A much needed take for all
The standard of photography in this monthly magazine is well known but in this month’s (October) ‘The Photography Issue’ it excels itself, covering matters of world importance which demand our attention. I can do no more than encourage everyone to read it. It is usually available for casual reading in most public libraries.
The price of precious metals and how they bankroll violence.
Meltdown. How glaciers are melting before our eyes.
How race is no longer a matter of black or white.
Life in the closed society of N.Korea.
Building the Ark. How zoos must choose popular animals or endangered ones.
Another Letter from the late Elder Vinchee to Philosoffer
Please share with me a moment of spiritual joy by imagining that in your world there exists no nought or zero.
Where and who then, would you be today?
Would you be nowhere and nobody?…………… Believe me you would!
Starting at the beginning you would not be reading this. ‘Good’ you say. Well I can take that, for unlike you I have no bones that sticks and stones… etc..!
But just in case you need to ask why, let me tell you that it is because it was typed and transmitted on and through the web, which relies on the zero as a life force for its very being.
No zero would mean no negative and no positive, for each requires a starting point when it ceases to be one or the other doesn’t it?
So no electricity? No boiling point! and no mathematics!
Alright! You and I know that this is hypothetical nonsense because the laws of Physics were established at the moment the Universe came into being. They became naturally related to planet Earth when its matter was becoming a conglomerate.
Yet the route to the discovery of those laws was no easy path and is still far from complete. Take it from one who knows.
The problems they pose are due entirely to the entry of homo (and mulier) sapiens into the scheme of things and result from his or her propensity to ask the question ‘why’, as they face the unfolding conundrums of their existence.
No doubt in some cave at some time a domesticated hunter-gatherer may have asked of her outdoors!
“For how long should I cook this brontosaurus leg love?”
Well you have come a long way since then.
Archimedes is always saying to me and the others, how embarrassed he feels about having said ‘Eureka’ as though it were the last word in scientific discovery.
I tell him to relax as there are already at least 1,420,000 web pages on earth to be found by anyone just googling that one word!
Although there were many theoretical mathematicians from the earliest times of human reasoning,it was only about two thousand years ago out of the approximate thirteen billion before, that the zero was brought into mathematics and humankind was able in consequence to crash into deeper areas of knowledge and understanding.
So keep at it the rewards will be enormous.
To end on a lighter note some of you might wonder how we already here deal with eternity. Well we debate little things like the following:
Suppose one of you wants to run the length of a racetrack but there are an infinite number of gods with the following intentions: the first god intends to paralyze the runner if he reaches the halfway mark; the second intends to paralyze him if he reaches the quarter mark; the third if he reaches the one-eighth mark; and so on. Now he cannot even start running for to do so would violate the intentions of an infinite number of gods. However, it is not clear why he cannot start running, for until he does, no god has actually paralyzed him.
All this talk of multiverses should not assume that the laws of physics apply equally on them all. If they don’t then it is not true for physicists to say such things as. “we could be having this very conversation/interview simultaneously on an infinite number of places in an infinite number of universes.” That assumes that multiverses are identical to ours.However if, for example,the speeds of light or sound or gravity are different,the whole of life if it exists anywhere in them will be very different.
One argument for their existence is that they exist in dimensions different from ours. That alone argues against a parallel life does it not?
Whilst I do not have the knowledge to argue the physics too deeply, the need to move into this rarified field is sometimes posited on the grounds that if proven, it will be a major step if not the final link,towards the unified theory or at perhaps a further development of it.
It seems though that if these multiverses are of an unknown number, then until they are quantified and the answers to practical difficulties are forthcoming, there are more questions to be answered on this minuscule planet even before our universe can be fully understood.
If I am undergoing an experience that occurred simultaneously but on a parallel universe where time is not of the essence I might have died yet still be alive!
Perhaps even thinking about it puts us too far ahead of ourselves.
There is an amazing amount of instructive info on this new ‘hot’particle on Utube. It is mostly available if you search under PHYSICS. It was while doing that that I came across a talk by the Indian mystic Sri Sri Ravi Shankar under the Higgs boson title. This encompasses a Vedic slant. Taken apart it is easy to see how it is tangential to Christian theology, bound up in phrases like ‘being and not being’ before creation and outside as many parallel universes as you may care to imagine. This talk explains the need to take meditation far back and then even further and beyond that! No surprise how much Thomas Merton found it interesting. The only ? Is his suggestion that even the Gods only came into being after creation but there he must mean the Hindu gods. I will certainly visit his take on particle physics again if only to see the engrossed look on the faces of his audience which would probably have been on mine too!
In my presentations of flirtation with philosophy I make use of a lot of TED talks to encourage thought and participation. I have just listened to a woman talking on the three injustices of the past three centuries. in the 19th century it was slavery, in the 20th totalitarianism and this century the 21st it is oppression of women. Following her travels to various parts of the world, Sheryl Wu Dunn illustrates her talk with the stories of women she had met and finished her talk with an anecdote of a woman who had seen things no human being should see and who had remained strong until she returned home to New York where looking out of her window she saw a bird feeder. She broke down under the realization that we provide birds with food in winter.The contrast for her was too great to bear.
The excitement of today’s landing on Mars brought home to me the inexhaustive list of interesting people and events which have filled my life of 81 years.Stars of stage and screen, the greats of Hollywood, Sports stars, the giants of tennis, football, boxing, cricket and Olympic fame, the six Popes, the five Kings and Queens of England.
Politicians like Churchill, Gandhi, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Thatcher, Stalin, the Nazi mob and so on.
But it doesn’t stop there. Included also are the Battle of Britain, London burning, Dunkirk, Pearl harbour,D-Day,the re-taking of Europe, the iron curtain and its fall, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the destruction of the twin towers on 9/11.
Then the advent of television, the mobile phone,the new technology of computers, the development of commercial flight, the first Sputnik, the first animal then the first man in space, the landing of man on the Moon, the dispatch of a space ship to Jupiter and beyond and now the brilliance of those responsible for the safe landing of Curiosity on Mars.
If that is my life nearing its end what extraordinary people and events will my grandchildren witness?
Finally as a throw away thought, will my Blog survive in a cosmic library to be available for research in 5012!k,
I recommend Psyche’s Circuitry.
It is a Blog written by a psychologist being his thoughts on growing up and growing old in the digital age. He quotes from a book by Rainee & Wellman and includes the following passage by Wellman relating to families which I particularly like.
” Families are also functioning more as a network than a group. We see each other less often than several decades ago, but actually are in closer communication due to mobile communication technologies (i.e., we’re emailing , texting, and calling each other a lot). Some have referred to the constant awareness that we can have of others as an electronic leash (Wellman, on his website, compares this to the ball and chain of the past).”
I have just read that Thomas Friedman, a journalist and author said in the New York Times:
“BIG BREAKTHROUGHS HAPPEN WHEN WHAT IS SUDDENLY POSSIBLE MEETS WHAT IS DESPERATELY NECESSARY”
Well I thought that is a fairly profound statement and it should be possible to apply it to a number of desperate situations prevailing around the world today. I am going to muse on this and publish anything I think worthwhile..so don’t hold your breath!
If you have any ideas to help my thoughts along they will of course be very welcome.
In 2000, the UN laid out 8 goals to make the world better by reducing poverty and disease — with a deadline of 2015. As that deadline approaches, Jamie Drummond of ONE.org runs down the surprising successes of the 8 Millennium Development Goals, and suggests a crowdsourced reboot for the next 15 years.
I recommend listening to his talk at
Don’t miss the comments down that page either!.