be the fact that more mass must be moved.  Or a combination.

The problem is that I don't know yet how to put that in layman's language.  But, maybe in some argument someone will explain it, or I'll have to explain something else that will give me the clue or idea I'm still missing.    

February 23, 2016 - I haven't received any official email notification that my "scientific paper" on the subject of "What Is Time?" has been "published," but I can see it is available at this link:

It is also at this link:

The paper asks and answers two questions: (1) WHAT is Time if it can dilate?  And (2) HOW is Time dilated by velocity and gravity? 

Answers: (1) Time is particle spin.  (2) Dilation occurs when the fixed rate of particle spin conflicts with the fixed speed of light and/or gravitational pull.

The paper explains that dilated Time is "normal" Time, and non-dilated Time exists only hypothetically.  Einstein's 1905 paper contains this sentence:

Thence we conclude that a balance-clock at the equator must go more slowly, by a very small amount, than a precisely similar clock situated at one of the poles under otherwise identical conditions.
That sentence tells us that we all experience a different rate of Time Dilation because we all move at different speeds as the Earth rotates, and we are all at different distances from the center of the earth (resulting in different amounts of Gravitational Time Dilation).  A person on the equator is moving around the earth's axis at about 1,000 miles per hour, while a person at the North Pole is just rotating in place once per 24 hours.  Plus, because the Earth is slightly flattened at the poles, a person at the equator is 13 miles further from the center of the Earth's gravitational mass than a person at the North Pole. 

The difference in Time that a person on the equator experiences versus the Time a person at the North Pole experiences is so tiny that only the most accurate clocks in the world can measure it.  But, the differences become very noticeable when velocities near the speed of light are reached (or gravitational fields like those in the vicinity of black holes are experienced).

My paper concludes with this:

What is Time?  Time is the spin of sub-atomic particles.  Time began shortly after the Big Bang, when particles such as electrons were formed, and Time will continue until electrons and other particles stop spinning.

Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Months and Years are just measurements of hypothetical Time that we have all agreed to use in order to communicate with one another about past events and forthcoming events.

As far as I can tell, there's nothing in the paper that is in conflict with anything known to modern science.  I just visualized Time in a different way to clarify my own understanding.

And, it may help me prepare for any arguments with people who may disagree.

February 22, 2016 - I just submitted my "scientific paper" on the subject "What is Time?" to  They say it could take a couple days to get approved and "published."  But, if I recall correctly, my previous paper was accepted in a day or less.  There is no "peer review" process, so I think all they do is verify that the formatting is reasonably correct.

I could undoubtedly improve upon the paper with more revisions, but I decided to take the advice of French poet Paul
Valéry who wrote, "An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it."  I've "abandoned" my "scientific article" -- for now.  I could certainly improve upon the graphics I used, but I've temporarily run out of ambition.  Besides, I need to do my income taxes.

February 21, 2016 -  Tomorrow the 4th Rational Physics Conference will be taking place in Acapulco, Mexico.  The schedule says that the conference begins at 9 a.m. with an "Introduction" by David Robinson and ends at about 3:30 p.m., when David Robinson completes his presentation titled "The Rational Scientific Method and the Corruption of Science."  That title seems to suggest that it is the Rational Scientific Method that is causing a "Corruption of Science," and the abstract for his presentation doesn't do much to dissuade that impression:   
The current version of the scientific method is useful but it does not enlighten us with explanations. The current method is based on correlations and predictions, neither of which entail having any understanding as to the mechanisms that produce such patterns. While it can provide practical benefits it also has a great potential to mislead with irrational theories. The Rational Scientific Method on the other hand is not concerned with practical knowledge, it is about producing explanations for phenomena using objects which can be illustrated as well as key terms which are defined unambiguously. There may not be any practical technological benefit to the approach but it does seek to satiate the unquenchable human desire to understand in a clear manner. [...] The Rational Scientific Method takes science away from the democratic voting mechanism of the current method and returns it to where it belongs -- with the critical thinking of the individual.
So, while "the current version of the scientific method" used by scientists all over the world is "useful" and has "practical benefits," The Rational Scientific Method is "not concerned with practical knowledge."  Instead, it hopes to take "science away from the democratic voting mechanism of the current method and [return] it to where it belongs - with the critical thinking of the individual."

Huh?  They want individuals to develop their own theories - even though such theories will almost certainly have no practical technological benefit?  In reality, of course, they primarily want all these "individuals" to use the ridiculous word definitions that the RSMists have dreamed up.  That will virtually guarantee that nothing of any real value will come of any new theory from the "critical thinking" of those "individuals."  But RSMists hope to be able to understand the theory, since it will contain nothing new to them.  

The question seems to be: What's wrong with a science that IS useful and DOES produce practical knowledge?  The RSMist answer seems to be,

The current method is based on correlations and predictions, neither of which entail having any understanding as to the mechanisms that produce such patterns.
Where would anyone get such a screwball view of science?  It can only come from the RSMists' own ignorance of science.  They don't understand science, so they assume that "current" scientists do not understand it, either, even though those "current" scientists keep coming up with new inventions that are changing our world in ways no one thought imaginable a few decades ago.

The RSMist complaint appears to be that scientists can work with electrons even though they have never actually seen an electron and do not know exactly how an electron works.  The scientists can see the effects ("correlations") of various experiments involving electrons, and they can actually make "predictions" about how things will work without fully understanding "the mechanisms" that make things work that way.

A real scientist would say that is what is so incredibly fascinating about science.  It's a constant process of learning how Nature works, with amazing discoveries awaiting those who go where no one has gone before.

The RSMists don't want that.  They want to make up their own rules on how things work using their own word definitions.  They want to say things are impossible because their rules and word definitions make them impossible.  And no one should be allowed to prove otherwise, since that would be a "practical technological benefit," which RSMists do not allow or want.

They want anarchy, where everyone has his own rules.  That is probably why their conference follows immediately after "Anarchapulco," a conference of anarchists, conspiracy theorists and Truthers of all kinds. 

Personally, I'm endlessly fascinated with the discovery of new ways to view and understand the workings of the universe. 

Every time I go back to work on my "scientific paper" about "What is Time?," I keep hoping and thinking I'll finish it.  But, then I get stuck on searching for the the best way to express an idea, and everything grinds to a halt.  Thankfully, the paper seems to be getting shorter, not longer, as I refine my ideas and throw out all the unnecessary detail.  I think I know what I need to explain, I just can't find the best way to explain it.

Since all my arguments with RSMists have come to a (temporary?) end, I have no one to bounce ideas off of.  The people I'd like to be discussing the subject with are busy working scientists who have better things to do than to help me get my thoughts together.  Plus, it would probably be better if I had a first version of my paper available on-line somewhere, so critics of all kinds can read it at their leisure and then try to poke big holes in it.

It's a paper about Time (which no one fully understands) and how Time relates to "Particle Spin" (which no one fully understands), which in turn appears to be controlled by Natural Laws (which no one fully understands) which produce Time Dilation (which I think I partially understand) when two Natural Laws are brought into "conflict" (if that's the proper term).  

If I'm wrong, it would be extremely interesting to be shown where and why I'm wrong.  But, no RSMist would allow that.  As Donald Trump might say, "To be wrong is to be stupid."  Meanwhile, the thinking people in this world know that we all learn from our mistakes.  And learning is the purpose of science.

Comments for Sunday, February 14, 2016, thru Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016:

February 20, 2016 - I finished reading another book on my Kindle yesterday.  It was a book of science-fiction short stories titled "Robot Uprisings."

robot uprisings

Some of the stories were truly excellent.  I especially enjoyed "The Robot And The Baby," which was first published on Stanford University's web site and can be read there for free.  It had me laughing out loud several times.  It's about a household robot that has to take care of a baby when the baby's drugged out mother says she doesn't want the baby any more.  That sounds like a pretty grim basis for a funny story, but it's a satire of how society reacts and tries to figure out what to do about the situation.  

Most of the stories in the book were definitely NOT funny.  In fact, there were two which I couldn't get through because they were far too grim for me.  But the overall experience of reading the book was a very enjoyable one.

I think I've probably read more short stories in the past couple months than in the previous 20 years.  I've never been a fan of the short-story format, but I think I'm beginning to change my attitude about them.  I'm also off science books for the moment, but only because I had finished the last one in the queue of available science books.  While driving in my car, I'm listening CDs of a travel book.  And while exercising at the gym, I'm listening to a "humor" book on my MP3 player.

February 18, 2016 (B) - Something changed in my version of Widows 10 a couple weeks ago, and now when I turn on my computer I get a really beautiful image as "wallpaper" background.  The image changes whenever I turn on my computer.  Here's an example from couple weeks ago:

beautiful picture

Here's the one of London that showed up this afternoon:

London beautiful picture

The originals are 1920 x 1080 pixels, or "wallpaper" size.  Curious about where they came from, I did a search and found the source HERE.  The site has dozens of them, some of the most beautiful photographs I've seen in a long time.

February 18, 2016 (A) - The conspiracy theories continue to flare up around Judge Antonin Scalia's death.  Here's one of my favorite headlines:
Did Leonard Nimoy Have Antonin Scalia Killed to Give Obama Enough Supreme Court Votes to Cancel the 2016 Election?
Leonard Nimoy is dead, of course.  He died a year ago.  BUT, that may just be what the evil-doers want you to believe.

Another favorite headline: 

Donald Trump Pushes Conspiracy Theory That President Obama Had Scalia Murdered
In another display of his incompetency, Donald Trump helped pour gasoline on the conspiracy theory flames by telling a Right-Wing radio host, "they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow."

The New Yorker has an article titled "Donald Trump’s Scalia-Conspiracy Pillow Fight," which says,
Scalia was found dead in his room at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort about thirty-five miles south of Marfa, Texas. He had gone to bed at around nine o’clock, according to John Poindexter, the ranch owner, and, when Scalia didn’t come to breakfast the next morning, Poindexter eventually went to his room. “We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled,” he told the San Antonio Express-News. Poindexter was not calling out the pillow’s placement as strange—it is part of his portrait of a man at peace in death: “It looked like he had not quite awakened from a nap.” Similarly, Poindexter told reporters, over the weekend, with what sounded like pride, that Scalia had been in a state of “complete repose,” following an evening in which he had been cosseted by the flattery of admirers. “If this had to happen, it happened in the very best of circumstances,” Poindexter said. In other words, he brought up the pillow in the first place as evidence that Scalia had had everything a man could have wanted in such a moment, including a pillow.

But Poindexter had thrown a feather-stuffed apple of discord into the Scalia story. The Drudge Report sent out a breaking-news alert: “Scalia Found Dead with ‘Pillow Over Head.’ ” On Tuesday, Poindexter, speaking to CNN, tried to clarify. “He had a pillow over his head, not over his face as some have been saying,” he said. “The pillow was against the headboard and over his head when he was discovered.” This is a conspiracy theory that depends heavily on what the meaning of “over” is—on top of or above—the sort of fine distinction that may make it harder to chase away. We may soon have diagrams laying out second-pillow trajectories.
I wonder if Rationalized Semantic Methodists ("RMists") have a definition for the word "over."  It would probably be: "Hovering above."  The pillow wasn't UNDER Scalia's head.  Nor was it ON his head or face.  So, if it was "over his head," that obviously means the pillow was "hovering ABOVE" his head.  If the pillow had been BETWEEN Scalia's head and the headboard, why did Poindexter say it was OVER his head?  After all, if someone had suffocated Antonin Scalia, they certainly wouldn't left the pillow ON his face. They would have wanted to cover up the crime by making things look normal.  They would have put the pillow UNDER his head.  Since they didn't do that, it's further evidence that the pillow must have been hovering OVER or ABOVE his head.  How it is possible for a pillow to hover is irrelevant.  RSMist word definitions are sacred and cannot be questioned.

And here's another favorite headline I found:
Glenn Beck Thinks God Killed Antonin Scalia To Help Ted Cruz Get Elected President 
If God was involved, that would be the ultimate conspiracy theory.

February 16, 2016 - This morning I checked on the status of the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, and I found that the searchers are becoming very discouraged.  They may give up -- until something comes along that gives them a new lead of some kind.  They've been searching for nearly two years, and the fear is that some anomaly caused the search vessels to miss spotting the wreckage.  They're not likely to do it all over again, so they'll have to just wait for something new to happen - some new technology, some new piece of wreckage showing up somewhere, some new interpretation of old data, etc.  

I also feel I should write something about the death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia, since I'm highly amused by the antics of the Republicans who feel President Obama should leave the chore of picking a replacement for Scalia to whoever gets elected in November.  Of course, if there was a Republican in the White House right now, they'd be screaming at the President to pick a rabidly conservative judge to replace Scalia as soon as humanly possible.  It seems to me that dictionaries should consider using "Republican" as a definition for the word "hypocrite."  And maybe "Republican" should be the definition for the word "obstructionist," too.  It will be interesting to see what tactics they use to try to block President Obama from picking a replacement for Scalia.  Scalia's death certainly couldn't have come at a more interesting and momentous time.

Lastly, I was looking for news about Anarchapulco, the conference of anarchists that is scheduled to begin in Acapulco on Friday (and which will be followed by the 4th Rational Science Conference), but all I found was this headline:
Most violent cities: Acapulco 4th in world
Acapulco ranks as Mexico’s most violent city and fourth most violent in the world based on the number of homicides committed last year.
So, I learned something new today.  Any day you learn something new is a good day.   

February 15, 2016 - While at the gym this afternoon, I finished listening to another novel on my MP3 player.  It was "Bad Monkey" by Carl Hiaason

Bad Monkey by Carl

"Bad Monkey," which came out in 2013, appears to be Hiaasen's most recent novel.  While it was a very enjoyable book, I could not help but feel that it would have been twice or three times more enjoyable if I had read it in paperback or on my Kindle instead of listening to it on my MP3 player.  On January 27, I finished listening to "Red Harvest" and thought that might be both the first and the last novel I would ever listen to on my MP3 player, since it's too difficult for me to remember people's names when I just hear them.  Convoluted story lines are a problem, too.  I have a very visual memory.  Then I decided to listen to "Bad Monkey" to see if that was really a serious problem for me.  It is.

While "Bad Monkey" didn't have as many different murders as "Red Harvest," nor did it have quite as many characters, it was still a lot to keep track of.  I think I fully confirmed that I won't be listening to any more novels on my MP3 player -- unless I'm traveling.  If I'm going on a long trip, I might try listening to another novel to help pass time.  If it's going to be a long drive, I may burn some CDs for a novel or two and take them with me to listen to while driving.

I burned 6 CDs this morning for a travel "book" I've decided to listen to in my car while driving back and forth to the gym and to do my shopping, instead of listening to "Death by Black Hole" for a second time.  It worked well this afternoon as I drove back and forth to the gym.  So, I'll probably be finishing it some time next week.  It's not really a "book," it's evidently some BBC radio shows.  I have a travel "audio book" on hold at the library, which I'll start when I finish the one I'm currently listening to (assuming it becomes available in time).

I really enjoy listening to books while working out at the gym.  It's certainly much better than just listening to the piped-in music through the noise in the gym.  The only problem is that it doesn't allow me to do much thinking.  I used to get some really productive thinking done while on the treadmill and Exercycle.  But, there's nothing preventing me from turning off the MP3 player if I feel that I'm not paying attention and my thoughts are drifting.

February 14, 2016 -  The arguments I was having with Rationalized Semantic Methodists ("RSMists") came to another end this week - hopefully permanently, possibly temporarily.  It evidently became clear to both sides that there was no point in arguing further.  The RSMists seemed to realize that they cannot convert me to their beliefs no matter how hard they try, and I concluded once again that there's nothing I can say or do that will change their minds about anything.  If I show them they are wrong, they just ignore it and change the subject.  If I don't let them change the subject, they stop posting.

What convinced me more than anything that I was just wasting my time was when there was some news in the media about the detection of gravity waves, and a bunch of RSMists started showing their ignorance and ridiculing the news:
RSMist #1: If gravitational waves actually existed - would they NOT be everywhere? 

RSMist #2: Sounds like they just found long radio waves and are calling them gravitational waves.

RSMist #3: It was probably one of the homeboys driving by with a boom box.

RSMist #2More than likely. They converted sound to radio waves... found them, then viola! Einstein was right! lmao!!

RSMist #3: Could be Schumann resonance.

RSMist #2: Yea, probably Schumann resonance. Lightning discharges produce it. Cool stuff. So they just discovered lightning.
I love science, and I love mysteries.  There's not much fun in discussing either with ignorant people who seem to believe they know all there is to know about everything.

I don't plan to start any new arguments until the 4th Rational Physics Conference is over in a week or so, and then only if I can find something interesting on the Internet about what happened at the conference

Meanwhile, I keep wanting to do more research into astronomer Halton Arp and his observations.  Arp seems to have acted like the RSMists who admire him.  He found something he couldn't explain ("peculiar galaxies"), and then instead of studying them until he found solid evidence for what caused them, he jumped to conclusions and made up an explanation: The Big Bang Theory Is Wrong. When no one believed him, he started complaining that all those who disagreed with him were closed minded and he wasn't being treated fairly. 

I did a little research and found that Arp's beliefs had a lot to do with quasars, which I've never studied, and he published a book titled "Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies" which supposedly describes his findings:   

Arp's book

The book is long out of print, and evidently a water-stained copy like that it the image above (from costs over $30.  So, curious or not, I wasn't about to buy a copy.  Halton Arp also wrote another book called "Catalogue of Discordant Redshift Associations," but when I browsed through it on Amazon, I concluded that it's far too technical for me.

Researching further, I found yet another book by Halton Arp.  This one is titled "Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science":

seeing red

I'm very tempted to buy it.  The reviews on seem to fall into two categories: (1) People who believe in Arp and love him and his attacks on the scientific establishment, and (2) people who checked the facts in Arp's book and found them to be out of date and easily disproved.  One such review says,

Arp's book organizationally is a mess. He does not lay out his arguments clearly. Most of his figures are not annotated, so you often can't figure out what objects he is talking about. In some of his writing he sounds like a crank with repeated complaints about how he can't get published, but I have to admit that he is also refreshingly candid, often quoting peer reviews where he is called a "crackpot" and that when he does publish what he considers a significant observation no one pays any attention.
Damn!  I'm really tempted to buy it.  It's like a published argument from an RSMist!  It might be very interesting to study and pick apart.  But, do I really want to start studying quasars and discordant redshift galaxies at the far reaches of the visible galaxy?  There seem to be dozens of interesting free sources on the Internet, including some papers by Halton Arp, that I could and probably should study before I start buying books.  There are just too many fascinating things going on in the world!   It's like there's some massive conspiracy to distract me from what I should be doing, which is working on my own book.  

Comments for Sunday, February 7, 2016, thru Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016:

February 13, 2016 - Hmm.  I was in WalMart the other day, and I needed to buy some paper towels.  I've been using Viva for decades, but suddenly the Viva towels were different.  Squeezing the package, they feel stiffer, less like cloth, and they look like they'll fall apart if you get them wet.  There was a woman standing beside me as I was trying to make up my mind whether to buy them or not.  She saw there was something different, too.  Plus, the smallest package was a 6 pack.  I usually buy one roll at a time.  I ended up buying another brand for the first time in over 25 years.  I think the woman bought another brand, too.

This morning I wondered what the Internet had to say about it.  Sure enough, there were people complaining all over the place.  Click HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.  Presumably, the new version is cheaper to make.  The brand that I bought is terrible, it falls apart when you get it wet, just as I assumed would happen to the new Viva.  So, I'll have to search for something better.  But, what I find most interesting is that you can go to the Internet and find comments about just about anything.  The first of the links above is Amazon's reviews of Viva.

February 11, 2016 - I haven't written any comments for a few days because I've been busy arguing with RSMists on THREE different Facebook groups, HERE, HERE and HERE.  In one of the arguments, a very interesting cosmological dispute was brought to my attention by someone who insisted I view the video below:


It's a video that can be very tedious at times, but if you stick through it you'll see that they are talking about "evidence" that the "red-shift" method used to argue for the Big Bang Theory of the creation of the visible universe is "wrong," because there are some objects in outer space which seem to defy our current understanding of the "red shift."  There are objects which SEEM to be near each  other in space, yet their red shifts indicate they are VERY far apart.

The RSMist I was arguing with uses the video as proof that the Big Bang Theory is false.  The video, however, just explains that there is some reason to believe that objects are being created right now in deep space, which would be evidence of some kind of "steady state" universe.  To me, the fact that something is red-shifted very differently from a nearby object doesn't mean they cannot be close together.  Red-shift is not really a measure of distance.  It's a measure of how fast an object is moving away from you.  It's just that, generally speaking, the objects that are moving the fastest away from us are the most distant objects.  It seems very possible, however, that two objects can CURRENTLY be near each other even though one is moving much faster than the other.  Like a bullet passing a speeding car.  But, I'm no expert, and I certainly cannot explain how such a situation could occur.  So, it's something I need to think about.  The video just shows that people who ARE experts do not always agree.

I've also been busy working on my "scientific paper" about "What is Time?"  I ran into a snag.  I didn't realize that there was such a large mystery surrounding electrons.  No one seems to have any clear idea of what an electron looks like or how it creates its electrical charge.  That makes it difficult for me to provide an illustration of a single electron in the paper.  Does it look like a spinning ball, like a spinning donut, or like a donut that rotates like a worm turning over and over?  Or like something else?

I suppose I can just use the type of object that best illustrates my description of how Time works.  It doesn't effect how Time works, it just affects how I will explain how Time works.  It's something else I need to think about.

February 8, 2016 - On my way home from the gym this afternoon, I finished listening to the last of the 10 CDs I "burned" months ago for Neil deGrass Tyson's book, "Death by Black Hole - and Other Cosmic Quandries."

Death by Black Hole by
                  Neil deGrasse Tyson

It was a very enjoyable book, so much so, in fact, that I decided to listen to it again instead of switching to the CDs I burned for a book about the Civil War navies.  (Ironclad Civil War navy vessels on inland rivers was once a BIG interest of mine.)  Hopefully, while listening to Tyson's book a second time as I drive my car back and forth to this place and that, I'll make mental notes of passages to highlight, after I return home, in the paperback copy I bought a few weeks ago.  Meanwhile, I may look around for another science book to burn onto CDs for listening while I'm driving.  I find it far more rewarding that just listening to music.

February 7, 2016 -  The past week was an eventful week for me, but, all the key "events" took place in my mind.  So, now I have to figure out how to get them out of my mind and onto paper and onto your computer screen and mine.

The first "event" that occurred in my mind was the realization that Rational Semantic Methodism ("RSMism") is based entirely upon BELIEFS, while science is based upon the results of EXPERIMENTS.  I probably knew this all along, but I'd never before thought about how EXPERIMENTS show that RSMist BELIEFS are total nonsense.

I was researching Bill Gaede's beliefs about light, trying to understand how anyone could believe such nonsense, when I found this sentence in a paper he published in 2012 titled "Light: The Rope Hypothesis":
"We begin by assuming that a physical medium underlies the phenomenon known as 'light' and that this entity takes on the configuration of a rope." 
That assumption is preposterous, of course.  Furthermore, the first page of the paper contains nothing to explain why anyone in their right mind would accept or make such an silly assumption.  The 6-page paper costs $32 per copy, which an examination of the first page clearly shows would be a waste of money.  

The paper showed up at the beginning of a video of Mr. Gaede's presentation of his theory of light at the 2010 International Conference on Physics, Science and Technology, which took place in Hong Kong in late December of 2010.

In the presentation, Mr. Gaede explains that light is a spiral object that is part of the same "rope" Mr. Gaede believes connects every atom in the universe to every other atom.

But light is a wave, not a spiral.  EXPERIMENTS have proven that.

Bingo!  One of my favorite Richard Feyman quotes goes as follows:

It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.
Experiments show that Mr. Gaede's "rope hypothesis" is WRONG.  Not only that, but Mr. Gaede needs to suggest experiments which prove he is RIGHT, otherwise there doesn't even seem to be any reason for anyone to listen to him.  When I realized that experiments show him to be wrong, I also decided I need to create a list of questions that people should ask Mr. Gaede when he presents his theory about "The Rope Model of Light" at the RSMist conference in Acapulco on February 22, two weeks from tomorrow. 
A few of the questions that need to be asked are:
1.  What are the "ropes" in your hypothesis made of?

2.  What experiments can scientists perform to confirm the existence of these "ropes"?

3. If there are at least ten quadrillion vigintillion "ropes" connected to every atom in the universe, as would be true if every atom in the universe is connected by a "rope" to every other atom, why don't any of those "ropes" show up in scanning, tunneling electron microscope images of individual atoms?

4.  How do you explain the fact that numerous experiments show that light waves move up and down, not in the spiral pattern your theory requires?

5.  If light and gravity ropes connect every atom in the universe to every other atom, why does light pass through glass but not through steel? 
Etc.  I'm going to try to think up at least ten such questions for attendees to ask Mr. Gaede.  I'll put them on my Facebook group page and on my interactive blog.

Meanwhile, I think I now know just about all I need to know to write a "scientific paper" on the subject "What is Time?" 

That realization came to me when I got bored with listening to "
Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation" by Bill Nye while working out at the gym.  I wasn't learning anything significant from it.  I already know quite a bit about evolution, and hearing a lot of additional details on that subject isn't what interests me right now.  So, I switched to a different book in my MP3 player and started listening to "From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time" by Sean Carroll.  I have the same book on my Kindle, where, months ago, I had read 24% of it before giving up for some forgotten reason.

Listening to it on my MP3 player, I heard this passage:
But in 1905, along comes Einstein with his special theory of relativity.  The central conceptual breakthrough of special relativity is that our two aspects of time, "time labels different moments" and "time is what clocks measure," are not equivalent, or even interchangeable.  In particular, the scheme of setting up a time coordinate by sending clocks throughout the universe would not work: two clocks, leaving the same event and arriving at the same event but taking different paths to get there, will generally experience different durations along the journey, slipping out of synchronization.  That's not because we haven't been careful enough to pick "good clocks," as defined above.  It's because the duration elapsed along two trajectories connecting two events in space time need not be the same.
Whaa?  That didn't look correct or make sense to me! When I got home, I accessed the book on my Kindle and did a search for the word "dilation."  It appears only 7 times in the entire book.  The first appearance of the word says,
Likewise, if a clock moves by us at high velocity, it undergoes "time dilation" -- it appears to be ticking more slowly than the clock that is sitting at rest.
NO, the clock doesn't just APPEAR to be ticking more slowly.  It IS ticking more slowly.  The other uses of the word "dilation" in the book seemed to be just part of explaining how complicated Time Dilation is.  How can anyone provide "the ultimate theory of time" without understanding how Time Dilation works? 

To make certain that Einstein's paper doesn't refer to different trajectories, but to a moving clock versus a stationary clock, I went back to Einstein's paper and very carefully read the section that explains Time Dilation.  It says,

If at the points A and B of K there are stationary clocks which, viewed in the stationary system, are synchronous; and if the clock at A is moved with the velocity v along the line AB to B, then on its arrival at B the two clocks no longer synchronize, but the clock moved from A to B lags behind the other which has remained at B by ½tv2/c2 (up to magnitudes of fourth and higher order), t being the time occupied in the journey from A to B.

It is at once apparent that this result still holds good if the clock moves from A to B in any polygonal line, and also when the points A and B coincide.

If we assume that the result proved for a polygonal line is also valid for a continuously curved line, we arrive at this result: If one of two synchronous clocks at A is moved in a closed curve with constant velocity until it returns to A, the journey lasting t seconds, then by the clock which has remained at rest the traveled clock on its arrival at A will be ½tv2/c2 second slow. Thence we conclude that a balance-clock at the equator must go more slowly, by a very small amount, than a precisely similar clock situated at one of the poles under otherwise identical conditions.

In other words, if a clock moves from point A to point B, the ONLY factor that affects Time is the clock's VELOCITY.  It doesn't make any difference what path the clock follows. Einstein explains very clearly that a clock sitting on the equator will run more slowly than a clock located at the north pole.

WOW!  Somehow I'd never before read that last sentence.  Or, if I had read it, I hadn't realized its significance.  It eliminates all the arguments about different perspectives, about what happens in empty space, about the difference between traveling outward from earth and then coming back, about how acceleration affects Time, etc.  As the Earth spins on its axis, a clock at the equator is simply moving at a higher velocity than a clock at the north pole.  Thus TIME will run slower for the clock on the equator. PERIOD.    

The question then becomes: Why does velocity slow down Time?  Once you answer that question, then you understand "What is Time?"  And that is what my "scientific paper" will be all about.

Comments for Monday, February 1, 2016, thru Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016:

February 4, 2016 - For what it's worth, Newsweek has an interesting article titled "Right-Wing Extremists Are a Bigger Threat to America Than ISIS."
They and untold thousands like them are the extremists who hide among us, the right-wing militants who, since 2002, have killed more people in the United States than jihadis have. In that time, according to New America, a Washington think tank, Islamists launched nine attacks that murdered 45, while the right-wing extremists struck 18 times, leaving 48 dead. These Americans thrive on hate and conspiracy theories, many fed to them by politicians and commentators who blithely blather about government concentration camps and impending martial law and plans to seize guns and other dystopian gibberish, apparently unaware there are people listening who don’t know it’s all lies. These extremists turn to violence—against minorities, non-Christians, abortion providers, government officials—in what they believe is a fight to save America. And that potential for violence is escalating every day.
"Untold thousands" is a good estimate, since you see them around you no matter where you go.  The hate they carry around with them is ready to explode into violence at the slightest provocation.

February 3, 2016 - I just finished listening to the audio book "The Minority Report and Other Stories" by Philip K. Dick.

The Minority Report and
                  Other Stories

The five stories in the book were not only very enjoyable, but I also got a free lesson on some technicalities of my MP3 player.  When I started listening to the stories a few days ago, I didn't realize that the MP3 files were out of order.  The six files weren't arranged 1-2-3-4-5-6, they were arranged 6-3-5-4-1-2.  File #6 was short "story" titled "The Eyes Have It," which was only about ten minutes long.  That was no problem.  Then it switched to file #3, which turned out to be the last 16 minutes of the story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" (which was made into the "Total Recall" movies).  I didn't realize it wasn't the entire story.  I thought it was just not very good.  Then I listened to the start of "Paycheck" which filled the rest of file #3 (and which was made into a movie of that same name).  When the player then changed to file #5, I realized something was wrong.  I examined the files and discovered they were out of order.  If you have to know when to stop a file it makes listening a real chore.  So, I had to either give up on listening to the stories, or I had to figure out a way to put the files in order.  It took awhile, but figured out a way.  It's a software problem within the MP3 player.  It evidently can't correctly sort file names that are over 40 characters long if the only difference in the names comes after position #40.  The file names looked like this, with the only difference being in position $44:
The Minority Report and Other Stories-Part01.mp3
The Minority Report and Other Stories-Part02.mp3
         |         |         |         |
I shortened the file names so that they would play in order.  That caused a new problem, but it was something I could live with.  Live and learn.

February 2, 2016 - I guess it is to be expected these days, but I was still mildly surprised to read that Trump supporters have developed a conspiracy theory to explain Trump's failure to win the Iowa Caucus: 
The gist of the conspiracy says that the app used by voting precincts to report their results was fixed so that Rubio would end up with a higher vote count. They explained this by saying that Microsoft, which created the app, supports Rubio, in addition to the fact that Microsoft advocates for an increase of migrant workers into the United States.

Twitter users posted their concerns Monday night using the hashtag #MicrosoftRubioFraud:
BTW, I like this headline:

dead clown walking

However, having Ted Cruz win is like having an evil clown win over a stupid clown.  I sincerely hope neither wins in November.

February 1, 2016 -  After watching the excellent YouTube videos that related to the cartoons that followed the PBS presentation of "Particle Fever" (see yesterday's comment), I looked around for more cartoon videos by PHD Comics.  I found a very interesting one about Open Access publishing:

The only problem with it is that it doesn't address the problem of having total cranks simply pay to "publish" their screwball ideas as "scientific papers."  But, I don't know for certain that it is really a problem.  It could be that scientists are content to sort through crank papers along with everything else to find whatever they are looking for.  Access may be more important than a prestigious source. 

While looking through the videos, I also found one by "Physics Girl" on the subject of "Special Relativity and The Twin Paradox."  The "Twin Paradox" and Time Dilation are subjects of great interest to me, so I watched the video.

While "Physics Girl" doesn't provide a particularly good explanation of "Time Dilation," I found some interesting discussions among the 952 comments that follow the video.  One comment of particular interest to me reads as follows:

what if you put a baby in outer space and the baby has no motion what so ever and stays there for the rest of its life and has no motion what so ever. (for the sake of simplicity lets say outerspace has all its physics plus oxygen is everywhere and the baby has everything it would ever need to love like food, water, and etc. to grow up and stuff. and the baby doesn't get lonely or anything like that and there's more stuff you can add to this). The Question is would the baby age instantly?
I don't know why he would ask such a question, but it was clearly the result of some misunderstanding about Time Dilation.  There were twenty posts after his question, and while several people correctly replied "NO, the baby will not age instantly," most of the replies seemingly misunderstood what the questioner was asking, and the questioner was very bad at explaining what he was looking for.

So, I put in my "two cents."  I responded this way:
NO, the baby will age at the "standard" rate. MOVEMENT or VELOCITY only SLOWS DOWN Time. There is nothing that can speed up time.

A baby on earth is moving around the earth's axis at 1,000 miles per hour. It's also moving around the Sun at 66,000 mph, and moving with the sun around the galaxy at 483,000 mph. If the earth baby's total velocity is 600,000 miles per hour, that is 268 kilometers per second. At that speed, a baby on Earth will age 1 second while the MOTIONLESS baby in space ages 1.000000399 seconds. In such an example, it is the baby on earth who experiences Time Dilation.

Wow!  That's complicated!  I studied it a long time to confirm that it would be the baby on Earth who would experience Time Dilation.  It's the first time I've seen a question asked where it wouldn't be the person in space who experienced Time Dilation.  And it indirectly shows that everyone experiences Time Dilation, and only a hypothetical person sitting motionless in space would not.  The reason we don't notice the Time Dilation is because the difference between what you and someone else experiences is just billionths or trillionths of a second.  

© 2016 by Ed Lake