Taoist mythology, Lanna history, mythology, the nature of time and other considered ramblings

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Location: Chiangrai, Chiangrai, Thailand

Author of many self-published books, including several about Thailand and Chiang Rai, Joel Barlow lived in Bangkok 1964-65, attending 6th grade with the International School of Bangkok's only Thai teacher. He first visited ChiangRai in 1988, and moved there in 1998.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Crunched time? some gravity about Einstein

Surfing the Net looking for information relevant to my problems with Einstein, I found this gem on Rebel Science, at “Nasty Little Truth About Spacetime Physics”: “Dr. Michio Kaku is an evangelizer for string theory. String theory postulates that time is one of the 10 dimensions of nature and that dimensions can be "compactified" or curled up into tiny little balls, so tiny, in fact, they can never be detected. The brains of string theorists can be described in a similar fashion.” The author, Louis Savain, also says “Gödel is certainly the most often quoted yet inconsequential mathematician of the world. He is known for his, the most non-scientific, chicken-feather-voodoo nonsense ever penned by a member of the human species. In 1949, Gödel announced to the world that Einstein's general theory of relativity allows time travel to the past via "closed time-like curves." The only thing Gödel proved, in my opinion, was the incompleteness of his frontal lobe.”
About what Savain calls the Incompleteness Theorem (generally regarded as a proof), I most emphatically disagree (but to go into that would be too much a digression). And even Michio Kaku can be right about some things, while so very wrong about so very much else.
Later, Savain somewhat redeems himself with: “logically speaking, it is a fallacy that time changes. Clocks change, physical processes change but time is invariant. Why? Because… 'changing time' is self-referential. The truth is that nobody has ever observed time changing.” And also, “the relativity-derived notion of time dilation is hopelessly misleading. Time does not dilate (as if time could change!). On the contrary, it is the clocks that slow down (for whatever reason) resulting in longer measured intervals.” Then, “When we use a clock, we may fool ourselves into thinking that we are measuring something physical that we call time, but what we are doing is detecting change.” I’m not quite as happy with Savain’s assertion that time is an abstract parameter derived from change. – but will let that pass while observing merely that “change” here might just be motion (which is not necessarily the same thing). I certainly agree with Savain that “One can agree with the mathematical and predictive correctness of both the Special and the General Theory of Relativity without accepting time contraction.”

The duration of days and years certainly can change, and perhaps the apocryphal twins, one of whom travels on a fast spaceship while the other stays home, would age differently – it the one travelling so fast survived. But I remind myself here of early belief that automobiles travelling faster than 30 mph would result in a deleterious impact on the health of passengers.

Physicist Hans Ohanian, in his 2008 book, Einstein’s Mistakes wrote, "Einstein failed to consider all possible variants of the use of light signals and clocks for measurements of the speed of light. Einstein was very inventive, but he had a one-track mind, and after he was stuck by his mystical inspiration about clock synchronization by light signals he ceased to think about alternatives. If he had thought about it a bit longer, maybe he would have come up with a dozen alternative methods for measuring the one-way speed of light."

Einstein attained global stardom when observations performed during a total eclipse confirmed his theory of relativity - by showing that the sun’s gravitational field bent a light beam to the degree that he’d predicted. But he was soon embracing the Zionist goal of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, despite the clear lack of any homogenous Jewish culture, gene pool or even belief system. Somehow, Einstein also asked, “Wasn’t nationalism the problem rather than the solution?”
Media presentations about his physics (which have been increasingly seen as originating elsewhere, instead of with him) soon had people accepting that understanding of reality in concrete terms was beyond the capability even of most intelligent individuals. Yet, Einstein said that he didn’t trust any scientific theory which can’t be reduced to a simple elegant picture which a child can understand.
It begins to seem to me that Einstein himself didn’t really understand much of what he taught, as much of it contained errors, and was self-contradictory or incomplete, or both. We still have no clear idea how gravity works.

I found it said that it isn’t “possible to have space without time, or time without space, because space and time are opposites.” Maybe – I don’t quite grok (if the term from Heinlein can be excused). “We can’t see anything when it happens. We see everything in the past. We see everything a little while ago, and always in such a way that the while ago just balances the distance away…” Reminds me of the story of Achilles and the hare (racing, while he shot an arrow, and nothing moved…??? How did that go?)



Blogger Morbious said...

Speak of baffling the general public!! What about the light show in the Norway skies 9th December 2009. Interesting but not media covered the achievement at CERN. "Exclusive The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), already the most powerful particle-punisher ever built, smashed the collision record yesterday night as humanity's first 2.36 Tera-electron-volt collisions were recorded". The date: 9th December 2009. Ok, people will dispute GMT's etc., but CERN is increasing the TeV's. Is there other forces at work here? As this article about Einstein shows, can we trust scientists?

2:37 AM  
Blogger Mythorelics said...

Hi Morbious. Didn't know about that. Scientists, like journalists, are reliant on saleries paid by 'folk' (if they can be granted such title) with hidden agendas which thus dictate what can be said... certainly a sorry state of affairs, but apparently part and parcel of the human condition.

10:25 PM  

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