Archive for
December 2019

Comments for Sunday, December 29, 2019, thru Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019:

December 31, 2019 - While eating breakfast this morning, I finished reading another library book on my Kindle.  The book was "Where Good Ideas Come From" by Steven Johnson.

Where Good Ideas Come From

While it was an interesting book, I'm not sure how strongly I can recommend it.  It seemed like the question of where good ideas come from is answered very quickly, and then the book just wanders into other areas, giving the same answer over and over in a different context.  Here's the answer as stated on page 77:
They start with a vague, hard-to-describe sense that there’s an interesting solution to a problem that hasn’t yet been proposed, and they linger in the shadows of the mind, sometimes for decades, assembling new connections and gaining strength. And then one day they are transformed into something more substantial: sometimes jolted out by some newly discovered trove of information, or by another hunch lingering in another mind, or by an internal association that finally completes the thought.
Much of the book is about how cities are better places for developing new ideas than rural areas.  You need to have people around you to bounce ideas off of.  Duh. 

The book has a lot of interesting details, but they're not all about people.  For example, some of the more fascinating details are about coral reefs.  Here's the first note I made.  It's from page 5:
Coral reefs make up about one-tenth of one percent of the earth’s surface, and yet roughly a quarter of the known species of marine life make their homes there.
Charles Darwin got one of his best ideas from studying coral reefs.  Here's a passage from around page 177 in the book: 
To understand atoll formation, Darwin realized, you had to imagine a volcanic island slowly subsiding into the sea. As the banks of the volcano disappeared beneath the ocean waves, those slopes would become prime breeding ground for coral colonies, which thrive in shallow water at depths up to around 150 feet. (Their diet relies substantially on photosynthetic algae that cannot survive too far from the sunlit surface of the water.) Eventually the summit of the mountain slides into the sea, leaving a circle of shallow water defined by the periphery of the volcanic crater. Because the mountain is subsiding so slowly, the coral are able to build their reefs faster than the mountain can descend. Like overzealous developers, the coral colonies keep adding new floors to the structure they’ve erected at the top of the volcano, limited only by the water’s surface. As the original peak descends further and further into the sea, the older reefs die off, but continue to give structural support to the new, thriving reefs above them. Darwin had no way of measuring this precisely, but he predicted that fossil coral would extend as far as five thousand feet below sea level before hitting a volcanic foundation, a number that was confirmed more than a century later with modern drilling technology. As the Beagle departed, Darwin captured the miraculous nature of this explanation in his diary. “We must look at a Lagoon [island] as a monument raised by myriads of tiny architects,” he wrote, “to mark the spot where a former land lies buried in the depths of the ocean.”
The reason the author goes into describing how coral reefs are formed, is to show how it affected Charles Darwin's thinking.  And, too, it is somewhat of a metaphor in that it shows that creatures that work together can accomplish great things and build great and unique structures.  From page 182:
The beaver builds a dam to better protect itself against its predators, but that engineering has the emergent effect of creating a space where kingfishers and dragonflies and beetles can make a life for themselves.
The theme of the book is probably that good ideas require not only a lot of thinking, but there has to be a lot of random interruptions, too.  You can sit all day in your office trying to solve a problem, but the solution can come when you sit at home and watch some TV show about some totally unrelated event which suggests a totally different way of doing things.

Right now, I've got this idea nagging at the back of my mind that a mechanical clock might not show time dilation.  It popped into my head during a discussion on my Facebook forum about "Time and Time Dilation".  About 4 years ago, I wrote a paper which suggested that time is particle spin.  Time is mostly about aging and decay.  Memories and records also show the passage of time.  A mechanical clock will age and its parts might decay, but will it slow down when aboard a rocket ship going very fast?  If so, why?  How does the slowing down of atoms affect the mechanical movements of a clock that is governed solely by an unwinding spring and the movement of levers and gears?  If the atoms within a spring spin slower, will that make the spring less springy?  I dunno.  Maybe.  Or maybe I just need to think about something else.

December 30, 2019
- Yesterday afternoon, I finished listening to the unabridged 20-hour 10-minute audio book version of "Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It" by Marc Goodman.
Future Crimes

The hardcover version is 464 pages long, which means I listened to about 64 pages on the first day and about 100 pages a day for the next 4 days.  It is a very interesting and absorbing book.  It was so interesting that I had to find a digital copy so that I could copy notes.  I've got over 70 pages of notes, which is more than double the amount of notes I typically make for a book.

The book is about our "digital age" and about cyber crime.  It contains case after case of people using computer technology to steal, murder, extort, harass and perform sabotage.  It says that criminal organizations are now fully computerized. They can use computers to commit or help commit countless crimes.

The first crime described in the book is a 1994 bank robbery.  Instead of going into a bank with a gun and stealing a few thousand dollars, Vladimir Levin robbed a bank from his apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia. "Levin, a computer programmer, was accused of hacking the accounts of several of Citibank’s large corporate customers and making away with $10.7 million. Collaborating with accomplices around the world, Levin transferred large sums of cash to accounts in Finland, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, and Israel."
Who had jurisdiction for this matter? Was it the police in the United States, where the victim (Citibank) was located? Was it the cops in St. Petersburg, where the suspect carried out the alleged offense? Or was jurisdiction held in Israel or Finland, perhaps, where the ill-gotten funds were electronically delivered to fraudulent accounts? Levin never physically entered the United States to commit the crime. He left no fingerprints or DNA and was never marked by an exploding dye pack. Importantly, he never needed to physically carry the thousands of pounds of cash out of the bank; it was all accomplished with a mouse and a keyboard. No need for a mask or sawed-off shotgun either; Levin merely hid behind his computer screen and used a circuitous virtual route to cover his digital tracks.

The nature of the Internet means that we are increasingly living in a borderless world. Today anybody, with good or ill intent, can virtually travel at the speed of light halfway around the planet.
The book doesn't mention that Levin was caught about a year later when he took a flight somewhere that required passing through London's Stansted airport.  The British police nabbed him and Citibank got most of its money back.

However, a lot of the crimes described in the book aren't about money.
An investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee revealed that “more than a dozen American utility companies reported ‘daily,’ ‘constant,’ or ‘frequent’ attempted cyber-attacks ranging from phishing to malware infection to unfriendly probes. One utility reported that it had been the target of more than 10,000 attempted cyber attacks each month.” The report concluded that foreign governments, criminals, and random hackers were all hard at work either planning or attempting to take down the grid.
And even when it is about money, it may not be about actual money.  The biggest thefts have been about "intellectual property" such as computer code used to perform specific tasks.
All told, between thefts of commercial, governmental, and military intellectual property, China’s hacking efforts have netted the nation the greatest transfer of wealth in human history.
Every chapter of the book seems to go into a different kind of crime.  There are stalkers out there who can follow you around by tracking the GPS signal on your cell phone.  There are idiots out there who can take control of your car's computer systems while you are driving.   And then there is Google.
in early 2012 Google announced it was merging its data across all of its seventy products and services. The result: a unified, profound, and unprecedented view of you and your world. Previously, your searches in Google, what you did on your Android phone, and the videos you watched on YouTube were data that in theory Google held separately. Not anymore; now Google has a single unified, highly detailed picture of you and everything you do across its Googleverse. Many have even argued that Google knows you better than you know yourself.
Here's a passage I highlighted in red:
After a lawsuit by thirty-eight American state attorneys general in 2013, Google admitted that its bizarre-looking Street View cars, those outfitted with high-tech 360-degree roof cameras, were not just taking photographs for its Street View mapping product as they drove down the streets of our neighborhoods but also pilfering data from computers inside our homes and offices, including passwords, e-mails, photographs, chat messages, and other personal information from unsuspecting computer users.
Huh?  That passage is followed by this one:
In October 2013, a federal judge refused to dismiss a class-action lawsuit against Google claiming its practice of reading and scanning users’ Gmail accounts violated U.S. laws against unlawful interception and wiretap. Before that, in 2012, Google was fined a record $22.5 million by the Federal Trade Commission when it was revealed it routinely circumvented privacy settings on Apple computers and for those using Apple’s Safari Web browser to track users across the Web against their clearly stated wishes.
I could go on and on.  The passages above are all from the first part of the book.  Facebook seems to capture almost as much information about you as Google does.  And then there is LinkedIn and Twitter and other companies which capture and store and use every bit of information you provide to them, mostly just selling the information to advertisers who can then target you with ads for things they know you like.
Acxiom, Epsilon, Datalogix, RapLeaf, Reed Elsevier, BlueKai, Spokeo, and Flurry—most of us have never heard of these companies, but together they and others are responsible for a rapidly emerging data surveillance industry that is worth $156 billion a year. While citizens around the world reacted with shock at the size and scope of the NSA surveillance operations revealed by Edward Snowden, it’s important to note that the $156 billion in annual revenue earned by the data broker industry is twice the size of the U.S. government’s intelligence budget. The infrastructure, tools, and techniques employed by these firms rest almost entirely in the private sector, and yet the depth to which they can peer into any citizen’s life would make any intelligence agency jealous with envy.

Data brokers get their information from our Internet service providers, credit card issuers, mobile phone companies, banks, credit bureaus, pharmacies, departments of motor vehicles, grocery stores, and increasingly our online activities. All the data we give away on a daily basis for free to our social networks—every Like, poke, and tweet—are tagged, geo-coded, and sorted for resale to advertisers and marketers. Even old-world retailers are realizing that they have a colossal secondary source of income—their customer data—that may be even more valuable than the actual product or service they are selling.
Put another way, every ten minutes, we created as much information as did the first ten thousand generations of human beings. The cost of storing all these data is dropping exponentially as well. For instance, as of late 2014, a six-terabyte hard drive can be purchased on for just $300 and store all of the music ever recorded anywhere in the world throughout history.
The book was published in February 2015 and contains lots of claims about what was expected to happen in the following 5 years.  Example:
According to the International Telecommunication Union, there were a mere 360 million people online in the year 2000. Though it took nearly forty years to develop, by 2005 the global community that is the Internet reached its first 1 billion members. The second billion were added just six years later, achieving the milestone in March 2011. The greatest growth has been in the developing world, with Asia and Africa experiencing an 841 percent and a whopping 3,606 percent rocketing climb, respectively, since 2000. And while half the world regrettably does not yet have access to the Internet today, Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, has boldly predicted that by 2020 everybody in the world will be online.
I haven't had the time to check to see how much of it actually came true.  You get the feeling that we are all doomed if we don't work together to somehow put a stop to the types of crimes described in the book.   At the same time, any check of the daily news will show that one thing that can never happen is for everyone to work together.

I highly recommend "Future Crimes."  It's a book I'll never forget.

December 29, 2019
- From time to time I've been trying to work on a scientific paper about radar gun patents, but it's extremely difficult to decipher exactly what the patent documents are saying about how they calculate the speed of a target when the radar gun is also moving.  To me, what the patents say simply makes no sense.  However, I think that is because I view radar guns as emitting photons, not waves.  And the patents usually do not use either term.  Instead they are about "signals," specifically "Doppler signals."  For example, patent US3936824 is for a "Method and Apparatus for Digitally Measuring Speed."  It appears to be a very important patent, issued in 1976 to Kustom Electronics, Inc., the maker of the Stalker II SDR radar gun.  The Stalker II SDR is a "stationary only" radar gun, and Kustom Electronics is said to be the first company to produce a radar gun that can be used while moving.  I haven't been able to find any patent by Kustoms Electronics that says it is for a moving radar gun.  This patent never uses the word "gun," it just talks about a moving "radar platform."  The first page of the patent contains a brief description of how the "radar platform" works.  Here is a screen capture of that description in its entirety with my highlighting of key passages:


The first two passages I highlighted illustrate the problem.  The first passage is highlighted in yellow, which simply means it is worth remembering.  The second passage is highlighted in green, which means I see something wrong with it.  The part in yellow says:
The incoming doppler signal, which in the moving mode, represents both speed of the radar platform and speed of an approaching target vehicle, is separated into two signal components by selective filtering.
Okay.  It says the Doppler signal it gets from the target represents the speed of the radar gun ("the radar platform") PLUS the speed of the target.  And, without explaining how, it implies it somehow separates the speed of the the radar platform from the speed of the target. However, when the components are separated,
One component represents the sum of the ground speeds for the radar platform and approaching vehicles.
Huh?  One component is the totalWhat is the other component?  I didn't know, and that is why I highlighted it in green.

The next part I highlighted in yellow says:
Each doppler signal component is converted to binary coded decimal (BCD) information and a digital counter counts the cycles of each received doppler signal and compares the count with an amount previously stored.
If I read that correctly together with the unhighlighted passages before and after, it is just saying the gun gets and converts the total speed multiple times to make sure that the reading is consistent and not some error.

Then comes this part which I highlighted in yellow, then in red
(My highlighting procedure uses red to indicate important stuff):
The radar signal component representing the ground speed sum for the radar platform and the approaching target vehicle, and the component representing radar platform speed are combined. The radar platform speed is subtracted from the combined component, resulting in a digital count representing approaching target vehicle speed.
What is it combining?  It seems to say it is combining the total for the radar gun plus the target with just the speed of the radar gunWhere did that component come from?   Then it subtracts the speed of the radar gun from the combined speed to get the speed of the target.  I highlighted that in red because it must happen if the gun is to calculate the speed of the target.  But how did it get the speed of the radar gun?

It must have gotten it in the first step I highlighted in yellow.  That step must be saying that the radar gun gets two signals, one signal represents the speed of the gun and the other represents the total of the speed of the gun and the speed of the target.  So, it never actually measured the speed of the target!  The speed of the target is calculated!  But how did it get the speed of the gun?

The patent description implies that it can measure the speed of the gun (and the ground) while the gun is moving because it is known that the ground is actually stationary.  So, whatever reading the gun gets from the ground, that reading represents ZERO.  And when zero is subtracted from the "combined component," the result is the speed of the target.

Here's what doesn't make sense:  If you are using a radar gun while moving, and you send out radio waves and get back two different radio waves, one from the target and one from the ground, how come the one from the target is two speeds added together and the other from the ground is just one speed?  That only works if you assume that the ground is stationary.  And if you assume the ground is stationary, why measure it at all?  The answer would probably be: you don't, you measure the speed of the radar gun, and the only way you can get the speed of the radar gun is to subtract zero from the speed of the radar gun.

But, if you know the speed of the radar gun, why subtract zero from it?

The patent makes no mention of the "beat frequency," which is the difference between the transmitted frequency and the return frequency.  It says that it determines the target's speed by subtracting the gun's speed from the combined speeds of the gun and the target.  The implication is that the Doppler shift from the ground gives the actual speed of the radar gun and the Doppler shift from the target gives the combined speed of the target and the gun.  But how do radar guns measure Doppler shift without measuring the "beat frequency"? 

I may be wrong, but I have to conclude that the patent description assumes that radar guns emit waves, not photons.  And the patent description uses wave theory to explain something that actually works with photons.  The fact that you get the correct answer either way is irrelevant;
Combined speed minus gun speed equals target speed.
(60 + 0) - 0 = 60      or      (60 + 50) - 50 = 60

Target speed minus zero equals target speed.
60 - 0 = 60
There is no Doppler Effect without waves, and radar guns do not emit waves.  Also note the last section that I highlighted in green:
In the stationary mode, there is no radar platform doppler pulses in the radar return and consequently, the returning pulses may be processed directly and no subtracting function is performed.
So, when the gun is stationary it does things differently?  How does the gun know it is stationary?  It can't.  So that part of the patent can only apply to a gun that has a manual switch for "stationary" and "moving" modes.   My experiments are with radar guns that are "stationary only" but are used while moving.

I gave up on trying to figure out what the inventors were thinking.  Then, for some reason, I checked Wikipedia's page about speed radar guns.  It says,  

Doppler effect

Speed guns use Doppler radar to perform speed measurements.

Radar speed guns, like other types of radar, consist of a radio transmitter and receiver. They send out a radio signal in a narrow beam, then receive the same signal back after it bounces off the target object. Due to a phenomenon called the Doppler effect, if the object is moving toward or away from the gun, the frequency of the reflected radio waves when they come back is different from the transmitted waves. When the object is approaching the radar, the frequency of the return waves is higher than the transmitted waves; when the object is moving away, the frequency is lower. From that difference, the radar speed gun can calculate the speed of the object from which the waves have been bounced. This speed is given by the following equation:

where c is the speed of light, f is the emitted frequency of the radio waves and Δf is the difference in frequency between the radio waves that are emitted and those received back by the gun. This equation holds precisely only when object speeds are low compared to that of light, but in everyday situations, this is the case and the velocity of an object is directly proportional to this difference in frequency.

Stationary radar

After the returning waves are received, a signal with a frequency equal to this difference is created by mixing the received radio signal with a little of the transmitted signal. Just as two different musical notes played together create a beat note at the difference in frequency between them, so when these two radio signals are mixed they create a "beat" signal (called a heterodyne). An electrical circuit then measures this frequency using a digital counter to count the number of cycles in a fixed time period, and displays the number on a digital display as the object's speed.

Since this type of speed gun measures the difference in speed between a target and the gun itself, the gun must be stationary in order to give a correct reading. If a measurement is made from a moving car, it will give the difference in speed between the two vehicles, not the speed of the target relative to the road, so a different system has been designed to work from moving vehicles.

Moving radar

In so-called "moving radar", the radar antenna receives reflected signals from both the target vehicle and stationary background objects such as the road surface, nearby road signs, guard rails and streetlight poles. Instead of comparing the frequency of the signal reflected from the target with the transmitted signal, it compares the target signal with this background signal. The frequency difference between these two signals gives the true speed of the target vehicle.
Hmm.  They understand how radar works when the radar is stationary.  They understand the "beat signal" they get when two different signals are combined. But when the emitter is moving they no longer use any "beat signal."  They shift to "Doppler signals" so they can compare the Doppler signal from the target to a "background signal."

Groan!  I give up.  The only way this is going to be resolved and made clear is if I can get access to a Type-1 radar gun like the Stalker II SDR -- or if someone who has such access does the experiments I want done and publishes the results.

Comments for Sunday, December 22, 2019, thru Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019:

December 28, 2019 - Around 11 a.m. this morning I received a phone call from Donald Trump asking me for money.   Yeah, sure.  Like that's gonna happen.  It was a "robo-call," of course, and I just let it record without picking up.  But I replayed it afterward because it seemed particularly interesting as a result of the book about computer crimes I'm currently listening to.  Trump merely told me he was running for President to "Make American great again," and then another voice took over to tell me to press 1 if I wanted to donate $35 and press 9 if I wanted to be taken off of their contact list.  Then a 3rd voice softly and very quickly (too quickly to be understood) gave me some details about legalities. 

It seemed to me that the recording of Trump could have been copied from anywhere.  Or it might just have been someone impersonating Trump.  I also had to wonder how they would collect $35 if I pressed 1 on my land-line phone (yes, they still exist). Would there be instructions, or were they assuming that I have a cell phone with some kind of capability to automatically transfer money?  If so, I had to wonder what the odds were that the call was actually from some Trump Reelection group, and not just a phone scam.  I think you'd have to be nuts to press 1.  But that is probably what they were depending upon.    

December 27, 2019
- I'm again feeling a bit overwhelmed.  There are just too many things to do, and too few hours in a day.  Right now I'm listening to two different audio books about the perils of the Internet.  I'm listening to one book while driving, and I'm listening to another book because I got curious on Christmas Day and wondered what it was all about.  So, I started listening to it on my MP3 player without noticing that it is 20 hours and 10 minutes long, the 2nd longest book on my listening list and the longest audio book I've ever started.  And it is absolutely fascinating.  So, how can I stop?  And it is putting everything else I've been doing on hold.  It even took some will-power to take the time to write this comment instead of just continuing to listen to that audio book.

December 25, 2019
- I'm wishing everyone a Merry Christmas (or, if you prefer, Happy Holidays)!
Merry Christmas

December 24, 2019
- This morning, as I was shaving, a question suddenly popped into my mind.  Yesterday I stated that it might be possible for someone on Earth to send analog recordings of the hands of a clock to a spaceship that could use the recordings to compare Earth time to spaceship time.  While I was shaving this morning it occurred to me that, if that was possible, then you wouldn't need to send any recordings to the spaceship, the spaceship could simply take one such recording along when it left Earth.

And that poses a question:  Why would purely mechanical actions slow down when time slows down?  If you view "time" as some mystical property of the universe that affects everything, then, yes, mechanical actions would slow down.  But what if time is just particle spin, as I state in my paper on that subject.  Then Time is just something that causes aging and decay.  And we have memories and records of the past, which also allows us to measure the passage of time.  An atomic clock literally measures particle movement, that is why it slows down when Time is slowed by gravity or speed.  But what property of Time would cause a mechanical clock to slow down?

Does the spring in a mechanical clock become stiffer at higher altitudes, thereby causing it to tick faster?  Sub-atomic particles spin faster at higher altitudes.  Would that make a spring less flexible?  It might.  But would a recording change at higher altitudes?   No, it couldn't.  But the devices for playing the recording might change.

Groan!  My mind is already boggled.  It's going to take time to figure this one out.

December 23, 2019
- This morning, someone asked to join my Facebook "Time and Time Dilation group."   He was the seventh or eighth person who asked to join in the past 30 days, and the fifth that I've added.  (The others looked like scammers to me, since they didn't belong to any other science groups.)  Unlike the other four I added, the person who just joined, Wasif Nadeem, immediately asked a question.  The question was in very bad English (probably the output from some translator program) and seemed self-contradictory, but I could see what he was driving at.  If time slows down for an object when that object is moving fast or is closer to a large gravitational mass, he wanted to know if there was a way to cause time to speed up until it reaches its maximum rate. 

I replied that I thought there was.  But, since time appears to run at the same rate everywhere, you would need some way to compare your time on a space ship to some other time, such as time on Earth.  That might be possible if someone on Earth was sending out regular measurements of time.  It cannot be regular pulses, since pulses will change their rate when you move toward or away from the source.  So, it has to be some kind of analog measurement of a second, or a minute, maybe like a movie of a second hand going around a clock.  If time runs faster for you, the movie should show the second hand moving faster than it does for a clock aboard your space ship.  30 frames per second on the space ship will be different from 30 frames per second as recorded back on Earth.  At least I think it would.

Then you need to point your rocket in some direction, say away from the Hydra cluster of galaxies.  The Milky Way is headed toward Hydra, so heading away from Hydra should give you a different speed through space than the Earth.  If that speed is faster than the Earth, then try the opposite direction, toward Hydra.  If that doesn't work, try a direction at a 90 degree angle away from Hydra.  If you find a travel direction in which your clock runs faster than the clock on Earth instead of slower, then you are traveling slower through space than the Earth.  Then, supposedly, you can go faster and faster in that direction (and slower and slower than the Earth moves) until your clock starts going slower than the previous measurement.  At or near that point you should be "stationary" with everything in the universe moving relative to you.

I'd be happy to do the experiment, but I would need funding.  And if I cannot find $1,600 to buy a "Type-1" radar gun, I suspect I wouldn't be able to find the trillion dollars or so to perform the time constriction experiment.  Sigh.    

Perhaps as a result of Wasif Nadeem posting the first question anyone has asked in months, a few minutes later someone else posted this question about my List of Time Dilation Experiments:

As far as empirical evidence supporting time dilation, we have 3 known facts, correct? The "tick" of a clock, the speed of a clock, and the distance from a significant gravitational mass. The "tick" of the clock changes in a predictable way when we change two variables, speed and distance from a massive object. Is there any other proof?
I don't know if there was a translation problem in that question or not.  But this is how I answered:
Those 3 items aren't "facts." They are parameters or tools or means of doing things.

This is a "fact": "The 'tick' of the clock changes in a predictable way when we change two variables, speed and distance from a massive object."

"Proof," therefore, would be experiments which demonstrate that the "tick" of a clock changes when the clock's speed or distance from a massive object changes.

And all the experiments on my list do just that.
And that is why I wasn't able to find the time to write a comment about the screwball mathematics in that first patent I wrote about yesterday, which is what I woke up planning to do.

December 22, 2019
- While going through dozens of patents for radar guns and their various components, it became clear that those inventors were looking at things from a different direction than I am.  Duh!  I was looking at radar guns and how they demonstrate Relativity and Albert Einstein's Second Postulate.  Not a single one of the 37 patents I downloaded mentions Einstein, much less Relativity or his Second Postulate.  But, as it turns out, some of them demonstrate Einstein's Second Postulate very nicely.

The oldest patent I found that is specifically about mobile police radar guns is patent US3118139 which as issued on January 14, 1964. The inventor was Gerald Durstewitz who worked for Specialties Development Corp., in Belleville, NJ. 

The patent is really fascinating, since it is all about measuring "relative" speeds, which in today's world generally means it has to measure the emitter's speed and the target's speed to determine how the target is moving relative to the emitter.  However, this is the opening paragraph from the patent's description:
This invention relates to apparatus for measuring the speed of a body relative to a surface over which it is moving, and more particularly, to such apparatus which is mounted on a second body adapted to move over the Surface and operates on the Doppler principle to measure the speed of the first body with respect to the surface while the second body is moving.
If that isn't perfectly clear, it's saying that the radar gun uses the Doppler principle to measure the speed of a target relative to the ground while the gun is in a patrol car moving over that same ground.  Most of today's radar guns ("Type-2" guns) measure the speed of a target relative to the radar gun, not to the ground

In equally convoluted wording, the patent goes on to say
high frequency energy is radiated toward the moving object under observation, and the radiations reflected from the object, which are modified in frequency by the relative motion of the object with respect to the measuring device, are mixed or beat with the transmitted signal to determine the frequency change of the reflected radiations with respect to the transmitted radiations.

The relative speed of the object under observation with respect to the measuring device is proportional to the degree of frequency change of the reflected radiations and therefore can easily be determined.
So, it is understood that the radar gun is measuring the difference in the gun's transmitted frequency and the frequency of the signals reflected from the target, and that "beat frequency" difference is directly related to the speed of the target.  BUT,
Since these devices measure the relative speed of the object under observation with respect to the measuring device, the absolute speed of the object, i.e. the speed of the object with respect to the surface over which it is moving, can be determined by such devices only if the measuring device is stationary.
So, it is saying that, unlike all previous radar guns, this new invention allows the speed of the target to be determined from a moving vehicle.  And how it does that is very interesting.   The patent is 6 pages long and contains four illustrations to help explain things.  Below is one entire illustration that shows the patrol car (Item #10), the radar gun emitter (Item #14) and the target (Item #12).  I'm also showing a closeup of just the more complex left part of Figure 1.
Patrol car
                with radar gun following target
Radar Gun
                Patent Illustration #1
The radar gun emitter
(Item #14) is affixed to the top of the patrol car (Item #10) and there are two receivers (a.k.a "transducers") affixed to the car's front bumper.  The emitter emits waves at frequency fT.  The first receiver/transducer (Item #15) is pointed downward and just receives waves that bounce off the ground directly ahead, which are at frequency fR1.  The second receiver/transducer (Item #16) supposedly receives only waves that bounce off the target at frequency fR2.

Note that the illustration appears to show the fR2 waves have a similar or slightly lower frequency than what was emitted, and the fR1 waves have a much higher frequency than what was emitted.  That was probably unintentional, or maybe the differences were just meant so show the signal quantity.  The patent only uses the word "wave" one time, and that is when describing a "continuous wave transmitter."  Everywhere else in the paper, as seen in the quotes above, the radar is described as emitting and receiving "signals."  The word "photon" is never used.

The key part of the patent is described in these two paragraphs:
It has been discovered that the difference between the frequencies fR1i and fR2 is proportional to the speed of the automobile 12 relative to the surface 11.

A speed indicating device 18 mounted in the automobile 10 measures the difference between the frequencies fR1 and fR2 and gives a direct reading of the speed of the automobile 12 in response to this measurement.
That is true.  The difference between frequencies fR1 and fR2 (also known as the "beat frequency") is directly proportional to the speed of the target.  However, in the patent document, the two paragraphs above are preceded by this paragraph:
Those radiations received by the transducer 15 have a frequency fR1 which differs from the transmitted frequency fT by an amount proportioned to the speed of the automobile is relative to the surface 11. Those radiations received by the transducer 16 have a frequency fR2 which differs from the transmitted frequency fT by an amount proportional to the speed of the automobile 10 relative to the automobile 12.
In reality, according to Einstein's Second Postulate, the speed of the emitter does not change the speed of the emitted "radiations" nor the oscillation frequency of those emitted radiation, and therefore, the radiations received by transducer 15 have the same frequency that was emitted (fT).  The return radiations received by transducer 16, however, have a frequency which differs from the transmitted frequency (fT) by an amount proportional to the speed of automobile 10 relative to the surface 11.

So, either way you get the correct speed of automobile 12.  It's just that it is very difficult to get people to understand that radiation emitted from a moving vehicle travels at the same speed as radiation emitted from a stationary vehicle.  I don't know if the inventor was simplifying things, but he later shows how the Second Postulate works when he writes:
The difference in frequency between fR1 and fR2 is directly proportional to the speed of the automobile 12 irrespective of the speed of the automobile 10. This is demonstrated mathematically hereinafter.  
In other words, no matter how fast car 10 (the emitter) is moving (or even if it is stationary) the difference between the two frequencies will still show the speed of the target (car 12).

The inventor then goes on to show the formulas and how the math works that way.   I could easily write a whole paper on how he explains that the speed of the emitter changes the speed or frequency of the emissions, in violation of Einstein's Second Postulate, but then he mathematically manipulates things to eliminate the effects of that belief.  And he then explains:
It may further be seen that the apparatus of the present invention will also give a direct reading of the speed of the automobile 12 if the automobile 10 is backing up, or if it stopped, or if the heading of the automobile 12 were reversed and the two automobiles were proceeding toward each other.
In other words, no matter how fast the patrol car is moving or in what direction it or the target is traveling, the radar gun will still correctly measure the speed of the target.

And, the reason it can do that is because, in full agreement with Einstein's Second Postulate, the radar gun measures the speed of the ground as zero, no matter how fast the radar gun and the patrol car are traveling.  The fact that the inventor believes just the opposite doesn't change how his device actually works.
This also means that this particular radar gun will do what a "Type-1" radar gun does.  As shown in the illustration, if the patrol car is traveling at 60 mph and is following a target going 60 mph, the gun will show the target speed as 60 mph

In that situation, my "Type-2" radar gun will show NO speed for the target because, supposedly, the gun shows the relative speed between the radar gun and the target.  My "Type-2" radar gun also shows combined speeds when the moving gun is moving toward an oncoming target.  The radar gun in the patent described above shows the "relative speed" between the ground and the target, not between the two cars.

I need to study this patent further, since it 100% supports my understanding of Einstein's Second Postulate. 

In today's comment, I was planning to go also into details about a couple other patents, but I'll just show an illustration and a brief comment about one of them.  Here's the most interesting illustration in patent #3517998 from June 30, 1970:
Radar Gun
                patent illustration #2

It's an interesting patent because the radar gun atop the guy's helmet emits laser light in visible light frequencies instead of radio frequencies or microwave frequencies.  So, it is technically a "LIDAR gun," but two versions of the gun work like radar guns and compare frequencies, while a third version does work like today's LIDAR guns by measuring distances traveled in units of time. The first two versions appear to measure speeds just the way a "Type-1" radar gun does, by comparing frequencies.  Here's a brief quote:
it is a primary object of the invention to provide a compact optical radar that can be used in a fixed position or from a moving vehicle or aircraft, or made integral with an observer's helmet for determining the speed of vehicles moving away or towards it,
It was the third patent that I primarily wanted to study and write about this morning.  But, patent US3936824 from February 3, 1976 is 15 pages long, compared to 6 pages each for the two previous patents I mentioned.  It has five very large illustrations, but they are horrendously complex illustrations of internal circuitry. Yet, I think it may be the patent that set the pattern for the construction of most radar guns used today, radar guns which supposedly read the speed of the ground when the gun is pointed at the ground from a moving vehicle.  I just need to find the time to study it very carefully.

So much to do, and so few hours in a day.  Sigh.

Comments for Sunday, December 15, 2019, thru Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019:

December 19, 2019 - I think I may have had one of those "EUREKA!" moments yesterday.  Or maybe it was a "DUH!" moment, since I suddenly realized something that I should have realized long ago.

For the past two days I've been working on a paper about my own radar gun experiments.  I was describing each separate experiment, and then I would explain the science and physics behind that experiment.  It took awhile but I soon realized that I was making the paper far too complicated.  So, I overhauled the paper to describe all of the experiments first, and then I started on what is often called a "closed box" or "black box" analysis.  The experiments showed all the data that went into the radar gun and all of the information that came out of the radar gun.  So, the analysis was about what must have happened inside of the gun in order for the known input to produce the known output.

radar gun with internal measurement of speed
Specifically, I wanted to show that the gun must be measuring its own speed by bouncing photons off of the radome.  I have a copy of a book, Principles of Modern Radar, which describes in Chapter 16 how Kustoms Signals Inc., in 1970 discovered a way to build radar guns that can be used while moving by bouncing photons off of the radome, but I've also had several arguments about what the book actually says and what it means.

I also figured that there should be a patent somewhere for what Kustom Signals invented, but I was never able to find it.  That made me wonder how all the others could use the same technique without someone patenting it.  But every Google search I did found nothing that describes the technique.

Yesterday, I did another Google search for "radar gun patent" and once again I found found nothing new.  Then came the "DUH!" moment.  I accessed the Kustom Signals Patent US5528246 and glanced over it for the umpteenth time, seeing nothing new in the text.  But then I noticed the "References Cited" section.  It listed other patents mentioned in this patent. 
                    cited references
Duh!  I'd never checked any of those patents.  So, I did.  And those patents all had their own "References Cited" sections with other patent numbers related to radar guns.   I spent hours downloading patents that looked like they might be of interest, all of which I had never seen before.

One patent, US3118139, dated January 14, 1964, was for "Speed Measuring Apparatus" and contained this information in the text:
This invention relates to apparatus for measuring the speed of a body relative to a surface over which it is moving, and more particularly, to such apparatus which is mounted on a second body adapted to move over the Surface and operates on the Doppler principle to measure the speed of the first body with respect to the surface while the second body is moving.
Hmm.  I would definitely have to find time to read that one.  But first I wanted to see what else I could find.  Another check of "References Cited" found patent US3936824 for "Method and Apparatus for Digitally Measuring Speed" which was issued to Kustoms Signals, Inc., on Feb. 3, 1976.  The text begins with this:
A digital display doppler radar unit has a moving mode and a stationary mode. The incoming doppler signal, which in the moving mode, represents both speed of the radar platform and speed of an approaching target vehicle, is separated into two signal components by selective filtering. One component represents the sum of the ground speeds for the radar platform and approaching vehicles.
Hmm.  Okay, I truly definitely need to study that one.  And there are probably others.  But, in order to study them, I have to stop writing about what I plan to do and do it.  So, that's all for now. 

December 17, 2019
- Yesterday morning, I started listening to the 4-hour, 17-minute audio book version of "How I Write: Secrets of a bestselling author" by Janet Evanovich and Ina Yalof.  I finished it yesterday evening.

How I Write

It was time well spent, although I'm not sure how much I learned from it.  Most of the information the book contains I already knew.  One item was totally new to me: She said that when she needed to talk with someone at the local Police Department, she always contacted their "Public Relations Officer."  That's something I never tried.  I don't even know if my local and nearby departments have "Public Relations Officers." 

The other new items were details from Evanovich's past.  It took her ten years to get her first book published.  That book was a romance novel titled "Hero at Large," which was published in 1987.  She then wrote romance novels for about seven years before trying the crime novel genre with her first Stephanie Plum novel, "One for the Money."  "How I Write" was published in 2006, when her latest Stephanie Plum novel was "Twelve Sharp." Today, her latest Stephanie Plum novel is "Twisted Twenty-Six," and she's also co-authored the Fox & O'Hare series, the Knight and Moon series, the Wicked series and some other books.  What I like about her writing is her sense of humor and the banter between her interesting characters, which she talks about in "How I Write."  I'm only gotten through "To The Nines" in the Stephanie Plum series, so I'll probably never read the entire series.  Plus, Evanovich mentioned and made me curious about Sue Grafton's series of Kinsey Millhone detective novels.  I've read none of those, but I just put "A is for Alibi" on my "Wish List" at my library.   

The book got me to thinking that I need to get back to work on my own novel.  However, yesterday afternoon, while at the gym, I got to talking about my radar gun experiments with someone on the next Exercyle who seemed very interested in the subject (we'd talked about it once or twice before).  That caused me to wake up this morning thinking I should get back to work on my paper about Radar Gun Relativity Experiments

  There are just too many interesting things things to do, and no way to do them all!  

December 16, 2019
- Yesterday afternoon, I finished listening to the 7-hour 1-minute unabridged audio book version of "The Job," a Fox and O'Hare novel by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. 

The Job

It's the third book in a 5-book series about FBI agent Kate O'Hare being forced to collaborate with con-man Nicholas Fox in order to close an FBI case that they cannot close without Fox's help.  In this case, they bring an international criminal and vicious drug lord to justice via an elaborate scheme involving a plan to recover lost treasure from a Spanish galleon sunk three hundred years ago.  Most of the enjoyment from reading the book, however, comes from the spicy banter between beautiful Kate and handsome Nick, plus their screwball associates, and the descriptions of the exotic locations they visit.  This book mostly takes place in Portugal, but they also visit France, Germany, Turkey and Nashville.

I have the 4th book in the series in my MP3 player, plus another book by Janet Evanovich that I'm anxious to start.  I may do that as soon as I finish this comment.  I seem totally unable to focus on finishing my own book, and on finishing another scientific paper.  I think it has something to do with the season.  My own writings may have to wait until after the start of the new year.

December 15, 2019
- While I'm not currently arguing with anyone on the sci.physics.relativity UseNet forum, I still check it every day to see what others might be talking about that would be of interest to me.  On Friday, someone started a new argument thread titled "Feynman on mathematical modeling vs understanding physics."  The first post to the thread included a quote from one of Professor Richard Feynman's lectures that I don't recall ever seeing before:
Mathematicians, or people who have very mathematical minds, are often led astray when “studying” physics because they lose sight of the physics. They say: “Look, these differential equations — the Maxwell equations—are all there is to electrodynamics; it is admitted by the physicists that there is nothing which is not contained in the equations. The equations are complicated, but after all they are only mathematical equations and if I understand them mathematically inside out, I will understand the physics inside out.” Only it doesn’t work that way. Mathematicians who study physics with that point of view—and there have been many of them—usually make little contribution to physics and, in fact, little to mathematics. They fail because the actual physical situations in the real world are so complicated that it is necessary to have a much broader understanding of the equations.
The lecture is titled "Differential Calculus of Vector Fields" which probably explains why I never paid much attention to it before.  But now I see it contains a lot of very interesting information.  Here's another key quote: 
What it means really to understand an equation—that is, in more than a strictly mathematical sense—was described by Dirac. He said: “I understand what an equation means if I have a way of figuring out the characteristics of its solution without actually solving it.” So if we have a way of knowing what should happen in given circumstances without actually solving the equations, then we “understand” the equations, as applied to these circumstances. A physical understanding is a completely unmathematical, imprecise, and inexact thing, but absolutely necessary for a physicist.
That's the way I generally look at physics.  I begin by visualizing how things must work in order to get the results we see.  Since I do not believe in ghosts and goblins, and I believe in the "laws of nature," I assume things will work out mathematically, but I don't do the math.  Measuring speeds relative to the speed of light to calculate time dilation, for example.  If I need to do the math, I use an on-line calculator.  I fully accept the mathematical results, but, inexplicably, mathematicians do not.  Or, if they do, they add some additional reasoning to the answer that changes everything.  They simply do not accept that time slows down for moving objects, and the faster the object moves, the slower times passes for that object.  To mathematicians, time ticks at the same rate everywhere. And they refuse to even discuss the physics behind the calculations. They fantasize ways the same mathematical results can be obtained without slowing down time.  Since experiments mean nothing to them, the fact that their fantasies cannot be confirmed experimentally is your problem, not theirs.

My very first scientific paper was titled "Time Dilation Re-Visualized."  I uploaded it to on May 31, 2015.  Almost a year later, on February 22, 2016, I created a new paper titled "What is Time?" which explored an idea from the first paper in greater detail.  For some reason I cannot fathom, physicists do not seem to address the question of "What is Time?"  Or, if they do, they confuse time with memory or with events. Things become much much much simpler if "time" is viewed simply as the process by which things age and decay and pulsate.  Time Dilation slows down those processes and everything resulting from them.  The fact that we have memories which allow us to record events doesn't change how time works.  Discussions about "The Arrow of Time" and whether we can travel backwards in time are interesting science-fiction subjects, but they have nothing to do with reality.  Time dilation allows the slowing down of time for a specific object, but only that object is affected.  The rest of the universe continues to work "normally."  Things would be so much simpler if that simple fact was better and more widely understood.  The same with light.  A kazillion complications are eliminated when you stop thinking of light as waves and realize it is just a photon with oscillating electric and magnetic fields.

The only time you need mathematics is when you need to design an experiment to confirm an idea that you have already worked out logically.  Hafele and Keating, as an example, logically determined how time dilation would work if they flew atomic clocks in different directions around the world.  However, simply doing the experiments would have produced nothing but arguments.  By doing calculations ahead of time, showing what the result of the experiments were expected to be, and then doing the experiment to produce the expected results, you may not eliminate all arguments, but you have given true scientists and physicists a lot to think about and support, while putting the inevitable grumbling nay-Sayers on the defensive. 

While I haven't been posting to the sci.physics.relativity UseNet forum, I have been occasionally posting to the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group.  The problem there is that discussions never last very long.  If you make a good point, you might get one or two people indicating that they "like" what you wrote, but it's rare to see a discussion go on for more than 2 or 3 posts between individuals.  A conversation I joined three days ago is a good example.  On December 11, Winstón Wólf asked "At What Speed is the Universe Expanding?"  I replied,
My guess is that it is expanding at different rates. The farther you are from the point of the Big Bang, the faster you are moving away from that point. The closer you are to the point of the Big Bang, the slower everything around you is expanding. And, meanwhile, everything that is equidistant from the point of the Big Bang is moving apart even slower.
I included a link to a Nature magazine article that asked the same question. Then this conversation began:
Michal Karsznia: is cosmological constant a phenomenom answering this question? Universe expand everywhere equally. If what you are saying was t true, we could determine where center is. As we all know this is not the case. Scientifically speaking i am correct when i say each one of you reading this, is the actual center of the universe

Ed Lake: I would say that what we can measure in the OBSERVABLE universe could be very different if we could see the entire Big Bang universe.
Observable universe vs the Big Bang
Michal Karsznia: that is of course true as well. But i am still pretty sure that given all of observable universe we could determine that majority of its mass is slightly repelling from certain point in space. We do not see any evidence of it happening. Tho its interesting, we can see clearly that galaxies near end are influenced by much bigger clusters actually outside of visible universe

Ed Lake: I keep wondering if the blue shifted group of about 100 galaxies around Andromeda is moving toward us or are those galaxies just ahead of us as we all expand with the Big Bang. Why are all the blue shifted galaxies in the same general area? What is in the opposite direction from those blue shifted galaxies?

Daniel P. Leo: there is no origin point of expansion... All points have all ways existed since the big bang... All points are expanding from each other

Ed Lake: That is something that only makes sense to mathematicians. In reality, the Big Bang theory SAYS that everything was once in the same place and expanded outward from there. So, the Big Bang STARTED at some location in space. WHILE expanding, of course, everything is also moving away from everything else.

Daniel P. Leo: from my understanding essentially all points existed at the origin, and all points are expanding away from each other... space is expanding and as all space is the origin there is no center to the expansion. So there really isn't an origin point in space so much as an origin in time

Ed Lake: But that is totally MATHEMATICAL reasoning. It is about POINTS which do not exist. In reality, all the MATERIAL in the universe MUST have existed in some form prior to the Big Bang. Many people figure that form must have been some kind of super-hot, super-dense sphere. So, there would be NO space between the material in that sphere.

Then, for some reason, the pressure became too great and the sphere began expanding. It took 500 million years for the material in that original sphere to condense into the first stars and for the lights to turn on.

The material in that sphere must have expanded into "space." To argue that there was no space to expand into makes NO SENSE.
And that was evidently the end of the discussion, since no one has posted anything since then (20 hours ago as of this moment).  But the discussion was still on my mind when I awoke this morning.  All I could think about was the fact that mathematicians see imaginary "points" instead of physical objects.  The universe began with a "point" they call a "singularity," not with a highly compressed body of some basic material like quarks.  Then, through a mysterious process generally known as "magic," the "point" produced a second "point."  And, when it did, it also magically created space between the two "points."  Then more "points" were magically produced with more "space" between them.

To ask what is outside of the "points" is to ask a meaningless question.  There is nothing outside of the points.  What is the difference between "space" and "nothing"?  The answer is probably "Space is space and nothing is nothing."  It's just as was written in the book
"The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics" by Gary Zukav.  When you talk with mathematicians, you are talking with a believer in mysticism.  Only math is real, all else is just an illusion. There are no "objects," there are only "points" to use in an equation.

So, the collection of "points" known as Ed Lake is going to end this collection of "points" known as a comment, and he's going to sit down on a collection of "points" known as a couch, and he's going to finish listening to a collection of "points" known as an "audio book."  He's doing it to make a "point" that: Life is meant to be enjoyed, not calculated.

Comments for Sunday, December 8, 2019, thru Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019:

December 12, 2019 - Yesterday afternoon, while unable to decide whether to work on my sci-fi novel or a scientific paper, I sat down on my couch and finished reading a library book on my Kindle.  The book was "Lights, Camera ... Travel!" by Alec Baldwin, Brooke Shields and a bunch of other movie and TV people.

Lights, Camera ... Travel

The book is a collection of about 34 brief essays written by people in the entertainment business about strange and exotic places they have visited.  Most of the trips were made as part of doing their work, but not all of them.  The 310 day trip described by Anthony Edwards (from the TV series "ER") was just a family vacation.  He bought a plane, hired two pilots and two teachers to teach his kids while they were traveling, and they flew to just about every exotic location you can think of, from Machu Piccu to the Taj Mahal, crossing the equator 6 times.  And each time they crossed the equator, the pilot would say,
"Ladies and gentlemen, please sit down as we are approaching the equator. We must be prepared for the bump." The kids’ eyes would get a little wider and sure enough the plane would bounce up and down (lightly). There would be a little cheer and then he would look back at us with a big grin and comment on the mysteries of nature. 
Brook Shield's trip was a magazine shoot that required her to travel to the Arctic and build an igloo.  Others went to places a different as Angkor Wat in Cambodia is from Whitby, England.  Thailand, India, Romania, Turkey and many other places were also visited.  Alec Baldwin's essay is about living in the Los Angeles area while he was a struggling actor looking for work.

I'm not sure I can recommend the book, but if you are interested in travel literature (and I am) it is certainly different from most such books.

December 11, 2019
- Groan!  I'm in one of my periods of indecision.  Should I work on self-publishing my sci-fi novel, or should I work on my unfinished scientific papers?  So, I'm doing neither.  I awoke this morning thinking I should find scientists on-line who share my understanding that light consists of photons and that light photons will hit an observer at c + or - v, where v is the speed of the observer.  The best way to do that is the research scientific papers about light.  But, what I did instead this morning was to respond to several posts to the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group.

The first answer I posted was to the question "At what speed is the universe expanding?"   I posted a link to a Nature magazine article titled "How fast is the universe expanding?  Cosmologists just got more confused," and then I stated that
"My guess is that it is expanding at different rates. The farther you are from the point of the Big Bang, the faster you are moving away from that point. The closer you are to the point of the Big Bang, the slower everything around you is expanding. And, meanwhile, everything that is equidistant from the point of the Big Bang is moving apart even slower."  The first response was that that opinion conflicts with the "cosmological constant."  I ignored that response and just brought up the question of why all 100 blue-shifted galaxies are in the same general area in the sky.

Then I responded to another question where someone wanted to know what you would see if you went to the edge of the universe and looked outward.  I responded by telling him it would be different if you went to the edge of the "observable universe" or to the edge of the Big Bang universe.  At the first location you'd just see more stars and galaxies.  At the second you'd probably just see darkness.

The final question I answered was "Why does time stop when an object reaches the speed of light?" My response was:
Time works like a percentage of the speed of light. If a stationary object can be found in the universe, that object is moving at zero percent of the speed of light and a "second" has its maximum value. If an object moves at 100 percent of the speed of light, time is stopped and a second has its minimum value of zero. Anywhere in between, you can use this calculator: 
Responding to those questions and writing this comment about it has consumed my entire morning and brought me to lunch time.  Now I just need to find a way to waste time all afternoon.

December 9, 2019
- Yesterday evening, I got tired of watching TV and decided to listen to some podcasts I had on my MP3 player instead.  First I listened to a Sean Carroll interview with a science fiction writer named Cory Doctorow on Carroll's "Mindscape" podcast.  It was a 1 hour 14 minute interview that stunned me more than once as they discussed big corporations taking over everything.  This morning I checked the Mindscape web site and verified my recollection that it includes transcripts of the interviews.  Here's the first revelation by Cory Doctorow that stunned me:
So there’s one company that makes all the eyewear you’ve ever heard of. It’s called Luxottica. They bought every single eyewear brand. First they bought all the major retailers, Sunglass Hut and Sears Optical and Target Optical and LensCrafters, and then they refuse to carry any eyewear brand that wouldn’t sell to them until they drove them to their knees and picked them up for pennies. And literally, if you’ve got any of the major eyewear brands, it’s Luxottica, and if you bought from any of the major retailers, it’s Luxottica, and if your lenses came from SLR, which is the largest lens manufacturer in the world, they came from Luxottica, and if your eye insurer is EyeMed, which is the largest insurer in America, it’s also Luxottica. And they’ve raised prices a 1000% in 10 years.
I researched Luxottica on the Internet and my findings somewhat confirmed what was said on the podcast.  I'd never heard of Luxottica before last night.

Here's another comment from the podcast:
But there used to be 30 wrestling leagues, and now there’s one, and it’s owned by this billionaire, Trump donor, called Vince McMahon. He reclassified all the wrestlers as contractors, took away their health care, they’re dropping down in their 50s, and GoFundMe is full of famous wrestlers begging their fans for money to pay their medical bills. So if you’re a wrestling fan, you’re with the eyewear people.
I'd never heard about that, either.  Another comment:
Now, there are three talent agencies left in Hollywood, and all of the screenwriters fired all of their agents because the talent agencies are now all owned by private equity funds, and those private equity funds have decided that to increase their return on investment that the agencies are gonna start doing what’s called packaging, where they package a writer and a director and a whatever and they collect a fee from the studio for that package, and in exchange they agree to take less money for each of their clients. And so every screenwriter in Hollywood is there for you to fight for wrestlers and eyewear.
That's something else I never heard of, or, if I had, it wasn't described that way.  I had an agent in Hollywood years ago, and he tried selling some of my screenplays.  So, this hits home.  When I researched the topic, I found it was generally true.  I found a New Yorker article from June of this year titled "Hollywood Writers Attempt Life without Agents."  I also found a New York Times article on the same subject.  It isn't a "strike."  The writers fired their agents.  And, I have no idea what the current situation is.

After the Cory Doctorow podcast ended, I started listening to Sean Carroll's podcast interview with Physics Professor Katie Mack.  I only listened to about twenty minutes of the interview before it was bedtime and I turned off my MP3 player.  But those 20 minutes contained a lot of interesting points, interesting to me because they agree with what I've been saying.  Here's one quote from Professor Mack: 
So if you talk to somebody on the street, and say, “What was the Big Bang?” People will say, “Well, it was an explosion where the universe started as a single point and then exploded out and that was the Big Bang.” And if you talk to a physicist usually what we’re talking about is something really different called the Hot Big Bang, where what we’re talking about is just simply the fact that the universe was hotter and denser and smaller in the past. And that just comes from the fact that the universe is expanding now and cooling and so if we go back in time we can dial that back and we see that the universe was hotter and denser and more compressed in some way. And that is completely incontrovertible, like that…
and here is some of the conversation that followed:
Mack: Yeah, the fact that the universe was hotter and denser and in some sense smaller in the past, and we can actually see it. And one of the things I think is kind of neat is the TV show, The Big Bang Theory, the beginning of the theme song is actually a really nice encapsulation of the Big Bang Theory. The whole universe was in a hot dense state nearly 14 billion years ago expansion started, just stop there that’s the Big Bang theory, that’s it.

Carroll: It’s exactly right, it didn’t use the word explode…

Mack: Nope.

Carroll: It didn’t say there was a point.

Mack: No, didn’t say there was a point, no singularity, and there may have been a singularity, it’s possible that before that fiery state that the universe was infinitely dense. It’s possible that we get back to that point, but there’s that fiery state was… We see the part that was about 380,000 years after the beginning. In the 380,000 years a lot happened and we don’t know at the very beginning of that if there was a singularity, we think probably there was this rapid expansion, inflation and what happened before that super rapid expansion in the first billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second, we don’t really know.
I do not like the mathematicians' fantasies about a "singularity."  My personal thinking has been that before the Big Bang there was an incredibly dense body of matter of unknown size that did not "explode." Something happened that caused it to decompress.  All the compressed particles in that incredibly dense body decompressed.  So, it was more like opening a "snake in a can" toy.
snake in a can toy
The compressed sub-atomic particles simply decompressed.  There was no "explosion," just countless "snakes" pushing against one another to escape the "can."  An explosion requires some separate force to hurl things outward.  Decompression is just about each object expanding by itself, pushing against other objects, causing the topmost particles in a compressed mass to travel faster than the particles that were lower down in the compressed mass.  Then later, gravity began collecting the particles into clusters which became bigger and bigger until stars formed and the lights of the universe were turned on.  That's as far back in time that we can see when we look out into space  -- back to the point where the lights turned on.

It kind of makes me want to get back to work on my paper about The Big Bang and Einstein's Second Postulate.   But maybe I'll just read a book instead.  Or listen to the rest of that podcast.  I dunno.

December 8, 2019
- I'm still thinking a lot about radar guns and Einstein's Second Postulate.  I've got two uncompleted papers that I would really like to complete.  But, as I've said countless times, one of the papers really requires that I get access to a "Type-1" radar gun like the Stalker II SDR.  And I'm not going to pay $1,600 to buy one just so I can spend 15 minutes confirming how it works.

I keep thinking about how illogical most descriptions of the inner workings of radar guns are.  The descriptions make things horrendously complex that, in reality, are truly very simple - once you understand that they are not impossible.  The key example is how a radar gun measures its own speed.  I say it is a simple matter for a radar gun to internally measure its own speed relative to the speed of light by bouncing photons off of something embedded in the gun's radome.

radar gun
                  with internal measurement of speed
Most people, however, think this is impossible.  Even though the gun is moving, and photons emitted at the back end have to catch up with the front end, most people believe you cannot measure the gun's speed unless the front end (the radome) actually moves away from the back end.  So, they believe the gun actually measures two speeds from two "targets" and, even when moving, the radar gun somehow magically knows which "target" is the ground and which "target" is a speeding car.  How?  They don't say.  The subject is avoided.

radar gun
                measuring its own speed

The image above (from the video HERE) shows the radar gun measuring its own speed and showing it as 31 miles per hour in the display window on the right. 

The image below (from the same video) shows the same radar gun measuring a target's speed as 67 mph and showing it in the display window on the left.

radar gun
                showing target speed

How does the gun know if it is moving or not?  It's a simple matter if the gun can measure its own speed internally, but how is it done when the gun can only measure the speed of external objects?  How does the gun know where to put the measured speed?  Does it go in the window on the right or on the left?

I was a computer programmer for many years, before becoming an analyst and a programming manager.  How would I program the gun to determine its own speed?  Do I program the gun to assume that the ground is the biggest "target" that sends back the most photons?   Would that be true if the gun was pointed at the back of a truck that was 40 feet away?  The calculator HERE says that at 40 feet, with a beam width of 12 degrees, most photons will hit the back of the truck within a circle that is just 8 feet wide.  And a 53 foot long semi-truck is feet wide.  Would the gun put the truck's speed on the "patrol speed" display?  If not, why not?

Things would be simplified so much if I could just borrow a "Type-1" radar gun for a half hour!  And then I could complete my paper about radar gun experiments.

The other unfinished paper is about the Big Bang and Einstein's Second Postulate.  There's nothing preventing me from working on and completing that paper -- except that I want to finish the experiment paper first.   Sigh.
Meanwhile, on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum, I saw someone who calls himself "Starmaker" had started a new thread titled "Who Built the Pyramids?"  Curious, I read the first comment and found it was about a Fox News Story titled "Pyramid-shaped 427-foot asteroid set to whiz past Earth."  The Starmaker's comment included this statement:

I don't know who built the pyramids but it had to be from outer space. Martians maybe...
Huh?  The first comment was followed by a discussion that made even less sense. So, I posted a comment advising them that the pyramids were make from stone blocks extracted from a quarry not far away.  Asteroid's are not made from stone blocks. 

They ignored my comment and continued exchanging posts that made no sense.  I did a bit more research and found that the asteroid was NOT "pyramid-shaped."  It was "pyramid-size," which meant it was probably boulder shaped and just happened to be about 420 feet in diameter, which is the height of the Great Pyramid.  I posted another comment advising them of what I'd found.  They just ignored it and continued their nonsensical ramblings.  I gave up.

Meanwhile, I've finished converting my sci-fi novel into 5½ inch by 8½ inch book format.  And I corrected all the typos I could find.  The next step is to read it one more time to correct some of the
problems I have with how the book describes locations.  A lot of the book happens in a truck that travels from Chicago to Washington DC, and it's important to know where the truck is in relation to other people who are also moving toward Washington.  The way it is written now is too confusing, I think.  I use highway numbers too much instead of .... instead of .... whatever I can use instead of highway numbers.

Yesterday, I decided I wanted to have a
5½ inch by 8½ inch "Trade" novel that I could use as a guide for formatting and printing my own sci-fi novel.  So, I visited a nearby store that sells used books and bought a sci-fi fantasy novel that looked interesting for 99 cents.  When I got home I realized it uses smaller print than I plan to use, but that's not critical. 

Then I also noticed that it is autographed by the author!  Not only that, but there was a somewhat intimate inscription with the signature.  I didn't recognize the author's name. 

When I checked the publisher, I found it was published by Anomalos Publishing in Crane, Missouri.  I had never heard of them.  So, of course, I had to do some research.  I found they were mentioned in a lot of places, but I couldn't find a web site for them.  The Better Business Bureau's web site says Anomalos Publishing has been in business for 20 years, but they have no other information about them. Bizarrely, they show a link which leads to a Japanese site about web site design. 

Groan!  I don't really need another mystery to wonder about.  But, I couldn't stop there.  Later, I did a Google search for the name of the book, and I found it was well-reviewed on and had spawned 2 sequels.  However, Amazon says the book was published by CreateSpace, which is Amazon's self-publishing company.  So, I've got another mystery.  Where was it actually published?  And why should I even care

Comments for Sunday, December 1, 2019, thru Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019:

December 6, 2019 - Yesterday, I converted the manuscript for the first of my sci-fi novels into 5.5 x 8.5 book format.  I'd thought about revising it while converting it, but the conversion process is somewhat complicated, so it just seemed easier to convert everything first.  That way, it's just a routine that you repeat over and over until you are done.  It took 2 or 3 minutes per chapter for the 35 chapters.  In manuscript form (double spaced on 8½ x 11 typing paper) the book consisted of 305 pages.  In book form (single spaced) it's 198 pages, not including the title page, the copyrights page etc.  It's 65,588 words, well over the 60,000 words required to be called a "novel" instead of a "novella."

The problem is that I'm still thinking a lot about radar guns.  I keep looking for critical experiments I can perform with the radar gun I have, without spending a lot of money.   A tuning fork test is one such possibility.  I don't own any tuning forks, but I keep wondering what I could use instead of a tuning fork.  A floor fan is something like a tuning fork.  It's an object that moves while stationary.  There is no doubt that the radar gun is measuring the speed of the fan blades, but I could easily find five hundred mathematicians who will argue that a radar gun does not measure the vibration speeds of the tines of a tuning fork.  They argue that the radar guns somehow listen to the audio frequency of the tuning fork.

What could I wave back and forth in front of a radar gun at over 10 mph?   What about a spinning basket ball at the end of a string?  Hmm.  I don't own a basket ball.  Most of all, I want something I can measure while in my car.  I want to measure something that is spinning or vibrating in order to obtain the "target speed," and I want to see how the "patrol speed" combines with the "target speed" when the gun is in my car and moving.  Hmm.      

December 4, 2019
- Yesterday, when I decided I should try type-setting while revising the first of my sci-fi novels in preparation for self-publishing, I looked at the paperback novels I have on my bookshelves to see what size they are.  Most paperback novels I have are 4.25 inches wide by 6.87 inches tall.  That format is known as the "mass market paperback" or "pocket book" format.  My unread Janet Evanovich and Kathy Reichs paperbacks are all in that format. But the Lee Child "Jack Reacher" novels I have are all 4.25 by 7.5 inches, which doesn't seem to be a standard size anywhere.  More importantly, my research indicates you cannot self-publish in the "pocket book" size, at least not without paying a lot of extra fees.  The smallest size used in self-publishing is evidently 5 inches wide by 8 inches tall, which is known as the "digest" format in regular "trade" paperback publishing.  I have lots of books in that size in my library, but they are all non-fiction.  I'll have to browse around my local Barnes & Noble to see what size they actually use for paperback novels, besides the "pocket book" format.  And, do they use white paper or the cream-colored paper used in "pocket books"?

It's also weird how much conflicting information about book sizes you can find on the Internet.

My research also reminded me that when I self-publish I have to pay copyright costs, and I have to pay for the ISBN number and UPC scanner code that go on the back of the book.  I was somewhat stunned to see that paperback novels sell for $7.99 these days.  I buy all my paperbacks used for about an eighth of that price. 

And, since I'm not going to pay for any advertising, there is a very good chance that my book may cost me money instead of making money.  And there's a small chance that I may change my mind about the whole thing.  I've certainly done that with a lot of scientific papers.  But, right now my first task is to set things up in 5x8 format.  I'm writing here as a way of avoiding that chore.

Added note: After spending the rest of the morning trying to set up my book in 5x8 format, I went over to Barnes & Noble with a tape measure.  They have racks and tables full of paperback novels, and by far the most popular size seems to be 5.5 x 8.5, with some slightly taller.  When I placed one book atop another, it seemed like each title was cut to a slightly different size than all others.  I saw only one novel that was 5x8.  So, this morning's work was mostly wasted time.  In addition, Microsoft Word has 5.5 x 8.5 as a standard size.  For some reason, the call it the "Statement" size.

I also stopped at a used book store and picked up a paperback "pocket book" copy of Andy Weir's sci-fi novel "The Martian" for 99 cents.  (It's 4.25 x 7.5 inches, like the Jack Reacher novels I have.)  I've had a copy from the library in my Kindle for about a year, but when reading novels I much  prefer to read from a paper copy.  And "The Martian" is a novel I really want to read.            

December 3, 2019
- Yesterday, I finished reading another sci-fi novel, but I can't display the cover here because I haven't yet designed a cover for it.  The book was the one I had finished writing in April 2014, and was then unable to find an agent to represent it.  Then, thinking it would be easier to find an agent if I had two or three books in a series, I began writing a sequel.  I finished writing the sequel in February of 2015.  That must also have been about the time I started getting into the subject if time dilation, since it was on April 15, 2015, that I created a blog page titled "Time Dilation Explained."  And my two sci-fi novels mostly just faded into memory.

From time to time I began thinking about self-publishing the two sci-fi novels.  Now that I seem to be stalled in my science projects until I can find some way to access and perform experiments with a Stalker II SDR radar gun, I'm thinking once again about self-publishing my sci-fi novel.  The first step was to re-read the "final" version of the first book. 

I still think it's a great book, and the beginning is terrific, but I definitely need to simplify things in the last third of the book.  It has events happening in different parts of Washington, DC, and just using the different street names to identify the locations is confusing.  I'm not sure how to fix it, but I'll try to think of something.  Before I get to that part of the book, I have to type-set the first part of the book and correct a few typos.  And then I'll have to remember and research how self-publishing works.  The last time I did it was in 2012.

Meanwhile, I awoke this morning thinking I need to revise the Radar Guns vs Wave Theory paper that I just revised yesterday.  For some reason, in yesterday's  revision I used a picture of the floor fan without using any picture of the radar gun.  So, I modified the image to include the shot of me pointing my TS-3 radar gun at the floor fan, and a side angle shot of the fan itself.  The new version (#3) of the paper might appear later today, or it might appear tomorrow morning.

December 2, 2019
- Yesterday afternoon, I submitted the revised version of my paper on Radar Guns vs Wave Theory to, and this morning I received an email advising me that it is now online as version #2.  The new version contains details about the floor fan experiment I mentioned in previous posts here.  The changes are on page 4.

I also submitted a revision to my paper on Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories, and it too is now on-line as version #7.  Those changes are on page 10.  In the previous version I had accepted what I was told about the TS-3 radar gun, and in the revised version I explain that actual experiments demonstrated that what I was told was not true.  So, all I have to verify that the Stalker II SDR is a Type-1 radar gun is what I was told in detailed discussions with people at Applied Concepts, Inc.  And I am hunting for some way to verify that (or debunk it) with actual experiments, without spending $1,600 to buy such a gun.  

What I also need to do is work on other things, since I cannot just keep writing about how I still haven't been able to borrow a Stalker II SDR gun.

December 1, 2019
- I'm still mulling over the best way and the best place to perform two different moving radar gun experiments:  (1) I want to measure the speed of a vehicle that is moving away from me in the opposite direction, and (2) I want to measure the speed of a vehicle that is approaching me from behind.

The problems are (1) I don't want to frighten anyone by pointing some strange device at them, and (2) both experiments require me to point the gun behind me as I move, which means I have to read the gun's display in my side rear-view mirror, or I have to do quick over-my-shoulder readings and then bring the gun back inside to view the display.  And (3), the experiments aren't critical, their sole purpose is to allow me to be certain of how a Type-2S radar gun works while moving backwards, so that I do not have to make any assumptions.

The problems with measuring the speed of vehicles moving away from me in the opposite direction are reduced if there is a road-divider between their lane of traffic and mine.  But, then you get the problem of how wide is the divider?  Will the gun give a good reading if the center divider is very wide?  That also causes a cosine effect.  And, I should probably do the readings when there is no one directly behind me in my lane, since they might be startled by what I'm doing.

How do I get readings of cars approaching me from behind without scaring the drivers?  I have to stick my arm and the gun out the side window.   

I've gone out twice to do the experiments, but both times I couldn't find a location and situation where it was totally safe.  I also need to have a location with a long distance between stop signs, long enough for cars to reach good speeds. 

Yesterday, I awoke realizing I should revise my paper on "Radar Guns vs Wave Theory" to include the radar gun experiments I performed with my floor fan.  It only took about an hour to make the addition of a new section in the middle of the paper.  Everything else remains the same.  I'll submit the revised paper later today, which means it should be on-line tomorrow, December 2, the date I now use on the paper.  If waves from a radar gun look like those shown below, how can they get through the wire mesh covering the spinning blades on a floor fan?

radar gun
                using waves

I described the problem in my November 14 comment, so I won't repeat it here. What I'm doing is putting the experiment in revision to a previous paper, instead of waiting to put it in a new paper about Radar Gun Relativity Experiments.  That new paper is awaiting the "over my shoulder" experiments described earlier in this comment, and getting those experiments done isn't helped by the fact that winter is approaching, which complicates opening a side window to get radar gun readings.  How does the gun work when it is below freezing outside?

I also keep thinking about "the Double Doppler" effect, as I call it.  In the illustration above, only the red car is moving.  But what if the police car was also moving?  The Doppler Effect supposedly results from the waves hitting the oncoming car with a higher frequency because the red car is moving closer between each wave.  If the patrol car is also moving, that means you have a "Double Doppler Effect," because the patrol car will move closer to the red car between each wave the radar gun receives back from the red car. 

Mathematicians would probably declare, "Of course! That is why the radar gun gives a 'closing speed' which is the two speeds added together!"

But what about the "patrol speed?"  Supposedly, the radar gun is also bouncing waves off of the ground and getting back the patrol car's speed, which it adds to the oncoming car's speed to get the "closing speed."  The Double Doppler effect says you'll get the "closing speed" without using the patrol speed.  How does the gun know it isn't supposed to use the "patrol speed" in this situation?

The answer once again, of course, is that radar guns emit photons, not waves.  And because Einstein's Second Postulate says that the speed of the emitter does not change the speed of the light that is emitted, the only readings the gun can perform are to measure its own speed (internally) and the target's speed (externally).  There can be no "Double Doppler Effect."

All this discussion about radar guns could be greatly simplified, of course, if I could just get my hands on a "Type-1" radar gun like the Stalker II SDR.  If I am right in my understandings, virtually everything a Type-1 radar gun does is considered to be "impossible"
by mathematicians.  And what it does is the same thing Type-2S and Type-2M radar guns do internally instead of measuring patrol speeds by bouncing waves off of the ground externally.  But, if you are in a vehicle and point a Type-2 radar gun at the ground ahead, how can you prove that the gun is NOT bouncing waves off of the ground to get the speed the gun is displaying?  And how can you prove that the gun is measuring its own speed internally, if that is considered to be "totally impossible" by all the people you are trying to convince?  

I realize I'm probably endlessly repeating myself.  I've been moaning and groaning about these issues for months and months.  Maybe it's time to take a break and focus on something else.

© 2019 by Ed Lake