Blog

Page 1915

Jul 12, 2012

A Resilient Logic for Hazardous Times

Posted by in categories: complex systems, economics, engineering, ethics, existential risks, nuclear weapons, policy, sustainability
“If the rate of change on the outside
exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near”
- Jack Welch

Complex societies are heavily addicted to expensive, vulnerable and potentially hazardous infrastructure. We rely on a healthy environment for production of food and access to clean water. We depend on technological infrastructure for energy supplies and communications. We are deeply addicted to economic growth to support growing populations and consumption. If one of these pillars of modern society crumbles our existence will collapse like a house of cards.

The interdependencies and complexities of the system we call modern society has become so intertangled that finding a robust and simple solution to our problems has become close to impossible. Historically the cold war gave us the logic of a “balance of terror”. This logic, originally concerned with a balance of U.S. vs. Soviet military capacities, has lead to an increasingly expensive way of reducing risk and ever expanding bureaucracies to keep us “virtually safe”.

With the onset of a global economic recession, drastic climate change, deadly natural disasters, raging civil wars and diminishing natural resources we need a new logic. A set of moral laws for reducing risk and mitigating consequences applicable at a low cost from the bottom up of entire societies.

The concept of resilience is based on the idea that disasters are inevitable and a natural part of existence. Our best defense is preparedness and engineering systems that not only can withstand heavy strains but also absorb damage. The Institute for Resilient Infrastructure at the University of Leeds gives this definition of “Resilience”;

Continue reading “A Resilient Logic for Hazardous Times” »

Jul 8, 2012

Three Manifest Miracles in Physics: Qualia, the Now and the Higgs Field

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

The whole within which we find ourselves at every conscious moment is a miraculous gift that we take for granted in our culture. Everything can be understood inside the world, so we believe in science – except for the qualia (like color) and also for the Now which both are non-existent in physics (although this is almost never mentioned).

For 4 days now, something that unlike the qualia and the Now exists within rather than outside the scope of science is just as baffling: the Higgs field. As Matt Strassler explained two years ago, the everywhere constant Higgs field is responsible for the masses of all elementary particles – without an exchange of particles being involved — provided it will be discovered experimentally via the signature of a first field-specific particle. Thus an immutable constant influence makes itself felt inside creation for 4 days. The freshly discovered Higgs particle can be called the first unmistakable miracle found in nature, because it reflects the presence of an everywhere constant field of unknown origin.

The discovery comes with a price tag which is none of its own fault. The machine made to find it was designed so as to also generate a second totally new animal in the hope that at least one of the two would be found: miniature black holes. The latter have eluded finding so far we are told, but this is not certain: a double success cannot be excluded.

This is because a trivial new implication of Einstein’s “happiest thought” of 1907 revealed that black holes possess radically new properties. The latter cause black holes to arise much more readily and make them invisible to CERN’s detectors. In addition they grow exponentially inside matter. Therefore if one specimen gets stuck inside earth, the planet will be eaten inside out after an asymptomatic period of a few years, so as to assume the size of a chestnut while retaining its gravitational influence on the moon.

Continue reading “Three Manifest Miracles in Physics: Qualia, the Now and the Higgs Field” »

Jul 6, 2012

Per Aspera Ad Astra

Posted by in categories: economics, education, engineering, ethics, futurism, human trajectories, philosophy, policy, rants, scientific freedom, space, sustainability, transparency

The unknown troubles and attracts us. We long to discover a reason for our existence. We look out to the stars through the darkness of space to observe phenomena incredibly far distances away. Many of us are curious about the things we see, these unknowns.

Yet, many of us look skyward and are uninspired, believing that our time and resources best be kept grounded. Despite our human-centered ideologies, our self-assured prophecies, our religious and philosophical beliefs, no existential rationale seems apparent.

We as people welcome technology into our lives and use it constantly to communicate and function. Scientific discoveries pique the interest of every citizen in every country, and technological revolutions have always preceded social and political revolutions from the creation of the internet back to man’s first use of simple tools. Leaders of nations proclaim the importance of science and discovery to our welfare to be utmost.

But what we have seen done recently contradicts these proclamations: space programs are closed; science funding for schools always falls short; and we see no emphasis of the significance of science in our modern culture. Our governments call for the best but provide capital for only the satisfactory, if even. We no longer succumb to the allure of learning simply for the sake of knowing what we once did not know. We have stopped dreaming.

Continue reading “Per Aspera Ad Astra” »

Jul 4, 2012

CERN Found 2 out of 3 Needed Pieces of Evidence for the Higgs – A Bargain?

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

I congratulate Peter Higgs. And I ask him to forgive me that I raised the “cost” issue in my Aljazeera interview of to date. Not the financial cost, but the cost incurred by humankind: The fact that the doubling of data planned for the rest of the year (up to the scheduled pause for upgrading) will once more double the risk that the planet will be shrunk into a 2-cm black hole after a few years’ delay.

This risk is presently at about 4 percent already. Doubling it is a nightmare – unless a counterproof can be found. Until this aim has been achieved, I herewith ask Peter Higgs to join me in bequeathing CERN for a brief stop until the “doubling of the danger” has been shown to be inconsequential: because the black holes, to which CERN’s sensors are blind by design according to the published proof, have been shown to be absent since the proof has been punctured. The best scientist of the planet may need only hours if we are all lucky.

So far, CERN refuses to address the 4-year-old issue that only grew in strength – by admitting a safety conference. No citizen of the planet understands this ostrich policy. Dear Peter Higgs: will you help us all? No one else on the planet can.

Jun 30, 2012

CERN Refuses to Update Its Safety Report for 4 Years

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

I feel that this easy-to-verify fact is worth reporting by the media.

I admit I am biased because I found a so far un-refuted proof of a concrete danger of unimaginable proportions. So if I publicly ask CERN to update, everyone can say: “He writes this to get his will at last.”

Therefore I apologize for this partisanship of mine and ask other, less personally engaged persons to ask the neutral question of whether or not it is desirable to have an update on CERN’s safety report from early 2008.

Jun 26, 2012

A Brief Analysis of the Future of US — China Relations

Posted by in categories: business, defense, economics, ethics, geopolitics, military, policy

ENVIRONMENT & BACKGROUND

China is a rising world power with: increasing international economic power; improving military strength; tumultuous social issues. Exiting from the recent global economic and financial crisis, China sees itself strengthening and growing while America (and much of the ‘Western’ world) struggles to recuperate. This recovery disparity has given support to Chinese sentiment suggesting the superiority of Chinese policy and social culture.

China’s newfound (or newly revived) superiority complex has complicated American interaction with the government, where China now appears to be doing everything it can to avoid looking weak and to resist US/Western influence. With China’s rise, incentives for America to pressure democratization, establishment of free market economics, and improvement of human rights have grown in intensity. The US has very direct interests in the ‘Westernization’ of China and China does see benefits to cooperation, however they seem to resist or avert most American challenges to the Sino-status quo.

AVAILABLE OPTIONS

Continue reading “A Brief Analysis of the Future of US — China Relations” »

Jun 24, 2012

The Importance of NASA

Posted by in categories: business, economics, education, engineering, policy, space

America has been a spacefaring nation since 1958. Over the past fifty-three years, America overtook its first rival, the Soviet Union (spacefaring since 1957), and maintained its supremacy in the aerospace and aeronautical industries, having the most developed and successful space program, the strongest private aerospace/aeronautical industry, and the most intelligent engineers and scientists. During times where space exploration and advanced scientific research programs seem inappropriate to publicly fund and continue where economic difficulties, contested military actions, and other civil/financial issues seem to demand precedence, it needs to be promoted that NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is of immense importance to the security and welfare of the United States of America and must remain a national priority. NASA drives STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education as well as the development of commercial and defense technologies and works with private engineering and science companies across the country, employing thousands of brilliant engineers, scientists, and technicians to ensure the safety of the American people and maintain the technological and explorational prestige this country has always possessed.

NASA’s accomplishments are inspirational to students. It is capable of orbiting people around the planet in minutes, building a space station, and placing man on the moon, and in doing so powerfully inspires individuals to aspire for careers with the organization. In order to become involved with NASA, a student must study science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics, and by creating a strong incentive for people to study these topics, demand for STEM education increases. As demand increases, more STEM programs will develop and more people will become involved in STEM disciplines. Students studying STEM subjects develop critical thinking skills and strong senses of logic to overcome various problems and conflicts. New generations of engineers and scientists will rise to replace the retiring generations and surpass them in their accomplishments, but only will do so if opportunities to take such careers exist. Should NASA decay, it won’t only be NASA careers disappearing. Jobs at firms like Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and SpaceX among others will be lost as well and some of these firms will face immense downsizing or possibly even be forced to shut down, severely harming motivation for younger American students to pursue a degree or career in STEM related fields.

One of the greatest positive externalities of NASA is the technology developed as ‘spin-off’ used in the commercial and defense industries. When NASA was tasked with putting man on the moon, NASA realized the Apollo capsule would need computing systems installed within it that were far greater in power and far smaller than those currently in use and therefore tasked private industry with the development of compact computing devices that later became the PC and laptop. Without NASA funding, heart rate monitors, thermal video imaging, light emitting diodes, and velcro among many other technologies would not have been developed. While current domestic debate surrounds whether or not NASA should be downsized, enlarged, or completely phased out over time, foreign countries and blocs such as China, India, and the European Space Agency are investing even more time and money into improving their programs, their educational efforts, and plan to surpass American capabilities within the near future. Technological innovation, though still very prevalent within the United States, is beginning to grow very rapidly in foreign countries and more new technologies are being imported rather than exported every day. Instead of questioning whether or not NASA is necessary, America should be questioning what seemingly impossible task NASA should be working on next. Originally, the Apollo project seemed insurmountably difficult. But when national security threats (Soviet technological capabilities during the Cold War) met technological challenges (the Apollo program), NASA proved to be an irreplaceable source of innovation and wonder that united a nation, inspired a generation with dreams of space exploration, and provided a feeling of security to millions of people who feared another devastating war.

Which is also why NASA is critically important in the defense industry as a customer. NASA helps improve private and public defense and communication technologies. The relationship between NASA and the private industry is very symbiotic. NASA develops a plan or project and administers/contracts production and testing tasks out to the private industry, challenging thousands of engineers and scientists to improve their designs and inspires technological and manufacturing developments, which in turn allow NASA to complete its mission in an efficient and effective manner. China has proven it is capable of destroying our satellites by destroying one of its own and has announced its desire to develop a space program separated from America’s influence and plans to land on the moon in 2020. India, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, Romania, Japan, and Ukraine among others have all had confirmed launches and are working to become space powers themselves, developing their own aerospace industries and programs. Iraq and North Korea have also both touted successful launches, though their success are unconfirmed. NASA helps to keep America competitive by constantly challenging private industry and by making sure its goals for space and technological development are always beyond those of other countries, which helps to prevent enemies from defeating our technologies, thus keeping us safe.

Continue reading “The Importance of NASA” »

Jun 21, 2012

Rest-mass Nonconservation in Special Relativity’s Equivalence principle and Ehrenfest Disk (Minipaper)

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

by Otto E. Rössler, Faculty of Science, University of Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 14, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

Abstract: An unfamiliar result in special relativity is presented: non-conservation of rest mass. It implies as a corollary a resolution of the Ehrenfest paradox. The new result is inherited by general relativity. It changes the properties of black holes. (June 21, 2012)

Rest mass is conserved in special relativity in the absence of acceleration. Under this condition, the well-known relativistic increase of total mass with speed is entirely due to the momentum part of the total-mass formula, so rest mass stays invariant as is well known. However, the presence of acceleration changes the picture. Two cases in point are the constant-acceleration rocketship of Einstein’s equivalence principle of 1907, and the rotating disk of Einstein’s friend Ehrenfest 5 years later.

First the Einstein rocket:

Continue reading “Rest-mass Nonconservation in Special Relativity’s Equivalence principle and Ehrenfest Disk (Minipaper)” »

Jun 20, 2012

A Future of Fewer Words

Posted by in categories: futurism, human trajectories

A Future of Fewer Words? Five Trends Shaping the Future of Language
By Lawrence Baines
Published in 2012 in THE FUTURIST 46(2), 42–47.

Summary: Natural selection is as much a phenomenon in human language as it is in natural ecosystems. An ongoing “survival of the fittest” may lead to continuing expansion of image-based communications and the extinction of more than half the world’s languages by this century’s end.

Just after I moved to Oklahoma three years ago, I was invited to a meeting of the state’s Department of Education to discuss Native American languages. I learned that, of the 37 or so Native American languages represented in the state, 22 are already extinct. The last speakers of the Delaware and Mesquakie tongues had recently died; several other languages had only one or two speakers left.

Vanishing languages are not unique to Oklahoma. K. David Harrison, author of When Languages Die (Oxford University Press, 2008), estimates that, of the 6,900 or so languages spoken on the planet, more than half are likely to become extinct over the next century. Today, 95% of people speak one of just 400 languages. The other 6,509 languages are unevenly distributed among the remaining 5%. Hundreds of languages, most with only a few speakers still living, are teetering on oblivion at this very moment.

Continue reading “A Future of Fewer Words” »

Jun 15, 2012

Play me the Song of Death

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

No scientist on the planet claims to be able to prove my “Telemach theorem” wrong (you find it by adding the second keyword “African”). Only anonymous bloggers express malice against it. The anonymous writers’ attitude is a logical consequence of the fact that CERN and Europe openly continue in defiance of my (and not only mine) results. This allegiance shown is no wonder: most everyone is ready to defend their own trusted government. And is it not unlikely indeed that a revered multinational organization like CERN should make a terminal blunder of this magnitude?

In the remaining half year of operation of CERN’s nuclear collider, before the planned 75-percent up-scaling scheduled to take two years’ time, the cumulative yield of artificial BLACK HOLES will grow by a factor of about 4 if everything works out optimal. So the cumulative risk to the planet will be quintupled during the next 6 months. This is all uncontested.

Of course, most everyone is sure that I have to be wrong with my published proof of danger: That black holes, (i) arise more readily than originally hoped-for by CERN, (ii) are undetectable to CERN’s detectors and (iii) will, with the slowest specimen generated, eat the earth inside out after a refractory period of a few years. “This is bound to be ridiculous!” is a natural response.

Continue reading “Play me the Song of Death” »