Archive for ed-lake.com
January 2020

Comments for Sunday, January 26, 2020, thru Friday, January 31, 2020:

January 31, 2020 - Yesterday I received an email which said (in part):
Happened to find a long discussion with you on Blogger, concerning Marshall Douglas Smith and Brojon, and the missing 5th chapter of “Black Gold, Hot Gold”.

Just curious:  did you ever find him or it?
Huh?  None of that made any sense to me.  Who was "Marshall Douglas Smith"? And I couldn't recall ever hearing of a book titled "Black Gold, Hot Gold."  So, I replied telling the writer that I didn't know what he was talking about and it could have been a different Ed Lake.  I asked him to provide a link.   He then replied,
Thanks for writing.  Here was the article:

http://anthraxdebate.blogspot.com/2013/08/subject-how-ivins-made-attack-powders.html?m=1

And your name linked to a profile with this email address.
Ah!  Marshall Douglas Smith was a conspiracy theorist who was posting stuff to the Internet back then.  So was "Brojon" or Brother Jonathan.  Marshall Smith was writing a book about his conspiracy theory that oil companies were trying to take over the world. 

Looking over what I wrote back then, it is all mostly Greek to me now.  I was involved in dozens, maybe hundreds of arguments at the time.  My focus was on what the facts said about who made the anthrax and who sent the anthrax-filled letters that killed and injured people.  Conspiracy theories were just a deluge of endless nonsense that I had to wade through to get to the factsWho remembers details about nonsense?  I recall the facts, and that is why an FBI scientist recently asked me to proof-read his book about the attacks.  Plus, I've been involved with so many other things since then.  The last time I argued with anthrax conspiracy theorists was almost seven years ago!

Then it occurred to me to me that it was very likely that the writer was writing simply to find out if I would reply, because I hadn't replied to the emails from the people I wrote about in my January 22 comment who wanted me to put some free advertising on my anthraxinvestigation.com web site, advertising for their survey of the "most hated people on the Internet." So, yesterday I replied to the last of those emails, too.  I told them that I no longer updated that site, and I certainly wasn't going to put any free advertising on it.

While I've moved on from arguing about the anthrax attacks of 2001, it seems clear that it's still a hot topic with some people.  And it explains why there were 87 visitors to my anthrax blog yesterday and 136 today, and why most visitors visited the page in the link that was given in the email, along with other pages from 2013 and 2014.  There are a lot more people interested in nutty conspiracy theories about the anthrax attacks than in the solid science issues that currently interest me.  Maybe I should start discussing my current science questions as if there was some sinister conspiracy going on. 

Who is trying to hide the fact that light consists of photons, not waves?

Who is trying to mislead the world about how radar guns work?

Who is putting nonsense in college physics textbooks?

What are they trying to hide? 

Inquiring minds want to know!   

January 30, 2020 - This morning, while eating breakfast, I finished reading another library book on my Kindle.  The book was "A Warning," by Anonymous, who is "a senior Trump administration official."

A Warning by Anonymous

It was an excellent but depressing book and very much like the 2018 book "Fire and Fury" by Michael Wolff.  I once again underlined more passages than my Kindle will allow to be copied.  So, I've got 25 pages of notes, instead of what probably should have been around 35.

The "warning" the book gives is that, if we do not change our ways, we may elect more people like Trump and end up in some kind of dictatorship because we can no longer work with people who disagree with us.  That means we will choose a dictator who will rule by intimidation: i.e., go along or you will be eliminated.

Reading the book on my Kindle means that I do not know what page a quote is on.  My Kindle just shows what percentage of the book I have completed.  Unlike nearly every other non-fiction book on my Kindle, "A Warning" ends at the 100% mark.  There are no notes, references or indexes.  Here's a key quote from the 98% point:
If you can give the Founders credit for anything, the democratic system reflects the public mood.  When we are willing to compromise, our representatives are, too.  When we are angry and unyielding, partisan and greedy, they will display the same traits.

As a result, we are getting the presidency we deserve and the Congress we deserve.  Is it not obvious that elected leaders are mimicking our behavior?  Their snarky attacks and Twitter jabs sound a lot like the text messages we send, the comments we make below news articles, and the condescending memes we post to Facebook because it is easier to fire rounds from behind a digital wall than hash out problems face-to-face.  It's no wonder people think Washington is broken.  We are broken.
Earlier in the book, on page 38 according to Amazon's "Look Inside" copy, it explains what it is like to work for Donald Trump:
"Among us friends, let's be honest," a prominent presidential advisor once remarked, after the pro-chaos crowd left a White House meeting.  The slimmed-down group was comprised of White House officials and cabinet secretaries. “About a third of the things the president wants us to do are flat-out stupid. Another third would be impossible to implement and wouldn’t even solve the problem. And a third of them would be flat-out illegal.” Heads nodded.
I have worked for incompetent bosses in my time, and it's not fun.  Having an incompetent President isn't fun, either.  But we need to be careful in how we get rid of him.  His supporters are calling the current impeachment proceedings "an attempted coup."  If Trump is removed from office by any means other than by a general election, it could be the end of all cooperation between political sides.

January 29, 2020
- My #1 top priority task is still to obtain access to a "Type-1" radar gun so that I can verify how it works while moving.  I can't afford to spend $1,600 to buy one for a 15-minute experiment, so I'm trying to figure out the best way to persuade some local police department to allow me to view one in action. The main problem is that I am totally worthless at persuading strangers to do anything.  And police officers are typically more suspicious than other people.  Plus, if I ask the wrong thing, I'll probably never get a second chance.  So, all I'm doing right now is thinking about it...... day after day after day.

Meanwhile, I've got a new problem on my hands.  It appears that someone has hacked something on one of the web sites which show my science papers.  For 10 of the past 11 days, Academia.edu has been showing just one "document view" per day and that viewer has been reading just one paper of mine.  Here is what their graph for my Academia.edu visitors looked like yesterday morning:

Graph
                    of my Academia.edu reads
Note that the normal uneven pattern suddenly changed ten days ago.  Since that time there has been exactly 1 "unique visitor" per day, each time looking at one document, not at my profile.

When I look at the details to see who that visitor is, the page looks like this:

Details of my Academia.edu visitor details
 
You can either click on the image or click HERE to see a larger version.  What it shows is that someone in
Knarrevik, Norway, has been using quora.com to read my paper titled "An Analysis of Einstein's Second Postulate" once per day, every day for the past 10 days.  That wouldn't be a problem, but the list also shows that no one else has been reading my papers.  That is extremely unusual and unlikely.

I sent the technical support people at Academia.edu an email yesterday, advising them of the problem.  So far, I've receive no response.  However, this morning things changed.  Here's what the graph from this morning looks like:

Academia.edu graph for January 29, 2020

It shows 9 "document views" for yesterday. That might seem okay, but when I look at the details, what is see is just one read by that same person in Knarrevik, Norway, and EIGHT reads of my paper "Understanding Time Dilation" by someone in Panama.  And yet the graph above shows that I had 9 "Document Views" and 4 "Unique Visitors."  That just doesn't make any sense.  I sent the people at Academia.edu screen captures of the graphs and the User Activity pages.

It's not something I'm worried about, but I do wonder if it is some kind of hacker going after my statistics - or if the hacker is going after everything and everyone on Academia.edu.  I'm more curious than worried, particularly since something unusual happened to my statistics for vixra.org, too.  I keep a spreadsheet of how many readers they get every day for each of my 11 papers. On Monday morning the statistics showed I had negative 34 reads.  That's something I've never seen before.  Occasionally I'd get a negative number for one of the papers, dropping the total reads by 1, and I just assume that someone at vixra.org screwed up when they ran some data collection program.  But on Monday morning I had negative numbers for 9 of my 11 papers, and no change for the other two.

I once again just assumed that it was another screw-up, but on a larger scale, and, sure enough, when I checked my statistics on Tuesday, I had a positive 43 reads.  All the negative numbers were reversed and there were an additional 9 reads for 5 papers.

I don't really need any screwball problems with the statistics for my papers.  I've got enough screwball problems with the science described in the papers.  Sigh.

January 28, 2020 - I spent much of the past two days going through astronomy books to see what they have to say about the "observable universe," the "Big Bang universe" and the "infinite universe."  Here is how I visualize those three "universes":

The
                          three universes

The previous illustration I used to discuss the universes didn't point out that there is an "Infinite Universe" beyond the "Big Bang Universe."  Without the "Infinite Universe," all space would be between objects inside the Big Bang Universe (or inside the Observable Universe), just as mathematicians claim.  But that immediately demands the question: What is "The Big Bang Universe" expanding into?  Mathematicians do not consider that to be a valid question.  Their equations cannot include the Infinite Universe.  Logically, however, it must be there.

One astronomy book I found pointed out a minor misconception I had for a long time.  Many years ago I read Stephen Hawking's book "A Brief History of Time" and found a jaw-dropping fact on page 6.   On that page Hawking writes about how the universe cannot be infinite in size and age.  If it was, the night sky would be pure white, not dark.  If the universe was infinite in size and stars have been shining for eternity, everywhere you look in the sky there would be the light from a star.  Between every nearby star there would be light from more distant stars, and between every one of those stars there would be light from even more distant stars.  But that isn't what we see.  So, the universe cannot be of infinite size and infinite age.

I incorrectly remembered it as being an observation by Hawking, but the
7th edition of "Universe: Solar System, Stars, and Galaxies" by Michael A. Seeds and Dana Backman, which came out in 2011, points out on page 426 that it is actually a realization that goes back to 1576 and a scientist named Thomas Digges.  Hawking's book and most other astronomy books, however, give the credit to Heinrich Olbers, a physician and astronomer who publicized the problem in 1826.  Then, in 1848, Edgar Allen Poe
proposed that the night sky is dark because the universe is not infinitely old but came into existence at some finite time in the past. The more distant stars are so far away that light from them has not yet reached Earth. That is, if you look far enough away, the look-back time approaches the age of the universe, and you see to a time before the first stars began to shine. The night sky is dark because the universe had a beginning.  
The problem today seems to be to understand that the Big Bang universe cannot be the entire Infinite universe.  Here's some of what the Seeds-Backman book says about the infinite universe on page 435:
In your daily life you are accustomed to boundaries. Rooms have walls, athletic fields have boundary lines, countries have borders, oceans have shores. It is natural to think of the universe also as having an edge, but that idea can’t be right.

If the universe had an edge, imagine going to that edge. What would you find there: A wall of some type? A great empty space? Nothing? Even a child can ask: If there is an edge to the universe, what’s beyond it? A true edge would have to be more than just an end of the distribution of matter. It would have to be an end of space itself. But, then, what would happen if you tried to reach past, or move past, that edge?

An edge to the universe violates common sense, and modern observations (which you will study later in this chapter) indicate that the universe could be infinite and would therefore have no edge. Perhaps even more important, if the universe has no edge, then it cannot have a center. You find the centers of things — pizzas, football fields, oceans, galaxies — by referring to their edges. If the universe has no edge, then it cannot have a center.  
In that section, they're talking about what I would call the "Infinite Universe."  Unfortunately, the Seeds-Backman book does not distinguish between the Big Bang Universe and the Infinite universe. How can the universe be 13.8 billion years old and also be infinite in size?  If there is an explanation for that in the book, I haven't yet found it.  What I found instead was this on page 429:
How long ago did the universe begin? You can estimate the age of the universe with a simple calculation. If you need to drive to a city 100 miles away, and you can travel 50 miles per hour, you divide distance by rate of travel and learn the travel time — in this example, 2 hours. In a similar fashion, to find the age of the universe, you can divide the distance between two galaxies by the speed with which they are moving away from each other and find out how much time they have taken to reach their present separation. ...

You will fine-tune your estimate of the age of the universe later in this chapter, but for the moment you can conclude that basic observations of the universe, especially the recession of the galaxies, require that the expansion of the universe began about 14 billion years ago.
As I see it, if the universe is infinite in size and the galaxies show that the Big Bang "began about 14 billion years ago," then the Big Bang universe must be just some spherical "object" within the Infinite Universe. And the Big Bang universe has a center, while the Infinite Universe does not.  That is always how I viewed things.  It seems totally obvious and logical, but Seeds and Backman do not see things that way.   I'll have to study their book further to find out why.  And I have a couple dozen other astronomy books to go through to see if anyone sees things the way I see them, and, if not, why not?  What are they seeing that I'm not seeing?  Or am I the only person on this planet looking at the universe logically?

January 26, 2020
- The past week was another mind-boggling week.  Perhaps the most mind-boggling part of it happened when I somehow stumbled across something related to "The Hubble Constant."  That's a term I have probably read and heard countless times over the decades, and I thought I knew what it was all about, but I'd never actually thought about it much.  Until last week.

It was probably while I was researching and checking all the links in that Scientific American article about the laws of physics I wrote about in my January 19 comment.  Somehow, two pieces fell together in my mind.  Piece #1 was The Hubble Constant, and piece #2 was comments I wrote on sci.physics.relativity back on January 16.  I was arguing about the redshift observed on Earth for distant galaxies and how that the redshift for a specific galaxy relates to the speed at which the Earth is moving away from that galaxy, NOT the speed at which that galaxy is moving away from the Earth.  I was in a discussion with Ken Seto, and I stated that, due to Einstein's Second Postulate, what we actually see is how fast we are moving away from some point between the Earth and Galaxy-X, not how fast Galaxy-X is moving away from the Earth, nor vice versa.  Then I wrote:
Think of it this way:  You and I are standing on a street corner.  You start walking west at 2 mph, and I start walking east at 2 mph.  We are moving away from each other at 4 mph, even though neither of us is walking at 4 mph.  When you measure redshifts, you measure it from 2 mph, not from 4 mph.
Ken Seto then stated:
But the result you get is from 4 mph because you consider yourself is at rest.
To which I responded (a bit harshly),
Only mathematicians consider moving bodies to be "at rest."  In reality, you and I are both moving.  Neither of us is "at rest."  You FANTASIZE that one of us is "at rest" because of a MORONIC belief that movement can only be measured from a stationary body.  It is why mathematicians dreamed up the "ether."  There is no "ether" (or "aether").  But, since there is a maximum speed at which light can travel in our universe, we can measure speeds relative to that maximum.  But you shouldn't need to do the calculations just to understand that my speed is 2 mph, not 4 mph.
To which Ken Seto reasonably responded:
You assumed that both of us are moving at the same speed from the mid point. This is not true....you can be moving away from the mid point at 3 mph and I am moving at a speed of 1 mph, our relative speed is still 4 mph.
I responded to that with the following comment, which seems to have ended the discussion:
That is possible, but there is no way to determine it.  All we know is that neither of us is stationary, and therefore both of us MUST be
moving away from each other.  

In theory, we can tell how fast I am moving away from you by the amount of redshift I observe.  But to know if you are moving faster than I am requires knowing the exact frequency of your light when emitted and the exact frequency of the light I receive.  I assume we can measure the frequency of the received light, and we can determine it is MUST BE redshifted, since it is redshifted compared to light from our sun, but what do they do next?

Frequency difference can be converted to speed, but what is the distance? They use cepheid variables to judge distances, but that is an ESTIMATE, and a PRECISE measurement is needed to compute distances accurately via a redshift in frequencies.  

Anyway, as I see it, it is simpler to just assume we are moving apart
from each other at equal speeds.  We have no way to be precise.  If we
did, then we could measure all the galaxies in the observable universe and tell which are beside us as we move away from the Big Band, which are ahead of us (like the "local group") and which are behind us, and which are at some other angle.


Good question, though. 
That final part that I highlighted in red was something I had never thought about before.  It must have been still on my mind when one night my subconscious reminded me of the Hubble Constant.  And I woke up realizing that, if I was correct, there cannot be a Hubble Constant.  That's when I did some research and found an article titled "The Hubble constant: a mystery that keeps getting bigger" that appeared in the British newspaper The Guardian on November 2, 2019.  Then I found a NASA  article from July 16, 2019, titled "New Hubble Constant Measurement Adds to Mystery of Universe’s Expansion Rate."

Hmm.  They have a "mystery" because they cannot find a "constant" speed at which all objects are moving away from each other in this universe.  And the facts appear to say there cannot be such a "constant" because some galaxies are "beside us" as we move away from the point of the Big Bang, some galaxies are "ahead of us" and some galaxies are "behind us."  And there is absolutely NO reason to think that those distances should be increasing at the same rate.

All you have to do is visualize the Big Bang as an "explosion":

Big Bang explosion

To simplify things, the illustration below contains fewer objects moving away from the center point.
Big Bang
                  speeds
In the illustration above, why would anyone think that the objects moving one behind the other away from the point of the Big Bang (A & B or E & F) are moving away from each other at the same speed as the objects moving side by side (C & D or G & H) away from the point of the Big Bang?  Logically, the objects moving side by side must move away from each other while the objects moving one behind the other do not need to move away from each other.  Those objects would only move away from each other at different speeds if the first objects leaving the point of the Big Bang traveled faster than later objects, like unleashing a stack of springs.  The first spring is pushed by all the springs behind it, and each subsequent spring has fewer springs pushing it.  So, you get a universe where the objects that are farthest from the point of the Big Bang are moving faster than objects that left the point of the Big Bang later.

That means, of course, that there was no "explosion" as one typically thinks of an explosion. But who thinks of the Big Bang as if there was a stack of dynamite in the center? If the Big Bang was a sudden unleashing of elementary particles, the particles that were packed closest to the center of the Big Bang may have remained in place - or barely moved.  So, while "expansion" might be a better term than "explosion," the speed of the initial expansion was like an explosion.

Of course, mathematicians claim there was no explosion.  But is that really what they are saying?  While researching the subject, I found a video of NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller adding to the confusion over the Big Bang. (If the box below says "video unavailable, just go to the I just provided.)



If you go to the link you can also see
the viewer comments after the video.  All Dr. Thaller did was create confusion.  Example comments:
This raises more questions than it answers

This video makes me doubt even if I know what a space is anymore

Before, I had some clue (albeit an incorrect one) about the Big Bang, now I have none

All I know is...We know nothing!

Thanx for the explanation. Now I am even more confused

Dr. Thaller's biggest argument seems to be that we can see no "empty center" in our universe.  She uses the term "empty center" six times in her 4 minute talk.  The biggest problem I see is that she is clearly talking only about the "observable universe" not the "Big Bang universe."  She only talks about what we can "observe."  And we know there is a lot we cannot observe.

A little research finds article after article which says that the "Big Bang universe" is vastly larger than the "observable universe."  Wikipedia explains things most clearly and simply:

Some parts of the universe are too far away for the light emitted since the Big Bang to have had enough time to reach Earth or its scientific space-based instruments, and so lie outside the observable universe
A BBC article HERE says, "The whole Universe is at least 250 times as large as the observable Universe."  The claim links to a scientific paper on arxiv.org which may support that claim, but its math is virtually indecipherable to me.  Universetoday.com has an article titled: Universe Could be 250 Times Bigger Than What is Observable that is about that same arxiv.org paper.

 A brand new video I found yesterday says that new information shows that the universe is 500 times bigger than what is observable, not just 250 times.  The speaker is Dr. Don Lincoln from Fermilab.  It's a much much better video than the one by Dr. Thaller, but Dr. Lincoln also seems to make things a lot more complicated than they need to be.  The video was evidently created on January 8, 2020, and it already has well over 180,000 views and 2,582 viewer comments.



In addition to all of the above, many scientists who understand that what we see of the universe is not all there is believe we can see only about 4% of the total universe. According to a space.com article,

All the stars, planets and galaxies that can be seen today make up just 4 percent of the universe. The other 96 percent is made of stuff astronomers can't see, detect or even comprehend.
There's also a book by Richard Panek titled "The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality" that says the same things as the articles mentioned above.

What puzzles me is: Why can't they understand that the so-called "dark energy" is almost certainly just more of what we see in the observable universe?  Logic clearly says so.  Why make things so complicated? 

What it tells me is that my paper about the Big Bang should probably be titled something like "The Logical Big Bang versus the Mathematical Big Bang."


Comments for Sunday, January 19, 2020, thru Saturday, January 25, 2020:

January 24, 2020 - A couple days ago, I exchanged some more emails with a local physics professor who cannot accept that a Type-1 radar gun will work as I described it in my paper on Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories.  His last email to me contained this paragraph:
BTW, general relativity has been quite conclusively "broken", by Kurt Gödel, he of the Incompleteness Theory fame (for his original work on relativity, see Gödel, Kurt (July 1, 1949). "An Example of a New Type of Cosmological Solutions of Einstein's Field Equations of Gravitation". Rev. Mod. Phys. 21 (447): 447–450. doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.21.447). Even Einstein agreed with Gödel, as they worked alongside each other at Princeton's IAS. Gödel's proof was most certainly not a trivial exercise, though. No box trucks or radar guns, either. For a good read about the story, see Yourgrau, Palle, 2004. A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Gödel and Einstein. (Pubd. Basic Books - available Amazon).
What does he mean by general relativity being "broken" by Kurt Gödel?  I have no idea.  I quickly found a copy of the 1949 paper he mentioned, but it is far too heavy in mathematics for me.  It seems to be some kind of argument about the direction of time.  Does such an argument "break" general relativity?  I imagine some people (particularly mathematicians) might think so.  However, all it did for me was to cause me to search for more information about Gödel

About 20 years ago, I bought a paperback copy of "G
ödel, Escher, Bach" and I highlighted many passages, but nothing I highlighted seems relevant to "breaking" general relativity.  I also have a copy of "A World Without Time," although I haven't had the time to read it.  (It's #329 on my "books to read" list.)  I also wondered what the physics professor meant by "he of the Incompleteness Theory fame."  I found this explanation on page 3 of "A World Without Time":
Gödel's incompleteness theorem-"the most significant mathematical truth of the century," as it would soon be described in a ceremony at Harvard University - set a permanent limit on our knowledge of the basic truths of mathematics: The complete set of mathematical truths will never be captured by any finite or recursive list of axioms that is fully formal. Thus, no mechanical device, no computer, will ever be able to exhaust the truths of mathematics. It follows immediately, as Gödel was quick to point out, that if we are able somehow to grasp the complete truth in this domain, then we, or our minds, are not machines or computers. (Enthusiasts of artificial intelligence were not amused.)
I wasn't sure I was interpreting that section correctly, so I did a Google search for Gödel and "incompleteness" and found an entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy that helps a bit.  So do the following passages from a book titled "Incompleteness - The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel": 
Mathematicians, in a certain sense, are the farthest removed of all academics from thoughts of "the real world" — a phrase which, in this context, means more than merely the practical world of current affairs. The phrase is meant to cover just about everything that physically exists, aside from ideas, concepts, theories: the world of the mind. Of course, the world of the mind can certainly be, and typically is, about the real world; however, not, typically, in mathematics. Mathematicians, in their extreme remoteness, may not enjoy (or suffer) much notice from the public at large; but, among those who live the life of the mind, they are regarded with a special sort of wonder for the rigor of their methods and the certainty of their conclusions, unique features that are connected with some of the very reasons that make them largely useless ("useless" in the sense that the knowledge of mathematics leads, in and of itself, to no practical consequences, no means of changing our material condition, for better or for worse).

The rigor and certainty of the mathematician is arrived at a priori, meaning that the mathematician neither resorts to any observations in arriving at his or her mathematical insights nor do these mathematical insights, in and of themselves, entail observations, so that nothing we experience can undermine the grounds we have for knowing themNo experience would count as grounds for revising, for example, that 5 + 7 — 12. Were we to add up 5 things and 7 things, and get 13 things, we would recount. Should we still, after repeated recounting, get 13 things we would assume that one of the 12 things had split or that we were seeing double or dreaming or even going mad. The truth that 5 + 7 = 12 is used to evaluate counting experiences, not the other way round.
Kurt Gödel seems to have been more interested in logic or philosophy than in mathematics. The comments above seem to say that math is just a tool, a way of checking on the validity of certain things.  You cannot get new ideas from math.  If what you did doesn't add up mathematically, then you did something wrong.  But, you also have to add up the right things.  However, that first sentence I highlighted in red seems to be what I've been saying for years: Mathematicians seem to have no understanding of the real world or our real universe.  All they seem to understand or care about is mathematics.  Worst of all, they believe in their equations as if they were the Word of God.  But their equations can be mathematically correct while also being absolutely wrong.  For centuries they used mathematics to prove that the earth was the center of the universe.  But better telescopes showed that their mathematics had nothing to do with reality.  I think that may also be what Kurt Gödel was saying.

January 22, 2020 - The other day I received an email from some people who did a survey of over 1,000 people, asking them who are "the most hated" people on the Internet.  Here is a graphic from their web site:

Most annoying people on the Internet

They wanted me to put an advertisement on my anthraxinvestigation.com web site to promote their survey.  I haven't put anything new on that site for over 5 years, and I saw no reason to do so now.  The email began with this comment:

I’m writing because you cite Wikipedia's page on conspiracy theorists in this post on Analyzing The Anthrax Attacks.
The link is to my web comments for January through April  of 2013.  I mention Wikipedia mostly in my February 17, 2013, comment. 

I suppose I am advertising their web site here with this comment, but some reader might find it interesting.  About the only thing I see in it that is interesting is that they asked me to advertise it.  While I spend a lot of time on the internet, most of it is doing research.  I encounter trolls on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum and occasionally on some other forums, but these days I'm far more annoyed by mathematicians and closed-minded physicists than by conspiracy theorists and "outspoken liberals."

Meanwhile, I think it is time to post this once again:
Trump
                    impeachment poster
Others may disagree, but I think having a religious fanatic as President is worse than having a total idiot as President.  I prefer to have neither.  Waiting until election day to make a change seems the safer course.   

January 21, 2020
- As a result of finding that
Scientific American blog article from June of 2010 titled "Deep in thought: What is a "law of physics," anyway?" that I mentioned in Sunday's comment, I browsed through Lee Smolin's 2006 book "The Trouble With Physics" and found this comment on pages 226 & 277:
Einstein’s special theory of relativity is based on two postulates: One is the relativity of motion, and the second is the constancy and universality of the speed of light. Could the first postulate be true and the other false? If that was not possible, Einstein would not have had to make two postulates.
Wow!  How could any scientist get Einstein's postulates so wrong?  And yet it seems Dr. Smolin is totally correct on his attacks upon string theory and other pointless mathematics-based theories that can never be proved or disproved.  On an impulse, over the weekend I sent Dr. Smolin an email about radar guns and what they demonstrate about the speed of light.  So far, I've received no reply, and I do not really expect any.

Yesterday, I decided it was time to catch up on science podcasts.  I downloaded a few that have been created since I last did a download.  One was a podcast on BBC 5 titled "Dr Petr: Speed of light, particles and memory."  I listened to it last night and found it totally fascinating.  It was broadcast at 3 in the morning on BBC 5, yet there were very interesting call-in and email questions received during the broadcast. 

The "expert" was Dr. Petr Lebedev standing in for their regular expert, "Dr. Karl."  It seems, however the "Dr. Petr" is not yet a Dr., having just started on his doctorate at the University of Sydney.  I was tempted to send him an email about radar guns, but when I started writing it, I realized that Einstein's Second Postulate is mainly about time dilation, and radar guns have nothing to do with time dilation.  The Second Postulate states that “light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body,” which is clearly demonstrated by radar guns.  However, relating radar guns to Einstein's relativity theories might make people think that radar guns have something to do with time dilation, and they don't.  And yet radar guns clearly demonstrate that the mathematicians' distortions of Einstein's Second Postulate are totally wrong.

The problem is writing a short email that describes a problem that seemingly cannot be described in a short email.  But, there may be a way.  I just haven't yet found it.    


January 19, 2020
- Last week, via emails, I contacted a physics professor at a nearby college to see if he might help me gain access to a Type-1 radar gun.  I had his email address handy because we had discussed one of my scientific papers back in 2016.  I began by making the request as simple as possible, and I attached a copy of my paper on Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories
But I over-simplified what I needed, and it was somewhat misinterpreted.  However, the physics professor made some excellent suggestions, even giving me the phone number of a Police Department public affairs officer who might be able to help me get a demonstration of a "Type-1" radar gun.

Before contacting any more police officers, however, I really want to discuss the whole situation with some physics professor.  So, yesterday I sent an email to a nationally known physics professor and author, quoting a passage from one of his books and explaining how radar guns support his claims in one way and dispute them in another way.  We'll see what happens.  If that email gets no answer by Wednesday afternoon, I'll try another nationally known physics professor and author.

Meanwhile, my recent discussion on the sci.physics.relativity forum seems to have come to an end.  It was probably the most interesting discussion I ever had there, and it seems to have ended because I gave them a lot of information that they need to think about and digest. 

One discussion we had was about how "laws of physics" are developed and where the ideas come from.  That prompted me to do a Google search for "laws of physics" and that led to a Scientific American blog article from June of 2010 titled "Deep in thought: What is a "law of physics," anyway?"   It's about a "workshop" session arranged by the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics that took place in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in May of 2010.  The title of the workshop was "Laws of Nature: Their Nature and Knowability."  The blog article contains many interesting links and says this about the workshop: 
What really made this workshop odd, though, is that, with a few exceptions, the talks were long on assertions and short on arguments. It was essentially a three-day brainstorming session, meant to provoke and send the participants home with new ideas they might eventually weave into their work, rather than convey concrete results.
The links include one to a Scientific American article titled "The Search for Relativity Violations" that looks interesting, another link is to a web site which has comments from Sabine Hossenfelder who was at the workshop, and who I have encountered before.  Her comments included this:
The talks on the first day were heavily philosophical. I will admit that I often have problems making sense of that. Not because I don't have an interest in philosophy, but because one frequently ends up arguing about the meaning of words which is, at the bottom of things, a consequence of lacking definitions and thus a waste of time. Yes, my apologies, I'm, duh, a theoretical physicist with some semesters maths on my CV. If I don't see a definition and an equation, I get lost easily. In some cases it seems the philosophers imply some specific meaning that they just never bother to explain.
The links also include one to http://pirsa.org/C10001/1 which has videos of twelve of the talks (which may be all of them).  The links are really weird, however.  One link for each talk just goes to a pdf file which contains nothing but a series of still photos of the talk.  Another link goes to an MP3 audio file with no images.  And the third goes to an "MP4 Medium Res" file which has audio and video, but the video is very small.  Here's a screen capture of the upper sixth of what was on my computer screen:

Workshop
                  talk by Lee Smoln
 
The PDF file for this talk consists of just 4 pictures of what was written on the blackboard.  The MP4 video is actually just that small portion in the upper left corner which shows Lee Smolin sitting on a chair before a blackboard.  At max volume I can barely hear him when my humidifier is also running.  Yesterday evening I used my 46 inch flat screen TV to view portions of some of the videos.  By using my TV I also had the option to turn up the audio as far as I wanted.  Some of the questions from the audience were still extremely difficult to hear. 

On my 46 inch TV, using "full screen mode," the video of Lee Smolin takes up just the upper left section of a 12-section grid where the screen is divided into 4 parts horizontally and three parts horizontally.  

As you can see, the title of the talk was "Laws and time in cosmology."  Some other talks were titled:
What can we know of the world?
Cosmological laws
The role of order in natural law
Epistemology and the laws of nature
How does simplicity help science find true laws?
Cosmological constant problem: rethinking quantum and gravity
Discussion on: The limits of mathematical description
The one I watched the longest was the last one on that list.  I probably watched it for close to a half hour, or close to 1/3rd of it.  The videos range from about 90 minutes to about 2 hours, but, weirdly, none seems to begin at the start of the talk. They all seem to join the discussion after it has been going on for awhile.  (And this morning I don't seem to be able to view or listen to any of them.)

What I got from my sampling was that the talks were "brainstorming sessions" between mathematicians and philosophers.  I'd hoped they would be between mathematicians and scientists.  But, my sampling was far from comprehensive,   and I was more focused on the technicalities of viewing them on my TV than on what was being said.  So, I'll try viewing them again.  My hope is that the videos might give me ideas about who else I might try to contact regarding my radar gun paper and the experiments I'd like to do with radar guns. 


Comments for Sunday, January 12, 2020, thru Saturday, January 18, 2020:

January 18, 2020 - In response to the comment I wrote yesterday about bitcoin ATMs, someone sent me a picture of a bitcoin ATM outside of a convenience store near Lansing, Michigan, and this picture of a road sign advertising the ATM:

Highway sign advertising bitcoin ATM

And here is  the picture of the actual bitcoin ATM:

Bitcoin
                      ATM

That prompted me to do a Google image search for "bitcoin ATM" and I was shown dozens of pictures of bitcoin ATM machines all over the world.  But, even more interesting to me was the "news articles" that went with the pictures.  One headline from a year ago read "Chicago Fast Becoming Bitcoin ATM Hot Spot with 30 New Machines".   Another article, dated October 17, 2019, has the headline "USA Adds 100+ Bitcoin ATMs in 2 Weeks; Miami International Airport Welcomes Its First Bitcoin ATM."  And I found a news article dated today with this headline: "150 Bitcoin ATMs Coming to Ukraine."   That "news article" was from bitcoin.com.  None of the articles that go with the pictures seem to be from genuine news agencies.  I also noticed that most of the machines in foreign countries do not even show who you are dealing with.

While it is all very interesting, I don't really know what to make of it.  My first thought is that the world is going crazy.  I'm still waiting for a second thought to occur to me. 


January 17, 2020
- The other day, Amazon sent me an email listing some books they felt I might find to be of interest, based upon something I searched for or wrote about.  They recommended:
Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World
Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon

Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker

Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know®   and

Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World
Some of those titles looked like they might be interesting, but I wasn't about to buy any of them if I could borrow them from my local library.  So, I checked my local library, and the only one they had was "Ghost in the Wires."  However, when I browsed through the book on-line, it didn't seem like anything I'd want to read any time soon.  I've got about a hundred other more interesting books on my reading list.  Besides, I would have to put my name on a waiting list, since it wasn't immediately available.

Then, since I was on my library's web site anyway, I did a search for the word "cyber" to see what the results would show.  They showed me that they had two other books that not only seemed very interesting, but they were both available for borrowing right away.  They were
Hacking For Dummies  and

Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain
Browsing through the bitcoin book, I immediately learned something I didn't know before.  I had always assumed that if I wanted some bitcoins I'd have do go to some dangerous place to get them.  The book lists 5 different ways to obtain bitcoins, the most popular being to buy some from a friend.  But I was stunned to see this as #4 on the list:
Use a bitcoin ATM in your city.  A bitcoin ATM is a machine that accepts cash and sends bitcoin to your smartphone bitcoin wallet.  Find an ATM close to you using an online map from Coin ATM Radar.
Coin ATM Radar showed me that Bank of America has ATMs that dispense bitcoin.  But first you have to set up a "bitcoin wallet."  I have no interest in buying any bitcoin, but there were clearly things about bitcoin that I might find interesting.  So, I borrowed both books for my Kindle.  They are at the bottom of my priority list, so I should get to them sometime in late 2035.

January 16, 2020
- I'm still somewhat overwhelmed with things to do and a lack of time in which to do them.  I was planning to work on my paper about "The Two Big Bang Theories," but when I awoke yesterday my subconscious was only interested in the Doppler Effect. My subconscious had come up with a question overnight while I was sleeping, and it fed the question to my conscious mind when I woke up.  The question was about how a moving radar gun measures the oscillation rate of a returned photon without also measuring any Doppler effect. 

The question came from a patent description that I mentioned here previously:

Doppler shift formula from a radar gun patent
 
The question was about the #3 item in the formula.  As I see it, the Doppler effect in the #1 item does not exist because of Einstein's Second Postulate.  The speed of the emitter does not affect the speed of the light being emitted, therefore there is no "Doppler change in the frequency of the transmitted radiations due the the absolute velocity of the transmitter."  But the question was about item #3, which I concluded was also untrue: But why is there no Doppler effect due to the absolute velocity of the receiver?  There is when the receiver is the target (item #2).  When the radar gun "beats" the emitted signal together with the return signal, it measures the speed of the oncoming vehicle.  But to do that, it must somehow ignore or avoid any "Doppler shift" in the return signal.  I've thought about that often, and I had an assumption, but my subconscious evidently wasn't satisfied with that assumption.  It wanted a firm answer.  And it had determined that the "firm answer" was that the radar gun doesn't compare the oscillation frequencies of the emitted and returned photons, it only compares the difference in the amount of electric energy. 

When a photon from the radar gun hits an atom in the moving target, the amount of energy that is absorbed by the atom is the amount transmitted plus the kinetic energy from hitting a moving target.  When the atom sends back a new photon, that new photon has that extra kinetic energy in the form of a higher frequency.  However, when the radar gun's receiver receives the returned photon, it does not absorb it into an atom, which would add the Doppler shift to the photon, the gun receives the photon unaltered as a quantum of electricity.  In doing so, the Doppler shift has no effect.  I can visualize this, but it is difficult to explain.

Electrons move through a copper wire at nearly the speed of light as they carry electricity from a power plant to my reading lamp.  The amount of electricity is not greater if the power plant is at the equator and the lamp is to the east of the plant versus to the west.  Going from atom to atom in a moving wire does not change the amount of energy in an electron.  And when a radar gun receives a returning photon, it receives it as electric energy to move from atom to atom, not as energy to be absorbed and emitted back into space again.

Groan!  I had all that in my mind when I awoke yesterday, and I was planning to write a comment about it here, but when I was on my computer I got into some more discussions on the sci.physics.relativity group.  Then I suddenly decided my top priority should be to get some help in obtaining a Type-1 radar gun.  So, I composed an email to a nearby college physics professor I know via the Internet, and I sent it out.  And in the process of thinking about  that, I forgot about the Doppler shift problem.  Then, this morning my subconscious was nagging me about it again.  There was no response from the college professor as of this morning, so I composed a much better email and sent it out.  Then I started on this comment.  Now that it is done, I can hopefully get back to work on my paper about The Two Big Bang Theories.

But first I see I need to respond to a very interesting question someone just asked me on the sci.physics.relativity group.

Groan.  

January 14, 2020
- This morning, I awoke with lots of ideas for the paper I've been trying to write about the Big Bang, but before I could write them down I encountered two new puzzles that I had to think about.  Yesterday, for the first time since I started this web site five years ago, no one attempted to POST hacker crap into it.  People in Quzhou, China try several times a day to hack into this site, but not yesterday.  But it wasn't a puzzle that needed solving, so I just moved on. 

Then, when I tried to access the statistics for my anthraxinvestigation.com web site, and I found that the domain name had expired.  I was locked out.  It took me about 30 minutes to resolve that problem.  Then, when I tried to move some emails from one folder to another, an error message informed me that they could not be moved.  It took me about an hour to figure that one out.  Then, finally, I had the time to access the sci.physics.relativity discussion group to see what reactions there were to what I had posted yesterday.

They were mostly just arguing that I needed to learn more about mathematics if I wanted to understand physics and how the Big Bang worked.  I had asked how something like the universe could expand if they believed that there was nothing outside of the universe to expand (or explode) into.  One mathematician responded:
No, there is no space into which it could explode, rather even the most
elementary presentations start by emphasising [sic] that you should not think about it as literally an explosion, it does "explode" (read, inflation), but *within itself*, i.e. producing the very fabric of space-time in the process! 
That is something that may work as a mathematical model, but I find it virtually impossible to visualize as a real event or process.  And, if I cannot visualize it, I feel I do not understand it.  I can easily visualize how a NASA site describes the Big Bang:
"The big bang is how astronomers explain the way the universe began.  It is the idea that the universe began as just a single point, then expanded and stretched to grow as large as it is right now (and it could still be stretching)."
and
"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."
and
"When the universe began, it was just hot, tiny particles mixed with light and energy. It was nothing like what we see now. As everything expanded and took up more space, it cooled down.

"The tiny particles grouped together. They formed atoms. Then those atoms grouped together. Over lots of time, atoms came together to form stars and galaxies.

"The first stars created bigger atoms and groups of atoms called molecules. That led to more stars being born. At the same time, galaxies were crashing and grouping together. As new stars were being born and dying, then things
I can understand an expanding universe taking up more space, but I cannot understand a universe that does not take up more space but just creates space within itself.  That same person supplied me with a link to a 2 hour 8 minute YouTube lesson about the Big Bang given by Professor Leonard Susskind of Stanford University.  The link takes you to the part of the lesson where Susskind talks about creating space within the universe without the need to expand into something to make that space.  It's just as incomprehensible as the way it was explained by the guy on the forum.  But, when I get some free time I will try to watch the whole lesson.  I get the distinct impression that Prof. Susskind is simply explaining things the way his course materials describe them, without having any full understanding himself.  I'd like to record all the times he says "we simply do not know" how this or that works.

The last comment (as of this moment) in the thread is this brief statement by "Odd Bodkin":

There is SOME physics that can be described without math but it is precious little. Most physics can be described well ONLY by using mathematics.
As far as I'm concerned, if it cannot be described without math, then it is nothing but a "mathematical construct" and it may have nothing to do with reality.

So, maybe that thread is coming to an end.  I feel I now want to continue working on my paper about the Big Bang, but it will no longer be titled "Radar Guns, Einstein and the Big Bang."  My thinking as of this moment is that it will be titled "The Two Big Bang Theories."  There's the scientific theory, and then there's the mathematical theory.  The great thing about the two theories is that they are not incompatible.  The scientific theory says the Big Bang Universe looks like this, with endless empty space outside of the big circle:
Big
                      Bang and Obserable universes
The mathematical theory says that the universe looks like "The Observable Universe" shown in the illustration above.  It just doesn't mention or use anything outside of that smaller circle, and the mathematicians themselves believe there is nothing outside of that smaller circle, not even space.  So, their mathematics will work okay, but do not get into a discussion with mathematicians about what is outside of their universe.  If you do they'll just attack you personally for being too stupid to understand the math.

January 12, 2020
- While I spent much of my on-line time last week in very interesting arguments with people on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum, the most interesting thing I encountered last week was the news about how Boeing's employees exchanged emails ridiculing the way the 737 MAX was built.  It was of particular interest to me because some of those emails were exchanged at the same time people from Boeing were visiting this web site for the first time.

I keep track of who visits this web site by logging their IP addresses, where they are located, and when they visited.  I don't record every visit, since the vast bulk of the traffic to my site seems to be from various kinds of robots collecting data for various search engines.  I mostly just look for accesses to my main web page, and hacker attempts to POST malicious information on my site.  My log shows a single line for each unique IP address, and the list is currently 111 pages long on a .docx file, with 52 lines per page.  That's about 5,700 entries. 

The first visit by people at Boeing was on May 29, 2018, by someone in their Seattle facility, at about 2:36 in the afternoon, Eastern time, 10:36 Pacific time.  All he or she did was look at my main page.  Here's what the complete log entry for that access to the text on my main page looks like (there are other log entries for each of the eight images that are part of the main page, and I changed the first 2 parts of the IP address to avoid problems):
555.66.24.22 - - [29/May/2018:14:36:20 -0500] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 408288 "https://www.google.com/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0"
It appears that person got to my site by using Firefox to search for it on Google.  At that time, I was just about to put my paper about Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories on-line for the first time.  On that day I wrote an (A) brief comment about Malaysia Flight MH370 and then a long comment about arguments between mathematicians and scientists and my new paper.  Here's what my visitors log looked like that May for all the IP addresses that start with the same first number:
 
555.49.133.88   Gastonville, PA    () University of Pittsburg
555.66.24.22    Seattle, WA        (29) The Boeing Company
555.105.74.220  Cebu, Philippines  (
555.126.255.171 Urbana, IL         (
555.132.173.216 New Haven, CT      () Yale University


The next visits didn't come until mid-June.  On June 19 there were first visits from two different computers at their Seattle location (neither one used the same IP address as the May 29 visit), and on June 26 there was a visit from someone at their O'Fallon, Illinois, plant.  The first June 19 visit was done via Google at 8:34 a.m., ET, which would be about 4:34 a.m. in Seattle. The next visit was at 11:38 ET, also via Google.  The O'Fallon visit on June 26 was at 2:23 in the afternoon.

In July there was a repeat visit from Seattle and new visitors from two different computers at Boeing's Oklahoma City facility, the first visit on the 3rd and the second visit on the 10th.

In August there were two more visits from Oklahoma City, on the 14th and 28th, but from different computers, plus there was a visit from someone at Boeing's Florissant, Missouri facility on the 21st and repeat visits from Seattle.  

On October 23rd there was a first time visit from Everett, Washington, and on November 20 there was a first time visit from someone else in Everett.  Between those two visits, the first 737 MAX crash happened.

There may have been repeat visits in the following months, but no new visitors until April 23, 2019. 
That was a month after the second 737 MAX crash.  I didn't record that visit at the time, because it wasn't to my main page, it was directly to my comments for May of 2018.  I have no idea why they looked at that month, but it's the month when the visits first started.  It was from some kind of facility in Bothell, WA, or perhaps just a laptop computer owned by Boeing but used by someone while in Bothell.  Then on April 30, 2019, someone at Boeing's facility in Auburn, Washington, visited for the first time.   

Then in May 2019 there were visits on the 21st and 23rd from two other computers in Auburn. 
And they appear to have been the last visits from Boeing, almost exactly one year after the visits first began.

Here is what that part of my visitors log now looks like for that May (the entries in bold indicate the addresses that have visited multiple times):

555.66.24.7     Bothell, WA          () The Boeing Company
555.66
.24.8     Oklahoma City, OK    () The Boeing Company

555.66.24.9     Everett, WA          () The Boeing Company
555.66.24.13    Auburn, WA           () The Boeing Company
555.66.24.15    Auburn, WA           (21) The Boeing Company
555.66.24.16    Oklahoma City, OK    () The Boeing Company
555.66.24.17    Auburn, WA           (23) The Boeing Company
555.66.24.20    Everett, WA          () The Boeing Company
555.66.24.22    Seattle, WA          () The Boeing Company
555.66.24.23    Oklahoma City, OK    () The Boeing Company
555.66.24.26    Seattle, WA          () The Boeing Company
555.66.24.27    Oklahoma City, OK    () The Boeing Company
555.66.24.29    Seattle, WA          () The Boeing Company
555.66.96.146   O’Fallon, IL         () The Boeing Company
555.66.96.155   Florissant, MO       () The Boeing Company

There may have been Boeing visits after that, but no new visitors.  The list shows that there were first-time visits from 15 different Boeing computers between May 29, 2018 and May 23, 2019, and multiple visits from 3 of those computers.

What was it all about?  I'm not sure if I can tell from the information I have, but the two crashes of the 737 MAX occurred on October 29, 2018 and March 10, 2019.  There was no surge of visitors around that time, and the visits from Boeing employees may not have had anything to do with the 737 MAX.  However, at that time I was writing about how mathematicians seem to have no comprehension of reality, and the Boeing employees who were writing emails seem to have been saying that Boeing was giving presentations to the F.A.A. that were so complex that no one could possibly understand what was being said.  According to the New York Times,

In an exchange from 2015, a Boeing employee said that a presentation the company gave to the F.A.A. was so complicated that, for the agency officials and even himself, “it was like dogs watching TV.”
Business Insider says,
One of the main gripes by employees was that the managers and superiors didn't have the requisite technical understanding of the aircraft and couldn't fix its problems.
I can certainly understand how company management can have absolutely no clue about the technical problems faced by engineers.  I've been in that situation more than once.  I was even fired by a company president who wanted me to do something that was totally impossible. There's nothing more frustrating than to have a boss who believes that "everything is possible if you just try," or "positive thinking will overcome every obstacle."  And what they want simply requires a computer or a machine to do something that defies the laws of physics. 

My May 2018 comment is about such things.  Maybe it hit home with people at Boeing who had the same problem.  I dunno.  The only thing that seems certain is that a lot of people at Boeing were discussing my web site before and after the two 737 MAX crashes.


Comments for Sunday, January 5, 2020, thru Saturday, January 11, 2020:

January 9, 2020 - While driving around running errands yesterday afternoon, I finished listening to CD #11 in the 11-CD set for the 13-hour 37-minute unabridged audio book version of "The Cyber Effect," by Mary Aiken, PhD.

The Cyber Effect
The Cyber Effect

There appear to be two different covers for the book.  My library showed me the cover on the right above.  I'm not sure I would have borrowed it if they had used the cover on the left, which is what Amazon is using.  I was looking for a book on "How Human Behavior Changes Online," and the book is certainly about that.

It was a very good book, and a great book to read after finishing "Future Crimes," since it covers some of the same territory, but it explains things in a different way, often filling in critical gaps.  On the other hand, The Cyber Effect does go into some of the creepier aspects of on-line searching (like child porn), areas which I probably would have preferred to remain ignorant about.

The whole book appears to be on-line HERE, so I can quote from it without transcribing.  Here's a key passage from Chapter 1:
The illusion is that the cyber environment is safer than real life—and connecting with other people online somehow carries fewer risks than face-to-face contact. But our instincts were trained and honed for the real world, and in the absence of real-world cues and other subtle pieces of information—facial expressions, body language, physical spaces—we aren’t able to make fully informed decisions. And because we aren’t face-to-face when we are communicating and interacting with others online, we can be anonymous or, more important, we feel we are. As discussed in the prologue to this book, we can feel freed up and emboldened online. People can lose their inhibitions and in a way “act drunk” because, for some, being in the cyber environment can impair judgment and increase impulsivity, somewhat similar to the way alcohol can. 
The Internet can be addictive because humans receive a jolt of dopamine when they find something they are seeking.
In other words, dopamine fires each time the rat (or human) explores its environment. [Jaak] Panksepp, who has spent decades mapping the emotional systems of the brain, calls seeking “the granddaddy of the systems.” Emily Yoffe in Slate explains: “It is the mammalian motivational engine that each day gets us out of the bed, or den, or hole to venture forth into the world.” Seeking is so stimulating, according to scientist Temple Grandin, that animals in captivity would prefer to hunt or seek out their food rather than have it delivered to them.
Hmm.  Some days it seems like I spend the entire day "seeking."  And I really get a jolt of pleasure when I find something new and truly interesting.

But, the book is also about many other kinds of seeking.  Hypochondriacs, for example, become cyberchondriacs when they search for support for their fears.   If they find an explanation for one symptom that is part of a serious disease, the hypochondriac will imagine that he has other symptoms, too.  And when he goes to a hospital or doctor, he will tell them about both the real symptoms and the imagined symptoms found on-line.  The doctor may not be able to distinguish between real and "found" symptoms. 
Another trait of the hypochondriac is a distrust of the medical profession—and a subconscious wish to undermine the authority of the doctor. The patient knows best. When a doctor can’t seem to find a problem—and therefore no cure—the hypochondriac will move on to a new doctor. The hiring and firing of many physicians in an unreasonably short period of time is another indication of the condition.
The book explains that the third most common cause of death, after heart disease and cancer, is a misdiagnosis by a doctor.

The book also describes the "Deep Web," explaining important things that were not explained in "Future Crimes." 
The Deep Web was first used by the U.S. government, and the protocols for the browser Tor were developed with federal funds so that any individuals whose identity needed to be protected—from counterintelligence agents to journalists to political dissenters in other countries—could communicate anonymously with the government in a safe and secure way. But since 2002, when the software for Tor became available as a free download, a digital black market has grown there, a criminal netherworld populated by terrorist networks, criminal gangs, drug dealers, assassins for hire
and
Simply put, the Deep Web refers to the unindexed part of the Internet. It accounts for 96 to 99 percent of content on the Internet, vastly larger than the Surface Web, where regular traffic is occurring. Most of this content is pretty dry stuff, a combination of spam and storage—U.S. government databases, medical libraries, university records, classified cellphone and email histories. And, just like the Surface Web, it is a place where content can be shared.

What makes it different? The content on the Deep Web can be shared without identity or location disclosure, without your computer’s IP address and other common traces. The sites are not indexed and therefore not searchable if you’re using a Surface Web browser like Chrome or Safari or Firefox. For software that protects your identity, an add-on browser like Tor is one of the most common ways in. The name Tor is an acronym for “the onion router” because of the layers of identity-obscuring rerouting.
That is all totally new to me.  It also clarifies a lot of other things I read but couldn't fully understand in "Future Crimes."  The author ends "The Cyber Effect" by calling for a "global initiative" to put some controls on the Internet in order to provide protections for small children and naive adults.  That might be a terrific idea, but somehow I cannot see it happening.

"The Cyber Effect" was a very interesting book and I highly recommend it, if you feel you can get past the creepy parts without throwing up. 

January 8, 2020
- One of my morning "chores" each day is to check on how many people downloaded my scientific papers during the past 24 hours.  On an average day, there will be maybe 5 "unique-IP downloads," which could be just one person downloading 5 of my papers for the first time. Yesterday, I counted 20 new "unique-IP downloads" from my collection on vixra.org.  That means that an unknown number of people (possibly as few as 5) had downloaded papers they had never downloaded before.  I have 11 different papers on vixra.org, and they'd downloaded copies of 9 of them.  The most popular paper was Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories, with 5 downloads.  Next was Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments, with 4 downloads.  What was the cause of the surge?  I have no idea.  It doesn't appear to be anything I did.

Another morning chore is to check on how many visitors there were to this web site on the previous day.  Here is some of what I found:

Web
                      site visits on Jan. 7, 2020.

Okay, so there were 189 visitors yesterday, 33 more than the previous high for this year.  What was the cause of the surge?  I have no idea.  Another of my morning chores is to go through the visitor's log to see who has visited for the first time.  I saw nothing unusual.  So, the surge wasn't from new visitors. 

One thing I did that was "unusual" yesterday was to post a comment to the sci.physics.relativity UseNet forum after writing a comment here about an article about "dark energy" that they were discussing in conjunction with the Big Bang Theory.  That might have caused the surge.  It caused a scientist named Tom Roberts to respond.  His response was to a post by someone on my "Do Not Reply" list, but it was mostly about me.  Roberts first quoted the other person:
(The actual theory is there is no center, everything moves away from everything else, like dots painted onto an inflating balloon. No one particular dot can be singled out as the center of the balloon's surface, but all dots will see all other dots moving away from it)    
To which Roberts added:
Yes. But that is an ANALOGY that misses a key aspect of the universe. On the balloon, Ed Lake can use a pen to place a mark on the balloon midway between two dots, and his discussion makes sense (the mark persists and remains midway between the dots).

But in the universe, which we model as a spacetime manifold, Ed Lake cannot "draw" any marks, and in any case he would have to mark a WORLDLINE, not just a single point. There is no a priori way to determine the inclination of that worldline, and one simply cannot say "the EARTH is moving away from that point midway between us and Galaxy-X", because there is no such POINT, there is at best only a
WORLDLINE, which could be inclined toward earth, toward Galaxy-X, or neither. So his discussion presumes he can do something (mark a "midpoint") that is not possible.

        Remember that a point in spacetime has zero duration and
        no permanence, like snapping your fingers. To have
        duration or permanence requires a worldline, not just a
        point.

Ed Lake keeps making stuff up out of his personal FANTASIES, and
pretending it is what "relativity says". And since he does not know what many of the words he uses actually mean, he gets VERY confused.
Hmm.  This morning I wrote a long response to that.  I won't quote it here, but it basically said that a point midway between Earth and Galaxy-X as shown in the illustration below

     Galaxy-X <--------------------------|-------------------------> Earth

becomes a line (or "worldline") when movement is shown over time.  But, as seen in the part of his comment that I highlighted in red, Roberts thinks it is "not possible" to identify a point between two objects if that point moves with time.  It is certainly simple to visualize.  You just draw a V which has at its bottom the point of the Big Bang and at the top left the current location of Galaxy-X and at the top right the current location of the Earth.  Then draw a line down the center of the V and you have the moving midway point. But, evidently that is "not possible" for mathematicians who require all distances to be measured between  objects.  There is no "object" at that point between Earth and Galaxy-X.  And, even if you know the distance between two objects, and even if you know what 1/2 of that distance is, they cannot conceive of any measurement from that half-way point.  But that point is from where we here on Earth should measure the redshift of Galaxy-X.  And, following Einstein's Second Postulate, we should measure a redshift using our speed away from that point, not Galaxy-X's movement away from the Earth.  That seems to explain why fantasies about "dark energy" are just that -- fantasies.

It will probably be tomorrow before Tom Roberts replies and tells me that I simply do not understand physics.

But, maybe he will say something that will cause me to get back to work on my uncompleted paper about Radar Guns, Einstein and the Big Bang.

January 7, 2020
- While I haven't started or joined in on any discussions on the sci.physics.relativity UseNet forum for awhile, I still check it every day to see what they are arguing about.  A couple discussions were recently started about a Jan. 6, 2020, article on phys.org titled "New evidence shows that the key assumption made in the discovery of dark energy is in error."  The article begins with this:
The most direct and strongest evidence for the accelerating universe with dark energy is provided by the distance measurements using type 1a supernovae (SN 1a) for the galaxies at high redshift. This result is based on the assumption that the corrected luminosity of SN 1a through the empirical standardization would not evolve with redshift.

New observations and analysis made by a team of astronomers at Yonsei University (Seoul, South Korea), together with their collaborators at Lyon University and KASI, show, however, that this key assumption is most likely in error.
The problem is: I do not understand what they are saying.  I recall reading about Type 1a Supernovae and how their brightness directly relates to their distance from Earth.  But what is "empirical standardization"?  And what does "evolve with redshift" mean?  Nothing in the article helps to clarify matters for me.  In a different link provided in the discussion there are more details, plus there is a link to a paper on arxiv.org by the same authors.   The paper is just as confusing as the article, but the other link is to some kind of discussion forum called "Hacker News."  In the link "flashman" says this:
We use the brightness of Type Ia supernovae to measure distance. Even though supernovae aren't identically bright, their brightness follows a curve which lets us calculate their peak brightness (they are standardizable).

This paper argues that the calculations cosmologists use to standardize supernovae brightness fail to take into account the age of the progenitor stars, as far as I can tell. If true, this means our distance measurements are inaccurate and these stars are actually closer than we thought, enough to restore to linear relationship between distance and redshift that one would expect in a universe expanding at a constant rate.

In other words, their redshift is lower not because the expansion rate of space was lower in the past, but because they're not as far away as we thought they were.
That doesn't really clarify things for me, but I have to wonder if this isn't directly related to my uncompleted paper on "Radar Guns, Einstein and the Big Bang" that I mentioned in my January 5 comment.   The discussion on that "Hacker News" site is very interesting, but it also seems like everyone has his own interpretation of everything.   Sometimes it seems like they agree with what I've been saying, but then they'll add something odd that makes no sense to me.

Sigh.  Maybe I should just lay down on a couch and listen to some audio book.

January 5, 2020
- I definitely need to stop just sitting around while staring at my computer for hour after hour.  Instead, I need to get to work on something.
  Performing experiments with a "Type-1" radar gun like the Stalker II SDR is at the top of my priority list, but I am definitely not going to spend $1,600 to buy one.  So, I'm pondering what other options I might have.  All the options seem to involve asking someone to help me get access to such a radar gun.  But that requires salesmanship skills, and I couldn't sell ice cream for a penny a pint in the middle of the Sahara.  

Completing the final draft of my sci-fi novel is next on my priority list.  Groan! That probably  involves months of hard work!  However, I just need to gather the will-power to get started.  Once started, I should be able to continue on until I finish and self-publish it.

The next seven items on my priority list are seven different scientific papers I've started but never finished.  Here are the abstracts from those papers:

1. Radar Guns, Einstein and the Big Bang:
 AbstractRadar guns seem to be a simple way to illustrate some of the biggest misunderstandings in science.   Radar guns demonstrate that the speed of the emitter (the radar gun) does not affect the speed or oscillation frequency of the photons being emitted, thereby verifying Einstein’s Second Postulate.  This means that distant galaxies are not red-shifted because they are moving away from the Earth, they are red-shifted because the Earth is moving away from those galaxies.  Similarly, if light from a galaxy is seen as blue-shifted, it means the Earth is moving toward the point in space where that galaxy was located when it emitted the light.
2: Radar Gun Relativity Experiments:
AbstractSimple experiments performed with radar guns demonstrate that most college textbooks (and countless scientific papers) are totally wrong in their descriptions of Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity and particularly his Second Postulate, and the errors have existed for over a hundred years. 
3. Radar Gun Patents and Relativity:
AbstractPolice radar guns routinely demonstrate Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity, and particularly its Second Postulate, but radar gun patents seem to avoid all mention of Einstein, Relativity, the Second Postulate and even waves and photons. Instead, a survey of radar gun patents shows how even inventors can misunderstand the basic concepts behind their own inventions.
4. Radar Guns and Frames of Reference:
AbstractBasic radar guns are capable of performing measurements that countless mathematician-physicists will argue are totally impossible.   Experiments with basic radar guns, moreover, show that Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity depends upon “frames of reference” that many mathematician-physicists argue cannot possibly exist.  This situation appears to result from the same source of arguments that have been going on for over a hundred years: misinterpretations of Einstein’s Second Postulate. 
5. Relativity Relative to the Speed of Light
AbstractEven though many experiments show them to be wrong, countless mathematicians appear to believe that, without an imaginary ether to measure movement by, light must always be measured to arrive at c, regardless of whether the observer is stationary or moving.  Other mathematicians who use experiments to demonstrate that light can arrive at c+v or c-v, believe such experiments demonstrate that the ether must actually exist.  Both sides evidently simply misunderstand Einstein’s Second Postulate in his Theory of Special Relativity.  According to Einstein, all motion can simply be measured relative to the speed of light, making the imaginary ether “superfluous.” 
6. Inertial and Non-Inertial Systems:
AbstractA vehicle traveling under power at a steady speed is not an inertial system.  Einstein’s Train-Embankment experiments involved only non-inertial systems, since an embankment is one type of non-inertial system and a train moving under power is a different kind of non-inertial system.  Basic radar guns can demonstrate that the same experiment will work differently in different types of non-inertial systems.
7. Fluctuating Time Dilation:
AbstractEinstein’s Theory of Special Relativity says that the faster an object moves, the slower time will pass for that object.  The Hafele-Keating experiment (and others) confirmed that theory when they showed that the spin of the earth on its axis affects the passage of time.  Time slows down more when a clock moved with that spin than when a clock moved against that spin.  Logically then, time should also move slower for a clock that is moving with the movement of the Earth in its orbit around the sun versus a clock that is moving against the movement of the Earth in its orbit around the sun.  That means that a clock runs slower at night than it does during the day. 
All those papers really need to use some experiments with a "Type-1" radar gun as support for the ideas described in the papers.  In one way or another, all the papers are about the conflicting interpretations of Einstein's Second Postulate, i.e., what Einstein wrote and argued versus how for more than a hundred years mathematicians have distorted what Einstein wrote in order to promote their own dogma.  Using a "Type-1" radar gun to demonstrate something that countless mathematicians believe is totally impossible would not only cause a lot of people to perk up and pay attention, it would also change my 99.9% certainty into a demonstrated fact.  Richard Feynman's famous quote keeps popping into my mind:

Feynman quote

Of course, there are a lot of people out there whose motto is: "It doesn't matter what the facts and evidence say, I'm going to believe what I want to believe."

What that also means is that there is no way I could convince any of them to buy a "Type-1" radar gun to prove me wrong.  They already know beyond any doubt I am wrong, so they cannot be bothered with proving it.

Maybe 2020 will be the year when they are asked to explain how what they firmly believe is "totally impossible" can be easily done by anyone with a "Type-1" radar gun.


Comments for Wednesday, January 1, 2020, thru Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020:

January 3, 2020 - While I am still buried under a pile of things I need to do, I do find time in the evenings to watch movies and TV.  Back in June of 2019, I stopped renting movies from RedBox. There was a time when I was renting 2 to 4 movies a week from RedBox.  And, of course, starting ten years earlier, in 2009, I also started keeping track of what movies I rented, and what I thought of them.  I put everything on a spreadsheet so that I could create a list of really good movies I might want to buy on DVD or Blu-Ray someday if I could find a copy on sale for a reasonable price.

But, in all of the first half of 2019 I only rented 2 movies I felt I'd want to buy, and one of those I'd only buy if I could find a copy costing less than $3.  Worse than that, about 90 percent of the movies I'd rented I regretted renting.  They were terrible.  That's why I stopped renting movies.

One of my New Year's resolutions was to rent a few movies, and to see if there was some way to avoid renting movies I'd turn out to regret renting.  I also wanted to figure out why there were so many new movies I didn't like.  So, I checked Rotten Tomatoes to see which current movies looked interesting, which ones were high-rated, and I watched the trailers for the ones that seemed worth renting, to see if the trailers contained anything that might be a warning.

On New Years Day I rented "Ad Astra" from RedBox for $1.75.  It was both high rated and the trailer looked very interesting.  Plus, it was science fiction.  I generally love science fiction movies.

Argh!  What a bummer!  "Ad Astra" is a story of an astronaut who sets out to find his father, who is also an astronaut and is in deep space somewhere around Neptune where mysterious energy waves are being emitted that are destroying the Earth.  According to Wikipedia:
The project was announced in early 2016, with [writer, producer, director James] Gray saying he wanted to feature "the most realistic depiction of space travel that's been put in a movie".
Okay.  The special effects were terrific.  It could be one of the most realistic depictions of certain aspects of space travel that I've ever seen in a movie.  But the characters are terrible, the science is bad, and the story is stupid!    

Is that all people care about these days?  Special effects?  Doesn't anyone care about good stories anymore?  That was the impression I was getting back in the middle of last year, when I gave up on renting movies.

But, one movie is not a survey.  So, yesterday I rented another high-rated DVD movie from RedBox.  I rented "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," another Brad Pitt movie, this one directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Argh!  Not only was it a bummer, but it was also 2 hours and 47 minutes long!  It's supposedly about a movie actor (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and his friend (played by Brad Pitt)
who is also the actor's stunt double.  That is what the trailer showed - interesting activities by those two characters.  But the movie is mostly just about that, about the daily lives of that actor and his stunt double in the 1950's and 1960's.  There doesn't seem to be any story.  But, if you remember your Hollywood history, you begin to suspect that there is something else going on.  One of the lesser characters in the movie is Sharon Tate, who was brutally murdered in 1969 by members of the Charles Manson Family when she was 8½ months pregnant.  When you recall what happened to Tate, you begin to dread where the movie is headed.  But then Tarantino gives the story a fictitious and somewhat spectacular happy ending.  Huh?  Is that what the movie is all about, a trick to make you think the story will end badly, then giving a fiction ending?   

Both movies were interesting examples of how movies differ today from all the movies I recall enjoying in the past.  They are mostly about visuals and special effects.  The story is just something slapped together to provide a reason for the special effects.  And the characters are dull and tedious to watch.

It must be the result of the changes in technology, and the fascination so many young people have with computer games.  When I go to the gym there are always a half dozen (or a dozen) machines or more that are being "used" by people as nothing more than a place to sit while they putter around with their cell phones.

Fortunately, I enjoy old movies.  So, I'm not dependent on new movies.  I have a large collection of old movies to watch, movies I know I like.  And, I cannot imagine are worse way to spend my time than playing computer games.  Fortunately, I have an endless list of better ways to spend my time.

January 1, 2020
- I'm wishing everyone a happy New Year!

Happy New Year

I'm pondering some New Year resolutions.  But the first one is to never tell anyone what I plan to do, since I seem never able to stick to my plans. 
 










© 2020 by Ed Lake
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