Time


Enrique Zafra

Time is fundamental, it is much of what ‘being’ is about. It is central to reality. It is central to our lived experience, it is central to our hopes and dreams. But as central as it is, it is still an enigma.

Time is a knotty problem for physics, metaphysics, philosophy, religion, something fundamental to our existence and experience but for thousands of years and billions of person hours of contemplation and analysis it escapes understanding. Like others down the centuries I find that the more I think about it the harder to grasp it becomes.

Pragmatically there is only the local now, a few moments from the past and a glance into the future. Practically there is the Past and the Future, now is just a transition from one to the other.

What is time? It seems like it is about change, and times arrow is provided by entropy, the slow winding down of the universe.

Existence, the now, is only the Plank Time instant. What stitches the universe together are memory(enabled by change) and imagination (enabled by memory.)

One option of quantum physics says that it is the conscious mind that ‘collapses’ the probability function to one reality. In that view it is our mind-memory that provides a crashing rock against which universal potentiality breaks into reality. Is it us, stitching together the universe?

Why do we talk about timespace? Because time has no meaning without space and space no meaning without time. Imagine an infinite cube of arbitrary complexity. Without time nothing about it has any meaning. You cannot travel from one point to another, there is no energy, because no movement, nothing can move, because movement is about change of location and that has no meaning with no time. Equally, without space, time has no meaning, there is nothing to change, one could say something can endure or wind down but without space for that to occur it has no meaning.

So we ‘live’ in timespace that we instantiate and make objective. It is still real in that the physics of it are fixed (probably) but is it possible that it is our (or other consciousnesses) that take possibility and harden it to reality and inflate the universe around us, out to the limits of our questing minds?

Maybe….

Government lying to itself Again..

20140201-223217.jpgGovernment Says You Can’t Overcome Addiction, Contrary to What Government Research Shows, Why does the National Institute on Drug Abuse contradict its own research? from Reason, Stanton Peele | February 1, 2014

The truth is, the vast majority of people quit addictions on their own. Every population study (that is, research with people not in treatment) tells us this. There is no ambiguity, no doubt, no scientific questioning of this truth. Only the neuroscientific, “chronic brain disease” crowd—represented by the new official medical subspecialty, the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM)—strives to convince us of the opposite, even as a never-ending flood of data tells us otherwise.

By reinforcing the myth that addiction is uncontrollable and permanent, neuroscientific models make it harder to overcome the problem, just as the 12-step disease model has all along. Telling yourself that you are powerless over addiction is self-defeating; it limits your capacity to change and grow. Isn’t it better to start from the belief that you—or your spouse, or your child—can fully and finally break out of addictive habits by redirecting your life? It may not be quick and easy to accomplish, but it happens all the time.

12 step programs do help people (my opinion) but I can well see that they may in fact be bad for some. I also agree that addiction is something you can grow out of or shake yourself, most of us have done it, even if it’s just chewing your fingernails, everything is on a spectrum and we all live on different arcs so different levels of self healing are bound to exist. This author makes the right points but I think let’s individualism blind him to the fact that some will need help.
The other point is that in all likelihood the American Puritanical War on Drugs, has all but certainly been a horrific waste of resources and souls…

Scared Stupid, the US in the post 9/11 world

Read the whole thing, if you can take the blood pressure spike:
Scared Tactics: Why America will be paying for decades for a foreign policy based on fear.
BY DAVID ROTHKOPF | JUNE 18, 2013

Prudence is a term often invoked by the fearful for doing too much or too little. But it shouldn’t obscure what is really happening. Our insecurity rather than our goals is too often playing too great a role in driving our actions. Whether this is a momentary anomaly or longer-term symptom common to declining nations that have lost confidence in important aspects of themselves remains to be seen.

Sorry to say it but every day I see more evidence of our craven collapse in the face of a dangerous but far from existential threat. Our whole damned political class has lost the ability to stand straight, speak straight, be straight. To understand fundamentals like human nature and human societies outside our bubble, economics, social dynamics, technology, etc except in the narrowest most self serving way.

One Two Three Four, We Could Get A Nuclear War

One Two Three Four, We Could Get A Nuclear War.

ARES a AWST blog….

“money quotes:”

Watts argued that many countries are no longer pursuing nuclear weapons as a direct counter to U.S. nuclear power, but to compensate for relatively weak conventional forces. That includes Russia, where Watts cites president Vladimir Putin’s emphasis on the importance of nuclear weapons, and post-Cold-War doctrinal writings that talk about using limited nuclear attacks as “demonstration and de-escalation” strikes, to deter or terminate a large-scale nuclear war.

…it’s like a police department whose only force option is to blow up the entire block where the perpetrator lives.

Indeed, U.S. extended deterrence is something that not enough people think about when they advocate further cuts in U.S. nuclear forces. The American “umbrella” covers nations such as South Korea, Japan and Turkey, which have the industrial and technological capability to go nuclear very quickly if they feel that they can no longer rely on the U.S.

Watts warns, “limited use of low-yield nuclear weapons will become the new normal and give rise to a second nuclear age whose dangers and uncertainties will dwarf those of the first.”

20130418-213438.jpg

Crap!

Thoughtful, useful, analysis of the NorK problem

From the Thin Pinstriped Line, a good read and some reasonable analysis of the reality facing the NorK regime and the world.

An extremely cogent point is how the current situation is pointing out the limited usefulness of Nukes in the long twilight between proven technical capability and getting beyond only having enough to commit (a messy) suicide.

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Gun control as crime control is a pernicious fantasy

Joyce Lee Malcolm: Two Cautionary Tales of Gun Control
After a school massacre, the U.K. banned handguns in 1998. A decade later, handgun crime had doubled. Australia same dynamic…result increased assaults and rapes. While the law abiding go to jail.

Wall Street Journal on British and Australian experience with banning fire arms both countries have essentially disarmed their populations, except you know for those who don’t care, or who see it as an opportunity for low risk thuggery.

In these countries suicide by gun has gone down but suicide by other means has gone up. Home invasions almost unheard of in the US have become a plague with criminals threatening revenge if the victims call the police.

The Top Ten Myths About Mass Shootings, James Alan Fox, Boston.com.

It needs to be remembered that while it seems otherwise, because of the laser like focus of the mass media on these events, that mass killings are if anything decreasing. Gun free zones are stupid, just assuring the killers that they have a safe hunting zone. Mass murderers do not snap they are planners who plot out the act and are not deterred by locked doors or the like. Any weapon will do, fire, knife, car airplane, fertilizer, poison, gas, bio agents….

Gun Control is about control, it is about fear of the other, it is also about magical thinking “if we close our eyes and wish hard enough the bad thing will go away.” Infantile thinking like this is a waste of everyone’s time, the reality is not every troubling event has a solution and laws are not magical spells that can affect humans whose minds have ‘broken bad.’

Sunday the 6th…update

So yesterday was bad, had to do some family things from dawn to dusk, or as close as it gets on a Saturday, and just didn’t get anything done.  But today! well that is a different kettle of fish, as the old family saying goes:

  • Elgin:   Intro
  • Elgin: Chapter 1
  • Elgin: Chapter 2
  • STATUS (from NaNoWriMo site)
  • Total Words Written14,278
  • Average Per Day 2,379 
  • Words Written Today 4,567
  • At This Rate I’ll Finish On November 21, 2011
  • Current Day 6
  • Target Word Count 50,000 & Average Words Per Day 1,667
  • Words Remaining 35,722
  • Days Remaining 25
  • Words Per Day To Finish On Time1,429