Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is True Goodness A Reflection Of The Heart or Rather Of One's Mind?

In a recent dialogue in which I was engaged I concluded by stating that in terms of the human condition I’ve long found it better when it comes to such matters to attempt to empathize rather than sympathize; that being as sympathy relates to the goodness of one’s heart while empathy stems from the goodness of one’s mind. This might sound as nothing more than a philosophically based preference and I would admit that for me it’s always been primarily that.

However, it should be noted that such a hypothesis has been put forth in recent years which over the last decade to be grounded in a scientific discovery as to the nature of the brains found in humans, some primates and even birds in the study of what’s referred to as Mirror Neurons. This research appears to indicate how it is that we are able to know the mind of others. I thus offer this linked paper which synopsises the investigation of this. All this then has me to wonder, how what could be called that little voice which suggests what might be right and wrong can be better heard, or perhaps just better listened to.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupancy of Thought

New Scientist in this article announces that a group of researchers have identified the one percent so many talk about and although it is found indeed powerful and concentrated not a result of intent, yet rather one of natural complex ordering. The question of course is should we mess with the invisible hand or leave it be. The answer can only be found with science in studying models which propose changes and run simulations to indicate results; and yet first of all we need to decide what we would like our world to be; this is why the occupancy of thought is more important than one of place.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What Should We Seek To Have Occupied?

(Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images)

In respect to these “Occupy” protests my greatest hope is they never become a movement as found to be formed out of some individual’s or factional group’s vision for the world, yet simply remain the unified final recognition that things are in need of change and to admit each is seeking what that is while not as yet knowing what that would end up to be. So if this is truly to be the counter to being an ideology such as the Tea Party or that of any other group which presents as the same, it must be first understood the need for a true and open dialogue is what’s required and not an ordinary discussion, as to have found created not what we simply feel and think as wanted and needed, yet rather what can work to have this to be.

Just as a final thought, as perhaps as to add to the dialogue, is simply to remind that a total solution never is found with considering only 99%, even if it be greater than 1%.

"[Thought] seems to have some inertia, a tendency to continue. It seems to have a necessity that we keep on doing it. However ... we often find that we cannot easily give up the tendency to hold rigidly to patterns of thought built up over a long time. We are then caught up in what may be called absolute necessity. This kind of thought leaves no room at all intellectually for any other possibility, while emotionally and physically, it means we take a stance in our feelings, in our bodies, and indeed, in our whole culture, of holding back or resisting. This stance implies that under no circumstances whatsoever can we allow ourselves to give up certain things or change them."

-David Bohm & Mark Edwards, "Changing Consciousness"_, p. 15

"A key difference between a dialogue and an ordinary discussion is that, within the latter people usually hold relatively fixed positions and argue in favor of their views as they try to convince others to change. At best this may produce agreement or compromise, but it does not give rise to anything creative."

-David Bohm & David Peat, "Science Order, and Creativity"_, p. 241

Thursday, September 22, 2011

PI's Hawking Centre: Further Reflections

Warning: Visiting this place can have you bent out of shape :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Perimeter Institute Imparts Some Wisdom

This provokes the question:

How many lumps does the universe want?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bell's Theorem and Quantum Realism

Just discovered this today and thus I am looking forward to getting a copy upon its release; scheduled for November 28th. In my humble opinion I find Dr. Hemmick as having one of the strongest understandings of the matters for which a synopsis is given by the publisher Springer as found below. I’m also confident that anyone in reading it will come to the same conclusion about the author’s understanding and insights regarding these foundational issues as I have.

"Quantum theory presents a strange picture of the world, offering no real account of physical properties apart from observation. Neils Bohr felt that this reflected a core truth of nature: "There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract mathematical description." Among the most significant developments since Bohr’s day has been the theorem of John S. Bell. It is important to consider whether Bell’s analysis supports such a denial of microrealism. In this book, we evaluate the situation in terms of an early work of Erwin Schrödinger. Doing so, we see how Bell’s theorem is conceptually related to the Conway and Kochen Free Will theorem and also to all the major anti-realism efforts. It is easy to show that none of these analyses imply the impossibility of objective realism. We find that Schrödinger’s work leads to the derivation of a new series of theoretical proofs and potential experiments, each involving “entanglement,” the link between particles in some quantum systems."

-Springer Briefs in Physics (Description), “Bell's Theorem and Quantum Realism

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What’s the Difference between the Genuine Article & the What-A-Teas ?

Source: Fortune Magazine

“I’m fearful when others are bold and bold when others are fearful.”

-Warren Buffet (his personal motto)

With recent events this begs the question, in as Buffet is so rich he has personally nothing to fear for himself, than who is he fearful for? If you answer this correctly than you will have come to understand what distinguishes those like him from the want-a teas.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nerd's For Hope: Join Today!

With all the pessimism projected in the press lately I thought it time for some nerd inspired confidence reflecting hope.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just Desserts?

In wondering about the concerns regarding a double-dip recession, as being so worried it could have us to miss our scoop of expansion in between, thinking perhaps it might be best to consider giving up deserts altogether and rather ask our political leaders, captains of industry and financiers:

“where’s the beef” !

Incidentally, I did mean deserts and not desserts; that is at least for all practical purposes ;-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

There are also Fathers of Invention

I’m reminded as today being Father’s day that true motivation is not simply based on personal satisfaction or curiosity alone, yet upon things greater than one’s self.

How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people — first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving...”

-Albert Einstein, "Mein Weltbild"(My World View),-1931

Saturday, June 4, 2011

When is a Duck to be Found as to being a Duck?

Since yesterday’s release of a paper entitledObserving the Average Trajectories of Single Photons in a Two-Slit Interferometer”, authored by Aephraim Steinberg et al, in the journal Science, there has been quite a stir. However the stir was not the normal one, where the Web picks up on a science story to have it sensationalized and misinterpreted; which is normally the case. No this time it was the self appointed experts who rushed in to fend off the consequences of what they anticipated as such an occurrence.

The only problem being is that many such experts agreed in only one thing, and that’s what the experiment revealed simply could not be what it appeared to have revealed. For instance Prof. Chad Orzel at “Uncertain principles” remarked "This is an extremely cool example of the art of experimental physics, and a spectacular demonstration of the power of weak measurements, but it's not that revolutionary. Though, as I said above, I confidently predict that there will be no shortage of crazy people trying to claim this as conclusive proof for their particular favourite interpretation of quantum theory.”

In the journal Nature, Prof. David Deutsch echoed pretty much the same in saying "it's quite cool to see strange predictions verified", the results could have been obtained simply by "calculating them using a computer and the equations of quantum mechanics...Experiments are only relevant in science when they are crucial tests between at least two good explanatory theories, Here, there was only one, namely that the equations of quantum mechanics really do describe reality."

The most definitive and critical of these was published by Ars Technica, a technical news provider. where physicist Chis Lee remarks “It's important to realize that these are not the trajectories of individual photons—instead they are more like probability clouds that tell you where photons are most likely to be found. And what do you know? Half the photons appear to have gone through one slit and half go through the other. But, in fact, this is a lie. That photon still has to have gone through both slits. It is important to realize that a measurement has to produce a result. It is always going to find that the photon is somewhere, and that tells us very little about where it came from or where it is going to.” He finishes by saying “With that knowledge, it is hard to say what this experiment tells us that we didn't know before. The only difference is that now we have both data and theory saying the same thing, which is important.”

However to be fair, I did find among them all ‘Physics World’ a publication of the Institute of Physics to be a notable exception with at least quoting the principle physicist associated with the paper with the following:

“This weak momentum measurement does not appreciably disturb the system, and interference is still observed. Both measurements had to be repeated on a large ensemble of particles in order to gain enough information for the whole system, but we did not disturb the outcome at all.” explains Steinberg. "Our measured trajectories are consistent, as Wiseman had predicted, with the realistic but unconventional interpretation of quantum mechanics of such influential thinkers as David Bohm and Louis de Broglie,"

Now on the other hand , the great unwashed, known as the general press, didn’t come to such a conclusion, yet rather choose to report it factually even to the point of not expressing what the experimentalist’s views had been. One typical example being the BBC, who quoted Marlan Scully of Texas A&M University as saying, “This paper is probably the first that has really put this weak measurement idea into a real experimental realisation, and it also gave us the trajectories." He said that the work would - inevitably - raise philosophical issues as well. "The exact way to think about what they're doing will be researched for some time, and the weak measurement concept itself will be a matter of controversy - but now we have a very pretty experiment with these weak measurements."

For me this all serves to drive home a point first made by the late physicist John Stewart Bell, when he expressed similar misgivings as follows:

“But in 1952 I saw the impossible done. It was in a paper by David Bohm (5). ....... But why then had Born not told me of this ‘pilot wave’? If only to point out what was wrong with it? Why did von Neumann not consider it? More extraordinarily, why did people go on producing ‘‘impossibility’’ proofs, after 1952, and as recently as 1978? . When Pauli, Rosenberg and Heinsenberg, could produce no more devastating criticism of Bohm’s version than to brand it as “metaphysical” and “idealogical”. Why is the pilot wave picture ignored in text books? Should it not be taught, not as the only way, but as an antidote to the prevailing complacency? To show us that vagueness, subjectivity, and indeterminism, are not forced on us by experimental facts, but by deliberate theoretical choice?

-John Stewart Bell, “On The Impossibility of The Pilot Wave”, CERN, Geneva, Ref.Th.3315-CERN (1982)

So I will simply finish in asking the same as Bell, that is when are the majority of the physicists going to stop insisting that the vagueness, subjectivity, and indeterminism, are forced upon us by experimental facts, but rather by deliberate theoretical choice? Perhaps it is only when they themselves are taken through one of two definitive slits to then be carried along by an unseen yet irresistible potential to be slammed up against a screen. Then again perhaps David Deutsch may not, as in insisting that such an occurrence happened to only a particular version of himself among the infinite multitude of many worlds :-)

"when I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.”

-James Whitcomb Riley

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fate or Destiny?

Some say the Universe will end in a crunch

While others claim it will die being torn

Most fear it will fade with a whimper

But the wise know potential has it reborn

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Leader’s Actions; Thoughts & Perspectives

In as Barack Obama is an admitted student of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, I then can only suppose he has come to the conclusion that the people he leads, although self proclaimed and oft times demonstrated as being brave, are not yet ready to explore its greatest depths.

However, I am most heartened and hopeful, prompted by his decided action, in placing himself and his own at greater risk than other options presented as being available and therein minimizing the risk to those in a land of which it was carried out. This then should have it known to the world, that is at least for those who consider things more deeply than a headline, to then perhaps find him and many of his people as still being brave; even if not as yet able and quite prepared to being the bravest.

" If the people are not ready for the exercise of the non-violence of the brave, they must be ready for the use of force in self-defense. There should be no camouflage... It must never be secret. "

-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

“Cowardice is wholly inconsistent with non-violence.....non-violence presuppose the ability to strike.”

-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

“ A non-violent man or woman will and should die without retaliation,anger or malice, in self-defense or in defending the honour of their womenfolk. This is the highest form of bravery. If an individual or group of people are unable or unwilling to follow this great law of life, retaliation or resistance unto death is the second best, though a long way off from the first. Cowardice is impotence worse than violence. The coward desire revenge but being afraid to die, he looks to others, maybe to the government of the day, to do the work of defence for him. A coward is less than a man. He does not deserve to be a member of a society of men and women.”

-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Deciding with Metrics :-)

With Canadian’s going to the polls this coming Monday, many are still confused about for whom to vote. In as all the leaders will say whatever it is you wish to hear, or rather say nothing at all , I thought we be more scientific as to have this decided on something they can’t change to your liking; that being their own innate talent. So based solely on musical aptitude which leader would you prefer (a) Stephen Harper (Conservative),(b) Jack Layton (NDP), (c) Michael Ignatieff (Liberal) or (d) Elizabeth May (Green Party).

I must admit that at first I wasn’t going to have Elizabeth May given as an option. That is not as the network did in leaving her out of the televised national debate without giving proper reason. No rather it was in this case not being able to find something where her voice could be distinguished from the others. Here she is found being the second person from the left. However, upon giving it further thought, that as to how much the Greens believe in the value of harmony I have included her here as well.

Of course the true metric which will have this decided are the eligible voters themselves as George Bernard Shaw reminded:

"Democracy is a device which assures we shall be governed no better than we deserve" :-)