Archive for
March 2021

Comments for Sunday, March 28, 2021, thru Wed., March 31, 2021:

March 29, 2021 - This morning I received an email from that relative who is reading my sci-fi novel "Time Work." She wrote:
I was just watching a program on TV. The program was talking about Ron Mallett. Ron Mallett is working on time travel like in your book. What a strange coincidence.
What is a "coincidence" for her is clearly not a coincidence for me, since I'm involved in discussions about time and time travel nearly every day. Strangely, however, I never heard of Ron Mallett beforeAccording to Wikipedia, Professor Mallett is currently working on building a time machine.  Or he is working on getting funding to build a time machine.  The Wikipedia article also includes comments from other scientists who feel that Mallet's paper about his time travel idea contains some fundamental flaws.  In 2006, Mallet wrote a book titled "Time Traveler: A Scientist's Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality."  Spike Lee announced in 2008 that he was going to make a movie based on the film.  The movie still seems to be "in the works," and the book seems to be mostly an autobiography.  I'm not sure what to make of any of this.

Meanwhile, overnight there was a flood of about two dozen new messages in the thread I started on the sci.physics.relativity forum on March 16.  I'd mentioned my sci-fi novel on the forum, and one of the guys who attacks everything I write there complained that it was "spam."  I also mentioned the book in a comment on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Chronicles forum, and the mention was deleted from the rest of the comment for a similar reason: I haven't been a member long enough to use the forum to promote something.

I'd certainly like to get more people to buy "Time Work," but I'm also very interested in what people think of the anti-time time travel idea.

March 28, 2021
Groan!  If I previously couldn't find enough time to do all the things I want to do in a day, returning to my regular gym routine has made things even worse.  For the past year I was just going for a walk each day (when snow or freezing cold winds didn't prevent it), and I could go when there was time to go.  It could be anywhere from 12:30, just after lunch, to 4:30 p.m, just before supper.  Going to the gym means going right after lunch.  Period.  And it takes a bit over an hour, while my daily walks just took half that - and I could often get some grocery shopping done while doing the walks.  Now, grocery shopping has to be done after going to the gym.

Meanwhile, I've received another "book review" for "Time Work."  This one was from a relative who I don't think has read a novel in a long long time, and she's only just begun reading "Time Work."  She said that she was enjoying "the story line" but wondered why I say the TV on the wall in the gizmo truck is a "55-inch flat-screen TV," instead of just saying its an "extra large TV." 

I replied that it was just a personal preference, plus there is a mention of a 75-inch flat-screen TV later in the book.  If I called the first one an "extra large TV," I'd have to call the second one an "extra extra large TV."  And everyone would be wondering what the hell that is.

Actually, while doing my final revisions, I wondered about calling it a "flat screen TV," since all TVs these days are "flat screen" TVs.  So, why not just say it's "a 55 inch TV"?  I decided that calling it "a 55 inch TV" seems kind of odd and insufficiently descriptive.  Researching it yesterday, I find that the Internet ads call them "55-inch class TVs" or "55-inch LED TVs" or "55-inch HD LED TVs" or "55-inch FHD TVs."  It seems like no one ever uses the term "flat screen" anymore.  But what would novelists use?  Doesn't "55 inch flat screen TV" make it easier to visualize?  I don't know, but I don't think it's worth changing.  And calling it an "HD LED TV" just makes the reader think those details will be important later, otherwise why would I mention them?

Meanwhile, the arguments on the sci.physics.relativity forum continue to rage. Some are pretty interesting.  Someone named "
Mitchell Raemsch" kept asking odd questions about pulsars slowing down, and I kept telling him that pulsars are extremely constant and only slow down a few microseconds in a billion years.

Then someone named "Rotchm" wrote me:
Ed, do you realize that "Raemsch" is not a real person? Its a troll/bot.
Everyone here knows this, since its so obvious.
"Raemsch" is a robot?  No, I didn't realize that.  I don't argue on that forum that often.  I replied,
Nothing I've seen indicates that it is a robot. And if it IS a robot,
then arguing with it could be interesting. Can you educate a robot?
It might be interesting to find out.
The reply from "Rotchm" was,
But not here. There are sites for that and this NG is not such a site/place.
There are sites for arguing with robots?  I suppose there could be.  Researching it yesterday, I found there certainly seem to be such sites, although it seems you might have to pay a fee to do it.  In addition, of course, that would just be another way of wasting time that I don't have.  Instead, I'm waiting for "Raemsch" to post something else, but he/she/it hasn't done so yet.  I keep thinking I want to ask it: "Raemsch, what is a clock?"  If it responds like an Alexa robot, that would be interesting.  If it doesn't, that could be interesting, too.

This morning there are 328 messages in that thread I started on March 16, twelve more than when I turned off my computer yesterday evening.  And I hadn't had the time to respond to most of the messages addressed to me at that time.  The messages are mostly repetitive.  I'm going to have to figure a way to respond that won't get me into an endless argument.  I've learned a lot about how the people on that forum view things.  So, I need to write a response that addresses all of them and shows how they distort arguments in order to justify their beliefs.  But, most of all I need to think about writing new versions of some of my papers, or a totally new paper, that really examines the idea of using a pulsar as a clock when doing a time dilation experiment.  Such an experiment really addresses some key issues in Relativity and Time Dilation in a new way, eliminating about 90% of the causes of most disputes.

Yet, I only mentioned pulsars in the first three versions of "Time Dilation Re-Visualized," which I initially uploaded on May 31, 2015.  It appears is was my FIRST science paper.  It was a version of my web page "Time Dilation - as I Understand It," that I created over a year earlier.  Then, for some long forgotten reason, in October 2016 I revised the paper, eliminating the pulsar illustration and re-titling the paper "Time Dilation Without Relativity."  A month later, I rewrote and renamed the paper "Understanding Time Dilation."  And in May 2017, I rewrote it again, changed the title again, and eliminated all mention of pulsars.

I'm going to have to fix that.  The idea of using a pulsar to measure Time Dilation may be the best idea I've ever had in the area of Time Dilation and Relativity. 

Comments for Sunday, March 21, 2021, thru Sat., March 27, 2021:

March 27, 2021 - Last night, instead of watching TV, I decided to finish listening to an audio book I'd obtained from my local library months ago.  I'd been listening to it off and on ever since.  It's a 16-part, 16 hour, 18 minute audio book titled "The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests" by Chris Smith. 

The Daily Show

The book is not only an interesting history of The Daily Show from around 1999 to 2015, when Jon Stewart was the host, it's also an interesting history of those times.  I think I was a regular viewer for Stewart's entire run.  I certainly remember the show he did after 9/11.  They'd been off the air for a few days, and I think everyone was waiting for them to return to the airwaves so that we could see and hear what Stewart had to say about the events of 9/11.  In those days, Stewart was considered by many to be the best source of news on TV, better than all the evening news shows put together.  Plus, of course, the show introduced as "news correspondents" and "commentators" such people as Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Steve Carell, Lewis Black, Jessica Williams, John Hodgman, and Larry Wilmore.

Eventually, Stewart left the show and Trevor Noah took over.  I still watch every episode.  According to the book and to the IMDB, Craig Kilborn was the host from 1996 to 1998.  I don't recall watching him at all. 

The book was not only interesting and occasionally funny, its also a good history book, showing how Right Wing nut jobs started openly running for office, eventually creating the situation we have today, where a total idiot like Donald Trump can be elected President, be admired by millions, and those same millions actually believe preposterous conspiracy theories and preach them on TV.  Facts and evidence mean absolutely nothing to them, and they say so openly.

It was an interesting and enjoyable book, which I can recommend to anyone who also enjoyed and enjoys The Daily Show.  Most others, I think, will have a hard time hearing the views of dozens of different people whose names mean nothing at all to the listener.

March 25, 2021
Groan!  As I write this comment, there are 237 messages in the sci.physics.relativity discussion thread I started just over a week ago, 29 more than yesterday at this time.  And it looks like about 9 of them might be worthy of a response.  I just need to gather the will-power to write the responses.

Yesterday, I posted a message informing everyone of an article that had appeared on Forbes magazine's web site.  The article was titled "Does Time Really Run Faster At Your Head Than Your Feet?"  The response from "Ken Seto" was that the article is wrong, and Seto's beliefs are correct.  The same answer holds when I tell Ken Seto he is wrong, and I explain how and where he is wrong.  His response is that he is correct and I am wrong.  Is it worth my time to write another response?  I dunno.  Right now I'm reading a psychology book on my Kindle, and I'm listening to another psychology book while driving.  Those books say that instead of arguing that Seto is wrong and I am right, I should ask Seto a question that pinpoints the error in his logic.  I just need to figure out how to phrase the question.

All the questions require a lot of thinking to produce an answer.  It is not because they are complex questions, it is only because if I do not phrase every word correctly, they will begin opinion vs opinion arguments over word definitions.

The discussions, however, have been very productive.  As I've state in previous comments here, it has become clear that most of the people on that forum do not understand science, they only understand mathematics.  And if you do not respond with an answer that includes mathematical equations, their response is that I need to start taking college courses so that I can discuss the mathematics intelligently.  Actually, the problem is that I need to get them to see where using math gets them into situations where Relativity becomes incomprehensible if they do not understand the science behind the situation.

It is as simple as this: 

In "Reference Frame #1," which is stationary, light is measured to travel at 300,000 kilometers per second. 

In "Reference Frame #2," which is moving at 1,000 kilometers per second away from Reference Frame #1," light is also measured to travel at 300,000 kilometers per second.

To a typical mathematician, light is traveling at the same speed in those two reference frames.  Period.

However, Relativity says that light is traveling at different speeds in those two "Reference Frames" because, due to time dilation, a clock SECOND is longer in "Reference Frame #2."

To see the difference you have to look from one "Reference Frame" into the other "Reference Frame."  OR, both reference frames can use a pulsar as a clock, a clock that is inside neither "Reference Frame," and then compare results. 

It seems many mathematicians cannot do that.  They simply cannot comprehend a reference frame that does not include everything they need to make correct computations.

They won't believe anything I tell them, so, I'm trying to ask questions that will enable them to see the problem and the solution for themselves.  I think that kind of questioning is called "psychoanalysis." 

Meanwhile, I went to a gym yesterday, for the first time in just over a year.  It's a different gym with different equipment, so I have to find the right machines and figure out how to work them.  That's simple enough, except when there is a TV set fixed to the machine.  Then I had to figure out what TV channel I want to watch while walking on a treadmill or riding an Exercycle.  I made the mistake of trying to figure out the TV while exercising.  It is a lot easier to just walk at 3.2 miles per hour than to walk at that speed while fiddling around with a TV.

Live and learn. 

March 24, 2021
As I write this comment, there are 208 messages in that sci.physics.relativity discussion thread I started on March 16.  I've only been responding to "Rob Acraman's" posts.  He asked a question, I answered it yesterday, and this morning he asked a new question.  While I was writing an answer, at least a dozen message appeared in thread, nearly all just arguments between others.  I also posted a message informing everyone of an article that appeared today on Forbes magazine's web site.  The article is titled "Does Time Really Run Faster At Your Head Than Your Feet?"  Here are the first two paragraphs from that article:
There’s no such thing as absolute time. No matter where you are, how fast you’re moving, or how strong the gravitational field is around you, any clock you have on you will always record time as passing at the same rate: one second per second. For any solitary observer, time simply flows.

But if you have two different clocks, you can compare how time flows under different conditions. If one clock remains stationary while the other travels quickly, the fast-moving clock will experience a smaller amount of time passing than the stationary clock: that’s the rule of time dilation in special relativity.
The article supports what I've been arguing, so it will be interesting to see how the forum members react to it.  The question "Rob Acraman" asked me is also addressed in the second paragraph.  His question was about what is "really" happening.  What is "really" happening is that time is ticking at different rates for different people.  Which is the real rate of time?  They are both real for their locations.  Does that mean the other location has the "wrong" time rate?  No, it means the other location has a different time rate.

The more I read the arguments on that forum, the more certain I am that there are some people who can only understand science in mathematical terms.  And, of course, they want me to talk in mathematical terms.  But I understand science in logical terms and concepts.  So, my pulsar experiment makes perfect sense to me.  But those who only understand mathematics cannot deal with it.  Firstly, as stated in my March 22 comment, they cannot understand an experiment where a "right angle" can vary from 90 degrees, even if it varies only by a billionth of a degree.  Nor can they understand using a pulsar as a clock if the pulsar gradually slows down, even if it only slows down by a billionth of second in a billion years.

And they also cannot understand a universe that is expanding into nothing.  They can only understand a universe made of stars, where the furthest star is the end of the universe.  What is beyond the furthest star?  That is an invalid question!  The universe ends at the furthest star, so there can be nothing beyond it.

This is also evidently why Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are irreconcilable and have generated arguments for over 100 years.  One is based on science, observations, concepts and experiments, and the other is just mathematics.

I could probably write a lot more about this, but it would be best put into the form of a science paper or book.  Plus, I joined a gym yesterday, and it's time for me to eat lunch and head to the gym.  While I've been doing a lot of exercising and walking during the past year, it will be my first official "gym workout" since the gym I'd been using for about a decade closed last March. 

March 22, 2021
There were 10 new messages in that sci.physics.relativity discussion thread this morning.  Message #163, the last one I posted yesterday, was my message stating that I wasn't going to respond to any further posts, since they were all just a waste of my time.  Unfortunately, I didn't say I would respond if someone posted a message that would NOT be a waste of my time to answer.  Among the 10 new messages this morning was one from "Rob Acraman," a name totally new to me.  And he asked an intelligent question!!!!! 

One of the other new messages said: "You need the attention. It makes you feel relevant. You'll always be back."  Another said I'd be back because I "need the recognition."  That made it more difficult for me to respond to Acraman's post, but I did so anyway.

My feeling when I stopped posting yesterday was that no one on the forum could ask a question that didn't involve mathematical equations, because they only understood relativity in mathematical terms.  I was talking about a space ship moving away from earth at a right angle to a pulsar, and it was like no one could comprehend that, since technically the angle to the pulsar would change as the space ship moved farther and farther away from earth.

If the space ship is moving upward at 95% of the speed of light along the vertical line on the left in the illustration above, and if the O on the right is the pulsar, the angle does change as the space ship moves.  But it has no meaningful effect on the experiment.  As long as the space ship continues at 95% of the speed of light, the space ship will still encounter 10 pulses every second from the pulsar.  It might change from 10 pulses per second to 9.99999999999999999999998 pulses per second, but it's not going to change to 7 or 5 or 2 pulses per second.

But, if you are a mathematician, and all you understand is mathematics, then the thought experiment makes no sense, because the angle between the ship and the pulsar is not a constant 90 degrees.  It can change to 90.0000000000000000001 degrees at some point.

I hadn't viewed things quite that way before.  It explains a lot.

Meanwhile, the questions Rob Acraman asked did not use mathematics, and he asked nothing requiring a mathematical equation to answer.  His questions had to do with how Einstein's First and Second Postulates seem to be in conflict or be "irreconcilable," even though Einstein stated that they are only "apparently irreconcilable."  To answer Acraman's question I had to explain how the two postulates might initially appear to be irreconcilable, but once you understand how time dilation works, they reconcile perfectly.  And I explained everything as thoroughly as I could.

Now, I'm waiting to see how many people on the forum attack me for responding when I said I wasn't going to respond any further.

Also, I notice that I am getting a lot more reads of my science papers as a result of posting to that forum.  I don't think there's been a day in the past two months where someone with a "Unique IP" hasn't read at least one paper of mine.  An average day gets about 5 new readers. Plus, one guy on the sci.physics.relativity forum started a new thread that used one of my arguments as if it was something he'd dreamed up.  Plus, I seem to get at least one person a day asking to join my "Time and Time Dilation" Facebook group, even though discussions in that group are few and far between.  I makes me feel that someone is agreeing with what I say about Relativity, and apparently more than just one someone.

March 21, 2021
Wow!  Have I been busy!!  I think the past week was the first time since I created this web site that I only had time to write my regular Sunday comment and just one other comment during the week.  The reason I was so busy was because I was in heated debates on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum.

On Tuesday, March 16, I started a new discussion thread titled "Using a pulsar as a clock to measure Time Dilation."  As of yesterday morning, it had 133 messages in the thread.  And since most messages were addressed to me, that means 45 of the messages (about 34%) are my replies. A lot of my time was also spent making a copy of the entire discussion.

In my March 16 comment on this web site, I wrote about starting that thread, but I failed to show the illustration I used in my paper and on my web page that was the basis for the discussion.  Here's that illustration:

                    dilation experiment

The "thought experiment" described in the paper uses a pulsar instead of man-made clocks to measure time dilation as a space ship from Earth travels at 95% of the speed of light toward Alpha Centauri and back.  Because of time dilation, the trip takes only one year for the people on the space ship, but it takes ten years for the people waiting back on Earth.  And people on the space ship can see that time is slowing down for them, because they will count the pulses from the pulsar as increasing to ten times the number they counted per second when they were on earth.

As is usual in arguments on the sci.physics.relativity forum, very few comments actually addressed the "thought experiment" I wanted to discuss.  Most were quibbles over words, statements of personal beliefs and personal attacks against me.  The first response that wasn't a personal attack stated:
A pulsar's rotation will slow its time and give it more energy.
By moving in space there will be the same... more time slow and energy.
Neutron stars are end state matter not a BH.
I couldn't make any sense of that at all, and I just ignored it.  Later, "Odd Bodkin" argued that, because I'm not a mathematician and do not use complex math equations in my paper, my paper is worthless and just shows my ignorance.  Then "Cliff Hallston" argued that my paper was too ambiguous, since I don't explain what I mean by saying "No one is ever behind or ahead of the other in time."  (They merely experience time pass at different rates.)  And I don't explain what "feelings" I'm talking about when I say the two parties didn't feel any effects of time dilation during the experiment.  Then "Paul B. Anderson" simply re-stated what I said in my paper, only he used mathematical equations.  Then "Ken Seto" began arguing that the experiment demonstrated that "absolute time" represented one second on the space ship when it also represented ten seconds on earth, generating a long and still unresolved debate over what constituted "absolute time." Then "Silvia Else" argued that a space ship moving away from the earth couldn't always be at a right angle from a pulsar, since the angle must change.  I informed her that the change in angle is too small to be of concern when the pulsar is 15,000 light years away from the earth and the space ship and the ship is only traveling 4.3 light years away from earth.  But they cannot mathematically accept that.  And lastly, "Mitchr" argued that pulsars are too unreliable to use as a clock, even though it is known that pulsars are EXTREMELY reliable in their rotation rates.

Near the end of the debate yesterday, I complained:
Why is everyone trying to find fault with the experiment instead of discussing what the experiment demonstrates? It demonstrates that time dilation can be discussed without any need for Traveler and Homebody being able to see each other's clocks during the experiment while they are BILLIONS of miles apart.  It demonstrates that time dilation can be discussed without any concern for the speed of light affecting how clocks are viewed when going toward the light source and away from the light source. It demonstrates that time dilation is NOT reciprocal. It demonstrates that you can have a time dilation experiment without endless arguments over what is viewed in each "frame of reference."
Then "Burt Schwartzkopf" posted his first message to the thread.  It said simply:
Your point is?
To which I replied:
My point is that by using a pulsar to measure time, you can eliminate 99% of the arguments over how time dilation works when one twin travels to a nearby star and the other twin stays at home on earth.

And it makes clear that TIME is something that can be affected by motion and gravity, so time is not just a concept or idea. It is something PHYSICAL.
That was message #149, and my last message for the day.

When I turned on my computer this morning, I saw there were 162 messages in the thread.  Scanning through the 13 new messages, I don't see a single one that seems worthy of a response, since I would just be repeating what I've already repeated over and over and over.

But I'll definitely add those 13 new messages to my saved copy of the entire thread.  As I see it, the discussion was worthwhile because it demonstrated once again that no one has an intelligent argument against the thought experiment or against my understanding of time dilation.  Their arguments are all the same: If I change my mind and believe what they believe, then I will see that I was wrong.

But if I am wrong, WHERE am I wrong?  Their answer to that seems to be that I am wrong because I didn't explain things by using mathematical equations.  And the only thing they understand is mathematical equations.

It seems clear that I need to stop arguing and just put my ideas into a book.  Maybe no one will read the book, but just organizing the book and writing everything down will help clear my mind.  And there are a lot of personal matters that I need to start focusing on, anyway.  I'm going to move sometime in the next year or so, and I've got 30 years worth of accumulated stuff to sort through.    

Comments for Sunday, March 14, 2021, thru Sat., March 20, 2021:

March 16, 2021 -  I just started a new thread on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum.  The topic is "Using a Pulsar as a Clock to Measure Time Dilation."  It's an idea that occurred to me some time in 2013.  I created a web page about it on March 23, 2014, and I created a science paper about it on May 31, 2015.  But, as far as can recall, I never discussed it with anyone.

A few days ago, I mentioned it on my Time and Time Dilation Facebook group, and that same day I got 30 unique IP reads of the May 2015 paper, probably a daily record.  But no discussion.  Just 3 "likes."

And the first response on the sci.physics.relativity forum was what appears to be a personal attack.  I asked if anyone saw any fault in the thought experiment, and "Dirk Van de moortel" (who is on my "Do Not Reply" list) responded:
I do see a fault in the assumptions you make about your relevance.
Needless to say, I'm not going to respond to that. 

Using pulsars to measure time dilation seems like an obvious idea that should have occurred to a lot of people.  When I research pulsars and time dilation, however, the only papers I find are about pulsars and gravitational time dilation. The experiments I describe are about velocity time dilation.  And the papers I find seem to be about "gravitational radiation" or "gravitation waves."   

Of course, measuring velocity time dilation using a pulsar may be very difficult if you do not have a rocket ship that can travel at 95% of the speed of light, which is what I use in my paper.  But, it should be interesting to see what arguments there are against it, or if anyone can create an argument against it.

As I see it, if the experiment can be performed in any way, it should put an end to debates that have raged for over 110 years.  It would eliminate any argument that time dilation is just an illusion.

March 14, 2021
-  I had hoped that mentioning my sci-fi novel "Time Work" on the Science Fiction Facebook forum would draw some attention, but my announcement seems to have gone into some area where no one visits.  I didn't even get a comment or question.  In response to my post on, I got a couple congratulations, but there's no evidence that it prompted anyone to actually buy the book.  And what is really strange is that my attempts to promote "Time Work" somehow prompted a couple people to buy copies of "Clipper." 

I'm going to have to try to think of some better ways to promote the book. 

Instead, however, it seems all I can think about is an idea that occurred to me on Friday afternoon.  The idea may have been prompted by thoughts about "anti-time" as depicted in "Time Work" combined with some recent arguments on my Time and Time Dilation Facebook forum about Time Dilation, but suddenly all I could think about was "Time Contraction."  Time Dilation is the slowing of time as you gain speed.  Time Contraction is the speeding up of time when you slow down again. 

Researching the subject, I found a few people have asked the question I've been asking myself, and the answers mostly seem to be from mathematicians who do not believe in Time Dilation, so they certainly and emphatically do not believe in Time Contraction.  Or the author just writes gobbledygook.  Example:
Nature succeeds in accelerating extended and massive objects to relativistic velocities. Jets in active galactic nuclei and in galactic superluminal sources and gamma-ray burst fireballs have bulk Lorentz factors from a few to several hundreds. A variety of effects then arises, such as the beaming of the radiation produced, light aberration, time contraction and the Doppler frequency shift. I will emphasize that special relativity applied to real (i.e., extended) observed objects inevitably must take into account the fact that any piece of information is carried by photons. Being created in different parts of the source, they travel different paths to reach the observer, depending on the viewing angle. The object is seen rotated, not contracted, and at small viewing angles time intervals are observed shorter than intrinsic ones.
"Time contraction" is an interesting idea for me because the Earth is spinning on its axis at a rate of 1,040 miles per hour, it's orbiting the sun at 67,000 miles per hour, it's moving with the sun around the center of the Milky Way galaxy at 486,000 miles per hour, and it's moving along with the Milky Way Galaxy in the direction of the constellation Hydra at 1,342,161 miles per hour. 

1,342,161 miles per hour certainly seems very fast, but in reality it is just 373 miles per second.  When Time Dilation is calculated, that means that 1 second at zero speed is 1.0000020027761 seconds at 1,342,161 miles per hour.  That's still a very small difference in the length of a second that can really only be measured with atomic clocks.

What I'm wondering about is: Could Time Contraction be used to point to the location of the Big Bang?  In an off-hand way it seems somewhat logical, given that we are still in an "expanding universe."  But when you look at all the complications, it is totally mind-boggling.  I've been thinking of writing a paper about it, but I'm not even sure where to begin.  The only place to begin is to start writing.  The audio book I'm currently listening to when driving my car is telling me that I have to start feeding information to my sub-conscious mind.  It will try to sort things out.  And the best way to feed things to my sub-conscious mind is to write them down.  But there are complications.  Here's a quote from the book:
          Brains are like representative democracies. They are built of multiple, overlapping experts who weigh in and compete over different choices. As Walt Whitman correctly surmised, we are large and we harbor multitudes within us.
          And those multitudes are locked in chronic battle.
          There is an ongoing conversation among the different factions in your brain, each competing to control the single output channel of your behavior. As a result, you can accomplish the strange feats of arguing with yourself, cursing at yourself, and cajoling yourself to do something—feats that modern computers simply do not do. When the hostess at a party offers chocolate cake, you find yourself on the horns of a dilemma: some parts of your brain have evolved to crave the rich energy source of sugar, and other parts care about the negative consequences, such as the health of your heart or the bulge of your love handles. Part of you wants the cake and part of you tries to muster the fortitude to forgo it. The final vote of the parliament determines which party controls your action—that is, whether you put your hand out or up. In the end, you either eat the chocolate cake or you do not, but you cannot do both.
          Because of these internal multitudes, biological creatures can be conflicted.
Amen.  I feel that conflict right now.  Should I start writing a paper about Time Contraction, or should I just lie down on my couch and read a book?  Or should I just sit here, staring at my computer, unable to decide?

Comments for Sunday, March 7, 2021, thru Sat., March 13, 2021:

March 11, 2021 -  Ah!  The copies of my new sci-fi novel, "Time Work," that I ordered back around February 22 arrived yesterday afternoon. 

Time Work

To my pleasant surprise, they included the changes I made
on February 27 as a result of the book being proof-read by "tinkerdan," even though, as of this morning, those changes have not yet appeared in the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon's page for my book.

This morning I took the picture you see above and then put it in on in their public comments section.  I don't know if anyone will pay it any attention, but since it is a self-published book, I need to get all the free advertising I can get.  I also mentioned it on my Time and Time Dilation Facebook group.  It quickly got one "like."  I tried mentioning it on the Science Fiction Facebook group, but first it had to go through their moderators.  To my pleasant surprise, it was approved almost immediately.   

March 10, 2021
While eating breakfast this morning, I finished reading another library book on my Kindle.  It was "The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy" by Kliph Nesteroff. 

The Comedians

It's a very interesting book about "stand-up comedians," i.e. comedians who make a living (or try to make a living) by making an audience laugh.  It begins with vaudeville comedians like the Marx Brothers and Bob Hope and ends with TV comedians like Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel.  Along the way there was radio, night clubs, comedy clubs and podcasts.  And there was "The Mob."  Here's a quote from the book:
The Mob essentially created the term “stand-up comic”—according to eighty-six-year-old comedian Dick Curtis. “The Outfit used to manage fighters. A stand-up fighter is a guy that is a puncher. A stand-up guy was a guy who was tough and you could depend on. The Outfit managed fighters and they managed clubs that booked comics, so the term found its way into the lexicon of nightclubs. A guy who just stood there and punched jokes—joke, joke, joke—he was a stand-up comic.”
and another:
For a good forty years the Mob controlled American show business. “It was always ‘Outfit’ to us,” says comedian Dick Curtis. “Never the Mob or Cosa Nostra or any of the other names you might have heard. These guys were the Outfit.” From the 1930s through the end of the 1960s every city in America had at least one glamorous supper club, if not four or five, featuring the top headliners in every showbiz genre. Furthermore, it didn’t matter if these clubs were in Cleveland, Portland, Corpus Christi or Baton Rouge—if it was a nightclub, the owners were the Mob. “The clubs were owned by bootleggers and even a few killers,” said actor George Raft, who had worked as a dancer in New York supper clubs. “In my time I knew or met them all. Al Capone, Joe Adonis, Frank Costello, Vito Genovese, Dutch Schultz, Machine Gun Jack McGurn, Lucky Luciano, Vinnie Coll—most of them were around.”
In places it was a very funny book, but mostly it was about how difficult it is to make a living by making people laugh.  I can understand that, since I think every time I've tried to tell a joke to an audience of more than one person, the joke fell flat.  It's interesting to write jokes, however.  And I have occasionally created cartoons.  Here's one, but I'm not sure how funny others will think it is:
discussing Einstein

March 9, 2021
- Groan!!!  There just aren't enough hours in a day!!! 
I have a Facebook forum called "Time and Time Dilation" which normally has about 2 brief conversations per year. But people keep asking to join.  It now has 76 members.  Two joined this morning.

I created the forum years ago to discuss Time and Time Dilation.  I wanted a forum where I could kick people off of it if they started arguing mathematics against science and logic, which is what I constantly encounter on other science forums.  I've only had a few occasions to kick people off my forum.  One was because they tried to use the forum to sell knickknacks, another wanted to sell a psychology book.  And one wanted to peddle mathematicians' beliefs.

A couple days ago, I had another mathematician who wanted to sell his beliefs via my group.  As is usual, he called my arguments "nonsense" and would just preach his beliefs.  I tried to get him to discuss specific issues, but, like most other mathematicians, he was evidently incapable of discussing anything.  All he could do what declare his beliefs and argue that whatever I wrote was "just plain wrong" without explaining how it was wrong.  I argued with him for a couple days, telling him that if he couldn't answer questions and stop making declarations, I would boot him off the forum.  He didn't stop, so yesterday I booted him off.  But I left the arguments intact to show why he was booted off.

I wondered how the others on the forum would react.  They posted no comments, and, as stated above, this morning two new people asked to join.  They do, however, post "likes" sometimes when I make comments.  I think they are all others who dislike arguing with mathematicians, but I don't know for sure.  Maybe I should ask.

Hmm.  One of the people who joined this morning must have read my mind.  He just posted a message explaining why he joined the forum.  It was because he had just watched the movie "Interstellar."  Maybe his post will prompt others to explain why they joined.

I also keep wanting to mention my sci-fi novel on the forum.  I don't think it would be entirely off-base, since the book is about manipulating time.  But first I need to get the book into better shape.  And, that is where I've been spending most of my time.  I made the corrections to typos in the book, and I wanted to make one more change, but I wanted to "fix" the manuscript first, by combining the "front matter" pages (which have no page numbers) with the main text (which has page numbers) into one single WORD file.  I've never been able to do that.  I could only create separate PDF files for the two parts, and then merge the PDF files.  The guy who found all the typos in the book told me how to do it in WORD. But, his explanation didn't seem to work.  I had to experiment to find out for myself how to divide the book into two "sections."  Once you know how, it's simple, but figuring out how is tedious and complicated. 

On top of those issues, I have a truly major issue.  Sometime fairly soon, maybe this coming summer or fall, I plan to move from Wisconsin to Virginia. And that will require going through decades of accumulated junk to see what I should take along and what I should  sell or give to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.  Right now, I find it hard to even think about it.

March 7, 2021
- Hmm.  Last Monday I wrote about joining a couple Internet forums where I thought I might be able to promote my new sci-fi novel "Time Work."   One was the Facebook forum "Science Fiction," and the other was a blog called "Science Fiction and Fantasy Chronicles," also known as "SFFC."  I mentioned how "tinkerdan" had read the first three chapters of my book via Amazon's "Look Inside" feature, and on SFFC he pointed out two typos that I had failed to notice. 

It appears that "tinkerdan" then bought a Kindle copy of "Time Work" and went through the entire book twice, making notes of my typos.  Then he displayed all 30 of the typos in a comment on the SFFC blog, along with several other errors he found.  In effect, he proof-read my book.  With a couple exceptions about punctuation, everything he pointed out was worth correcting.

For example, on page 9, I wrote:
I could a vaguely make out what looked like a bank of some kind of large batteries.
And "tinkerdan" pointed out that it should be "I could vaguely make out ..." without the "a" between could and vaguely.

It's a true typo that I somehow failed to see in the many times I read the book, although it's totally possible I created the typo while fixing something else on the final version.

There were about 29 more such typos.  And then he mentioned some errors.  For example, he wrote:
FYI: I'm not sure how you are using the word davit in relation to the trucks.
I did a search through the manuscript for the word "davit."  I only used it once.  I used it in this sentence:
McGinnis then tied the chopper owner to a tie-down davit on the wall near the front of the helicopter.
I checked the definition for "davit" and found I'd used a totally wrong word. A davit is defined as "a small crane on board a ship, especially one of a pair for suspending or lowering a lifeboat."  I meant "cleat," which is defined as "a T-shaped piece of metal or wood, especially on a boat or ship, to which ropes are attached." So, I fixed that.

"Tinkerdan" also thought that my use of the word "mufti" might offend some people.  Huh?   I had written:
A few military people in camouflage fatigues were enjoying a meal there.  But, mostly it was just smiling and hungry people in mufti.
Looking up the word, I found it has two definitions.  The first is "a Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters."  The second meaning of mufti is "'ordinary clothes,' when they're worn by people who usually wear a uniform. So a soldier wearing civilian clothes might be said to be in mufti."

I changed it to "civilian clothing."

I also wrote, ""I woofed down a cup of yogurt and then headed to the health club for a workout."  Tinkerdan pointed out that the word should be "wolfed."  He was right, so I corrected it.

When I made all the changes to the manuscript, I decided I'd see if I could make the changes to the Kindle and paperback versions on  No problem. I made the changes in less than a half hour.  I also thought about thanking "Tinkerdan" in the acknowledgments section, but it didn't seem right to use a screen name, so I didn't do it. 

Then, when I was finished updating the Kindle and paperback versions, I returned to the SFFC forum and found that "Tinkerdan" had posted a message saying that, if I wanted to thank him, I could use his real name, which he provided.  I tried to make that change, but Amazon hadn't yet completed work on my previous changes and wouldn't let me make any more.  So, I'll try applying that change later today or tomorrow.

Someone else had offered to proof-read my manuscript a couple weeks ago, but I turned him down because I was afraid of getting opinions about the story before publishing it, which could delay publishing indefinitely.  Plus there didn't seem any easy way to provide him with a copy of the book in manuscript format.  "Tinkerdan" simply bought a Kindle copy and proof-read it.

"Tinkerdan" also provided my first review of "Time Work."  He wrote on the SFFC forum:  "
It's a good story.  The science is a bit wonky; but that always happens with time travel stories."

Comments for Monday, March 1, 2021, thru Saturday, March 6, 2021:

March 3, 2021 - Hmm.  A few days ago, I mentioned that I had joined a couple Internet forums where I thought I might be able to promote my new sci-fi novel "Time Work."   One was the Facebook forum "Science Fiction," and the other was some kind of blog called "Science Fiction and Fantasy Chronicles."  When I joined the second one, I was advised that I could not promote any book or story on that forum until after I had posted 100 messages on other subjects. 

Then I promptly forgot which forum had the restriction.   And in the SFFC forum they had a lot of discussions about time travel and about searching for new books that might be interesting.  So, I mentioned that my book was about time travel, and I mentioned that I'd written a new book they might find interesting.   This morning, one of the administrators deleted my mentions of my book and wrote me a message explaining what he'd done and why. 

Before I read his message, I had mentioned my book once again in another post.  The post was in reply to a comment from "tinkerdan" who had read the first three chapters of my book via Amazon's "Look Inside" feature.  He pointed out two typos that I had failed to notice, and he then commented:

Also that Donald Trump line goes flying in the face of your disclaimer at the beginning about all persons and events being fiction.
There might even be room for liability in the statement made.
Did I mention Donald Trump in the first three chapters?  I checked, and yes I did. In Chapter 3, when the main character is in a discussion with his brother, who is President of the United States, and they are talking about a possible upcoming Right Wing attack on Washington, there is this sentence:
We all remembered the Right Wing attack on the Capitol Building back at the end of Donald Trump's term as President. 
I wrote the book in 2014.  It was about thwarting a Right Wing attack on Washington, which also seemed like a definite possibility back then.  Now, the guy on the forum was apparently suggesting that I wrote the book in the past month to take advantage of the January 6, 2021 Right Wing attack.  No, all I did was add 3 or 4 mentions of that "previous" attack.

I was hoping that the mentions of my book on those two forums might generate some sales, and when I checked Amazon's site this morning I found I did sell one copy of a book yesterday, only the book was "Clipper."  It's probably the first copy of that book I've sold in years.  I have to wonder what prompted the sale.  It can't be anything I posted to those two science-fiction forums, since I made no mention of "Clipper" in any of my posts there.

But it makes me wonder if there aren't some history forums out there that I should join to promote "Clipper."
   And "A Crime Unlike Any Other."

March 2, 2021 - At 1:55 this afternoon, I got my second Covid vaccine shot.  Just like what happened on February 9, I was in and out of the building in less than 20 minutes, 15 of those minutes being spent waiting to see if I suffered any ill effects from the shot.  Of course, I didn't want to take any chances about being late for my 2 p.m. appointment, so I arrived 15 minutes early, which meant I had to wait before entering the building.  I spent those 15 minutes walking around the parking lot to get some exercise.  The temperature was about 35 degrees.

So, now I should be able to focus better on some projects, and in a couple weeks I may join a gym and start exercising on a treadmill indoors instead of walking around shopping center parking lots. 

March 1, 2021
- I keep wanting to write something about what is happening in the news.  For example, there was a news story a couple days ago about a woman in Wisconsin who tried to get the Wisconsin Supreme Court to dismiss her citations for "
operating a motor vehicle without insurance, not registering the vehicle, operating a vehicle without carrying a license and providing false information to mislead an officer after being pulled over for expired plates."

She argued in court that "
she has a right to drive on public highways 'freely unencumbered' under the constitution and that state laws requiring insurance, licenses and vehicle registration infringe on her constitutional rights."

No doubt she also voted for Trump.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if there were no laws?  Or even if there were no driving laws?  You could get into a car and drive it without even taking a test, there would be no laws about how fast you could go, and no laws about what side of the street you must drive on.  If you want, you can drive on the sidewalk.

Does she also think there should be no laws against negligent homicide?  Probably.  We should all be able to kill whoever we want, as long as we can argue that it was the dead person's fault.

Logic and reason have no place in such a world.  It's a world where emotions are the basis for law.  So, the laws would be about what you can do, not about what you cannot do.  The law should say you can drive on the sidewalk if you want to.

It seems like it could be the basis for a science fiction novel, a novel about a world where science and reason are outlawed.

What's truly scary is that there are hundreds of thousands of people who would vote to have such a world. 


© 2021 by Ed Lake