Monday, November 16, 2009

Fury Unleashed

Well, this is embarrassing. It doesn't seem I could stay away for very long. But I'm getting spammers wanting me to moderate their comments, and so, anonymous, this one's for you. I might just have to lock you out, and only allow people who will identify themselves to comment. I don't think that would be such a bad idea in general to tame this web.

Of course I write truly and only for you anonymous, since I haven't got a clue who my audience is or might be. Back when I was studying poetry, there were these crazies who thought the thing to do was to develop the "science" of literary study. I even had to endure some guy saying that while smoking a pipe up at a podium. You could just see the science-envy dripping off that stage.

People will always be jealous of those who possess occult arts, like the ability to read and write has been through most of history. I watched Men Who Stare at Goats yesterday, a seriously funny and deep movie which you should see. Kevin Spacey plays the jealous vindictive homophobe who smokes a cigar. You won't be able to tell he's a homophobe, but he is, and plays it beautifully. He's jealous of the occult arts of the Jedi warriors he'd like to join.

He makes a science of the art, and it gets spelled torture. This is an important fact to understand as a citizen of this vanishingly democratic nation of ours.

But I'm talking about the more usual arts like literature, music, painting, sculpture, performance - those are the unruly things which make academics so furiously jealous. Hey, I didn't say so, some academic did, so it must be true.

So, is it the scientists who are jealous of the artists? Science is that much more certain, and you can be an uncool dweeb, but if you pin something down, then it won't matter because everyone will have to respect you. You can prove it.

And here I am, and I really don't give a shit at this particular moment if you think I'm nuts or just another crazy who thinks he's figured out the quantum implications of LSD. You should see all the crazy stuff across the internet with self-published nutjobs who are certain that they have it right and all the peer-reviewed scientists have it wrong. Or maybe you already have seen them.

I'm not about to publish my vanity press diatribe, nor do I care to see who will buy it. I would never want to be a member of any club that would have me in it anyhow, so why would I want to reach *those* people?

But dammit, there must be one person out there who can get what I'm trying to say here. OK, actually, there are tons and tons and tons of people (do you think people should be measured by the ton?), many if not most of them quite famous, which pretty much places them out of my reach, if you know what I mean.

Physicists get letters all the time from people claiming to have solved this or that canonically unsolvable problem. They can hardly be bothered to read them all. Pretty much like houses of literature and all their submissions. I mean, you've really got to have and use connections if you want to get anywhere at all in this supposedly meritocratic world.

I actually do have lots of connections, and who knows, maybe I'll start to press them. It feels out of bounds, though. It feels like cheating. It feels like taking advantage, but I guess at a certain point, you do what you have to do, right?

I mean just because Britney Spears used her connections to make it to the top, doesn't mean she isn't any good. She'd never stay there if she weren't, right? I mean, wasn't she a mouseketeer, and isn't that a connection, or were you just thinking she's some lucky trailer trash?

Meanwhile, spam suckers of the world, I'm not going to take this laying down.

Each and every time our lovely capitalistic globe spanning enterprise is in danger of showing its true stripes, the ones in power mobilize their armies of minions to fan the flames of fear. Fear of socialism, fear of government takeover of your lives, fear of ragheads, whatever works. And that's always been because back in their richly paneled offices, they too are terrified of what might happen if and when the people actually get a clue.

I think there actually are one or two cigar chomping power mongers who think it's all a game of survival of the fittest and since they're the fittest it's their job to survive. But, and this will utterly destroy any credentials I have left as a left winger, I actually do think most of them do earnestly believe that their role is stewardship for people less educated, less fortunate, less cultivated, and perhaps even less in touch with God.

They know that they don't need elaborate fairy tales for their beliefs, but they're pretty sure you and I do, and they're pretty afraid of what might happen if and when you stop believing in them.

We, the people, and that includes all the titans of "industry" (as if that even existed anymore) are up against the wall now. We really are. You can put your head in the sand, or you can pretend that there will be some wonderful new technology to fix things, but if you open your eyes, we're up against the wall as the population on this earth, just precisely as much as are those poor folk our global-capitalistic enterprises depend on and exploit.

And now we've actually allowed delusional true believers in the literal Word to infest our halls of power, and that's a terror to me far in advance of whatever it is Osama can unleash (by his fact or by his proxy, as true belief infects those who've never known him or his minions). These are folks which the thinking people among us fret about just as much as we do global warming, but we don't have a clue what to do about them. Because their improvised explosive devices are built on words of love.

But the effect is the same as if they'd walked in to the halls of power strapped in bombs. This is not an acceptable circumstance, folks. Folksy folks, don't be such sheep. It's really dangerous to have delusion people in power.

So, whoever out there can be my audience, whoever has mastered enough of both science and the arts, listen up. I'm talking to you. There is scant time to get it together, now, but time enough for sure. (yeegads, I hate cliffhangers, I really do)

What could possibly dis-empower the bottom feeders now? Now that the cadre of investigative reporters has been almost systematically dismantled (no, I don't think it's a conspiracy - it's yet another side effect of this wonderful Internet), who is to tell truth to power? How are we to stop the once so-called Madison Avenue techniques for selling soap to the masses from selling them stupid people as office holders?

It seems an impossible task. Unless or until we can bring right into the realm of science something which will compel the spammers actually to shut their yaps. Something which can become the moral equivalent of Jesus actually riding his white horse down off some fluffy cloud.

Just like God, you'd sure like to invent this great new science if it didn't already exist. But here's the thing. It does!

One more time then: At least a few humanities types have mastered the concept of quantum fluctuations. You might understand, for instance, that electrons jump from orbit to orbit, and that these orbits can be defined by their energy levels. You might understand that in the process a single quantum of electromagnetic energy gets released (or absorbed, depending on which way the jumping goes).

You might understand that these quanta (photons, in the case of electromagnetic forces) used to be understood as waves propagating through some supposed ether, just like sound does through the air. And you've probably heard that the existence of the ether has been thoroughly disproven (despite some enterprising thinkers across the web who'd like to say it ain't so).

There is no medium for propagation, but there's no emptiness either. Because these photons exist, provably, as both waves and particles. But the waves propagate only conceptually, because once you actually "detect" the particle, the wave - they call these probability waves - collapses, and the statistically accurate but approximate position of the photon becomes something very close to a point, or if you prefer, a scintillating string (which becomes a distinction with a difference only with particles much smaller than photons). One lonely particle conceptually fills the entire cosmos with its probabilty wave. That's the "no emptiness" part.

This apparent paradox has been proven experimentally now over and over again. You're really forced to have your cake and eat it too, because it turns out that nothing really is except conceptually, until it gets detected or perceived, and then it suddenly must be something other than the wave it demonstraby was before hand. Very clever experiments with slits can almost be done at home.

The missing piece, however, is that these quantum fluctuations also manifest across time. This is also pretty trivial to demonstrate, falling out as it does from that same set of realizations which have Einstein's name pasted all over them.

Once you limit the speed of propagation for physical reality at the speed of light - that's the speed at which a photon can travel when unencumbered by perception - then it falls right out that particles traveling at any speed relative to one another are also quite out of sync time-wise. They become impossible companions by virtue of this magic twin paradox.

Because if you are moving fast relative to me, then time for you as measured by me actually slows down, even if we have the same perfectly calibrated atomic, Jesus!, watches. And if the same thing's happening for you, well then we become impossible for one another.

So, you become impossible to me, just as I become impossible to you. Or something has gone wrong with our watches. But the force carrying particles can correct a lot of this issue, for so long as you're not actually moving at too big a fraction of the speed of light, and for so long as they still can move that fast.

Get things really cold or really fast or really really hot and all bets are off, just like they're trying to do over at the CERN collider.  They've already shown (you know, "they") that if you cool things down to near absolute zero, where if things actually were particles, they'd stop moving, the quantum "states" of certain classes just all sort of merge together into a Bose-Einstein condensate.

They've also already shown that quantum states do indeed work in sync, although to do so would seem to require information to travel faster than the speed of light, and by definition there can be no mechanism for that. You can experimentally separate a quantum pair - "particles" which share a single quantum "space" - and prove that by measuring ("detecting") some quality of one, you've done it also for the other.

Computer scientists fully intend to exploit this property to increase the power of computers by, yep, a quantum leaping factor!! Aritificial Intelligence scientists are practically salivating at the prospects, as well they should. This is not fiction, it's solid science.

But along the way to the forum, people have forgotten to pay attention to the obvious.  That it's not only the "probability" of existence which must get calculated, it's the very possibility too.

As particles pass by one another, they flash in and out (sorry, I have to damp down the fire - I almost started a chimney fire, which is only funny if you read my "The End" posting) of actual possibility for one another, in very precisely quantum fashion.

These fluctuations, just like the cloud which defines the orbit of an electron around its nucleus, have to stay within the realm of possibility, which is why you literally cannot accelerate any mass to the actual speed of light, since it would take the energy of the entire cosmos to do so, but they fluctuate nontheless.

But the particles don't become real to one another without the exchange of smaller ones, which pin them, as it were, to existence in one another's world. Just like that science-lusting literary professor wanted to do with poetry. Pin it down and stop making me jealous of your power.

Prior to that exchange, there is *only* an emotional connection. I'm not trying to be cute here, the term falls out from the very fact that probability or possibility waves can only, already by prior definition, exist conceptually. And a conceptual connection - I'm coining a definition right here, so mark the spot - is an emotional connection.

I use the term emotion advisedly, first because it fits without changing one single thing in the language, and second because it can describe motions toward and away in fashion perfectly analogous to what forces do in nature. Concepts move and can move too, my gentle reader.

But I'm saying these emotional forces also exist in nature. Sorry about that, but truly I have always wanted to be the one to resolve that old sophomoric question of whether art imitates life or the other way around, and  I remain profoundly dissatisfied with the Post Modernistic approach so currently in or out of favor depending on which side of what divide you sit. Humanities, science, Ivory tower, wilds of the blogosphere. Whatever!

So, for sure this entire theory of mine reads like an elaborate metaphor, which is but a single step removed from an elaborate hoax. I'll have to leave it to you, gentle reader. My feet are encased in concrete, and I'm about to be tossed off the boat. I have about a Chinaman's chance here, but it seems a chance worth taking.

Man, I sure do wish I had some art!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.