|Comments for Sunday, May 24, 2015,
thru Sunday, May 31, 2015:
May 31, 2015 - Yesterday, I looked into the "scientific" theories believed by the various Science Truthers. My 13 years of anthrax research had shown that each Anthrax Truther seems to have his own theory explaining who was behind the anthrax attacks of 2001. The only thing they have in common with other Anthrax Truthers is that they all disagree with the "established authority" (in that case it is the FBI). So, I wanted to see if the same holds true with Science Truthers. They clearly all disagree with the established scientific authorities (in this case it is Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Edwin Hubble, Stephen Hawking, etc,. etc.). So, does that mean they also all have their own unique theories?
The first Science Truther I had researched was Bill Gaede, who did presentations of his theories at the 2rd annual "Rational Physics Conference" in Salzburg, Austria, in April 2014. In one of the videos of the presentations, he explains his theory that the moon held in orbit by invisible "ropes" instead of by gravity.
The next Science Truther I researched was "Mr. W," who sent me an email to make me aware of his theories and his blog. One of his theories is that the earth is a "dead sun" that was wandering through the universe and just happened to join together with other "dead suns" to form the solar system. According to Mr. W's theory, the Sun was the last or one of the last objects to join the solar system, which is evidenced by the fact that it is still glowing and is not yet "dead."
Yesterday, I researched Dr. Srinivasa Rao Gonuguntla, who I had come across when I was doing research for my web page about Time Dilation. He has his own web page on the subject. Like most Science Truthers, Dr. Srinivasa rants on and on about how all the "mainstream scientists" who accept Albert Einstein's theories are "stupid." But, I never tried to figure out what theory Dr. Srinivasa promotes that is not accepted by those "mainstream scientists." One of his theories is that the long-abandoned theory that space is not empty, but is filled with a medium known as the "ether" (or "aether"). Dr. Srinivasa believes that ancient theory is totally valid and should be resurrected.
A second Science Truther whose name I'd come across when researching Time Dilation is Mr. Bernard Burchell. It took awhile, but yesterday I discovered he believes in something he calls "Propellantless Propulsion." It seems a little like "perpetual motion," but my purpose wasn't to debunk his theory, it was only to figure out what unique theory he is promoting.
A third Science Truther whose name I'd come across while researching Time Dilation is Dr. Thomas Smid. His web site is very difficult to wade through, and he doesn't seem to have any specific page where he explains some primary and unique theory that conflicts with "the establishment's" theories, but he writes a lot about an "intergalactic plasma," which, among other effects, causes the "red shift" that the "establishment" says is caused by galaxies moving away from one another (the original discovery behind the Big Bang Theory). I found a web page about "Alternative Cosmology" which says:
That completed the Science Truthers I'd previously checked out one way or another, but it left three blank "talk balloons" in the cartoon I wanted to create about Science Truthers. Stephen J. Crothers was another speaker at the 2nd Rational Physics Conference in Salzburg. A little more research found that he doesn't believe that black holes exist. That belief might not be totally unique, but it's short enough to fit one of the "talk balloons," so I used it.
Dr. Hartwig Wolfgang Thim was another speaker at the conference in Salzburg. His unique theory is that Albert Einstein's light speed postulate is illogical. In a video HERE, he explains that Time Dilation is also not logical. His reasoning is a strange misunderstanding of Einstein's Theory of Relativity that seems to be shared by many Science Truthers. (I created a blog page about it.) He incorrectly argues that, according to Einstein, either twin in the "Twin Paradox" could be moving, so it is not logical that one can end up older than the other.
That left one last "talk balloon" to fill in my cartoon. So, I researched Alexander Unzicker, another person who gave a talk at the conference in Salzburg. His big unique belief appears to be that String Theory is nonsense, and all the scientists who believe in it have been "brainwashed." At the conference in Salzburg, his talk was titled "The Higgs Fake – How Particle Physicists Fooled the Nobel Committee." The belief that String Theory is fake fitted the space available in my cartoon, so I used it. Here is the end result:
A lot of Science Truthers share the belief that black holes do not exist, but just as a lot of Anthrax Truthers share the belief that al Qaeda was behind the anthrax attacks of 2001, when you talk with them individually, you'll find there are massive differences between one theory and another, because they were all developed by different individuals, and each used his own personal knowledge and experiences to come up with a unique personal theory.
What my research showed me was that I could easily have added a couple dozen more unique theories to the cartoon, if there was room. Judging by what I see on the Wiki page about "Alternative Cosmology," and on their page about "cranks," I could probably add a few hundred more theories to the cartoon.
And, as the cartoon shows, the only thing the Science Truthers really agree upon is that the "mainstream scientists" are wrong -- or just plain nuts.
They don't seem to believe in any conspiracies, and they don't seem to think there is any kind of organized plot to try to convince the world to believe what the Truthers see is nonsense. They just think all the mainstream scientists in the world are stupid. And they probably believe their fellow Truthers are screwed-up about some things, too. Each Truther sees himself as the lone exception, the only truly gifted person with a unique and brilliant theory that the "mainstream scientists" stupidly refuse to accept as the gospel truth.
May 30, 2015 (B) - Hmm. An argument I once had with "Mr. R" came to mind today as I read that some new words had just been added to the dictionary. There were two words among them that were particularly interesting to me:
meme mēm/Believe it or not, I tried to look up that word in an old dictionary yesterday. I was hearing it so often, and I wasn't sure what it meant. Of course, it wasn't in the dictionary I tried. The second word (or term):
NSFWI've seen that around, too, and I could never figure out what it meant, although I assumed it meant something for adults only, which is close.
May 30, 2015 (A) - Holy Cow! I was working on my regular Sunday comment, trying to determine if all the Science Truthers I've encountered recently have their own unique scientific theories, just as all the Anthrax Truthers have their own unique theories about who sent the anthrax letters in 2001. The first Science Truther whose theories I'd studied was Bill Gaede. I first wrote about him on May 14. He made presentations at the 2nd annual Rational Physics Conference in Salzburg, Austria, in April 2014. I watched the videos of his presentations. I also noticed that he was a speaker at this year's conference in Dalmellington, Scotland two weeks ago. His unique theory is that the moon is held in its orbit around the earth by invisible "ropes." That was about all I knew about him.
Then, this morning, I did a Google search for his name in order to find some links to his presentations, and I discovered there's a Wikipedia page about him. It begins with this:
Hmm. All I was previously aware of was what is in that last sentence. I wonder if any of the other Science Truthers have equally interesting backgrounds.
May 29, 2015 (B) - Dr. Srinivasa Rao just deleted the two comments of mine that had been awaiting moderation for about a week. So, that's the last time I'll try to discuss anything with him or anyone on his blog. Meanwhile, Mr. W seems to be really upset. I don't know if it's because of what I wrote (and he deleted) on his blog or not, but while I was at the gym this afternoon, he started a new thread:
Mr. W may forget the "pop sci propaganda ... as soon as it is thought up," but the only way it can be forgotten by actual scientists is if it is disproved. Mr. W's beliefs can be easily disproved by anyone with a basic understanding of science, and he cannot disprove any established theory. So, the facts and evidence clearly show who is actually suffering from "a complete detachment from reality."
May 29, 2015 (A) - It occurred to me this morning that Truthers preaching their theories and beliefs on the Internet are the modern day equivalent of "soap box orators" of bygone days:
Meanwhile, someone sent me a link to an article on the Russia Insider web site titled "Another Anthrax Scare Before Another US Patriot Act Vote. How Curious!" It proposes that there was some kind of conspiracy behind the recent mistake were live anthrax spores were sent out instead of dead spores. It took me awhile to realize that the article is supposedly written by Dr. Bruce Ivins. But, then I noticed there is a disclaimer at the bottom that says:
Dr. Bruce E. Ivins was a former researcher at Fort Detrick, home of the military’s leading biodefense facility, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. He didn’t write this article, because he’s dead.Also meanwhile, I noticed a Washington Post article titled "Jeb Bush cites anthrax outbreak as an example of his leadership experience."
"You all understand what anthrax is, but trust me, shortly after 9/11 I had no clue," Bush told the workers [at a factory where an anthrax vaccine is made].Evidently, because Jeb Bush had "no clue" what anthrax was, and had to learn about it after Bob Stevens died in his State, Mr. Bush feels that proves he is capable of learning, and therefore is qualified to be President. The comments after the article give a nice indication of what readers think. Three examples:
He has all the substance of a soap bubble. In fact, in comparison, he makes a soap bubble look like a cannon ball.Lastly, I noticed an article from the Straits Times titled "Live anthrax found in US military shipment to Australia: Source." But, a moment later I found an article from NBC News titled "Army Finds Another Batch of Live Anthrax" which says,
What it means is that it's very difficult to kill anthrax spores, and you might think you've killed them all, but some of the little buggers might still be alive.
May 28, 2015 (B) - Yup. My discussions with Mr. W have come to an end. While I was at the health club this afternoon, he deleted all my posts and created a new thread titled "For Those Who Wish to Troll" with this text:
If the commenter does not provide any reasonable solution to the issues that I have raised or does not contribute with the idea of helping, then I will from now on delete the comment. I do not have time for silly internet games. I think the rule for such games is zero tolerance, I have wasted enough time dealing with them.and
This is a blog dedicated to trying to explain how to make sense of the discovery that planet formation is star evolution itself, not a blog for false mainstream beliefs.So, I suppose it is now okay for me to provide some details about Mr. W and his beliefs, and how I happened to start posting to his blog.
He sent me an email on May 25 that made me aware of him and his postings. After checking some of them out, I told him I'd provide comments and point out some of his errors. He responded:
Okay sounds good. Point out the errors. Make educational discussions of them. I will participate and be polite in my communications. If the errors are bad enough I will correct them, if they contradict theory development I will ignore them, if they are inconsequential I will make footnotes.So, I began explaining things to him and pointing out his errors. I focused on his theory is that the solar system was created by "dead stars" - the earth being a prime example - moving through empty space until they come near another "dead star," at which time they may start orbiting one another. And then another "dead star" comes along and joins the "system." According to Mr. W's theory, the sun was the last - or one of the last - to join our solar system, evidenced by the fact that it is still glowing and is not yet "dead."
I questioned how this is possible, and wondered how the Sun could end up in the center of such a "system" if it was the last to arrive. I also pointed out that such a "solar system" would have planets orbiting in all sorts of directions. I asked him how he explains the fact that all planets are in a FLAT PLANE orbiting the sun.
Like all Truthers, Mr. W doesn't like discussing flaws in his own theory. He only wants to discuss why other people's theories are "obviously false." When he changed the subject to argue that he does not believe any "established" theory about reduction of angular momentum in the formation of the solar system, I pointed out that not believing someone else's theory does not make his theory correct.
He also does not believe that the sun's heat and light comes from nuclear fusion, and he doesn't believe that the heavier metals found on earth (like gold and silver) originated in a supernova that created the dust cloud which spawned our solar system. Because he does not believe any of these things, he argues that that is proof that his theory is correct and that the heavy metals somehow originated when the earth was a glowing star.
It was all very much like arguing with DXer. At times, it was also like arguing with Mr. R, since Mr. R once told me that he didn't just come up with is theory one day, he worked on it for a long time. Same with Mr. W. I explained to Mr. R and Mr. W that it doesn't make any difference how long it takes to come up with a theory, the only thing that is important is if the theory can stand up to tests of the evidence and logic.
I saved copies of all my discussions with Mr. W just as I saved most of my discussions with DXer, before they were deleted because DXer and Lew Weinstein didn't like my arguments.
I had planned to bring an end to my discussions with Mr. W anyway, since it was clear he was getting upset. But, having him delete my posts really helps solidify my observations about Truthers and how they think.
I tried one last post to his thread about trolls, but his site is now moderated. So, Mr. W is once again just talking to himself.
May 28, 2015 (A) - Last night, my attention was fully grabbed when the news reported that Dugway Proving Grounds had accidentally shipped live anthrax spores to commercial labs in 9 states, and to a military lab in South Korea. They had intended to send out irradiated, dead spores. But, someone screwed up. So, we once again have the problem of humans making mistakes. Yet, believe it or not, I still prefer to have humans doing such things instead of turning it all over to robots and machines. I guess I'm old-fashioned that way.
This morning, someone sent me an email with a link to an article about a deliberate con job that was perpetrated on millions. The article is titled "I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How." It was brought to my attention because it also mentions "free access" science journals and how (because humans are involved) you just can't trust what you read in newspapers or in scientific journals anymore. The article is about a deliberate scam to prove that its possible to fool people in the regular media and at science journals. Is that news to anyone? The "news" I see in the article is that people can now do it for fun and profit and get away with it by calling it "research."
Meanwhile, my brief arguments with Mr. W on his blog seem to be coming to an end. Last night, Mr. W wrote:
It is suggested for you to address these matters as I am doing, or else continue on a path of false knowledge.and
Please try and keep up, right now you are falling behind and reciting things I have already addressed in hundreds of papers and hundreds of videos.In other words, he wants to change the subject when he is shown to be wrong, he wants to argue his beliefs without regard or any facts or evidence, and he wants to continue to argue that if anyone disagrees with the "scientific establishment" that means the "scientific establishment" is wrong.
I had hopes of getting a Truther to focus on a single issue until an agreement was reached. But, all I did was prove once again that that seems next to impossible.
I really need to get back to working on my sci-fi novel!
May 27, 2015 - I was busy most of yesterday arguing with a Science Truther who I'll refer to as "Mr. W." He's the same person I mentioned several times had sent me an email on Friday. In my May 24 comment, I mentioned that Mr. W has 171 YouTube videos on the Internet. AND he has at least a hundred "scientific papers" on viXra.org. Yesterday, I examined a link to a blog page he had sent me, and I discovered he also has just over 300 blog entries describing his various theories. And he has things on Facebook. He appears to be nearly as prolific a writer as DXer. And he's at least as obsessed with his theories as DXer is.
Although I kept telling myself I shouldn't do it, I posted a comment to one of his more recent blog entries. He created it on May 21. The title is: "What is the "Core Accretion Model" in Astrophysics?, Stellar metamorphosis." In it he clearly shows that he does not understand how gravity works, so I explained a bit about it in my comment. He responded with two comments, and I responded with another comment. That's where things were until this afternoon when he started a new blog thread titled "The Reasons Why Establishment's Planet Formation Models Do Not Work." It's filled with more errors. So, I responded by pointing out his errors and misunderstandings.
What I learned was that he thinks almost identically to DXer: He argues against "the establishment" instead of trying to prove his own theory. He cites as a source anyone who might remotely agree with him, suggesting that because the person agrees, that is undeniable evidence that the "establishment" is wrong. I show him where he is wrong, but he just ignores it and changes the subject. I ask him to explain how things he believes are true even though the evidence says they are not true, and he just ignores the questions. And he attempts to bury me in irrelevant material, apparently as a way of avoiding discussing key issues.
Also interesting is the fact that each Science Truther appears to have his own theory. It brings to mind this cartoon I created about Anthrax Truthers years ago:
It made me want to create a new cartoon about Science Truthers, even though I've only got two theories from them so far. So, I did:
Part of Mr. W's theory is that planets are dead stars. He believes the Sun is the newest addition to the "solar system." I'm trying to get him to explain where the sun came from and how it became the center of the solar system. Bill Gaede's theory is that planets are bound to stars by invisible "ropes." I've wondered why airplanes do not crash into the invisible "ropes" that tie the moon to the earth, but I haven't yet tried to ask him. And, when I find the time, I'll try to figure out what personal theories some other Science Truthers promote. When I do, I'll add them to the new cartoon.
Interestingly, there is a video where Bill Gaede sings praise for Mr. W's fight against "the establishment." Even more interesting is the fact that at the 7:30 minute mark in the video, Mr. Gaede says,
"According to Jeff's theory, the sun is one of the last, if not the last member of the solar system. Now, Jeff doesn't incorporate gravity into his theory, and here we part company. I think gravity makes more sense to explain how the sun induced these existing celestial objects to orbit around it. I prefer that all planets of the solar system were gradually incorporated gravitationally as the heliosphere expanded. A new star like the sun may pick up a brown dwarf - a failed star, a ball of matter that did not have enough power to ignite - such as Jupiter. It is possible that the large Jovian, gaseous planets were indeed born with the sun. But then the question arises as to when and where the terrestrial planets and the moons and the asteroids came from. How did they come into being?"Near the end of the video, Mr. Gaede admits that Mr. W's theory could have a lot of holes. Basically, Mr. Gaede just praises Mr. W for being brave enough to argue with "the establishment." And he argues that every theory should be heard, apparently even if the theory makes no sense whatsoever.
That's okay - in theory - but who has the time to listen to every theory and to argue with the theorist by showing him all the holes in his theory? Working scientists don't have the time. Because I'm currently suffering from writer's block, I have some time. I'll try to show Mr. W some of the more obvious holes in his theory, but I have absolutely no hope of ever convincing him his theory is so full of holes that it probably cannot be repaired. I learned during my 14 years of arguing with Anthrax Truthers that Truthers won't listen to arguments, they'll only try to convince you that you are wrong. And, if you fail to agree, they'll write you off as just another silly "dupe" who believes "the establishment."
May 25, 2015 - Hmm. This morning I received an invitation to speak at the annual Oxford Round Table, to be held in Oxford, England on July 26 to 29. I wonder who put me on their mailing list. Too bad that is the week I plan to cut my toenails. I guess they'll just have to get along without me.
This morning I also received an email from the Time Dilation Truther in England who may have put me on the Oxford Round Table's mailing list. It took him 8 days to respond to my last response to him. It's almost like corresponding via snail mail. I don't understand what he wrote, so I'll have to ask him to clarify. His response will probably arrive in July.
Meanwhile, the person who calls himself "Galacar" posted two messages to Dr. Srinivasa Rao's web site two days ago, and Dr. Rao allowed them to appear this morning. Both messages were addressed to me, and both are declarations the Galacar doesn't believe in "space curvature." Like all Truthers, he is changing the subject because he cannot argue facts and evidence about the subject I asked about: Time Dilation. I have no thoughts or opinions on "space curvature," other than that it seems to work for mathematicians. So, that's what I told him. Maybe Dr. Srinivasa Rao will allow my responses to appear. Maybe he won't.
I keep thinking about the Science Truther who emailed me on Friday. After a more careful reading, it appears his paper "The Definition of Knowledge" indicates that he does not believe that beliefs = knowledge, as I suggested in yesterday's comment. In his paper he wrote: "Knowledge: Belief or set of beliefs." It appears he's saying that a "set of beliefs" can also be "knowledge." But, I can't be certain about that.
So, against my own better judgement, I posted a comment after his paper. I explained what Plato said about knowledge being a justified true belief. Maybe the Truther will try to argue. "The Definition of Knowledge" paper was written in 2013, but it was still open to comments. Presumably, the author will be notified that someone commented on his paper. Then we'll see if he agrees or disagrees. If he argues that "a set of beliefs" is knowledge, I'll ask whose "set of beliefs" is "knowledge" when there are competing "sets of beliefs."
It's an interesting and educational way to spend Memorial Day morning.
May 24, 2015 - It's clear that Time Dilation Truthers and Science Truthers can be as closed-minded as Anthrax Truthers. Dr. Srinivasa Rao finally allowed my link-filled post to appear on his web site. Then he responded with this:
Ed, Galacar can provide you with millions of such links to prove his ‘cheese of moon’ theory. You just have to remain as irrational as you have always been and blindly believe as you do with your stupid religion!Of course, I had to respond to that. I wrote:
I think what you are saying is that there is no possibility of having any kind of intelligent discussion here. You will just assume that anyone who disagrees with you is “blind” and “stupid.” Understood. Good bye.And he quickly deleted my post. So, that's that.
Meanwhile, I received an email on Friday from someone who had never emailed me before. The sender somehow found my web site and wrote me about his theory of "Stellar Metamorphosis." He believes Earth is a dead star. He wrote:
As the star cools and dies it solidifies into a rocky world over many billions of years. Life and all the molecular combinations on the Earth are a direct result of a single star's decay into a life hosting, rocky petri-dish of a place. The problem is that astronomers call them "planets".He didn't provide any link in his email. So, I had to research him. I found that he seems to have 171 YouTube videos explaining his various beliefs. His email explained that he also has "hundreds of vixra articles." I had never heard of "vixra." But one of his YouTube videos provided a link to a viXra article he wrote on the subject of "The Weather of Evolving Stars." And that led me to vixra.org. Wow! As of this moment, their site contains 10,642 "scientific" articles. Their web page HERE explains how vixra.org came to be:
In 1991 the electronic e-print archive, now known as arXiv.org, was founded at Los Alamos National Laboratories. In the early days of the World Wide Web it was open to submissions from all scientific researchers, but gradually a policy of moderation was employed to block articles that the administrators considered unsuitable. In 2004 this was replaced by a system of endorsements to reduce the workload and place responsibility of moderation on the endorsers. The stated intention was to permit anybody from the scientific community to continue contributing. However many of us who had successfully submitted e-prints before then found that we were no longer able to. Even those with doctorates in physics and long histories of publication in scientific journals can no longer contribute to the arXiv unless they can find an endorser in a suitable research institution.So, vixra.org was created to allow people who cannot find "endorsers" to publish their scientific papers. And they do it for free, unlike the "open access" scientific journals, which do it for money. The viXra site also says,
It is inevitable that viXra will therefore contain e-prints that many scientists will consider clearly wrong and unscientific. However, it will also be a repository for new ideas that the scientific establishment is not currently willing to consider. Other perfectly conventional e-prints will be found here simply because the authors were not able to find a suitable endorser for the arXiv or because they prefer a more open system. It is our belief that anybody who considers themselves to have done scientific work should have the right to place it in an archive in order to communicate the idea to a wide public. They should also be allowed to stake their claim of priority in case the idea is recognised as important in the future.And that site led me to the Archive Freedom web site which says,
The history of science teaches that the greatest advances in the scientific domain have been achieved by bold thinkers who perceived new and fruitful approaches that others failed to notice. If one had taken the ideas of these scientific geniuses who have been the promoters of modern science and submitted them to committees of specialists, there is no doubt that the latter would have viewed them as extravagant and would have discarded them for the very reason of their originality and profundity.Hmm. There's a whole world of "scientific thought" out there that I never knew about before. Skimming through some of the "scientific papers" written by the person who emailed me, I found one titled "The Definition of Knowledge." Here's the abstract:
Abstract: Plato described knowledge as a “true justified belief” but this is too complicated because what is true is arguable, what is justified is arguable and what constitutes a belief in relation to the two is arguable. Plato’s definition of knowledge is vague, inconsistent and depends on the opinion of the person or group. A more encompassing easy to understand definition of knowledge is given with a little explanation.Hmm. I believe the author misunderstands what Plato said. What is "true" is justified (proved), therefore it is not arguable. I.e., there is evidence to show it is true, and there is no known valid evidence showing it is not true. The scientific method says you have to have valid evidence to have a valid argument. The author demonstrates his misunderstanding HERE, HERE and HERE by using his beliefs to justify and support his other beliefs.
A belief or "set of beliefs" is definitely NOT knowledge - except to a True Believer.
I didn't reply to the email I received on Friday. I started writing a response, but it seemed pointless to respond via a private email. He might do as DXer did: fill my inbox with an endless stream of messages about his beliefs. Or he could use another tactic of DXer's, the same tactic Dr. Srinivasa Rao uses: go straight to personal attacks and call me "blind" and "stupid" or something equivalent. If the emailer did that, I'd want it to be in a public forum where people could see his "arguments." I thought long and hard about replying to one of his papers on viXra or putting a comment on one of his YouTube entries. But, there seemed no point to that, either. It appears he's out to convert the world to his beliefs, and I'm just a writer suffering from writer's block who prefers facts over beliefs.
However, I do thank the sender of the email for bringing viXra to my attention. I'm now a writer with writer's block who's wondering if he should turn his web page about Time Dilation into a "scientific article" on viXra.org.
|Comments for Sunday, May 17, 2015,
thru Saturday, May 23, 2015:
May 22, 2015 - Yesterday, I happened to read an article on The Huffington Post about the most popular baby names in 2013 by State. Liam was the most popular boy's name in Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana and about a dozen other States. Liam? The only person I know named Liam is movie star Liam Neeson. Were all those babies named after him? If not, who else? Noah was the most popular boy's name in Illinois, Arizona and New Mexico. What could those states have in common? Then I noticed that Mason was the most popular boy's name in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Louisiana and a couple other states. Where did that name come from? I couldn't think of anyone named Mason. Was it the name of someone on some popular reality TV show? Or some soap opera? Since I'm a movie buff, I thought about James Mason and Marsha Mason, but no one with a first name of Mason came to mind.
So, after wondering about it a bit, I just forgot about it. Or so I thought.
Then this morning I awoke thinking about character actor Mason Adams. His face was so vivid in my memory that I could have picked him instantly out of a line-up. And I could even remember his distinctive voice, and would also have instantly recognized it anywhere.
I couldn't remember any specific movie he was in or any TV show he was on, but I remembered him vividly. Checking his entry on the Internet Movie Data Base, it appeared that I must have remembered him from the 1980's TV show "Lou Grant." I also had a vague recollection of someone name Mason Williams.
I guess my point is that even though I thought I'd lost interest in who might be named Mason, my subconscious (or the "System 2" or "slow thinking" part of my brain) hadn't dropped the subject. Perhaps coincidentally, the book I got from the library on May 17, "Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything" by Joshua Foer, is all about how human memory works. I certainly do not remember everything. But, clearly there is a lot of stuff in my memory that I would have bet wasn't there. And my subconscious has a lot better access to it than anything I can assemble while fully awake.
May 21, 2015 - This morning I computed how far a ball would travel laterally if I was aboard a jetliner traveling at 550 miles per hour, if I tossed a ball into the air, and if it took 2 seconds from the time the ball left my hand to the time it fell back into my hand again.
If my calculations are correct, while the ball would appear to go straight up and down, it would actually move laterally about 1,614 feet during those 2 seconds. And so would I, of course. So, what I would perceive would be very different from what was actually happening. And, I would know that.
I spent nearly all day yesterday creating a new blog thread titled "Time Dilation: Reality versus Relativity." This mornings calculations were done to add a more visual and understandable illustration to the thread. I created the blog thread to get things clear in my mind, because I'm involved in another argument with the Science Truther who calls himself "Galacar." The argument went something like this:
Galacar: “Btw how do you measure something that doesn’t and won’t exist?”
The last part of that argument is still in "moderation." I don't know if Dr. Srininvasa Rao will allow it to post or not. He allowed the two posts I directed to him (HERE and HERE) to be posted, but he didn't respond. He just ignored them. So, once again, time will tell what he does with my latest post.
While creating my new blog thread, I had to do a lot of research into exactly what Albert Einstein was saying in 1905 in his paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" and how it relates to what the Truthers seem to be arguing. It's very clear that the Truthers are misunderstanding what Einstein wrote. But, how do you get them to accept that? In 13 years of arguing with Anthrax Truthers, I was never able to convince any of them that they were wrong. I don't know if I can ever change the mind of a Time Dilation Truther, but I find it very interesting and educational to try. I hope the readers of this web site find it interesting, too.
May 19, 2015 - I checked on the ""3rd Annual Rational Physics Conference" again this morning, finding no new details and no videos of the talks, so far. However, I did notice that the top page on their site says that the conference was going to be held at "The Black Bull" at 18 High Street in Dalmellington, Scotland. I also noticed that "The Black Bull" was a clickable link. I clicked on it, and the link went to a Google map of the location. And I was also shown a "street view" option, which meant I could visually look over the area. Looking around, I couldn't find 18 High Street, since none of the buildings seem to have house numbers. And the "street view" appears to be from March 2009.
Then I found the directions to the meeting place. The directions have a lot of spelling errors and other peculiarities, with indications that the text was dictated to a computer, not typed into a computer:
I could find the pharmacy and "Ye Olde House" easy enough, but there's no building with a plaque that says "1874" on it. Almost opposite "Ye Old House" on High Street (in 2009) was "The Loch Doon" which appears to be a pub. It has a plaque with 1895 on it between the windows above the left door:
So, "The Black Bull" is evidently a new name for "The Loch Doon." It seems to be on the edge of town. "Ye Olde House" is boarded up (or was in 2009), and so are/were some other buildings on that side of High Street. Below is a view of High Street from another angle. The black van with the gray car behind it on the right side of the street would be parked right in front of "The Black Bull."
Looking over the area, I cannot help but wonder: Why would anyone pick this place for the "3rd Annual Rational Physics Conference?" It's about as far removed from typical conference sites as one can imagine (even though the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory is located in Dalmellington). Maybe the main speaker, Jan Littlebaskets, bought The Black Bull and offered the meeting room for free if he could give three talks during the conference. And maybe he told them the plaque said "1874" when it actually said "1895" as a way of explaining his theory of Time Dilation using the "Inverse Scientific Method."
I also wondered about the name "Littlebaskets." It seems Native American. So, I did some research and found that the Jicarilla Apache lived in what is now Northern New Mexico and Eastern Colorado. "Jicarilla" means "Little Baskets." So, I suppose it's possible that the main speaker at the conference was a retired Jicarilla Apache Medicine Man who made a bundle in the casino business.
My curiosity evidently has no limits - particularly when I'm suffering from writers block.
May 18, 2015 - I awoke this morning wondering if there would be any news about the "3rd Annual Rational Physics Conference," which took place over the weekend. Looking around on the Internet, I located the schedule and found that the conference consisted of just a full day on Saturday and a half day on Sunday. The only speaker whose name I recognized was Bill Gaede, who I wrote a lot about on May 14. The other scheduled speakers were:
Jan LittlebasketsI tried researching Jan Littlebaskets and found absolutely nothing. I couldn't even determine if "Jan" is a man or a woman. I then tried researching Jake Archer and only found that he apparently likes to watch YouTube videos and leaves behind a record of what he "liked." I found a lot about Pradeep Koshy, but I don't understand any of it. Simon Holmes appears to be a physics teacher at a school in London. I couldn't find anything meaningful about the others.
So, I guess I'll just have to wait to see if any of their talks appear on YouTube.
I found a definition of "Inverse Scientific Method" HERE:
"I said it is. Therefore it is until you prove otherwise."Another source HERE defines "Inverse Scientific Method" this way:
"reaching a conclusion and then formulating a hypothesis that conforms to it."Both definitions certainly fit the methodology of Truthers of all kinds.
I also awoke this morning thinking about the Woody Allen movie "Sleeper." It occurred to me that "cryostasis" can be compared to Time Dilation. You do not travel into the future when you are "frozen" and awakened two hundred years later. Time merely passed slower for you, i.e., you aged more slowly, because you were frozen. And time passed normally for the rest of the world. No one was ever behind or ahead of anyone else in time.
I'll have to think about that a bit more. Maybe there is something in it that I can use when I try to explain things to Time Dilation Truthers.
May 17, 2015 - Hmm. I was just notified that I have to make myself available for jury duty in late June. The last time I was picked to be a potential juror, it was just a matter of calling their office each evening for a few days to find out if they wanted me to come in the next day or not. They never actually asked me to come in. We'll see if things work out the same way this time.
This looks like it could be an interesting case:
Meanwhile, I've just finished reading "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, which I started on March 4. So, it took me nearly two and a half months to read it in 10 to 15 minute increments during breakfast and lunch. In my defense, it is a 431 page book, not including some of the Appendixes, Notes and the Index. It's a psychology book, although it certainly gets into other areas, particularly statistics.
So, now I'm pondering whether I should next read "Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives" by Michael Specter, even though it got a lot of fairly bad reviews on Amazon.com. "Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything" by Joshua Foer, is another possibility, even if it doesn't fit any current interest of mine. I have many other books ready and waiting in my Kindle. The two books I named above are just the most recent additions. During breakfast this morning, I read from "Moonwalking with Einstein," but just as a test to see if it can hold my interest. So far, it has.
I'm also still trying to get started on my third sci-fi novel. But, instead of getting to work on it, I've been wasting time on such things as researching animated gifs. There are certainly a lot of them out there on the Internet. Here are a few samples that I found to be interesting and unusual:
I was surprised (even astounded) by the lengths to which some artists will go to create an animated gif. It's become an art form that can only be viewed with a computer. This video is amazing to me:I've got all the software needed to create animated gifs, but I've never actually created one. The problem is: First I'd have to decide what kind of animated gif I want to create. I think it would be relatively simple to shoot a video of myself rolling my eyeballs, and then turn it into an animated gif where I just endlessly roll my eyeballs. But, if I worked on that, I'd know I was just doing it because I haven't been able to get started on my sci-fi novel. It would be another way to waste time. It brings to mind an episode from the Dick Van Dyke show where he goes to a cabin in the woods for a week to try to get started on his novel, with the assumption that there won't be anything to distract him there. But, he finds a paddleball game on a shelf, plays with it for awhile, and then he spends the entire week trying to break each new record he sets for himself.
Of course, when you have to write something -- as I had to write this comment for this Sunday - one way to get it done is to fill it with images copied from elsewhere. That way, it looks like a long comment, but it really isn't
This morning, I received an email from a Time Dilation Truther. I'll have to work on a reply as soon as I finish this comment. It could take a couple hours to write the reply, even if it is only a paragraph or so. The wording has to be very exact, or he'll twist and distort things to avoid admitting he is wrong. When I finish writing my response, then hopefully I'll be able to focus on my novel.
Added note: It took about an hour to write my reply. The Truther seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of a simple term ("uniform motion") used in Einstein's1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies." I had to revise and rewrite my reply about 30 times to make it absolutely clear and undeniable what the term really means. It's absolutely mind-boggling to me that he could make such a simple mistake. But, maybe there's something in what he wrote that I didn't understand (although I cannot see what it could possibly be). Either way, I hope it won't take him a week to write a reply, as it did last time.
|Comments for Sunday, May 10, 2015,
thru Saturday, May 16, 2015:
May 15, 2015 - Someone just sent me an extremely interesting New York Times article which illustrates why eye witness testimony is so often unreliable. The article is titled "Witness Accounts in Midtown Hammer Attack Show the Power of False Memory," and it's about that police shooting in midtown Manhattan that I wrote about on May 13. Here is part of the NYT article:
On the dot of 10 on Wednesday morning, Anthony O’Grady, 26, stood in front of a Dunkin’ Donuts on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan. He heard a ruckus, some shouts, then saw a police officer chase a man into the street and shoot him down in the middle of the avenue.The 25 second video shows exactly what happened, some of it in slow motion, but you will probably have to play it over and over at least a dozen times to get all the details, since it happens so fast. The two officers are crossing the street, walking toward the camera, and the attacker is standing on the sidewalk at the curb, his back to the camera, seemingly waiting for the two officers. The attacker moves to be right in front of them. He then pulls out a hammer. The attacker lunges at the female officer as she turns away and runs into the intersection. The attacker runs after the female police officer, apparently hitting her once or twice with the hammer. The male police officer is right behind them. He shoots the attacker from a distance of about 4 feet. Both the attacker and the female officer fall down, but only the female officer gets up again.
Among other things, the video shows how quickly things can happen. It all takes place in about 6 seconds, starting with the guy pulling out his hammer and ending with him face down in the middle of the intersection. At first I assumed the attacker was one of the many men on the sidewalk wearing backpacks as they walk toward the intersection and away from the camera. I had to play the video about a half dozen times before I realized the attacker was waiting at the curb. I also thought I saw the female office pull her gun. But, she doesn't. She just raises her arms to protect herself from the hammer.
What I was doing was the same thing the eye witnesses were doing. I failed to see all the details, so my mind filled in what seemed to have happened. The article describes how Ms. Khalsa was shown the video, and,
Even if she hadn't been on her bicycle, it takes a while for your brain to stop making assumptions and to start looking at what is actually happening. And the video is a truly excellent example of how fast things can happen and how easily it is to misinterpret what just happened.
The YouTube version of the video can be viewed by clicking HERE. Everything seems much more clear when it's viewed in full screen mode.
May 14, 2015 - I should stop trying to predict what Truthers will do next. I predicted that Dr. Srinivasa Rao would delete my most recent posts, which were awaiting "moderation" for days. But he allowed them to appear on his web page. And then he (so far) ignored them.
While reading other messages on his page, I noticed a link to a "Rational Physics Conference". Being naturally curious, I clicked on the link. It shows that the "conference" is being held this weekend, May 16 & 17, in Scotland. That made me even more curious, so I did a Google Search for "Rational Physics Conference," and that took me to many YouTube videos showing the theories of all kinds of "Science Truthers." They aren't religious nuts. They're people who have their own theories of how the universe works.
I watched a YouTube video of an absolutely fascinating presentation by someone named Bill Gaede at last year's conference in Austria. The presentation is titled "What is Physics?" He gave it to about 30 people, and it begins at the 3 minute point in the 46 minute video. His theme seems to be: Because scientists do not understand everything, that means they do not understand anything. He quotes Nobel Prize winning scientist Richard Feynman as saying,
It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge what energy is.He spends the first 35 minutes of the presentation talking about how scientists do not understand everything about energy, gravity, time and quantum mechanics, and that proves they don't know anything.
I found it fascinating because scientists often talk about not knowing everything is why they are scientists. They work to try to understand more about subjects that are not fully understood. If everything was already known, why become a scientist? Mr. Gaede shows a slide that lists some of the questions scientists are still trying to answer every day:
What happened before the Big Bang?And he ridicules the scientists for not knowing the answers, since it shows their abysmal ignorance. He argues that because they don't fully understand it, that means they must view it as "magic."
It is a fascinating presentation of his own ignorance and lack of understanding.
And then at about the 28 minute mark he starts to come to his point: If you can understand one thing about nature, you can understand everything. And that one thing is: "Action at a distance." I.e., how does nature move things at a distance? He disapproves of "concepts" like gravity and energy. He wants something physical. And then, at about the 34 minute he starts to explain his answer to everything: It's done with ropes. He says,
"Every atom in the universe is connected to every other atom in the universe by an electromagnetic rope."It might seem like a joke, but he's clearly dead serious. He then illustrates how the "ropes" are so thin as to be invisible to the naked eye. And light waves are just the way a "rope" is twisted. At about the 41:30 mark, he explains how "every atom of the earth is connected to every atom of the moon" via "ropes," and that is why the moon stays in orbit and doesn't fly off into space. What he doesn't explain is why airplanes do not crash into all those ropes. Or why the ropes don't get twisted when the earth spins faster than the moon orbits.
This morning, I found another presentation by Mr. Gaede at that same "Rational Physics Conference." The 41 minute video begins with the same 3 minute interview as the "rope" presentation, but then shows his presentation on "What is Time?" It is also very interesting it its way, even though he seemingly argues once again that if you do not know everything, you do not understand anything. If you do not know what existed before the Big Bang, or if you do not know what is outside of the known universe, then you are hopelessly ignorant. And trying to figure out the answers is a waste of time for the hopelessly ignorant.
At one point Mr. Gaede uses an hourglass as a "clock" when discussing how gravity affects time, "proving" that Time Dilation is "nonsense," since an hourglass won't work in "zero gravity." He is apparently ignorant of the fact that there is no such thing as "zero gravity." What is called "zero gravity" on space stations is really a point where gravity is offset by velocity. But, the idea of using an hourglass to measure time is an interesting argument when talking about Time Dilation. How do you measure a billionth of a second with an hourglass? It's probably another good argument to stop using man-made clocks to measure Time Dilation and to use a natural clock instead, as I do on my Time Dilation web page.
Near the end of his talk, at the 38:30 mark, Mr. Gaeda says that his definition of Time is: "the relation between two motions." He gives as an example, the relation between the movement of hands on a clock versus the movement of the earth going around the sun. In other words, it's a measurement. But, he doesn't say a measurement of what.
There were other presentations by other "experts" at the 2nd "Rational Physics Conference" in Austria last year. None are as fascinating as Mr. Gaede's. The other speakers were Stephen J. Crothers, Hartwig Thim, Alexander Unzicker, and Klaus D. Witzel. I found the beginning of the 33 minute Hartwig Thim video to be interesting because it shows Mr. Thim doesn't understand Time Dilation.
You can also click HERE for a 28 minute interview with Professor Tom Bethell as part of a series for American political conservatives. It looks like a Monty Python sketch, but they are dead serious.
I think my point to all this is that there are a lot more Science Truthers and Time Dilation Truthers out there than I previously thought.
May 13, 2015 - I recorded Monday night's episode of "StarTalk" on my DVR, and I got around to watching it last night. The host of the show, astrophysicist Niel deGrasse Tyson, talked with comedian Chuck Nice and Director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at CUNY, Jeff Jarvis. They discussed a recorded interview Dr. Tyson had done with Arianna Huffington on the subject of journalism today. There's a transcript of the show HERE.
This morning, I took my first in depth look at The Huffington Post web site. I don't know why I never checked it out before. I've visited the site many times, but only when Google provide a link to a specific article I wanted to check out.
It's going to take me awhile to understand exactly what's going on, but I was very impressed to see a "breaking news" story about a police shooting in midtown Manhattan that was being updated as I was reading it. The article already had a half dozen photographs of the scene, all taken by amateurs who posted their cell phone shots to InstaGram and Twitter. You could also read InstaGram comments where various news agencies (including The Huffington Post) asked the various photographers for permission to use their photos. Evidently, this is routine, and there are simple procedures set up for instantly giving approval (or not).
The "StarTalk" episode was about the changing ways news is being reported. I didn't expect to have it vividly demonstrated for me the next day. I also found a Reuters story about North Korea's Kin Jung Un executing one of his generals by using an antiaircraft gun, and another interesting story about "Mark Zuckerberg's plan for world domination" that I hadn't see elsewhere. I'm going to have to check The Huffington Post every morning, at least until a good feel for what is going on and whether or not checking it every morning is worth my time.
May 12, 2015 - Someone just sent me a link to a Wall Street Journal article titled "Court to Rule on Voice Analysis in Terrorism Trial." The link didn't work when I tried it. It just told me that I need to be a subscriber to read the article. But, I then took part of a quote from the article and did a Google search for the partial quote, and Google provided a fully readable version of the article.
The article is interesting because it relates to the debates I've had with some Anthrax Truthers over the admissibility of handwriting evidence from lay witnesses. It's widely known and fully accepted that lay witnesses can testify in any court to recognizing a person's voice. But, according to the WSJ article,
Calling an expert witness to testify on the results of a voice analysis is different from calling a lay person to testify that he or she recognizes someone’s voice, legal experts say. The rules for using a voice expert are much more stringent. The judge needs to decide whether the person is truly an expert and whether his or her methodologies are generally accepted in the scientific community.Voice recognition technologies have difficulties in determining with absolute certainty that two voice samples came from the same person, because people's voices can change over time, and laryngitis and other problems can change the sound of a person's voice.
Although the FBI uses voice analysis as an investigative tool, FBI agents aren't allowed to provide expert testimony in court identifying a specific individual through a voice sample. Voice analysis isn't “sufficiently mature to reliably be used as evidence of identity in a court proceeding,” according to the FBI. Dr. Nakasone has been working with federal agencies to create standardized guidelines for speaker recognition technology with a goal of getting these techniques to a point where they are admissible in court.So, investigators can accept that a voice has been determined by experts to belong to a specific person, and they can investigate that person further to find other evidence to use in court, but they cannot testify in court that they identified a person via his or her voice.
There have been cases in the past where prosecutors have attempted to use voice print recognition expert testimony in court, but it was always disallowed. There is hope that the new techniques will pass the legal hurdles and be allowed.
“Every time there’s a new technique, it has to be filtered through the courts,” said Paul Giannelli, a Case Western Reserve University law professor who specializes in scientific evidence.Meanwhile, of course, lay witnesses testify in court every day about recognizing someone's voice. But voice recognition experts cannot testify.
May 11, 2015 - Hmm. It looks like we have another conspiracy theory under development. This time it is a conspiracy theory about covering up "the truth" about the killing of Osama bin Laden. CNN is using the headline "Was there a cover-up in bin Laden killing?" The theory originated with journalist Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books under the headline "The Killing of Osama bin Laden." Hersh's claim is that Pakistan was keeping bin Laden prisoner in that compound in Abbotabad, that the Pakistani's knew about the U.S. raid before it happened, and that a Pakistani official told the U.S. where bin Laden was located, the U.S. didn't figure it out by following one of bin Laden's couriers.
Here's a summary from Vox.com:
Wikipedia already has information about this theory in their entry about Seymour Hersh where they also indicate that Mr. Hersh has been promoting his bin Laden theory since 2013. Meanwhile, the White House is saying that the theory being promoted by Seymour Hersh is "patently false." Everyone seems to be united in arguing the Mr. Hersh is using unnamed sources. In a 13 minute CNN interview with Mr. Hersh (HERE) he defends his claims.
It's all very interesting, and it seems that the known facts of the Seal raid clearly show that there was a firefight in which bin Laden was killed, but Mr. Hersh says there was no firefight. The13-minute CNN report ends with their interviewer saying, What it "new" in Hersh's article is not true and what is true is not new.
Personally, I'll accept the official version until someone supplies solid facts and evidence that the official version is false. Mr. Hersh certainly hasn't done that.
May 10, 2015 (B) - I just noticed an article in Britain's Sunday Express with the headline: "All pilots know Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 NOT an accident and WAS hijacked." The headline is a bit misleading. The article begins with this:
THE doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was hijacked by its own pilot who carefully plunged it deep into the Indian Ocean in a preplanned suicide bid, an expert has claimed.According to Byron Bailey, an Australian commercial pilot, virtually all commercial pilots feel that the only explanation for the disappearance of Flight MH370 is that the pilot hijacked his own aircraft and landed it intact on the waters of the South Indian Ocean, where it sank without leaving a lot of debris. It's what I believe, too, but I'd certainly like the plane to be found and provide solid proof, since that explanation also seems to require that all the passengers and crew (except the pilot) be dead from suffocation or other causes at the time of the landing on the ocean.
Meanwhile, the reader comments following the article show that MH370 Truthers of all kinds are still very active.
May 10, 2015 (A) - I've painted myself into another corner on my third sci-fi novel. I gradually came to realize that the story line I was thinking about is much too similar to the plot of the 1951 movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still." So, I'm going to have to do some more rethinking. I'll probably scrap the idea of adding an alien character and stick with the straight, modern-day sci-fi formula I used in the first two books, i.e., using only one sci-fi element (a type of "time machine"), not two (adding an alien character). I might possibly use a plot loosely based upon the anthrax attacks of 2001. How much of the seven chapters I've written will have to be scrapped is yet to be determined.
Meanwhile, I think my arguments with the three Time Dilation Truthers have come to an end. Dr. Srinivasa Rao has simply left my posts dated May 4 and May 7 in "moderation" where only he and I can see them. Right now, I think I have to assume that he has no intention of ever allowing the to post, much less responding to them. I think he just considers Einstein and I are too stupid to bother arguing with. I'll keep checking his site, however, on the remote chance that he's studying my posts and is trying to come up with an intelligent response.
Dr. Thomas Smid may also feel Einstein and I are just too screwed-up and stupid to bother with. The last time Dr. Smid and I communicated was when I responded to an email from him on May 6. It doesn't seem like we'll ever reach a meeting of the minds, since he always argues against what he believes I believe, not against what I'm actually telling him. In other words, he's not listening to my argument, he's interpreting everything I say to make it fit his belief of what I believe. And he believes I blindly fell hook, line and sinker for what he sees as Albert Einstein's totally silly Special Theory of Relativity.
Mr. Bernard Burchell last sent me an email on May 8. In his email he said he saw no further reason for communication between us. And he explained why. His explanation showed he was doing the same thing Dr. Smid did. I responded on May 9 to tell him:
We're talking apples and oranges. I am talking only about Time Dilation, which is fairly easy to understand. You insist on talking about Relativity and Special Relativistic Time Dilation, which is very complex and filled with counter intuitive mathematics.Communicating via emails is complicated by the fact that everyone tends to crowd as much argument into an email as possible, since it will be at least another full day before you get a chance to "speak" again. This is particularly true when you are arguing with someone on the other side of the globe. And when you fill an email with arguments, there is a good possibility that at least one argument will contain a badly phrased sentence that the other person will focus upon and use to argue that you're saying something you did not say (or did not intend to say).
When corresponding with Time Dilation Truthers, I may spend an hour or two hours composing an email, then revising it over and over in attempts to make certain there is nothing that can be misinterpreted. But, it seems there always is. And the problem is compounded by the fact that the Truther is usually misinterpreting everything I write to make it fit his beliefs of what he thinks I believe. To him, I'm just another "stupid dupe" who fell for Albert Einstein's Relativity mumbojumbo.
While it's very frustrating, it is often also very interesting and educational. If you try explaining the same thing in ten different ways, you begin to understand various details of the subject a lot better. You also become more certain that you are right and the other person is wrong. And that certainty is reinforced by the fact that the other person is a Truther who never seems able to explain anything in any meaningful way. Here is what one Time Dilation Truther wrote me:
Atomic clocks are made up of atoms that came from different stars – they originally had very different velocities, which means the clocks contains many different velocities and their atoms should be experiencing different levels of time dilation.Huh? In what universe would that make sense? I don't know if that is what he believes or if he is sarcastically distorting what he thinks I believe.
Here's what another Time Dilation Truther wrote me:
The point is that all motion is relative (at least as far as uniform motion is concerned), so there is no absolutely stationary observer/clock; each can consider itself stationary and the other moving.That is clearly a Relativity argument. In the world of human beings there are ways to tell who is stationary and who is moving. If I'm sitting on a park bench watching pigeons fly around, I definitely consider myself to be stationary and the pigeons to be moving. I had to look up "uniform motion" to make sure it didn't change things. It didn't. He's talking about Relativity. And I was talking about Time Dilation.
So, unless Mr. Burchell decides he's willing to try to talk ONLY about Time Dilation for awhile, it appears that my discussions with the three Time Dilation Truthers may have come to an end. My first mention of the Time Dilation topic on this web site was on April 2. So, I've been writing about it for just over a month. That's not very long. But, to a reader of this web site who isn't interested in that topic, it has probably seemed like a year.
|Comments for Sunday, May 3, 2015,
thru Saturday, May 9, 2015:
May 8, 2015 - The finding and studying of "The Monte Hall Problem" yesterday left me somewhat annoyed with mathematicians. I can see their reasoning, but I can also see that they are being purely mathematical and hypothetical, and they are deliberately ignoring human emotions and human perceptions.
In "The Monte Hall Problem" there is a fabulous prize behind one of three doors marked A, B, and C. You are asked to choose one door. You know your odds of choosing correctly are only one in three. Assume you choose Door A.
Then, instead of telling you whether you guessed correctly or not, the game show host opens Door C. The fabulous prize is NOT behind Door C.
The game show host then asks if you want to change your choice to Door B.
In the world of mathematics, the answer is YES!, change to Door B. Why? Because to mathematicians, the mathematical equation predicting that the prize is behind Door B is one in two. Learning that Door C would have been a wrong choice didn't affect the original mathematical equation. It remains one in three. And they see choosing Door B as a better opinion, since the new mathematical equation shows the odds of being correct are one in two.
In the human world, however, when you learned that Door C is a wrong choice, the odds did change from one in three to one in two. And absolutely nothing makes Door B a better choice than Door A. But most importantly, you would feel that if you changed your choice to Door B and you turned out to be wrong, you'd regret for the rest of your life that you made the change. If you stick with Door A, losing will be simply the result of it being only a one in three chance.
Mathematicians may not understand this, because there is no mathematical equation that calculates regret.
May 7, 2015 - I awoke this morning thinking about why I do not understand the "two moving space ships Time Dilation problem." I added this explanation at the bottom of that blog entry:
I suspect that, while I understand Time Dilation very well, I am not understanding Special Relativity and Special Relativistic Time Dilation. I suspect that Special Relativity is best described using mathematics. I suspect Special Relativity involves things in the mathematical world that are outside of human visual experience and therefore cannot be easily described in human experience terms. I suspect that is why, when teachers try to describe certain aspects of Special Relativity in visual terms, their descriptions make little sense to people who do not know and understand the mathematics. They are "counter intuitive." That is probably why teachers are always apologizing and telling their students that it would all make more sense if they studied the mathematics.I've been exchanging emails with Dr. Thomas Smid and Mr. Bernard Burchell, but Dr. Srinivasa Rao still hasn't allowed my last comment out of "moderation." So, no one can see the comment except me and him. I suspect that, if I attempt to post another comment, he'll simply delete both comments. That's what he did last time. But, I dislike the status quo, so I posted this comment:
Meanwhile, I did a Google search for examples of "counter intuitive," and I found many on a Wikipedia page HERE. One of them is called "The Monte Hall Problem," which is based upon the game show "Let's Make a Deal." Versions of it have been around since 1889 (click HERE). Since it is made VERY clear that you have to understand mathematics to understand the correct answer to ALL of the counter intuitive examples, I'll just use it as confirmation of my suspicion that the "two space ship time dilation problem" can also only be understood by understanding the mathematics. (I quickly lose interest when a solution requires understanding complex mathematics or when the solution is purely hypothetical (as is the case with the "Monte Hall Problem, where a 1 in 2 chance of being right is seen as hypothetically ALWAYS better than a 1 in 3 chance).)
I did find examples of "counter intuitive" that do NOT require mathematics. Here are three from the Reddit.com web site:
I know of a couple who had puppies to give away and no takers. They changed the ad in the paper to read "Free puppies. Five cute / one ugly." They were all adopted the next day by people coming to get the poor ugly puppy.and
Thinking about it a bit, it also appears that the "a child did it" solution to the handwriting "problem" in the Amerithrax case is also "counter intuitive." Most people intuitively ask themselves, "Would I have used a child that way?" And their intuitive answer is "Certainly NOT!" But they asked themselves the WRONG question. They should have asked, "Would Dr. Bruce Ivins, who was mentally ill and had many other issues and problems, have done things that way?" That question should produce "Most likely, YES!" as the answer.
May 6, 2015 - Yesterday, someone sent me a link to a very interesting article titled "When researchers trolled conspiracy nuts with random false info, they bought it every time." The article begins with this:
According to a February study, conspiracy theorists are so gullible, they completely lack the ability to know when they’re being purposefully duped.The article includes a link to a Raw Story article titled "Facebook conspiracy theorists fooled by even the most obvious anti-science trolling: study." That article begins with this:
Anti-science conspiracy theorists are so credulous they can’t determine when they’re being purposefully duped, according to a new study.The "Motherboard" link is to an article that begins with this:
That is very much like what I've been saying for over a decade. Conspiracy theorists tend to associate with other conspiracy theorists, and that helps them to reinforce what they believe. Plus, they are more passionate about their beliefs, so they are a more visible force on the Internet as they seek to convert people to their beliefs. People who disagree with them usually have better things to do than to argue with "conspiracy nuts." And conspiracy theorists do not want to discuss anything with people who disagree with them, because they are all viewed as "dupes" who just voice "the party line."
What the scientific article adds to the situation is a finding that conspiracy theorists do not check facts and are therefore extremely gullible and prone to believe total nonsense posted by Trolls who pretend to agree with them.
That's certainly understandable.
The scientific article (which can be read by clicking HERE) also says,
However, anti-conspiracy theorists may not only reject evidence that points toward a conspiracy theory account, but also spend cognitive resources for seeking out evidences to debunk conspiracy theories even when these are satirical imitation of false claims.In other words, people like me might waste a lot of time arguing with Trolls IF we aren't on the alert for Trolls posting nonsense. Posting by Trolls is probably much more common on Facebook and other "social media" outlets than on blogs and web sites. I know virtually nothing about Facebook, other than it's something in which a great many other people seem to be very interested.
I could be wrong, but I think of Facebook as a gossip and small talk interface. It used to be done on the telephone, but now you do it in public where thousands of others can listen in and join in. I have extremely limited capability for gossip and small talk. I usually have what I consider to be "better things to do." These "better things" are often things in which others have absolutely no interest (like writing, or learning about the anthrax attacks of 2001 or Time Dilation).
It's possible that if I were on Facebook, I could find some true experts on the anthrax attacks of 2001 and Time Dilation to talk with. But, I tend to think that such people also have "better things to do." My primary interest is in writing, and writing is mostly a solitary activity. Facebook looks like a trap where you wander around in a crowded world looking for someone with the same interests as you have. I have to allocate my time to fit my current mood and interests. I don't have much time left for wandering the world to find someone to exchange small talk and gossip with. And that also means I very rarely encounter Trolls.
May 5, 2015 (B) - This morning, I started writing down my thoughts about the "two space ship" Time Dilation/Relativity problem where two space ship pass each other and BOTH ships see the other ship's clocks as running slow. I was once again trying to clarify my understanding of a situation by writing down my thoughts and studying what I wrote. I reached a point where there was still something I didn't understand. But, I also realized that I should be writing those thoughts down on my "new" interactive blog where people can comment or help me figure out what it is I do not understand.
So, I put my thoughts on my blog HERE, and I'll continue to modify them until I find the answer to why the two space ship problem doesn't seem to make sense UNLESS you use a clock that cannot run fast, it can only run correctly or slow.
May 5, 2015 (A) - Yesterday was another one of those rare days where I could see and point out an error in someone else's logic. Mr. Bernard Burchell has a web page HERE where he explains his (mis)understanding of Time Dilation. At that page, Mr. Burchell explains:
Mr. Burchell's example is very different from what Einstein wrote. Mr. Burchell has TWO moving objects. The Einstein quote has only ONE moving object.
Here is my "simplified" version of what Prof. Einstein said in that quote:
Clocks A and B are stationary at different locations.That is Time Dilation in a nutshell. It matches my understanding of Time Dilation. I've pointed out Mr. Burchell's error in an email, and I am awaiting his response.
It appears that Mr. Burchell is combining what Prof. Einstein wrote with some other situation Mr. Burchell remembers. Most likely, it's the purely hypothetical situation where two moving space ships pass each other in space and each "sees" the others' clock as running slow compared to their own clock.
Meanwhile, my answer to Dr. Srinivasa Rao's question is evidently still awaiting moderation.
Also meanwhile, I'm waiting for Dr. Thomas Smid to respond to the email where I pointed out where he misunderstands Time Dilation. It's the same as Mr. Burchell's. To understand Time Dilation, they first need to view it independent of Relativity, i.e. with only ONE moving object. Once that is understood, then they can try adding in a Relativity component by using TWO moving objects.
I think I'll soon see if I'm arguing with "Truthers" who feel they already KNOW "the truth" and anyone who disagrees must be "wrong," or if I'm arguing with reasonable people who truly want to understand what is going on.
It's hard to imagine that I'm dealing with reasonable people, since all three have web sites where they declare their erroneous beliefs to the world. And they declare that anyone who disagrees with them is a "dupe" who is evidently totally incapable of using common sense. That is what Anthrax Truthers and 9/11 Truthers also do. They all argue their beliefs against facts and evidence.
May 4, 2015 (B) - While trying to find a good explanation that will help Time Dilation Truthers understand what they misunderstand about Time Dilation, I found a really terrific YouTube Video HERE that seems to be almost exactly what I was looking for. But first I may need to describe for myself some of what begins at the 7:40 mark in writing to see if what I write makes sense if I use a clock that does not work with bouncing light beams. The confusing issue is how each traveler sees the others' clock as running slow. All the Time Dilation Truthers seem to misunderstand something about that. I don't understand it yet, so I know I do not misunderstand it. I would have to both (1) think I understand it and (2) be wrong in order to misunderstand it. Understand?
May 4, 2015 (A) - Ah! I may be making progress in my debates with Time Dilation Truthers. Yesterday afternoon, Dr. Smid in England actually explained his understanding of Time Dilation. He explained that relativity predicts that when person-A and person-B are moving around in the universe, both will think the other person's clock is moving slower.
Bingo! That's a Relativity situation commonly used by scientists when talking about Time Dilation. Dr. Janna Levin used it on last week's TV episode of "Startalk" (which can also be heard on radio HERE). It involves two space ships passing each other in space. But Dr. Smid applied it to any two objects in space.
I did some research and found the "two space ships" example on a Wikipedia comments page HERE. It says,
When two observers are in relative uniform motion and uninfluenced by any gravitational mass, the point of view of each will be that the other's (moving) clock is ticking at a slower rate than the local clock.and
For instance, two rocket ships (A and B) speeding past one another in space would experience time dilation. If they somehow had a clear view into each other's ships, each crew would see the others' clocks and movement as going more slowly. That is, inside the frame of reference of Ship A, everything is moving normally, but everything over on Ship B appears to be moving more slowly (and vice versa).That is exactly what Dr. Smid seems to believe. However, that web page also explains further. It says:
The issue is not so much what each observer near each clock think and or if his clock runs at a normal rate what ever this means.That is what the Time Dilation Truthers don't seem to understand. Time Dilation is NOT what what the space travelers SEE from their local perspective, it is what is actually happening from the perspective of an outside observer who also knows what else is going on in the universe.
The web page also provides a different example of two space ships which totally contradicts the beliefs of at least one of the Time Dilation Truthers:
From a local perspective, time registered by clocks that are at rest with respect to the local frame of reference (and far from any gravitational mass) always appears to pass at the same rate. In other words, if a new ship, Ship C, travels alongside Ship A, it is "at rest" relative to Ship A. From the point of view of Ship A, new Ship C's time would appear normal too.In my other words, if two ships are traveling side by side at the same rate of speed, even though BOTH ships are moving, they will see no difference in their clocks.
I'm now waiting to see how Dr. Thomas Smid and Mr. Bernard Burchell respond to this information. They may dismiss the views of an anonymous contributor on Wikipedia, so I'll look for other explanations. I found a VERY good explanation of Time Dilation HERE, but it doesn't use the "two space ship" example that seems to be the cause of confusion for Time Dilation Truthers.
Meanwhile, Dr. Srinivasa Rao allowed my latest comment to be posted to his web site, and he countered with a question:
How do you know the velocity of any object relative to your ‘hypothetical stationary observer’ in the first instance for you to use that value to calculate the time dilation?I explained how to determine the velocity of any object using triangulation or known reference points. So, now I have to wait to see if he allows my answer to be posted and, if he does, how he responds to it.
I was writing this comment when Jeri Ryan told me "The com line is active," the announcement I use to tell me that I've received an email. The email was from Mr. Bernard Burchell. So, he is now back in the discussion.
Now I just need to find the time to explain where he is misunderstanding things in a way that will require him to think things over before responding.
It's a really fascinating way for me to spend a Monday morning.
May 3, 2015 - I've been very busy trying to think of ways to explain Time Dilation to Drs. Smid and Srinivasa. Yesterday, after I did all those Time Dilation calculator computations for my May 2 comment, I posted this in response to the May 1 post by Dr. Srinivasa Rao on his web site:
However, the person who calls himself "Galacar" responded with some sarcasm, writing:
I responded with this:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.That comment is awaiting moderation. And I, of course, wish I'd spent a lot more time on those last two sentences. Will anyone understand what I mean, or will they only see that the words are open to different interpretations?
Dr. Thomas Smid, meanwhile, asked me (or dared me) to compute for him the Time Dilation for some clock somewhere on Earth without referencing any object or point in space. Here's part of the reply I sent him yesterday afternoon:
Time Dilation is typically computed relative to a "STATIONARY OBSERVER." That is a purely hypothetical "object" that is standing still in the universe. You get the exact same result when you compute Time Dilation relative to the "physical constant" 299,792,458 meters per second in a vacuum (the "speed of light").I'm not a math whiz, so this is really mind-boggling stuff for me. It's making me look at my understanding of Time Dilation in different ways. That causes me to constantly wonder if what I wrote in my Time Dilation page still holds true.
And, I want to compare my arguments with Time Dilation Truthers to my arguments with Anthrax Truthers. Some Anthrax Truthers argue that Dr. Bruce Ivins couldn't have been the anthrax killer because he didn't have the time required to make all those anthrax spores from scratch. I tell them they're using an incorrect reference point for time. The facts show that Ivins did not make the attack spores from scratch. He made them from fully grown spores he took from biosafety garbage bags that he kept piled in a corner of his lab for weeks. Dr. Ivins had plenty of spores and plenty of time to do things that way.
That's straining a comparison, but it's the best I can do right now. Besides, it isn't really the subject of "time" that is so fascinating to me. It is the psychology of people who use beliefs to override what the facts and evidence say. I'm also interested in how to explain things, because the process of explaining helps me to understand - particularly explaining in writing.
Last week, I spent hours trying to visualize some way to show an hydrogen atom face-on as it moves through space at 98% of the speed of light. I thought about showing it as a parabolic orbit, but that would require the electron to be at different distances from the proton. And I recall reading somewhere - or seeing on some science TV show - that that would require a "quantum jump." So, the orbit would probably have to be visualized as oval shaped:
I really need to get back to working on my novel. I'm in Chapter 7 on page 43. I've introduced the new character. Now I have to figure out what his "problem" is, and how the "problem" can be solved by having all the main characters work together. In other words, I need to think up "a story" or "plot" for the book.
But, if Dr. Srinivasa Rao or Dr. Tomas Smid ask some question, I'll definitely drop everything and work on the answer. Yesterday, I didn't even eat lunch until 1:30 in the afternoon because I was so wrapped up in writing to Dr. Smid.
I apologize if all this Time Dilation stuff is of no interest to regular readers of this web site. But, it is extremely fascinating to me.
Maybe I should also mention that on Tuesday I bought Season 1 of "Stargate Universe" on DVD because it was on sale for $9.99. I then went on a "video binge" and watched all 20 episodes, some of the commentary tracks, and most of the "extras," finishing last night. It was fairly enjoyable, and it didn't prevent me from thinking of other things while watching. The only problem was that Episode 20 ends with a major "cliffhanger." I think I'll just live with not knowing how things get resolved in Season 2, rather than to buy and watch Season 2. Season 1 wasn't so enjoyable that I can't easily resist buying Season 2. I've got lots of better TV shows on DVDs that I haven't had the time to watch. "Stargate Universe" just piqued my curiosity. I hadn't seen it before.
|Comments for Friday, May 1, 2015,
thru Saturday, May 2, 2015:
Saturday, May 2, 2015 - Hmm. I see that Dr. Srinivasa Rao simply deleted my post. (See yesterday's comment.) I probably should have expected that, since it required him to provide an explanation. And Truthers seem generally incapable of explaining their reasoning.
("DXer" sent me three emails last week, and he attempted one post to my old interactive blog. I just ignored them, since they only contained meaningless information without any explanations for why DXer was sending me all that meaningless information.)
Meanwhile, I awoke this morning wondering how much Time Dilation I am experiencing as a result of me sitting here on Earth while the Sun and the Earth move at 483,000 miles per hour in their orbit around the Milky Way galaxy.
I found a Time Dilation calculator on line. It requires input at kilometers per second. 483,000 mph equals 777,313 kph.
The results - using 216 kilometers per second - showed that one second for me would be 1.0000002595591 seconds for the stationary observer. So, time is running a tiny bit slower for me. The calculator also shows that 216 k/s is 0.072049844562801% of the speed of light.
The speed of light is approximately 299,792 kilometers per second. I can easily use the calculator to make the following calculations:
If I travel at half the speed of light (i.e., at 149,896 kps), one second for me will be 1.15 seconds for the stationary observer.So, 298,293 kilometers per second is the speed at which the traveling twin in my example on my Time Dilation web page would need to travel in order to end up nine years younger than his twin on Earth. For every second the traveling twin experienced on his trip, the twin on earth would have experienced 10 seconds.
Of course, the twin on earth would also have experienced some Time Dilation due to the Earth's movement around the Milky Way galaxy. But, that total Time Dilation effect over ten years would amount to less than a second.
It seems like there should be something in this that I can use to re-open the debate with Dr. Srinivasa Rao OR Dr. Thomas Smid.
Friday, May 1, 2015 - Wow! What a busy morning! Dr. Srinivasa Rao allowed my April 30 comment to be posted to his web site. And he responded to tell me that I made "no sense," so I should "rethink." I, of course, I had to respond to that. He's on the other side of the world, in India, but it looks like I responded only 11 minutes after he posted his comment at 6:43 pm, India time. Here are his comment and my response (which is awaiting moderation as I write this):
Of course, I know why it "makes no sense at all" to him. It's because he thinks Time Dilation is about relative speeds between two objects, not about a speed relative to the speed of light.
Yesterday, I sent Dr. Thomas Smid an email mentioning my response to Dr. Srinivasa Rao's question about the Twin Paradox. Dr. Smid sent me a response overnight. So, this morning I had to respond to his response. I feel I can't quote his email here without his permission, but he basically argues that the theory of Time Dilation relates to the difference in speed between two objects, and that is why it cannot possibly work. I explained to him that he is creating a situation that cannot possibly work and then complaining that it can't possibly work. And he wrongly blames Albert Einstein, when it is really Dr. Smid's error, caused by his persistent misunderstanding of how Time Dilation works.
Meanwhile, last night I watched about ten minutes of a new TV show on the National Geographic channel called "Startalk," hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. I'd recorded Monday night's show on my DVR, but I just haven't had the time to watch it all the way through. Monday's show was about Time Dilation, particularly as it is illustrated in the recent movie "Interstellar."
In "Interstellar," instead of twins aging at different rates, they show a father leaving Earth on an "interestellar" trip at speeds relative to the speed of light and returning to visit his daughter who is then about 30 years older than her father, because Time Dilation caused time to slow down for the father.
On Monday's episode of "Startalk," they showed Dr. Tyson interviewing the director of "Interstellar," Christopher Nolan, and then two guests on the program talked about the science involved. It was all very interesting, and it caused me to make an addition this morning to my web page on Time Dilation. I added an answer to the question "What is Time?"
I'm going to have to find some time to watch that episode of "Startalk" all the way through. I'll probably burn a DVD of it, so I can watch it as many times as I want. If any reader of this site wants to watch the show, it will air again tonight at 7 p.m ET, and probably again next Monday before the new episode and then again on the following Friday at some time.
Meanwhile, on the Science Channel, next Wednesday's episode of the show "Through the Wormhole" with Morgan Freeman will ask this question:
Interestingly, that is the concept I used in my three science-fiction novels. I use the term "anti-time," and I briefly explain in all three books how it works.
I've got my VCR set to record that episode of "Through the Wormhole."
I have no idea if any of this is of any interest to any readers of this web site, but it is of great interest to me. I'm hoping to help make it interesting to others, too. I just need some way to slow down time (or reverse it) so I can find the time to do all the things I want to do.