Archive for ed-lake.com
March 2022

Comments for Sunday, March 27, 2022, thru Thurs., March 31, 2022:

March 30, 2022 - On Monday afternoon I just couldn't resist mentioning the article "REPEATED ERRORS IN PHYSICS TEXTBOOKS: WHAT DO THEY SAY ABOUT THE CULTURE OF TEACHING?" to the folks on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum, and then mentioning how the Pound-Rebka experiment is described differently in different textbooks.  As usual, it mostly resulted in a lot of personal attacks and arguments over words, instead of any real discussion of the differences between what one textbook says about Pound-Rebka and what another textbook says.

The only conclusion I can come to is that it doesn't make any difference mathematically if a photon is created with a higher frequency at a higher altitude, or if the photon is created with the same frequency everywhere and just gains energy (and a higher frequency) as it falls toward the earth. Mathematicians just compare the frequency of one photon to another and compute the difference.  The cause of the difference is of no concern.

I fully expected the kinds of arguments I would get, but I just couldn't resist starting that thread.

Then I started wondering about a different issue, and I started another thread titled "A science question about the trajectory of light."  It's about that question about light being emitted sideways inside a rocket ship.  Only I modified it to have the photon be emitted sideways outside of the rocket ship.  That way, after a moment or two, there is nothing left at the point of emission.  The rocket has moved on.  The photon is moving away from NOTHING.  That is a real problem for mathematicians, since they just endlessly ask "In what frame of reference is the photon moving?"   There is no answer to that question, since the photon is not moving in any frame of reference.  And it is stationary in its own frame of reference.

What I ended up with (so far) is a lot of mathematicians seemingly wandering around like puzzled robots and saying, in effect, "That does not compute."

It's VERY interesting for me, but VERY annoying for the mathematicians.
  


March 28, 2022
- This morning, when I checked my emails, I found an email from Academia.edu., the other website which makes my science papers available to the world.  The subject of the email was "REPEATED ERRORS IN PHYSICS TEXTBOOKS: WHAT DO THEY SAY ABOUT THE CULTURE OF TEACHING?" by Josip  Slisko."  And in the text of the email was a long LINK to where I could download a PDF version of an article with that title.  When I downloaded the PDF file, however, I found that it was a 188 page "Volume 2" of papers from the GIREP-EPEC & PHEC INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE held on August 17-21, 2009, at the University of Leicester, in the UK.  The title for Volume 2 was "Physics Community and Cooperation."  The articles in the book were submitted and discussed at the conference, which was attended by about 160 people.

"Repeated Errors in Physics Textbooks: What do they say about the culture of teaching?" 
by Josip Slisko begins on page 31 and it's 16 pages long.  Page 33 contains this tidbit:
Those who do know physics do physics research.
Those who don’t know physics do physics teaching.
Those who don’t know how to do teaching teach how to teach physics.
Hmm.  On page 34 there's this additional information:
Physics textbooks play important role in physics education because they bring not only what students should finally know (desired knowledge), but also ways of how to present, practice and evaluate such knowledge. Surprisingly, their content was not analyzed with the same interest and rigor as were students’ initial knowledge and reasoning. Some in the PER [Physics Education Research] community would not accept that research on how physics knowledge is presented in textbooks forms an integral part of physics education research.

As members of PER community use existing textbooks, in one or another way, it is important
to call their attention to the some of textbook errors which may affect the physics learning of
their students.

These errors are in clear contradictions with “culture of research”:
1. In research, language and visual tools are used as convincing arguments in promoting new ideas, but in physics textbooks they are rather a decorative complement of equations.

2. In research, explanations are crafted to be as precise and complete as possible, but in physics textbooks they are sometimes imprecise and incomplete.

3. In research, illustrative applicative examples of an equation are authentic and relevant, but in physics textbooks they are sometimes artificial and senseless.

4. In research, numerical values have their clear origin and meaning, but in physics textbooks they are sometimes invented and it is even impossible for them to occur in the real world.

5. When used in research, historical episodes are carefully studied through original articles but in physics textbooks they are mentioned superficially and even wrongly.
It seems that textbook authors, while writing and very likely in teaching, do not practice the culture of research.
Wow!  That is certainly very close to what I'd been thinking.  It explains why scientists (and physicists) generally get things right when they do research and explain their research.  Their job is to figure out what is right and what is wrong, and they use "the scientific method" to do their jobs.  Textbook authors, on the other hand, often get things totally wrong.  They don't have much reason to figure out what is right and what is wrong.  Their primary task is simply to write a textbook that will get published.

Another article in the book contains this tidbit on page 56:
Recently President Obama noted a serious concern about secondary science education in the United States. “Yet in high schools, more than 20 percent of students in math and more than 60 percent of students in chemistry and physics are taught by teachers without expertise in these fields.”
And, of course, if they have no expertise in those fields, they probably wouldn't be able to tell if their textbooks contain good or bad information.

Teaching physics definitely seems like "the blind leading the blind."  I'm just amazed that so very few seem to care.
 

March 27, 2022
-  Hmm.  Yesterday the price of regular gas at the gas station down the street from me dropped from $3.97 to $3.88.  The place was jammed as I drove past.  Evidently a lot of people were waiting for another price drop and it finally came.  About two weeks ago, the price was $4.09 and then it dropped to $3.97.  I've still got well over a half tank, so I can wait a bit longer to see if there is another price drop.

This morning someone sent me an article from September of last year about how "The 9/11 Truther movement was a harbinger of today’s paranoid politics."  I tend to think that social media is a big part of the problem.  There's no idea so stupid that you cannot find hundreds of people on social media who will agree with you.  Shortly after the anthrax attacks of 2001, I started a web site to analyze the FACTS about the case. In the 14 years I ran that web site, I don't think I ever changed a single mind.  And some of those who disagreed with me are still around arguing their beliefs.  When I shut down my web site a few months ago they probably considered it a victory and proof that they are right.

I still check social media every day, but mostly just to see if anything interesting is being discussed about science fiction movies and books, or astrophysics and physics, or Ancient History, all topics that have always been of interest to me.  And I still check Google's sci.physics.relativity discussion forum every day.  It's actually Google's version of a UseNet forum, just easier to access.  It's interesting to see that the same people are still arguing the same things they were arguing when I would occasionally post a link to one of my science papers and ask their opinions of it.  I don't recall ever finding anyone who fully agreed with me.

Meanwhile, I've been working hard on Chapter 13 of my book.  I expect the last chapter will be 15.  But I'll definitely have to go through the entire book again to see what further improvements I can make or what I may need to add to the book. 

Chapter 13 has been a real puzzle for me.  It is basically about how different college physics textbooks view the same experiments, most specifically the Pound-Rebka experiment which demonstrated that light photons emitted at the top of a building oscillate at a higher frequency than light photons emitted at the bottom of a building by an identical source.  Some textbooks correctly say that this is because Time runs at a faster rate at the top of the building than at the bottom of the building, therefore a photon that oscillates a billion times per second will have a shorter second in which to oscillate a billion times than will a photon emitted at the lower level where a second is longer.  

But there appear to be quite a few textbooks which claim that light "rays" and "waves" speed up as they "fall" toward the earth, and that is why light emitted at the top of a building and received at the bottom of a building has a higher frequency than light emitted at the bottom of a building and received at the top of the building.  I mentioned this in great detail in my Thursday comment.

Since that time I've found a textbook which has a very different view of how light works.  The textbook discusses the "equivalence principle," which basically says that acceleration has the same effect on objects as does gravity.  Therefore, the faster you accelerate, the slower time will tick for you.  That's true, but it's generally considered to be because of velocity time dilation, not gravitational time dilation.

The textbook author then poses the question of what happens when you are in a compartment on an accelerating rocket ship and you send photons from one side of the compartment to the other.  The book says that the simulated "gravity" resulting from acceleration will cause the photons to drop toward the floor as they move across the compartment.

That's something I've often wondered about for years, but for a totally different reason.  I wondered about "light clocks."  Light clocks theoretically keep time by bouncing a photon back and forth between two mirrors.  Each bounce is a "tick."  When the clock moves, the photon has to travel a longer distance to reach the other mirror because the other mirror moves while the photon is traveling.  The theory says that because the light has to move a longer distance, it means Time runs slower.

That's always been a puzzle to me, since I see light photons traveling in a straight line, and if a mirror is moved, the light photon will go to where the mirror was, not to where the mirror has been moved.
light
                      moving laterally across a moving space ship.

I just created the image above to use in my book to illustrate the problem. When the light bulb on the left side of the moving rocket ship emits photons, will those photons travel in a straight line across the rocket ship, or will they travel in a straight line through space from the point of emission?  If they move in a straight line in space, they will appear to move in a diagonal line in the rocket ship.  What forces could cause the photon to move in a straight line across the rocket ship?  The photon would be moving sideways as it also moves forwardCan a photon do that?

But, this is not the right place to discuss that problem.  I need to research it further, to see if I can describe in plain English what is actually happening.  Maybe it will simply be explained in Chapter 13 of my book, or maybe it will also turn into a new science paper.  Right now it is just a puzzle, and solving puzzles is what I seem to do most of every day.  Writing down what the puzzle is and how the pieces fit (or don't fit) allows me to figure out why some pieces do not fit.  I'm an analyst, and that is what analysis is all about.


Comments for Sunday, March 20, 2022, thru Sat., March 26, 2022:

March 24, 2022 - Groan!  I'm still mostly just sitting around staring at my computer, uncertain of how to conclude my new book "Logical Relativity."  I'm currently on Chapter 13.  Here's what the table of contents looks like right now:
Introduction                                Page   1
Chapter  1  -  What is Time?                Page   4
Chapter  2  -  Time Dilation                Page   8
Chapter  3  -  The Twin Paradox             Page  20
Chapter  4  -  Inertial Systems             Page  27
Chapter  5  -  What is Light?               Page  32
Chapter  6  -  The Variable Speed of Light  Page  41
Chapter  7  -  The Big Bang                 Page  46
Chapter  8  -  Radar Guns and Relativity    Page  57
Chapter  9  -  c+v and c-v                  Page  75
Chapter 10  -  Mathematics versus Reality   Page  84
Chapter 11  -  The Textbook Problem         Page  88
Chapter 12  -  The Physics Problem          Page 103
Chapter 13  -                               Page 110

I've been thinking about titling Chapter 13 "The Experiments Problem," since I wanted to write something about the "Pound-Rebka Experiment,"   which was performed in 1959 at Harvard University.  Here's how Wikipedia describes the experiment:
The Pound–Rebka experiment was an experiment in which gamma rays were emitted from the top of a tower and measured by a receiver at the bottom of the tower. The purpose of the experiment was to test Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity by showing that photons gain energy when traveling toward a gravitational source (the Earth).
Photons do not gain energy when traveling toward the Earth.  They are created with higher energy at the top of the tower because the top is farther away from the center of the Earth than the bottom.  Time ticks at a faster rate at the top of the tower, so photons created there will oscillate slightly faster per second than photons created at the bottom of the tower.  Therefore, when measured against photons created at the bottom of the tower, the photons created at the top will have a higher oscillation rate, which can be interpreted as having higher energy.

Two years ago, scientists used two finely tuned optical lattice clocks, one at the base and one on the 450-meter observatory floor of Tokyo Skytree, to make new ultraprecise measurements of the time dilation effect predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity.  Here's how one article described that experiment:
In another verification of the validity of Einstein's theory of general relativity, published in Nature Photonics, scientists from the RIKEN Center for Advanced Photonics and Cluster for Pioneering Research, with colleagues, have used two finely tuned optical lattice clocks, one at the base and one on the 450-meter observatory floor of Tokyo Skytree, to make new ultraprecise measurements of the time dilation effect predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity.
Further details can be found HERE.

As I see it, the Tokyo Skytree experiment is just a different way of doing the Pound-Rebka experiment, but the Skytree experiment is correctly described, while Pound-Rebka is not. 

The question that posed for me was: How do college textbooks describe the Pound-Rebka experiment?  Here's what one professor wrote:
Since photons always travel at the speed of light, the only place where this energy loss can show up is in a change of frequency. The frequency of the photon must decrease so that the energy carried by the photon is lower, and this corresponds to a 'red shift' to longer wavelengths. This phenomenon has been confirmed in laboratory experiments carried out by Pound and Rebka at Harvard University over 30 years ago. It's not a theory, it’s real.
And here is what one textbook says,
A light ray in a gravitational field must fall with the same acceleration as other objects.  Gravity attracts light.
Light ray?  It "must fall"?  Because gravity attracts light? 

I won't identify the textbook here.  I need to do more research.  And I need to figure out what I want to write in my book about all this and other related experiments.  
 

March 21, 2022
- While eating lunch this afternoon, I finished reading another book on my Kindle.  The book was "Ha!: The Science of When We Laugh and Why" by Scott Weems. 

Ha!

I was hoping for a funnier book when I began reading it.  The book does contain some jokes, but mostly it is a psychology book, analyzing what causes us to laugh and what effect it has on our body and mind.  Here's a quote from early in the book:
Ha! is about an idea. The idea is that humor and its most common symptom—laughter—are by-products of possessing brains which rely on conflict. Because they constantly deal with confusion or ambiguity, our minds jump the gun, make mistakes, and generally get muddled in their own complexity. But this isn’t bad. On the contrary, it provides us adaptability and a constant reason to laugh.
And here is how a joke typically appears in the book:
When I was growing up, Polish jokes were huge. Though grossly inappropriate, nearly every child or adult knew at least one. What do they print on the bottom of Polish Coke bottles? Open the other end. ... Every country has one or more popular targets. Russians make fun of Ukrainians. Australians make fun of Tasmanians. Canadians make fun of Newfoundlanders.
As you can see, the book contains some interesting facts, too.  Russians make fun of Ukrainians?  I wonder how that fits into recent events.  Here's another joke buried within some interesting facts:
Many groups have their own brand of humor, each with its own style. Jewish humor is one of the oldest. “The Jewish people have observed more than 5,758 years as a people, the Chinese only 4,695. What does this mean to you?” asks the Rabbi. “It means the Jews had to go 1,063 years without Chinese food,” replies the student. 
The Jewish people have been around longer than the Chinese people?  I would never have believed that if someone just casually told me so.  But it evidently depends upon how you define "a people."

Here are a couple so-so jokes from the book that aren't part of some history or psychology lesson:
Humor is a lot like changing a baby’s diaper—it doesn’t necessarily solve all our problems, but it sure does make things more pleasant for a while.

What’s the difference between in-laws and outlaws? Outlaws are wanted.
While I would have liked to have more jokes, the book was still worth reading.  I'm not sure I can recommend it.  I think it's a good psychology book, but not very good if you mainly just want jokes. 

March 20, 2022
- Hmm.  I've been trying to figure out what Chapter 12 of my new book should be about.  It's the transition chapter between my description of Einstein's theories and the view mathematicians have of Einstein's Theories - and of the universe.

Chapter 11 is about how most college physics textbooks have incorrect versions of Einstein's Second Postulate, along with screwball versions of his theories. So, I've been trying to figure out what would come after that. Yesterday I decided to do some more research to try to figure out how so many textbooks can be so wrong.  I did a Google search for "incorrect physics textbooks," and I found a Washington Post article from 2001 titled “12 Science Textbooks Have Many Errors, Study Finds.”
Unfortunately, it's about "middle-school" textbooks, not college textbooks, but it's still very interesting.  Here are a couple paragraphs:
Textbooks are generally reviewed by teachers, administrators, parents and curriculum specialists before being used in a classroom. But Hubisz, president of the American Association of Physics Teachers, said many middle school science teachers have little physical science training and may not recognize errors.

The study's reviewers tried to contact textbook authors with questions, Hubisz said, but in many cases, the people listed said they didn't write the book, and some didn't even know their names had been listed. Some of the authors of a physical science book, for example, were biologists.
Huh?  That certainly seems to explain a lot - assuming that it pertains to college physics textbooks, too.  And, why wouldn't it? How would college physics textbooks be handled differently?  I would assume that if a college professor gets a publisher to publish his textbook, he's reached some kind of zenith in a world where it is "publish or perish."  He's not only a published author, he's a published author who is making money off of his book. And every year there's a guaranteed new crop of buyers.  Plus, according to an article HERE, about 77% of students buy their textbooks from the college bookstore, which means the college is making money, too.  And 68% of college professors require that their students own the textbook they are required to use.  And the typical college physics or science textbook costs over $100.  According to the article:
The collegiate population in the United States obtain their textbooks and other course materials from 5,000 retail stores across the country. Each of these retail shops generates $2.3 million in sales.
So, college textbooks is a BIG business.  And it is clear that no one cares if college physics textbooks do not agree on what they say about Einstein's theories.  Each author is the "official expert," regardless of what other "official experts" teach and believe.

My new book is not a textbook.  It's my analysis of the disagreements between mathematicians and scientists over Einstein's theories. I'm going to self-publish it, of course.  No actual publisher is going to pay me to let them publish it.  I simply don't have the credentials.  And it appears it is credentials that gets you a non-fiction book deal.  If the book can make money, no one cares if the book is correct or just pure garbage. 

I found a website that sells college textbooks HERE.  There is only one physics textbook among their top 40 bestsellers.  It's the #2 book on the list of textbooks I mentioned in my March 15 comment.  Its list price is $193.94, marked down from $246.75, but there are also used copies available for $37.64.  It has this version of Einstein's Second Postulate:
The speed of light in free space has the same measured value for all observers, regardless of the motion of the source or the motion of the observer; that is, the speed of light is a constant.
In English, Einstein's version is:
light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.
Am I the only person on this planet who can see that the textbook postulate is not only different from Einstein's version, it is also just plain wrong


Comments for Sunday, March 13, 2022, thru Sat., March 19, 2022:

March 17, 2022 - My federal and state income tax forms have been competed and accepted.  My new cellphone is working properly.  And I can access my outlook dot com emails on my old computer, although I still haven't figured out how to access them on my "new" computers.  So, I really don't have anything urgent to keep me from working on my new book.  The only problem is that I'm now working on the part of the book that is totally new.  It begins on Chapter 12. That means I'm writing from scratch, not revising an earlier version. As a result, I am, in effect most of the time, just staring at a blank sheet of paper, which causes me to keep looking for other things to think about. 

And I do research.  This morning I found Wikipedia's page about the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis. It says,
"the physical universe is not merely described by mathematics, but is mathematics (specifically, a mathematical structure). Mathematical existence equals physical existence, and all structures that exist mathematically exist physically as well. Observers, including humans, are 'self-aware substructures (SASs)'. In any mathematical structure complex enough to contain such substructures, they 'will subjectively perceive themselves as existing in a physically 'real' world'." 
Do mathematicians actually believe that?  Or is it just something that some of them have decided must be true?

I also found Forbes Magazine article titled "No, The Universe Is Not Purely Mathematical In Nature."  It says:
It's true that mathematics enables us to quantitatively describe the Universe, it's an incredibly useful tool when applied properly. But the Universe is a physical, not mathematical entity, and there's a big difference between the two.
The key point to the article is that science is based upon observables and measurables.  Time and again scientists have developed mathematical theories only to find that they do not incorporate something new that has just been observed.  So, the mathematicians have to either start over again or figure out how to modify their old equations to incorporate the new information. 

Scientists, on the other hand, understand that there is a lot that they do not yet understand about the universe.  "The joy of discovery" is what they live for.  Contrast that to the mathematicians who constantly declare they have the answer and then find that their answer is incomplete.

I also keep thinking about the movies "Good Will Hunting" and "The Man Who Knew Infinity."  They're both about mathematicians.  I liked them both when I first watched them, but I wonder what I'd think of those movies if I watched them again today.   

And writing this comment has given me some ideas of what Chapter 12 should be all about.
  

March 15, 2022
- I did my federal income tax today, using one of the free on-line services the IRS suggests.  It was easier in previous years because the service I used had my previous years' forms and could make a lot of assumptions about what the entries would be for the current year.   But for some reason, the service I had been using stopped doing it for free.  So, I had to choose a new free service.  The service I had been using also did my state taxes for free.  Not so with my new service.  But I can go to my state's web site and file the form there for free - as soon as my federal forms are accepted by the IRS.

I kept putting off filing my taxes because I was totally absorbed in writing chapter 11 of my new book.  The chapter is about college physics textbooks and how very few of them have the correct version of Einstein's Second Postulate.  I did a Google search for the most popular college physics textbooks and found a list of the top 9 HERE.  Nine seemed an strange number, so I found another list of the top 7 physics textbooks HERE.  Most books on that list are the same books as on the first list, but there was one good new one.  So, I had a list of the 10 top physics textbooks:
1.  Fundamentals of Physics I & II by R. Shankar
2.  Conceptual Physics by Paul G. Hewitt
3.  University Physics with Modern Physics by Young and Freedman
4.  Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker
5.  The Feynman Lectures on Physics, boxed set by Richard P. Feynman, Leighton, and Sands
6.  Modern Physics by Kenneth Krane
7.  College Physics by Serway and Vuille
8.  Introduction to Electrodynamics by David J. Griffiths
9.  Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach by Randall D. Knight
10. Physics: Principles with Applications by Douglas C. Giancoli
Pretty much as expected, NONE of the 10 textbooks on the list had a correct version of Einstein's Second postulate.  #5 on the list, the 3-book set by Richard Feynman, didn't mention Einstein's postulates at all.  But it seemed that everything else Professor Feynman said about Einstein's theories was correct, while the other 9 were mostly incorrect. 

Although I had expected that most or all of the textbooks would have incorrect versions of Einstein's Second Postulate, this particular group is the top 10 physics textbooks.  That's a lot better and much more meaningful than producing a list of randomly selected textbooks.  Interestingly, #1 and #2 have the mathematicians' "all observers" version, while #3, #4, #6, #9 and #10 have variations on the "inertial frames" version, and #7 and #8 have a blend of both.

Einstein's actual Second Postulate:
light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.
The "all observers" version from #2:
The speed of light in free space has the same measured value for all observers, regardless of the motion of the source or the motion of the observer; that is, the speed of light is a constant.
The "inertial frames" version from #3:
Einstein’s second postulate: The speed of light in vacuum is the same in all inertial frames of reference and is independent of the motion of the source.
I still cannot understand why this isn't a much bigger issue with scientists and physicists.  The only answer I can come up with is that scientists and physicists do not want to argue with mathematicians, because telling  mathematicians that what they're saying is wrong is attacking their most sacred beliefs.
  
March 13, 2022
- I had a little "technical issue" last week that was kind of interesting.  I discovered that my cell phone was a "3G" phone and it would very soon stop functioning.  I only carry and use my cellphone for emergencies, and I have very few emergencies.  I also use it when I have to make a call while traveling, which doesn't happen very often. And I use it to call my home phone every month or two just to make certain my cellphone is still functioning properly.

It is sometimes called a "flip phone" or "clam shell phone" because it folds in the middle, making it very easy to put in my pocket.

It's also the type of cellphone used by people who do not want their location known, since it doesn't connect to the GPS system.  When I bought the phone many years ago that wasn't an issue.

The company that makes the phone advised me that they'd replace it with a 4G phone for no cost.  But first they needed to verify a lot of things, and they needed to send a verification code to my home phone.

My home phone is connected by wires to my cable company.  I also learned how rare that is.  And, as far as I can tell from reading the instruction manual, it has no ability to send or receive text messages.  So, it has no way to receive a verification code.  The cellphone company's procedures did not allow for that, and they couldn't just tell me the verification code.  So, what we ended up doing was talking on my home phone while they sent the verification code to my old cellphone.

To make a long story short, I received the new cellphone on Friday morning, and I spent much of the day going through the procedures to make it work.  That involves "initiating" the phone so they could transfer my phone number from my old cellphone to my new phone.  By late afternoon we had finished the process of installing my new cellphone phone with my old phone number.

My old
                      and new cellphones

So, I now have a 4G cellphone while the rest of the world is scrambling to buy new 5G cellphones.  And there are vast differences in how my new phone works (on the right above), versus my old phone (on the left above).  Fortunately, most of the differences don't concern me, since I never send text messages.  Am I the only person who doesn't send text messages via cellphones?  I send LOTS of messages via email and my laptop computer.  It appears my new cellphone can also connect to the Internet, but I want a larger screen and a regular keyboard when I access the Internet.  And my new cellphone can play music.  Evidently, it contains an MP3 player. Also, I only had to charge the battery in my old cellphone about every two or three months.  It appears that my new cellphone will require that I charge the battery at least once per week, whether I use it or not.
 
While I was looking around to see when I bought my old 3G cell phone, I found that I had created a blog page when I bought my first laptop.  I bought it on October 1, 2014.  And I had a lot of problems learning how to use the touchpad.  I could be the only person in the world who never uses the touchpad on his laptop computers.

I think a big factor in all this is that I'm a writer, and I spend nearly every day by myself at my laptop working on a new book.  I need a regular keyboard for that, and I like a screen that is about 20 inches wide by 10½ inches high, not 1½ inches wide by 2 inches high.  And, the last thing I want is to be constantly interrupted by phone calls and text messages.

When I go to the gym, at least half the people there are carrying "smart phone" cellphones around with them.  They often occupy exercise machines to just sit while they exchange text messages or make calls on their phones, even though that is supposed to be against the rules.  And they leave them laying around atop machines when they can't hold them.  I leave mine in my locker.  Clearly that is not "normal."  But these days it seems to me that what everyone else considers to be "normal" is against the rules - plus what I consider to be contrary to common sense.


Comments for Sunday, March 6, 2022, thru Sat., March 12, 2022:

March 10, 2022 - Chapter 10 of my new book "Logical Relativity" is about college physics textbooks and how it sometimes seems that no two such books contain the same version of Einstein's Second Postulate.  Most contain versions that are not only totally different from Einstein's version, but they are also totally wrong.  How can a college physics textbook be wrong?  If I can find two dozen different versions of Einstein's Second Postulate in two dozen textbooks, can they all be right - even if they contradict each other?  In arguments with mathematicians, they seem to think so.  They just use a different mathematical model when talking about different versions, and when I ask "But which one represents REALITY?", they just go silent or say they all do.  "Reality" to a mathematician is what his equations show.  And if the equations they use show conflicting results, as in the "Particle-Wave Duality," they just shrug and say, "So what?"

Five years ago I wrote a paper titled "An Analysis of Einstein’s Second Postulate to his Special Theory of Relativity" which quoted from some of those textbooks and compared the different version of Einstein's Second Postulate.  I've revised the paper four times since then, but I don't want to just copy from those papers when writing Chapter 10 of my book.  The book isn't a collection of my papers, it is a detailed, step-by-step description of how Relativity works followed by a detailed study of how mathematicians have created totally distorted and preposterous versions of Relativity, versions which are being taught in most college physics courses.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how to describe the situation in a totally different - and hopefully better way.  One on-line text book HERE shows how mathematicians view physics.  It explains how Einstein's theory makes no sense, since his First Postulate conflicts with his Second Postulate, even though Einstein explained that they only appear to conflict, but will no longer conflict once you understand Time Dilation. The textbook book also says that Time Dilation is "reciprocal" if Person-A is moving away from Person-B at a constant inertial speed.  But if one has to accelerate in order to move at a different speed than the other, then the one who accelerates will end up younger than the other.  Why?  Because, as the book explains, "During the deceleration and acceleration process the spaceship is not an inertial coordinate system, and we cannot justify using the time dilation formula that was derived on the basis of inertial coordinate systems."   So, I have to explain how time dilation works whether you are accelerating or not, it's just easier to do the math when everything is moving at a constant inertial speed.

It's like saying I can drive from my home to the Court House in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in about 22 minutes, but mathematicians will argue that that is not possible because there are different speed limits along the way and traffic patterns vary, therefore I cannot travel at a constant speed. If I cannot travel at a constant speed, I cannot get from point A to point B because they cannot do the mathematics. 

I probably need to explain that better, and I need to study some other textbooks to get some good quotes.  But there's no doubt in my mind that the mathematicians' view of the universe is just plain crazy.  But in my book I'll somehow have to describe it as just being "different" while also having absolutely no concern about reality.

This morning I also had to wonder why I'm getting a "surge" of new readers of my paper "The Reality of Time Dilation."  Nine new readers accessed the paper on Tuesday and eight more on Wednesday.  That's the most people to read that paper in one day since February 22 when there were seven new readers. 
It's currently my second most popular paper with 1,157 unique readers.  My most popular paper is "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments" with 1,585 unique readers.  It just got one new reader yesterday.  


March 8, 2022
- I've been working on my new book "Logical Relativity" almost every day, and I'm making good progress.  Writing also helps me to take my mind off of what is happening in the world around me.  What will be the end result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine?  I'm assuming that it won't result in starting World War III, but is that a safe assumption?  And is there any possibility that Donald Trump will run for President again in 2024 and win?  If that is even remotely possible, what does that say about America?  Certainly nothing good.  

On Saturday I filled up the gas tank in my car.  It just needed about 3 gallons of regular, at $3.69 per gallon.  Then when I drove past that same gas station on Sunday, I saw the price per gallon had jumped to $3.99, a 30 cents per gallon increase in one day!  I don't think I've ever seen that kind of price jump before.  But I have a receipt dated February 22 when I filled up my tank and the price was $3.29 a gallon.  I think it jumped twice to get to $3.69 just over a week later. 

Another problem I haven't yet solved is figuring out how to access my detect at outlook dot com emails on my new computer.  Dealing with Microsoft is like dealing with a robot that keeps saying "That does not compute."  I'm trying to get some human to talk to me, but so far no luck.

I'm also going to get rid of my desktop computer, which I think I've had for at least 18 years.  It takes up too much space, and the only thing I still use it for is to access my scanner, which is probably about 18 years old, too.  But I haven't needed to scan anything in months, and even then it was just to scan the covers of some DVD movies to use in a discussion on the science fiction Facebook group.  I now have three laptop computers, but I haven't been able to get the scanner to work on my two oldest laptops.  I'm not sure why, but it seems it will just take some study to figure it out.  And I just don't have the time to study a problem that has absolutely no urgency.  I need to do my taxes. Maybe I'll do them today.  But first I needed to write this comment.  

Sigh.
 


March 6, 2022
- While eating lunch yesterday, I finished reading another library book on my Kindle.  The book was "The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend" by Glenn Frankel.

The Searchers 

I started reading it thinking it would be just what the title and cover indicate: a book about the making of the 1956 John Wayne western.  It turned out to be much more than that -- too much more.  The first half of the book is about the many decades of real battles between settlers and Indians in the American west, with endless names and places and dates.  The whole purpose of that seems to be to show that Indians did sometimes actually kidnap women settlers and turn them into wives.  And if it happened, the woman could never again be part of the settlers' world.  She was ruined and disgraced.

Then the book gets into a biography of John Ford, who was the director of the movie "The Searchers."  Then there's a short biography of John Wayne.  Then it's about the writing of the book, and then it finally gets into the making of the movie, everything from the building of the sets in Monument Valley to what happened to the sets after the movie was completed.  Plus the book describes the editing process and the need to shoot a few extra bits.  And then it's about the reception the movie got from critics.  And then its about how everything that was previously described is currently viewed and about the lives of the ancestors of all the real characters who were fictionalized in the movie.  

I have to admit that I started speed reading at about the 2/3rds point, not paying too much attention to details.  There were just too many details.  I enjoyed the movie "The Searchers," and I have a copy on DVD that I last watched in July of 2015, but I only rated it "above average," giving it a 6 out of 10, where 10 is the best.  While the book is highly rated, I certainly cannot recommend it - even though I did manage to get through it.  The most important thing I got out of the book was that I need to create a list of the unread books I have in my Kindle and prioritize them.  I've got a lot of books that I should have read before reading this one.


Comments for Tuesday, March 1, 2022, thru Sat., March 5, 2022:

March 1, 2022
- I actually had the time to work on my new book "Logical Relativity" yesterday.  I overhauled the Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2.  I added about 11 pages during the overhaul.  As soon as I finish writing this comment, and finish doing my month-end backups, I'll start working on overhauling Chapter 3.  "Overhauling" might not be the right term to use, since what I'm doing is changing the chapters from a "draft" to a semi-final version.  I'm assuming that when I finish this version of the book I'll want to go over it and revise it one more time before publishing.

If I can find the time, I also need to organize my backups.  I've got stuff backed up on 3 different hard drive devices and about 15 flash-drives.  Years ago, I put one of the hard-drive backups into my safe-deposit box.  I cannot recall what is on it, but I assume it contains copies of all of the photographs I had taken and saved during my lifetime up to that point. That includes digital copies of black-and-white and color photographs I took when that was the only way to do photography.  Then I switched to slides.   And then I bought a machine that converted slides into digital copies.  So, those were saved, too.  And, finally, there are all the digital shots I've taken since I switched to a digital camera sometime in 2005, as I recall.   I think I have all those pictures backed up on all three of my mass-storage hard-drives and on two or three of my flash-drives.

I was a computer programmer and systems analyst for many many years, so I developed the habit of doing backups.  When writing books, however, I need to develop the habit of doing daily backups.  PLUS maybe doing a backup of every chapter when I finish working on it and move on to the next chapter.  There's probably no such thing as doing too many backups.
 





© 2022 by Ed Lake
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