Archive for ed-lake.com
August 2017

Comments for Sunday, August 27, 2017, thru Thursday, August 31, 2017:

August 31, 2017 - The conversation I've been having with "danco" wasn't continued this morning.  Overnight, there were no new posts from him in the thread I've been watching on Google's Science, Physics and Relativity discussion forum.  So, after responding to an uninteresting post from someone else, I checked some other threads on the forum.   I found a new thread (from the hundreds) started by "Pentcho Valev" with a new bunch of interesting links.  The thread has links to three YouTube videos where famous science writers discuss the question "What is Time?", which just happens to be the title of a paper of mine that is getting a lot views lately.  So, I began to wonder if Pentcho has another forum somewhere, probably in another language, where he discusses my papers and provides links to them.  I did a Google search for "Pentcho Valev" and got 30,000 results.

The first link of interest was to 8 papers written by Pentcho Valev between April 2004 and March 2008 for The General Science Journal, which seems to publish anything anyone will pay for them to publish.  I noticed a recent paper (not by Pentcho) titled "Twin Paradox is Wrong."  That would make it about Time Dilation, which always interests me, so I checked it out.  I went only as far as the Abstract which reads as follows:
Regarding the time, since is fix, compartment and vacuumed, twin paradox show that both brothers has the same age after on of them is going into space. It must be taken in advance that the time is absolute, compartmented and also every each planet has its own spaces: atmospehric and extraatmospheric. First of all, we must define what does mean „outer” and then we can understand the time in and out of planet.   
I stopped reading there, since the typos and misspellings and bad English didn't make me want to read further.

 I couldn't find any forum where Pentcho was discussing my papers.  But I watched all three of the YouTube videos he linked to in his recent post, and I  found them very interesting.   The first link was to a talk with Carlo Rovelli, a well-known science author:



I found it interesting in that it seemed to make Time a lot more complicated that it really seems to be (according to my paper).

The second link was to a talk with Sean Carroll, another well-known science author, as well as being a cosmologist and a physics professor:



I got the same impressions from that video as from the first.

The third link was to a talk with Max Tegmark, a name that was new to me, but who is evidently a Swedish-American cosmologist:



And, of course, I basically got the same impressions from that video as from the first two: They are making things a lot more complicated than they need to be. 

It seems they are bogged down in philosophy and in theories from history, and they therefore need to explain how today's thinking differs from past thinking.  My paper just looks at what seems to be happening now, and how Time seems to work.  Those three authors say nothing that changes what I'm saying.  They're just looking at things from a very different point of view.

Anyway, I just thought I'd write a comment about it so I can find those videos again if I ever need them.  (That's basically why I started writing about things on my web sites, so that I could keep a record of interesting things I found.) 

After posting the first version of this comment, I did a Google search for "Pentcho Valev" and "Ed Lake."  That led to another forum where Pentcho Valev is posting his theories, and it included some comments about me, but the comments weren't from Pentcho, they were from someone using the Internet name "Anonymous" who refers to me as "stupid Ed Lake."  And there were no links to my papers.

August 30, 2017 - Hmm.  This morning and this afternoon I was involved in a discussion with someone who was capable of explaining his point of view about Relativity.   As a result, I learned a very interesting lesson.  I'm not sure what the guy's real name is, but it he uses a screen name that begins with "danco."  

We had been arguing about how, in physics, many people believe there is no way to tell if Object-A was moving and Object-B was stationary or if Object-A was stationary and Object-B was moving.  Since I was tired of arguing about "frames of reference," I thought I might get a more meaningful discussion going if we argued about who was moving FASTEST, rather than who was moving and who was stationary or "at rest."  Danco argued that it was entirely possible for someone sitting on the Sun to see that a police officer standing next to a telephone pole in Walla Walla, Washington, pointing a Lidar gun at an oncoming car would be moving FASTER than the oncoming car traveling at 90 mph up Jones Street toward him.  I disagreed.

Then he explained to me that if the Earth is spinning at 500 mph around its axis in Walla Walla, and if the speeding car was traveling westward on Jones Street at 90 mph, it would be moving against the spinning of the Earth, and it would thus be moving at 410 miles per hour through space while the cop and the telephone pole would be moving at 500 mph through space.  Hmm.  That hit me directly in a major point of interest: Time Dilation.  Danco cited the Hafele-Keating experiment where Hafele and Keating flew westward on one of their trips, and time passed faster than when they flew eastward with the rotation of the Earth.  It seemed like a great way to show that Time Dilation is relative to the stationary point in the Big Bang Universe where the Big Bang occurred. 

Of course, you could not argue in court that the telephone pole was moving faster than your car was, but you could argue it in a physics class.  I would call it the "academic point of view."  And mine would be the "practical point of view" or the "every day point of view."
 
Interesting stuff. 

It was also interesting that David (Kronos Prime) Fuller, who is on my "Do Not Respond" list, responded to my agreement with danco by posting five of the filthiest personal attacks I've ever seen on that forum.  They were in Spanish, so I had to translate them to see how filthy they were.  I have no clue as to what upset him.  


August 29, 2017 - Wow!  Some of the arguments I've been having on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum have been really interesting lately.  And, I've been spending almost all of my computer time responding to questions being asked, while basically just ignoring posts from the 6 people on my "Do Not Respond" list. 

I also came up with a tentative title for a paper about the Big Bang Universe versus the Visible Universe: "Our Two Universes."  I don't know if I'll ever write the paper or use that title, but now I've written it down so that I won't forget it.

Also, "my ears are burning" because I think someone somewhere is talking about my scientific papers on Vixra.org.  Yesterday, 3 people looked at my paper about "What is Time?"  No one else has looked at it since last Thursday.  It can't be just a coincidence that 3 people looked at it in one day if there has been nothing said or written about that paper in months.   Two people also looked at my paper on Time Dilation, and one looked at my paper on Einstein's Second Postulate.  It is fairly rare to have people read three different papers of mine in one day.  (I still have no idea what caused TEN people to read my Second Postulate paper on August 15.) 

Adding to the situation, those people are evidently people who have never read my papers before.  Vixra.org describes them as "
unique-IP downloads," which means Vixra is keeping track of IP addresses, and that means that people using 153 different computers in 153 different locations had read my "What is Time?" paper as of last Thursday, and then 3 more people using 3 other computers read that paper yesterday.  In theory, all 153 of the others could also have read the paper again yesterday and the numbers wouldn't change.  

I really need to bring the discussions on Google to an end so that I can get to work on writing new papers.  But, it's really difficult to do when the discussions are so interesting to me. 


August 27, 2017 - The arguments on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum have mostly degenerated into people calling me names and ranting personal insults.  I've been adding person after person to my "Do Not Respond" list, which is now an actual list on a Postit note stuck to the side of my computer screen.  It's a list of people who never respond intelligently but always respond with insults and personal attacks, so there is no point in responding to anything they write.  Previously, it was just a mental list, but I think I may have forgotten some of the people that I had on that mental list when I didn't post to the forum for a couple months.

Some of the discussions I've been having are very educational, not so much as result of any new information from people posting there, but as a result of me having to think through responses and explanations I wrote.  As a result, I've started on a new scientific paper tentatively titled "The Theory of Relativity versus The Theory of Reciprocality."  Since it is largely about Einstein's First Postulate, I was thinking of just expanding my paper on  Einstein's Second Postulate to incorporate the new information.  But, I think I need to write it as a separate paper first.  Then I can see if the two papers can be merged.  Time will tell if I will actually try submitting the paper somewhere.

In a discussion on Friday, a couple people called me names and verbally attacked me because I stated that the Big Bang started at a point in space outside of our visible universe.  They angrily claimed that the Big Bang did not originate at any "point."  I responded by citing from 4 different web pages (from a choice of many) which discuss the Big Bang starting at a point.  Here they are:
"About 15 billion years ago a tremendous explosion started the expansion of the universe. This explosion is known as the Big Bang. At the point of this event all of the matter and energy of space was contained at ONE POINT."

Source: http://umich.edu/~gs265/bigbang.htm

"In 1927, an astronomer named Georges Lemaître had a big idea. He said that a very long time ago, the universe started as just a SINGLE POINT. He said the universe stretched and expanded to get as big as it is now, and that it could keep on stretching."

Source: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/big-bang/en/

"Although space may have been concentrated into a SINGLE POINT at the Big Bang, it is equally possible that space was infinite at the Big Bang. In both scenarios the space was completely filled with matter which began to expand."

Source: "http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/bigbang.html

"The most important concept to get across when talking about the big bang is expansion. Many people think that the big bang is about a moment in which all the matter and energy in the universe was concentrated in a tiny POINT. Then this POINT exploded, shooting matter across space, and the universe was born. In fact, the big bang explains the expansion of space itself, which in turn means everything contained within space is spreading apart from everything else."

Source: http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/astronomy-terms/big-bang-theory1.htm

"The big bang theory describes the creation of everything in the universe. According to this theory, all the matter in the universe came into existence at the same time during an event known as the big bang, which happened about 13.7 billion years ago.

"At that time, all matter was compacted into a SINGLE POINT with infinite density and intense heat called a singularity."

Source: http://why-sci.com/big-bang/
However, while looking for those sources on the Internet, I found other sources which stated that the Big Bang did not start at any "point."  Example:
The Big Bang did not happen at a point. Instead it happened everywhere in the universe at the same time. Consequences of this include:
The universe doesn't have a centre: the Big Bang didn't happen at a point so there is no central point in the universe that it is expanding from.
Depending upon what you search for, the "universe with no center" theory can appear to be the current prevailing theory.  And it appears to be another theory concocted by mathematicians, since that link above also includes this:
The universe didn't shrink down to a point at the Big Bang, it's just that the spacing between any two randomly selected spacetime points shrank down to zero. 
That is pure mathematician gibberish.  It's talking about the Big Bang as if it was a mathematical equation, and thus reciprocal, which means you can view the Big Bang as a "Big Crunch" where everything shrank instead of expanded.  The math works either way, so who cares what really happened?

I've always viewed things this way:
Our two universes
But, when arguing about anything on the Google forums, you quickly learn that there are a lot of people who see things differently.  Not only that, they are totally certain that their own version is right, and they will insult and attack anyone who disagrees with them.  It's all reminiscent of my discussions about the anthrax attacks of 2001.  Everyone had their own theory and they'd insult and attack anyone who had a different theory.  They would never discuss the facts and evidence.

When I turned on my computer this morning, I found 11 messages from 9 different people waiting in the thread I started a few days ago.  Nearly all the messages were addressed to me.  Only 3 were from 2 people on my "Do Not Respond" list.

None are about the Visible Universe within the Big Bang Universe.  They are all about how police Lidar guns work.  Yesterday I stated that we should focus on that question, since it shows that when the stationary Lidar gun emits pulses of light traveling at c (the speed of light), the oncoming speeding car encounters those pulses arriving at c+v, where v is the speed of the car.  Mathematicians cannot accept that anything or anyone can encounter light traveling at a speed greater than c.   Here is one of this morning's responses:

Each car is at rest in an inertial coordinate system, which is a system of space and time coordinates in terms of which Newton's equations of motion are valid in the low speed limit.  Knowing that the speed of a pulse of light is c in terms of one system of inertial coordinates (say, the system in which the police car is at rest), what is the speed of that pulse in terms of another system of inertial coordinates (say, the system in which the target car is at rest)?

The answer depends on how inertial coordinate systems are related to each other.  If energy did not have inertia, then they would be related by a Galilean transformation, and the speed in the target system would be c+v, but energy actually DOES have inertia (E = mc^2), so inertial coordinates are related by Lorentz transformations, and hence the speed is c in terms of every system of inertial coordinates.  
In other words, in the fantasy universe of mathematicians, there is no way to tell who is moving.  Everything is "relative," which they interpret to mean that everything is reciprocal.  There's no way to tell if the police car with the Lidar gun is moving or if the speeding car traveling toward the Lidar gun is moving.  There's also no way to tell (mathematically) if a car crashed into a wall, or if the wall crashed into the car.  Or, to put it another way: All movement is an illusion. 

So, my task for the rest of this morning, and probably much of this afternoon is to try to explain to them that we live in a REAL universe where we CAN tell who is moving.  I have no hope of persuading anyone of anything, but I might learn something new in the process of trying.


Comments for Sunday, August 20, 2017, thru Saturday, August 26, 2017:

August 24, 2017 - Hmm.  The thread I created several days ago on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum suddenly turned VERY interesting.  

A couple days ago in that thread, I quoted E. M. Forster as follows:  “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”  I was talking about the value of writing down what you are thinking.  It helps you clarify your thoughts.  It's one of the values of writing scientific papers, since you have to write and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until what you have on paper truly reflects your thinking and understanding.  And, sometimes when you are writing down a response to some comment from someone else, you figure out what that other person is thinking.

That happened this morning.  I think I suddenly realized why mathematicians love their mathematical models even though they clearly do not reflect reality.

We were discussing the paper "Lunar Laser Ranging Test of the Invariance of c" by Daniel M. Gezari.  I argued that Gezari was right in his calculations because he was using this as a model:
E-A-B--------------------------M
E represents the Earth at the moment a pulse of light is sent from an observatory on the Earth to a reflector on the moon (M).  While the pulse travels to M the Earth spins on its axis and moves the observatory to position A.  The reflector on the moon then sends the pulse back toward the Earth.  While the pulse is traveling through space back toward A, the observatory moves to position B.   So, due to the movement of the observatory, the light traveled from E to M and back to B (NOT to E), which means that the movement of the observatory (v) resulted in the speed of light (c) being measured to be c+v.  Perfectly logical.

The mathematicians inexplicably cannot cope with that.  They require that the Earth be stationary and that the Moon be moving.  (It has something to do with the way they play around with "frames of reference.")  And they require that the speed of light be c for ALL OBSERVERS.  That made me realize that they use a model that looks like this:
E---------------------------M---Z
According to their mathematical models, the imaginary stationary observatory on Earth emits a pulse of light toward the moon while the moon is at position Z.  While the light travels toward position Z, the moon moves from position Z to position M.  The pulse hits the reflector at position M and is sent back to E.  The result is the speed of light being calculated at c, because the movement from Z to M took place before the pulse arrived and had no effect on the experiment, nor did any movement of the moon after the pulse was sent back.

This caused my jaw to drop.  It's like a Nobel Prize discovery!  It caused all sorts of pieces to fall together to the point where I now think I fully understand how mathematicians think.  But, I suspect that all the mathematicians will just ignore whatever I say or write and just continue arguing that their mathematical models are correct.  Sigh!    


August 23, 2017 - I'm still waiting to see whether the physics journal that has my paper on Time Dilation will want to publish it or not.  Their rules say that I have to wait a month after submission before I can ask them what's going on.  The month will be up the day after Labor Day.  According to their web site, the status of my paper is still "Under Review."

And, as far as I know, the TV interview I'm supposed to do about the anthrax attacks of 2001 is still "on."  I don't know when it is going to happen, but I'm now assuming it won't be until sometime after Labor Day.

Meanwhile, the arguments on Google's Science, Physics and Relativity discussion forum that have occupied most of my time for the past week or so seems to be coming to an end.  Although I've tried to get some intelligent discussions going, the responses I've been getting have once again degenerated into nothing but mindless declarations of opinions and personal attacks.

It's still an interesting place to check out from time to time.  The other day, "Pentcho Valev" posted another interesting link as part of one of his screwball rants.  The link was to a web site run by the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.  Click HERE to view the page that attracted my interest.

The page begins with these questions:
How weird is the invariance of the speed of light? Is the principle of Special Relativity really counter-intuitive?
Then it shows an excellent animated illustration of a flying saucer traveling toward an observer who is standing still and watching the saucer approach while measuring the speed of the light coming from the saucer's headlights.  I can't show the animation, but I can show what the illustration looks like.  Here it is:
Time Dilation
                  illustration
The red dashes in front of the flying saucer are the photons from the saucer's headlights.  They travel slightly faster than the saucer as the saucer moves toward the observer.  As I see it, there is nothing really "counter-intuitive" about what is going on in the illustration.  Once you understand that the emitter (the flying saucer) cannot cause light to travel faster than c (the maximum speed of light), everything is pretty straightforward.

Under the illustration is this (sort of) answer to the questions asked:
It depends on how one expresses it, and to whose intuition one appeals. For example, it does seem counter-intuitive that the speed of light does not depend on the motion of the observer. In our animation, Zoe turns on the headlights of her space ship. She measures the speed of light from her headlights as c with respect to her. Jasper sees her travelling towards him at (let's say) v. He measures the speed of light from her headlights as c. No, not c+v, but just c. Surely this is counter-intuitive? Maybe even crazy? Surely relative speeds add up?
I highlighted in red the passage that bothered me.  Jasper (the observer) is not moving.  Einstein stated that the speed of light does not depend upon the motion of the emitter.  Why mention the observer?  Zoe's ship is moving, and since the ship is the emitter of the light, the light travels away from Zoe slower than it approaches Jasper.  I agreed with virtually everything on the page except that one clause.

At the end of the web page, it says this:
How can Jasper and Zoe's 'speedometers' both get the same value of the speed of light? Just looking at it, I can see that the red dot is approaching Jasper faster than it is leaving Zoe. How do they get the same answer? 

The answer is time dilation. We are looking at this animation from Jasper's frame of reference and, according to Jasper, time runs slowly for Zoe. Zoe's clocks, including the timing mechanism of her 'speedometer', run slowly. So Zoe records the same value for the speed of light.
That's right.  I fully agree!  But Jasper is standing still.  Of course, we all know he is really moving around the earth as it spins on its axis, and he is moving around the sun as the earth moves in its orbit, but relative to the flying saucer he is virtually standing still.  Any movement due to the earth's movement is irrelevant.  So, why complicate the problem by suggesting he's moving? 

I decided to ask the people who run the web site.  I sent them an email suggesting it was a mistake to have Jasper as a "moving observer," and I received the following reply:
Thanks for writing, Ed.
No mistake.
I’m busy. End of correspondance.
That's the same answer I get from local college physics professors -- if they respond at all, most don't.

And discussions on Google's forum just end up with opinions and personal attacks.  Here's one response I got when I told them I was fed up:
I guess that, as usual, every wise person here will try to make you realize that you're wrong on the basics, and that you will stubbornly persist in your incompetence, ignorance and arrogance.
Yes, I will stubbornly persist until I can find someone who can explain to me where I am wrong, or until I figure out for myself that I'm wrong.  Or maybe I'll somehow convince others that I'm right.  Until then, I'll be getting back to working scientific papers, instead of arguing with people who cannot explain anything and can do nothing other state opinions and launch personal attacks.

August 21, 2017 - On the Google discussion forum where I've been arguing about time, light and relativity, someone mentioned a book titled "How to Teach Relativity to your Dog" by Chad Orzel.  Curious, I looked it up and did a search through it for the word "dilation."  I got 29 results.   Ah!  I love references that mention time dilation, and in a physics-related book the only use of the word "dilation" is generally in the term "time dilation."  The book is described as being discussions between a scientist and his German shepherd dog named Emmy. 

I clicked on one mention of "dilation" and found that Chapter 3 of the book is titled "Time Slows When You are Chasing Bunnies: Relativistic Time Dilation." Then I found this on the bottom of page 50 and into page 51 (Emmy is the first speaker in the discussion below):
     “Right. So if we go really fast on the walk, my clock goes all slow, and when we get back, I’ll be younger than the puppy.”
     “Well, no. For one thing, the effect only works on clocks that are moving relative to you. You would see a light clock at the house ticking slow, but SteelyKid would see your clock running slow.”
     “Yeah, but she’s just a puppy and is easily fooled. My clock is the one that’s really moving.”
     “No, she’d be right. As long as you’re moving relative to her, any measurement she makes will show your clock running slow, and any measurement you do will show her clock running slow. There is no absolute frame of reference, just relative motion.”
     “Wait, we each see the other’s clock running slow?”
     “As long as you’re moving at constant speed relative to one another, yes. And you’re both right.”

     “So how do we decide which of us is younger?”
     “Well, in a real experiment, the process of speeding up and slowing down makes your frame of reference distinguishable from hers, so if you take off from the house, accelerate up to very fast speed, then decelerate and return to the house, your clock will end up showing less elapsed time than hers, but—”
     “I knew it! Let’s go, so I can be younger than the puppy!”
     “But, ‘fast’ in this context means ‘at a speed comparable to the speed of light.’ Even at our current—exceedingly brisk—walking pace, we’re not going more than a few meters per second. Which means you would need to walk for a billion years to gain one second on SteelyKid.”
     Emmy stops dead. “A billion years?”
     “A billion years.”
     “That’s a long time.” She thinks for a minute. “I’m good with that. I like long walks.” She takes off again and just about pulls me off balance.
Damn!  First the author says that time dilation is reciprocal, and that if I am moving relative to you, you will see my clock running slow and I will see your clock running slow.  That is NONSENSE.  There IS an "absolute frame of reference."  It is the point outside of the visible universe where the Big Bang occured.  However, then he starts talking about a "real experiment" where one experimenter travels at close to the speed of light and actually does experience time dilation that is NOT reciprocal.  But, he says it is because reality requires speeding up and slowing down.  Therefore, the observer who speeds up and slows down would know that he or she was the one who was really moving.

So, if you can prove that you are moving, then you are really moving, and if you cannot prove that you are moving, then you are NOT really moving?  Or does it depend upon your scientific philosophy?

Unfortunately, the discussion between the scientist and his dog then changes  subjects, and there is no explanation of how knowing or being able to prove something changes reality.  But, there's a lot more to the book and there are at least two other books in the series, one about teaching physics and the other about teaching Quantum Physics.  The question is where should I put this book in my reading queue?  I think it will go somewhere in the middle.  So, I'll only need to read about a hundred other books first.


August 20, 2017 - Groan!  Once again I have absolutely nothing prepared for today's Sunday comment.  So, if I want to continue my practice of writing a new comment every Sunday, I'll have to write something from scratch.  Here goes.

For the past few days, I've been arguing on Google's Science, Physics and Relativity discussion forum.  I started by posting responses to some comments by Pentcho Valev, who endlessly rants against "Einsteinians," but what Valev posts has little to do with the followers of Albert Einstein.  His comments are really about the same things I write comment about on this web site: How mathematicians have distorted Einstein's theories.  But, he posts so often and never responds to other people's comments, that few pay much attention to him, other than to tell him he is wasting his time.  (I read his posts because he fills them with quotes and links that Valev thinks support his position, and some of the links are VERY interesting and totally disprove his position.)  On Friday, after my two posts to threads started by Valev went nowhere, I started a new thread titled "Pentcho Valev's biggest misunderstanding."  As of this morning, there are 67 posts in the thread from 8 different authors.   

As is typical on that forum, some of the posts are nothing but personal attacks and mindless statements of opinion.  However, there have also been some very interesting discussions of different points of view about physics.  And that is what I'm looking for.  I need to discuss some of my understandings about Einstein's theories to see if I understand them correctly or not.  If some jerk just tells me I'm wrong, that doesn't help at all.  I need to know where and how I am wrong -- IF I am truly wrong.  And that requires a discussion, not just statements of opinions.

An "opinion argument" goes something like this:
Person-A:  Einstein's Second Postulate is not what you claim it to be.
Person-B: Yes, it is.
Person-A. No, it is not.
Person-B: Yes, it is.
Person-A. No, it is not.
Person-B: Yes, it is.
Person-A: No it is not.
This "argument of opinions" generally ends with Person-B launching personal insults at Person-A, which causes Person-A to leave the discussion, which causes Person-B to declare that he won the argument because Person-A could not come up with any further arguments.

I try to start discussions about facts and evidence, but too often they go like this:
I present facts and evidence supporting a theory.
Person-B: That means nothing.
I present more facts and evidence.
Person-B: That means nothing.
I present still more facts and evidence.
Person-B: That means nothing.
I ask WHY it means nothing.
Person-B: You are just too stupid to understand.
So, I leave the discussion and Person-B declares his ideas won out because I ran out of arguments against them.

The "worthwhile" discussions never seem to resolve any conflicts, but framing the questions and responses sometimes cause me to see things more clearly.  In a discussion yesterday, I could almost see into Einstein's mind to figure out how he came up with Time Dilation by imagining length contraction.  He got the right answers, but he got them using a wrong idea that Time Dilation relates to motion and distance instead of to motion and particle spin (my theory).  I can see it clearly, but how do I convince anyone else? 

Without realizing it, I presented my case against "length contraction" in my paper about Time Dilation.  I thought I merely showed how Time Dilation works.  I thought it was how most scientists understood Time Dilation to work.  At the time I wrote the paper, I had no idea that Einstein figured out Time Dilation by imagining length contraction.  I didn't even wonder how he came up with the idea.  I just wondered why scientists who were measuring Time Dilation didn't discuss the implications of Time Dilation.  If a scientist atop a mountain routinely measures time running faster than a scientist at the bottom of the mountain, how could anyone claim that Time Dilation is reciprocal???   How could they claim the scientist atop the mountain could somehow also see his clock running slow compared to the clock next to the scientist at the bottom of the mountain?   It never happens.  It cannot happen!  Yet mathematicians claim it is how Time Dilation works, so it MUST happen.  And they argue that the scientists who did the experiments must have done them improperly.  And they've been doing that for more than a CENTURY!  How can that be?

This morning I see the Google thread has three new personal attacks posted after I signed off yesterday, two from "Odd Bodkin" and one from "David (Kronos Prime) Fuller."  However, there is also a new post from "rotchm" that is mostly just statements of opinion.  But, "rotchm" also included some comments about wordage and how I do not use certain words and phrases the way he uses them, and therefore he wants me to change to his wordage style so that he can understand me.  "Closing speed" is an example.

The problem is: I do not understand what the difference is between the words I use and the words he uses, so I cannot make the change.  I cannot use his words if I know they mean something different to him than they do to me.  But that is a good basis for discussion, so I'll respond as soon as I finish this comment.

For the past 16 years, I've been saving the statistics for my web sites every day.  I rarely use the statistics, but I save them in case I might need them. This morning I noticed that the statistics no longer save properly.  The saved file is unreadable. The last valid save was for August 15.  At the moment, I have no clue what caused the problem or how to solve it.

And that is the end of this Sunday comment.


Comments for Sunday, August 13, 2017, thru Saturday, August 19, 2017:

August 17, 2017 - Late yesterday afternoon, I finished reading Lee Smolin's book "Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe.

Time Reborn by Lee Smolin

I started it on Aug. 13, so it took me 4 days to read the 364 page book.  I not only read it during breakfast and lunch, but also whenever I could find a block of time in the morning or afternoon.  I made it a higher priority than doing research.

It was a very interesting book, and since I was reading it on my small laptop instead on on my Kindle, I highlighted interesting passages in colors.  If the passage was merely worth noting, I highlighted it in yellow.  If the passage was really interesting and worth remembering and quoting, I highlighted it in red.  If I viewed the passage as unbelievable, incomprehensible or just plain absurd, I highlighted it in green.  There wasn't much green highlighting in the first part of the book, but there was a lot in the second half. 

Here are two paragraphs from the 19-page Preface that I highlighted in yellow:
     I used to believe in the essential unreality of time. Indeed, I went into physics because as an adolescent I yearned to exchange the timebound, human world, which I saw as ugly and inhospitable, for a world of pure, timeless truth. Later in life, I discovered that it was pretty nice to be human and the need for transcendent escape faded.
     More to the point, I no longer believe that time is unreal. In fact, I have swung to the opposite view: Not only is time real, but nothing we know or experience gets closer to the heart of nature than the reality of time.
Here's a paragraph from the Preface that I highlighted in red:
Scientists think in time when we conceive of our task as the invention of novel ideas to describe newly discovered phenomena, and of novel mathematical structures to express them. If we think outside time, we believe these ideas somehow existed before we invented them. If we think in time, we see no reason to presume that.
And here's a passage from the Preface that I highlighted in green:
To rebel against the precariousness of life, to reject uncertainty, to adopt a zero tolerance to risk, to imagine that life can be organized to completely eliminate danger, is to think outside time.  
Here's another passage from the Preface that I highlighted in red:
As we move on to more sophisticated subjects, readers are advised, if confused, to do what scientists learn to do, which is to skim or skip ahead to a point where the text becomes clearer to them.
Is that what scientists do?  It's what I do.  There were lots of places in Feynman's book "QED" which I skimmed over because they were unclear to me or not of particular interest to me.  I've met people who cannot understand doing things that way.  If they come to a sentence that they do not understand, they stop and study it and re-read until they do understand.  But, they also read just one book for every fifty I read.

Even though he seems to often think like a mathematician, Lee Smolin has a problem with mathematicians that is similar to the problem I have.  Here's a red highlighted quote from later in the book:
Should we simply recognize mathematics for the religious activity it is? Or should we be concerned when the most rational of our thinkers, the mathematicians, speak of what they do as if it were the route to transcendence from the bounds of human life?
Another from later in the book:
Mathematics, then, entered science as an expression of a belief in the timeless perfection of the heavens. Useful as mathematics has turned out to be, the postulation of timeless mathematical laws is never completely innocent, for it always carries a trace of the metaphysical fantasy of transcendence from our earthly world to one of perfect forms.
Here are a couple more paragraphs I highlighted in red:
     In my view, the best way to explain quantum mechanics is to start by talking about what science is for. Many of us think the purpose of science is to describe how nature really is — to give a picture of the world that we can believe would be true, even were we not here to see it. If you think of science that way, you’ll be disappointed by quantum mechanics, because it gives no picture of what is going on in an individual experiment.
     Niels Bohr, one of the founders of quantum theory, argued that those who were disappointed in this way had the wrong idea of what science is for. The problem is not the theory but what we expect a theory to do for us. Bohr proclaimed that the purpose of a scientific theory is not to describe nature but to give us rules for manipulating objects in the world and a language we can use to communicate the results.
Dr. Smolin starts to lose me when he begins to talk about Natural Laws changing with time instead of humans learning more about how Nature works and thereby gradually revising the "laws" as we previously viewed them to be.  Then he says on page 123 in another green highlighted passage:
The theory in which laws evolve is called cosmological natural selection, which I developed in the late 1980s and published in 1992. In that paper, I made a few predictions, which could have been falsified in the two decades since but have not been. This of course doesn’t prove the theory is correct, but at least I showed that a theory of evolving laws can explain and predict real features of our world.
And in a passage highlighted in dark green on page 124:
The basic hypothesis of cosmological natural selection is that universes reproduce by the creation of new universes inside black holes. Our universe is thus a descendant of another universe, born in one of its black holes, and every black hole in our universe is the seed of a new universe. This is a scenario within which we can apply the principles of natural selection.
I could go on and on, but that was the first time I'd ever read anything about "cosmological natural selection" and the idea that universes go through a process of "natural selection" where badly formed universes die away and the universes that are able to reproduce themselves more readily thrive.  Dr. Smolin says on page 125: 
The fitness of a universe is then a measure of how many black holes it spawns.
But he also seems to argue or imply that the "fitness of a universe" is additionally determined by how hospitable it is for human life.

Lee Smolin has very impressive credentials that will cause virtually everyone to take his point of view over mine, so there's no point in me going into any more details of the book.  I recommend the book highly, since it showed me some points of view that no other book I've read even hinted at. There's a lot in it that I consider to be just plain CRAZY, but maybe I just haven't traveled in the right circles and haven't heard all the supporting detail.  Time may tell.
 
This morning, when I checked to see what was being discussed on Google's Science, Physics and Relativity discussion forum, I found a long rant by Pentcho Valev about Einstein's Second Postulate.  So, I'm going to assume that there was another Pentcho Valev thread somewhere that mentioned my paper about Einstein's Second Postulate and generated those "views" that I mentioned in yesterday's comment.  Unable to resist, I responded to Pentcho's comment, telling him how he was misunderstanding everything.  So, now I have to wait to see how he responds. 


August 16, 2017 - Wow!  It's been an unusually busy morning.

First, I received an email advising me that the plan to interview me for a new TV series of 6 episodes about the anthrax attacks of 2001 is still an active plan, although no date has yet been set for the actual interview.  Indications, however, are that it could happen sometime within the next month or so.

Then I received an email from the FBI scientist whose new book about the anthrax attacks I recently proof-read.  The book had been scheduled for release in October of this year, but now the release date has been pushed to April 8, 2018.  And, by pure coincidence, that could very well be around the time the TV series about the case is aired (assuming it is developed into a full 6-part series).  I have no idea how long such projects take, but it is becoming clear to me that it takes much longer than I had previously thought.

Then I saw news stories that new satellite images have been found which show what might be wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished in March of 2014.  According to a CNN story:
Newly-discovered satellite photos may have given scientists a fresh clue as to the location of Malaysian Airlines 370, one of the world's most famous aviation mysteries.

The four satellite photos, shot less than a month after MH370 disappeared in 2014, show 70 objects drifting on the ocean in the vicinity of the predicted crash zone, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said Wednesday.
I read through a bunch of news articles before I found a pdf file with the satellite images and an analysis of the images.  The newspapers just showed the original satellite pictures, which do not seem to contain anything but scattered cumulus clouds over an empty ocean.  The spectra analysis, however, shows different colors for different types of materials, easily distinguishing clouds and water from metal and plastic.  Here's a sample:

MH370
                  wreckage?

The image on the left is the basic satellite photo.  The image on the right is that same photo enhanced to show different kinds of materials based upon their spectra (how they reflect light).  The yellow is man-made material.

I tracked the mystery of MH370 for a long time after the plane disappeared, because it was another excellent example some people looking at the facts and evidence while others just have opinions and beliefs, which quickly turn into conspiracy theories.  I mentioned it in comments on this web site in every month of 2015, after starting to write about it on my old site shortly after MH370 disappeared.  It still interests me very much, because I'd like to see how the conspiracy theorists will continue to argue their beliefs even after the mystery is solved (which I feel certain will eventually happen).

Also this morning, when looking at my web site visitor logs this morning I saw a major attack on my web site had taken place yesterday evening.  Between 6:03 p.m. and 6:06 p.m., someone in Putian, China, attempted a couple hundred posts of malicious crap to my web site.  Fortunately, my web site host's security software blocked all of them.

Lastly, when I checked the number of "unique" views of my scientific papers on Vixra.org, I found that there were TEN new "unique" views of my paper on Einstein's Second Postulate during the past 24 hours.  At first I couldn't believe my eyes.  The total had jumped from 128 to 138, which looked like it could be a typo, but I couldn't imagine how the totals could be typed by some error-prone human instead of being computer generated after a computer program count.  So, the number was real.  Ten people who have never read my paper before read it yesterday!  But why?  And who?   There hasn't been even one "unique" view since July 22.  (A "unique" view is a view by someone who has never viewed the paper before (as determined by his IP address).  I can access the paper a hundred times today and not change the number at all, because the only time I changed the number was the first time I viewed it.)  And there haven't been 10 "unique" views in a single day since I last mentioned it on the Google Science, Physics and Relativity discussion forum in late April and early May.  I checked and couldn't find any re-starting of those threads.  So, it's another mystery I'll be thinking about today.

August 14, 2017 - Yesterday afternoon, I finished reading Richard Feynman's 1985 book "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" on my Kindle.

QED

As with so many other books I've read on my Kindle, I thought I was only 80% done, but when I clicked to go the the next page, the next page turned out the be the beginning on the Index.  So, I was done.  Also, the book is only 152 pages long, not including the Index and front matter.

Here's an interesting quote from page 23 of the printed edition:
For many years after Newton, partial reflection by two surfaces was happily explained by a theory of waves, but when experiments were made with very weak light hitting photomultipliers, the wave theory collapsed: as the light got dimmer and dimmer, the photomultipliers kept making full-sized clicks—there were just fewer of them. Light behaved as particles.
And here's a related quote from page 36:
The first important feature about light is that it appears to be particles: when very weak monochromatic light (light of one color) hits a detector, the detector makes equally loud clicks less and less often as the light gets dimmer.
He's saying that if light was a wave, dim light would have to consist of the same number of waves, they would just be smaller waves with lower crests and shallower troughs.  However, experiments show that that isn't true.  Dim light consists of particles which are always the same size, but with dim light there are just fewer particles.  Throughout the book Feynman argues against any "wave theory" of light, contrary to what is taught in virtually every physics class today.

A lot of the book involves details of how certain aspects of light are calculated, which wasn't of any interest to me.  If I find someday that I need to know such things, I can always go back and read the book again - particularly the parts I skimmed over the first time.  The book is a "classic," so there's no point in me giving my opinion of it, other than to say it was definitely worth reading.

Back on July 13 I wrote that I had begun reading David Bohm's book
"The Special Theory of Relativity."  I gave up on that book about half way through.  It was advertised as being devoid of mathematics, but that was false advertising since I found it to be crammed with mathematics that you have to understand if you want to understand the rest of the book.  And the book wasn't interesting enough to hold my interest, much less to make me want to study the mathematics.  That's when I started reading "QED."      

Shortly after I finished reading Feynman's "QED," I started reading Lee Smolin's book "Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe."   Here's a quote from page  xii in the Preface:
I used to believe in the essential unreality of time. Indeed, I went into physics because as an adolescent I yearned to exchange the time- bound, human world, which I saw as ugly and inhospitable, for a world of pure, timeless truth. Later in life, I discovered that it was pretty nice to be human and the need for transcendent escape faded. More to the point, I no longer believe that time is unreal. In fact, I have swung to the opposite view: Not only is time real, but nothing we know or experience gets closer to the heart of nature than the reality of time.
That seems to fit with my thinking, but I'll have to read a lot more to see if Prof. Smolin goes off in some direction where I have no interest in following.

August 13, 2017 - The status of my scientific paper on Time Dilation hasn't changed.  It's still "Under Review."  I suppose I should feel good about that, but I don't want to get my hopes up.  Here's how long it took to get results for my previous 7 attempts to get that paper published:
Nature – 1 day. Rejected.

Science – 3 days. Rejected.

Physics Essays – 5½ months.  Withdrawn on May 20, 2017

Journal 4 – 25 days. Rejected.

Journal 5 – 1 day.  Rejected.

Journal 6 – 3 days.  Rejected.

Journal 7 – 2 days.  Rejected.

Journal 8 – Submitted on August 2, 2017.

So, except for Physics Essays, which wanted to publish it, but only if I paid them $508  to offset printing costs, and Journal #4 which inexplicably took 25 days to respond, the typical response time is 3 days or less.

Although it probably just requires understanding one simple step, I still haven't figured out how to use the LaTeX "natbib" package Journal #8 requires for typesetting their articles.  But, I realized I could turn off that requirement and typeset everything else according to their standards, and I did so.   So, I've got an article that looks like it has been typeset according to their standards, but if you look at the LaTeX source code you'll see that I turned off their "natbib" package.  I don't know if I should send them that version or not.  If they are attempting to make a decision based upon the unformatted .docx version, why complicate the situation?  The decision should be based upon whether or not the science in the article is valid, not on the format of the article.

And, as I continue with my research, I find what the paper contains is not only solid and valid science, it seems more and more important.  I was reading some scientific papers the other day, and one of them used the book, Astronomy: A Physical Perspective by Marc L. Kutner as a reference.  I obtained a copy of the book and examined the reference.  It says this on page 127 (using the author's italics):
Another way of stating Einstein’s postulate is that There is no experiment we can perform to tell us which inertial frame is moving and which is at rest. There is no ‘preferred’ inertial frame. All we can
talk about is the relative motion of two inertial frames.
My paper says that is not true.  There is a "preferred inertial frame," but it is outside of the visible universe. 
 
The book also says this on page 128 (which is the start of a chapter about Time Dilation), again using the author's italics, but with my highlighting in red: 
The significance of this result is that the time interval measured in the frame in which the clock is moving is greater than that measured in the frame in which the clock is at rest. Suppose we have two identical clocks. If we keep one at rest (with respect to us) and let the other one move, the moving clock appears to run slow. It is important to realize that the situation is perfectly symmetric. If there is an observer traveling with each clock, each observer sees the other clock running slow. This effect is called time dilation.
The sentence in red is the total nonsense that got me started at arguing with people about time dilation in the first place.  It is only "true" in a fictional mathematical universe.  It is not true in our real universe.  The reality of Time Dilation is easy to demonstrate and has been demonstrated countless times via experiments.  I describe some of them in my paper.  Everyone knows about Hafele-Keating and the NIST paper and how GPS satellites work.  So, how can anyone believe what it says on page 128 of Astronomy: A Physical Perspective and in so many other "scientific" papers and books?

I could go on and on and on, but I should put my efforts into writing other papers, which, if I can't get published, I can self-publish in book form someday.  I keep finding books and papers about the insane situation physics is in today, but none of the books and papers looks at the problem from the right angle. They all just argue that physics is now a mathematical game where nothing can be experimentally proved or disproved, the prime example being String Theory.
I haven't yet read Lee Smolin's book "The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next," but I understand he attacks String Theory as not even being a "scientific" theory.  The scientists attacking the current state of physics generally do not talk about mathematical arguments that are currently being taught in schools but which can be (and have been) totally debunked via simple experiments.  The other day, I found another scientist's arguments.  Click HERE for an article about a Portuguese cosmologist and professor in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London named Joao Magueijo.  The article contains this:
Magueijo was scathing about string theory, describing it as ‘like intellectual masturbation.’ He doesn’t like string theory for sociological reasons, his main objection being that it is completely disconnected from experiment, making it hard, or impossible, to confirm or disprove.
I looked around for a free copy of his book Faster Than The Speed Of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation, but the only free version I could find was in Spanish.  Plus, it seems to use the term "time dilation" only once, and in an unimportant way.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for something to happen with that proposed TV interview about the anthrax investigation.  I'll have to contact the reporter later this week to see if the project is still active or if they abandoned it for some reason.  I thought for sure they'd have quickly contacted the retired FBI agent whose book I recently proof-read, but they haven't.
 
Also meanwhile, I've been reading Richard Feynman's book "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter."  While the book contains a lot of mathematics that is over my head, it's still readable.  What it is telling me is that mathematicians are content with not knowing what is really going on in the universe if they can just calculate probabilities for how often things happen.  They can compute that 4% of the light hitting a glass window will reflect and 96% will go through the window, but they don't have a clue as to why things happen that way.  And no one seems to care.  But that is nearly all I can think about: If light particles look and move the way I think they look and move, why would 4% reflect off a pane of glass while 96% go through?

The rest of the time I'm wondering about how people who voted for Donald Trump can still support him.  I think I know the answer to that, too, but how can I prove it?  And would anyone listen?  Does anyone care?

The universe we live in is truly endlessly fascinating.


Comments for Sunday, August 6, 2017, thru Saturday, August 12, 2017:

August 10, 2017 - It's been 5 days since I submitted my paper on Time Dilation to physics journal #8.  It's still "Under Review."  I just went through their web site looking for some information on how long I'm supposed to wait before contacting them.  I couldn't find anything.  So, since it is a monthly journal, I'm going to assume I should wait at least a month, until September 6 before contacting them.  While waiting, I might try type-setting the paper into their LaTeX format without the "natbib" package that I cannot get to work.

I haven't heard any more from the group that is putting together a TV series about the anthrax attacks of 2001.  I assume that they are busy contacting other people they would want to appear in the series, and they'll send me a list of "talking points" when they have a better feel for what they're going to want to ask me.

Last night I watched the second episode of "Manhunt: Unabomber," which I'd recorded on Tuesday evening when it aired on the Discovery Channel.  It was all about "linguistic forensics," which was just a new idea in 1995, but it reminded me how "microbial forensics" had to be developed to help solve the anthrax case. It was interesting enough for me to I set my Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to record next Tuesday's episode.   

I also set my DVR to record some episodes of "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath" next Tuesday from the A&E Network.  Leah Remini was on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on Monday night taking about her show.  I watched Colbert's show from my DVR early Tuesday evening, and then I set my DVR to record Remini's shows later that same evening.  A&E aired episodes 5 & 6 from Season 1 and the first episode from Season 2.  Wow!  The two episodes from the first season that I had time to watch were truly fascinating.   Here's how the Internet Movie DataBase describes the series:
A series featuring stories from former members of the Church of Scientology whose lives have been affected by the Church's harmful practices. Along with a team of former high-ranking Scientology insiders who understand the inner workings and policies of the organization, Leah gives the victims a chance to be heard.
This morning, as I was writing this comment, I did a Google search for "Leah Remini" and was shown two paid advertisements from the Church of Scientology attacking Remini's show.  Click HERE and HERE.  Plus, I found an article from Rolling Stone titled "Leah Remini Wants Federal Investigation Into Scientology," an article from The International Business Times titled "Leah Remini Wants To Expose Criminal Activities Of Church of Scientology,"  an article dated 2 days ago from The Hollywood Reporter titled "Leah Remini Doubles Down on Anti-Scientology Crusade: I Want a Federal Investigation," and many others. 

I knew about The Church of Scientology, of course, and I knew how it was founded by a science fiction writer, L. Ron Hubbard.  I knew that Tom Cruise and John Travolta were Scientology members.  But, I had no idea that this crusade by Leah Remini was underway.  And there were a lot of other things about the Church of Scientology that I didn't know before watching Remini's show, particularly how they buy land and buildings with the millions they get in donations from their wealthy members, because letting the monies accumulate in a bank will result in earning interest, which is evidently taxable even for a "recognized religion." 

I still have the first episode of Season 2 of Remini's series on my DVR.  Instead of watching it last night, I watched a movie "The Book Thief."  It was a very good movie about life in Nazi Germany from 1938 to 1945.  In some ways, it reminded me of life as led by Scientologists today, according to Leah Remini.  Only Scientology is happening now, it's not a history lesson.


August 8, 2017 - Another day, another mystery.  On August 6, I put a page on this web site that shows the log entries for a known hacker's attempt to post a bunch of WordPress files into this site.  Yesterday morning, when I checked my web site logs for August 6, I found that I was the only person to access that web page all day.  Apparently no one who reads this web site was interested enough to look at that web page.  And, of course, no one else would know about it.

This morning, when I viewed the log files for August 7 and found that Google's search engine robot accessed that page at 4:25 a.m., and Microsoft's Bing search engine robot accessed it at 12:52 p.m.

Then, between 1:41 p.m. and the end of the day, 22 people from all around the world accessed that page and only that page, i,e., they went directly to it, they didn't find it by accessing my main web page first, the page you are now reading.  Plus, a hacker in Kansas City that I've blocked from accessing anything on my site tried THREE TIMES to get to that page and to my main page.  His attempts, of course, were blocked.

The mystery is: What were they looking for?  It appears they all did a Google or Bing search for something and found my new web page.  I must have spent two hours trying to figure out what they're looking for, but the log provides no clues.  My new web page does illustrate a known problem, however: it shows a fake Goggle robot (Googlebot) attempting to POST to my site.   And that seems to be the subject of a lot of discussions and web pages on the Internet.   


August 6, 2017 - Hmm.  Yesterday, I checked the status of the submission of my scientific paper on Time Dilation and found the physics journal's status page for my paper had a link to a copyrights form.  There were no instructions, but it seemed like they were waiting for me to fill out the form.  I evidently failed to fill it out or neglected to check some box during the original submission process.  So, I filled it out.  I don't know what it means, but I'm assuming that some associate editor is just making sure everything is kosher before turning my paper over to the editor who will acutally decide if my paper gets rejected immediately or if it goes into the review process.  The whole web site seems designed for people who are familiar with submitting to that journal, and therefore do not have any questions about how anything is done.  I had to guess what the copyrights link was for.

While I still have very little hope that the paper will be published, the fact that it hasn't already been rejected caused me to once again try to figure out how the references are handled in the LaTeX type-setting package that the journal uses.  How do they link a reference number like shown in red in this sentence
Einstein's 1905 paper12 says yada yada yada.
to the 12th reference in the Reference Section?:   
12 A. Einstein, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, Annals of Physics, 322(10): 891-921, 1905
You can't just type it that way.  The journal requires that you use the "natbib" style package for references.  I haven't figured out how to use that package and, as a result, I keep getting this error message:
./main.aux:43: Package natbib Error: Bibliography not compatible with author-ye ar citations.
(natbib) Press <return> to continue in numerical citation style.
See the natbib package documentation for explanation. Type H <return> for immediate help. ...
l.43 ...mand\NAT@force@numbers{}\NAT@force@numbers
Typing H and hitting <return> does nothing but type an H into the paper and shift to a new line.  I looked up "natbib" via Google and found a web page about natbib citation styles.  But it appears there is something else that I need to know first, since I can make no sense of what that web page says.  There are places where you can download examples of a natbib bibliography, but every one of the those places requires registering and getting a password, etc.  I hate to do that only to find out it wasn't what I was looking for and explains nothing. 

What's extra frustrating about all this is that I'm working with a "template" on Overleaf.com that is supposedly already set up for the journal's requirements, including the natbib package.  But I still get that error message! 

So, until I can think of something else to do, I'm just going to sit and wait to see what happens to the paper the way I submitted it.  If they reject the paper, then I won't have to learn how to use the natbib package.

Meanwhile, this morning a hacker in Los Angeles attempted to post a bunch of crap to my web site.  All of it was blocked by my host's security software, except for one POST of my entire main page that seems to have worked.  But, it was evidently a post of the page as it currently exists, since I can see nothing wrong with my main page.  Here is what part of that post looks like on my log file:
162.209.168.23 - - [05/Aug/2017:12:59:51 -0500] "POST / HTTP/1.1" 200 343404 "http://www.ed-lake.com/"
I highlighted the 200 status code in the entry because that status code supposedly means that the action was successful.

When I lookup IP address 162.209.168.23 I find that Los Angeles is where the computer that accessed my site is supposedly located.  However, that IP address also supposedly belongs to an ISP (Internet Service Provider) called "futing," which doesn't seem to exist, and a domain called cloudradium.com, which doesn't seem to exist as a web site, but the domain name belongs to Cloudradium L.L.C. in the city of Chengdushi, Sichuansheng Province, China.
 
This morning, I blocked that IP address from ever accessing my web site again, and I saved the section of my log file which shows their valid and rejected posts.  Click HERE to view it.  The page at that link also shows two attempts to access (i.e., "GET") a non-existent wp-login.php file on my web site, each followed by a valid GET for my web site's main page.  The IP addresses for those entries are:
46.26.156.15 - Santander, Spain
178.165.130.222 - Vienna, Austria
I tried asking techies at my web site host about it, but they couldn't seem to figure out what I was talking about.  I might try again later today by showing them the section of my web site log file.  There's a web page that describes the problem HERE, and it is followed by 235 comments, the first one dated April 11, 2013, and the last one dated July 13, 2017.  The page begins with this comment:

There have now been several large scale WordPress wp-login.php brute force attacks, coming from a large amount of compromised IP addresses spread across the world since April 2013.

A large botnet of around 90,000 compromised servers has been attempting to break into WordPress websites by continually trying to guess the username and password to get into the WordPress admin dashboard.

All I'm adding to the conversation with my comment here is the fact that they aren't just trying to break into WordPress websites, they are trying to break into my web site, too, and probably thousands of others which are not WordPress websites.

While they haven't done any harm to my web site, it seems odd that no one (but me) has taken any action to end the problem by identifying who actually has IP address 162.209.168.23.  I don't see how what they are doing can be legal.

Also meanwhile, I'm waiting for the people running that TV project about the anthrax attacks of 2001 to contact me again with a list of "talking points" they plan to use when they interview me.  And, I definitely need to clean up my apartment before they arrive.

Busy busy busy.


Comments for Tuesday, August 1, 2017, thru Saturday, August 5, 2017:

August 4, 2017 - A few days ago and yesterday, hackers were somehow successful in posting to this web site.  But it seemed like they were just practicing, since they didn't appear to do any harm.  But, those two hacking events convinced me it was time for me to set up blocking software to prevent identified hackers from even looking at this web site.  So, I set up what is called a ".htaccess" file to block a bunch of IP addresses used by hackers.  A typical IP address for a known hacker looks like this:
50.62.161.234
Each of the four numbers separated by periods can run from 0 to 255, and if I know a hacker uses a lot of numbers from 50.62.000.000 to 50.62.255.255, I can assume that he owns the whole block of numbers.  I had ten such hackers, so I blocked ten times 256 times 256 or 655,360 IP addresses.  They don't try to hack me every day, so I'll have to wait and see how well the blocking worked.

Anyway, that got me to thinking about also blocking the attempts access a file named "wp-login.php" which does not exist on this web site.  It's a file used by WordPress web sites.  That's what the "wp" stands for.  On Aug. 1, there were 72 unsuccessful attempts to access that file, on Aug. 2 there were 51 attempts and on Aug. 3 there were 63 attempts.  Each is followed by a successful access to my main web page, which means they get logged as regular visitors.  But it is all the result of some WordPress web site somewhere having been infected with a virus that sends out these attempts to do the same thing to other WordPress web sites. 

So, I did some research.  I found that on September 5, 2015, there were 46,856 attempts to POST a wp-login.php file to my site.  All failed.  Then on August 10, 2016, there were three more failed POST attempts.  But, the next day the attempts to access that non-existent file began.  And I've been getting 50 to 75 failed attempts each day, each immediately followed by a successful access to my sites main page.  Then I examined the logs and found every single one of those accesses in the past three days was from a different IP address.  So, there's no way to block them.  According to one web site (HERE), the hackers have got 90,000 random IP addresses that would need to be blocked. 

I just thought I'd mention this because it is how I spent most of the day today.  Plus, some day I might need to remember what I did on this day, and now I have a record of what I did.

One more thing: Every day I access a WordPress web site used by a True Believer about the anthrax case: caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/.  I can't see how my accessing that site can cause hackers to try to post wp.login.php files to my web site, but I'm going to stop accessing that site for a few weeks to see what happens.

ADDED NOTE:  It occurred to me that there's no way that anyone or any computer at that WordPress web site can connect a visit from me to my web site, since I do not use an ed-lake.com email address.  However, they CAN connect the fact that I linked to their site from this web site.  If anyone clicks on that link above, the WordPress software will almost certainly record this web site as a "referrer."  And that establishes a link that a virus can use to attack my web site.  But the damage was done a year ago, and I've probably made dozens of comments where I link to that WordPress web site.  I don't see any benefit to deleting the links.  So, as long at nothing more serious happens than just getting some automated visitors, I'll just leave things as they are.

August 3, 2017 - I just got off the phone having talked for about 20 minutes with a reporter and a director working on a TV documentary series about the anthrax attacks of 2001.  They're still in the fact-gathering and planning stages of the project, which probably won't air until late this year or sometime next year.   But I think they'll be scheduling me as one of their first interviews, probably for sometime later this month.  It all sounds very interesting, and it might be helped along by a book about the case that is coming out this fall, probably in October.

They told me they got my name from a reporter they know, who was very complimentary.  Of all the reporters I know, that reporter would have been one of the last ones I would have thought of to give me a glowing recommendation. 

So, now I'm going to get back to work on my scientific papers, while also doing a little housecleaning to get ready for the TV interview.

August 2, 2017 (B) - After spending nearly all day trying to figure out how to add references to my paper in the LaTeX format used by journal #8, I finally gave up and submitted it in .docx format using WORD 2012.  In the automated submission process, they asked if the manuscript was formatted according to all of their rules.   I responded "No," and that didn't cause it to be rejected.  In one of the last few steps, they asked me for the names of 2 people to use as reviewers for the paper.  It was a requirement for submission.  I personally know of no one who could be a reviewer, so I gave them the names of two very famous scientists for whom I have email addresses.  That worked, too.  I have virtually NO hope that the journal will accept the paper, but I just had to give it a try.

I'm also thinking it might be my LAST try.  From here on I may just put my papers on ViXra.org and forget about trying to get them published.  If I someday decide I can turn them into a book somehow, I may do that.  I'm going to continue researching, but it will be mostly for my own enjoyment.   Or, I might change my mind and try submitting again next week.  Time will tell. 


August 2, 2017 (A) - Last night I watched what I think was the first two episodes of an 8 episode TV series titled "Manhunt: Unabomber" on the Discovery Channel.  Or maybe it was episode 1 of a 7-episode series.  Either way, it was a two hour show, and the rest of the shows are one hour.  It continues next Tuesday.

I'd already set my DVR to record it when I got into a discussion about it with a former FBI agent on Monday evening.  I wasn't particularly looking forward to it.  I was just curious.  I don't recall ever paying much attention to the Unabomber case at the time it was happening, but it was definitely a BIG deal with the FBI.

I wasn't really expecting it to be a dramatized show, either.  And I was somewhat disappointed when it turned out that that is what it was.  But it was interesting enough to hold my attention for the entire two hours and for me to set my DVR to record next Tuesday's episode.  I'm not sure how FBI agents would view the show, since it somewhat depicted them as bureaucrats who had a fixed way of doing things and no tolerance for someone who wanted to use a new approach.  On the other hand, they also showed that that was at a point in time when the FBI had already tried dozens of "new approaches" and none had accomplished anything toward identifying the "Unabomer" who had been "terrorizing America" for many years.

It was interesting when they started talking about the Unabomber's handwriting and writing style, and the kinds of words he used, since I recall having a lot of arguments with people (including a few "experts") over such things on the anthrax letters and envelopes. 

The hero of the show is a profiler.  I recall contacting several profilers during the anthrax investigation.  My impression was that each profiler had developed a different profile for the anthrax killer.  And none matched the profile I had developed.

I think what bothered me most about the Unabomber show was the way they kept switching back in forth in time to tell what was happening in 1995 and then in 1978 and then in some other year in between.  Unless I'm really focused and paying attention, I hate that way of story-telling, since it usually requires the viewer to remember what was going on the last time they switched to 1990 or 1982 or whatever.  

According to the Discovery Channel's schedule, the first part will air again on Friday evening, on Saturday morning and on Sunday evening.   

August 1, 2017 - By a weird coincidence, as I was driving home from the gym this afternoon, I was listening to CD #4 in the 10 CD set of the audio book version of "The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests," and they started talking about the anthrax attacks of 2001.  They had just finished talking about 9/11, but I hadn't expected them to talk about the anthrax attacks, too.  It was extra weird because I was thinking about the anthrax attacks at that moment, and the TV interview about the investigation that I may be doing sometime soon.  The first stage of the process is for me to talk on the phone with the reporter and the director later this week.  I've done TV interviews before, but this is the first time I've been asked to have a three-way discussion with the reporter and the director beforehand.

It really has me unable to focus on anything else.  This morning, I tried working on submitting my paper about Time Dilation to journal #8, but I reached a spot where I couldn't figure out how they wanted me to typeset reference information using the LaTeX typesetting software. 
It seems they want the reference information done in a way I've never done it before.  It's probably pretty simple, but this time I just couldn't focus.  Maybe tomorrow.  I may just need to find some sample manuscripts from that particular journal to see what the links between sentences in the text and references in the reference section look like.    

They also accept manuscripts in .docx format, which would ordinarily be a lot simpler, but their instructions inexplicably say they want people to use WORD 2007, and I'm using WORD 2013.

Sigh.









© 2017 by Ed Lake
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