Beltane passed with a splendid evening at Grove with a number of celebrity guests. The assembled magical firepower easily held off the rain for the evenings Beltane fire.
The pond at Chateaux Chaos now teems with tens of thousands of toadpoles, gazing into it reminds me of those schoolboy experiments examining semen under a microscope.
To mark the season I've started on a full size classical goddess statue of Flora/Chloris for the gardens. See above a practise version of a head. For this I've used Jemsonite, a water based ceramic-acrylic material over a polystyrene hat display stand and some cloth flowers. I have acquired a lifesize fibreglass shop mannequin which I shall attempt to cover with Jemsonite to give a white marble effect. The Jemsonite mixes to a paste more suitable for architectural moulding than handworking, and it sets like stone in about 5 minutes, so you have to get it on very quickly, then you can set about it with serious abrasives to give a stone finish suitable for outdoor use.
The Hypersphere Cosmology paper now has publication in the viXra Online Scientific Journal, the home of papers too far out to pass the censors on arXiv.
Toadmass has passed at Chateaux Chaos with seemingly fewer visitors this year, they have left their strings of spawn adorning the weeds. However we have had a better year for Newts, most evenings we see half a dozen or so paddling amongst the reeds conducting their elaborate courtships, they tend to stay longer in the water than the grumpy toads who cannot wait to crawl back to dank solitude beneath their stones.
Above see a Puck/Pan figure fashioned to add a bit of classical grandeur to a garden, I do so abhor those mass produced garish garden gnomes, even the humorously rude ones. I made him starting with plasterer’s steel mesh which I overlaid with ‘Turdcrete’ an experimental clay-like mixture of finely sieved fibrous sheep’s wool and bracken compost, Portland cement, and black cement pigment, (handle with surgical gloves), he’s verdigrissed to a faux-bronze finish with matte pale green patio paint. Et in Arcadia Ego. ' A brief paean follows: -
The Great God Pan is Dead, Yet Again and Again and Again
The human godbeast comes and it goes, Et in Arcadia Ego
Pangenitor, Panphage, All Begetter, All Destroyer
The omnipresent reality of sex and death.
Rejected by the otherworldly philosophers
Lost by the citified Neoplatonist abstractors
Yet still sacred to the Pagans – the country folk.
The Hidden God, the Soul of the Wildwood
Faunus, Sylvanus, The Horned God, The Christian’s Devil
Herne, Cernunnos, Pan, Panic! – Witches!
Mahomet – Baphomet, God of Mistaken Identity
But full marks for Androgynous Deity.
Pan- the great All of life
Pan – Panpsychism, the magic forests live,
The world and the stars have life of a kind, but slower….
In the Romantic’s dreams of Arcadian idyll,
And to Neopagans’ delight
The Great God Pan Lives Yet!
- Always in our Genes and our Loins and our Hearts
Mind in body, body in mind, body and mind entwined.
As partly beasts, and partly gods we live.
Io Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan!
UK General Election 2015
We approach a General Election and most parties promise various paths to ‘Economic Growth’ and ‘Progress’, but do we actually want these things, and if so, in what form?
It seems that as ‘living standards’ rise, people often just become more dissatisfied.
Hitch hiking provides a very telling barometer of the social quality of life. In the seventies and early eighties huge numbers of people hitch hiked all over the country. I did London to Yorkshire, London to Lancashire, and London to Bristol countless times and on my holidays, London to the isle of Arran and London to the Orkneys, plus some wanderings in Wales and Ireland. Most motorway slip roads had queues of people with rucksacks and their destinations scribbled on bits of cardboard and most got away within half an hour with service personnel in uniform, and lorry drivers carrying their plates, taking precedence.
Nowadays you hardly see anyone hitch hiking, except perhaps in the Scandinavian countries and rural Scotland. People have become wary and fearful of each other. Sociologists have concluded that the more ‘mixed’ a society becomes, the less people trust each other. The urban English mainly live behind locked doors these days.
Immigration has much to answer for in this respect, it has led to a breakdown in the feeling that anyone you meet will likely turn out as more or less ‘one of us’ - with shared values. Hence it becomes apparent why you can still hitch hike in relatively culturally coherent societies like Scandinavia or rural Scotland. The success of the SNP in Scotland owes much to a desire to preserve a cultural identity in the face of the disintegrating ‘English’ identity.
A ‘Political Correctness’ which has virtually criminalised the criticism of any form of foreign behaviour or belief in the UK has only added to the fear. Few dare to speak out against cultural practices far beyond the norms of liberal society, or against religions with a basically fascist ideology.
Some economists opine that immigration boosts the economy. In the short term it does by increasing GDP, as we operate under the principle that all must eat and consume, but it depresses wages to the glee of the captains of industry, it swells the ranks of the indigenous unemployed underclass to the glee of the socialists, and it inflates the price of housing to the glee of property owners. However at some point it will have to stop; and the sooner the better. This small island cannot accommodate more without further degradation of the environment and further loss of social coherence which erode the quality of life. At least a billion assorted economic migrants and refugees from around the world would try to come here if they could.
Japan takes very few immigrants, its population ages and declines in numbers, and its economy remains fairly static, property prices have become sensible again, and as a result the average Japanese gets better off, and more cheerful now that they don’t work so hard.
In the UK we remain dementedly committed to economic growth despite that getting more stuff and money provides only a very temporary feeling of wellbeing and the loss of the more important life objectives. The sucking of foreign labour and capital into the system has created a situation where house price inflation now dominates the economy to the extent that a property price correction would cause the whole economy to collapse. Property insecurity has become a major factor in so many people’s lives; they now have to spend a huge proportion of their working lives merely securing a property that will effectively act as a tax on the young. Any party which dares not risk profoundly altering the structure of the UK economy will have to maintain a housing shortage either by immigration, a low building rate, or even demolition as a last resort.
London has become an alienating and depressing place except for the very rich. It has sucked in so much foreign labour and foreign capital that its traditional working class and its creative young bohemians have mostly fled elsewhere. Those big old north London houses where I used to visit student flats, squats, and witches’ basement covens back in the seventies, have now become sold to the banking and political classes for ten million quid each. Anyone earning less than 50K in London these days usually has to endure several hours a day of ghastly commuting to do so.
So, as I prefer the past to the present and to most likely futures, will I vote UKIP?
Probably not. Whilst I have immense sympathy for the cause of extricating this country from the ghastly mess of the profoundly undemocratic EU Synarchy and regaining the power to make our own laws, I don’t want to compromise the Conservatives chances of winning in my marginal constituency where UKIP have no chance. Plus UKIP’s environmental policies look cretinously uninformed. Okay so renewables may prove expensive and unsightly (although I quite like windmills), but the alternative of continuing to burn fossil fuel will prove catastrophic within the foreseeable future. I wouldn’t describe UKIP as particularly racist; I worked for them locally for a few years in the early days; I’d call them Culturalists. They would like to preserve or salvage a lot of the good stuff about the UK because it’s a lot better than many other cultures. I know because I’ve travelled widely.
The economic consequences of leaving the EU seem positive rather than negative, it will save £10 billion in contributions, burn kilo-parsecs of red tape, and trading will continue as normal, as indeed it does with Norway and Switzerland, two European countries that very wisely stayed out of the EU.
The EU benefits nobody except big-business against the interests of small and medium businesses, and the political class against the interests of the people.
I shall vote Conservative and hope for a Con-UKIP coalition that may yet grant us a referendum on the EU, and prevent further immigration.
I will do this not out of love for the Conservatives but out of dread of the alternative, the nightmare scenario of a Labour-SNP coalition which will try to boom and bust the economy again, even before the repair work undertaken by the Conservatives has finished.
The treacherous twerp who heads up the labour party sold out his own brother to gain personal power. It would come as no surprise to see him sell out the Scottish labour party to the SNP to gain more, and to sell out the whole UK to the EU to get himself into the EU commission later in his career.
As for the Illiberal Dimocrats, well I expect the party of busybodies which merely gathers the ‘Neither of the above’ vote, to sink without trace now that we face some real choices.
In the UK nearly everyone votes negatively, to keep out the party they dislike most, and turnout at elections remains low. Few people actively like any of the parties, political party membership stands at an all-time historical low, we have no room for charismatic leaders or demagogues here, and a more or less free press continually takes the mickey out of them all. Our police do not routinely carry guns.
I regard all of these things as signs of a fairly healthy democracy.
Spring Equinox passes with a nicely coincidental solar eclipse. A quantum polarscope made from fixing the lenses from those freebie specs you get given at 3D movies to either end of a cardboard tube provided an excellent view of the solar crescent without retinal burns. It also shows amazing things if you put certain crystals or crumpled cellophane inside it.
The local birds fell oddly silent and stopped flying as the eclipse went to maximal occlusion and it became a bit gloomy, even the normally raucus rookery in the great old yew tree opposite fell reverentially silent.
Then to the huge stone circles at Avebury, just got to the pub before the cloak and runestaff brigade arrived, nice to have shamanic drumming with lunch.
Then to Grove where the most dour and saturnine Capricorn present naturally became the King of Winter and had a ritual bardic duel with the King of Summer, (portrayed by someone of a rather sunnier disposition), of course I had to lose because of the season, but,……………. I’ll be back,………. Mwahahahaha.
Nevertheless the turning of the season seems welcome; Frogmass and Toadmass begin as guests arrive in the lake at Chateaux Chaos and the Mandrakes (autumnalis variety) screech out for their annual re-potting.
Yet not all seems well in Bristol, to celebrate its new status as Green Capital of Europe, Bristol City Council has started filling in the disused pedestrian underpasses at Old Market Roundabout with SIX AND A HALF THOUSAND TONS OF CONCRETE. When I asked the workmen why they weren’t simply sealing it up they said ‘Dunno mate, crazy innit.’
Numerous tributes appeared on Arcanorium College to Sir Terry Pratchett, we shall miss him sorely. His fantasy fiction lays peppered with his deep humanism and has much of contemporary social relevance in it. Some have compared him to Geoffry Chaucer. He wrote with an insiders knowledge of contemporary magical ideas, (unlike the humorless elitist view that JK Rowlings presents), magic and gods and demons exist in direct proportion to our belief in them he opined....alledgedly there was once a coven to which he belonged in Milton Keynes back in the day....
So a fond farewell to a magnificent British eccentric and a really delightful bloke.
Post-Expansionist Cosmology attracts increasing attention, despite the consultancy role played by Yog-Sothoth of the Elder Gods in this, requests come in now for clarifications and reviews of overlapping alternative cosmology papers from various academics around the globe. The Chinese seem particularly avid downloaders of the Hypersphere Cosmology paper.
Post-Neoplatonist Magical Theory continues to supplant the antique metaphysics of the previous aeon, get a copy of The Epoch whilst the first edition remains in print.
Post-Unitary Temporal Theory remains a work in progress, maybe this summer down in quiet Wales…..
The Large Hadron Collider should fire up again this year. So far six billion euros of investment have produced a graph with a miniscule bump in it, which after some rather questionable statistical interpretation supposedly proves the existence of the Higgs mechanism which contradicts the otherwise apparently perfectly sound theory of general relativity. Maybe they will get some more little bumps but I predict they won't get any supersymmetry 'sparticles'.
Anyway, here’s hoping for sun and surf at the Gower for Eostre,….and no more winter for a while.
The Hypersphere Cosmology paper on this site http://www.specularium.org/hypersphere-cosmology has now received Three Hundred Thousand hits (none of them fatal). So it has taken more hits than some pictures of Kim Kardashian’s bottom!!!
Humanity’s relentless quest for truth and beauty continues unabated………
Much of the Hypersphere interest has come from the major university cities of America and of China. In the absence of the invited falsification of this hypothesis (I’ve emailed it to a lot of the big guns in the field), I’m sticking with the idea that the universe has not and does not expand. The hypothesis may still need a few tweaks but it seems far less wrong than the current official phlogiston riddled and creaky model.
The good old British NHS has just sent me an Occult Blood test kit for poo. Presumably if I pass this I’ll get whisked off to some secure bunker to assist in the magical defence of the realm. But seriously, everyone over sixty apparently gets one of these grim reminders of possible mortality from bowel cancer as a late sixtieth birthday present, a pity that mine has to arrive in the middle of ghastly February. Nevertheless having long ago decided to take denatured (white) grain and meat mummified with nitrates and nitrites off the menu, (corned beef, ham and spam, salami, and most regrettably bacon), the risk remains low. Whoever decided to mummify meat with the main ingredient of gunpowder needs their head tested. If even fungi and bacteria decline to eat it, so should we. The preserved meat industry has long become dependent on it, but if they tried to introduce it now they wouldn’t get away with it. Most of the scientists who have researched it refuse to eat it.
Sulis Mk2 appears above. Improvements to technique in the course of making statues of Lugh and Cuda led to a decision to redo Her. The Goddess of the hot springs now has a waterfall inspired hairstyle; araldite makes a superb conditioner for flyaway steel hair. Body in black milliput over steel and copper, verdigrised for a bronze effect. She stands before two ritual water containers, one for healing waters and one to receive curses inscribed on lead strips, in Her role as the righter of wrongs. Sulis Mk1 will go to a good home, that of a fellow Grove member who has her own lake.
La Gomera, perhaps the least visited of the Canary Islands, failed to provide the desired wintersun break due to fairly persistent cloud cover for the last week, I’m glad I took a warm jacket. Nevertheless the island does provide plenty of spectacular scenery, some serious walking opportunities around its precipitous valleys, soaring volcanic peaks and high altitude cloud-forests, and a warm-ish habitat for various species of German. About half of them seemed to consist of middle aged temporary visitors intent on rigorous exercise programs and the other half consisted of hippies living there long term. In the absence of any other sort of night life, the hippies entertained the visitors with music and fire juggling around the waterfront cafes in the evenings. We passed a German Enlightenment centre up one of the valleys but it all looked a bit too rigorous for my taste and casual visits were strictly Verboten in case it disturbed their precious vibes.
Whilst away I gave Smolin and Unger’s new book ‘The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time: A Proposal in Natural Philosophy’, a thorough study. Unger kicks off the first half of the book with a long, heavy, rather joyless and difficult to read philosophical diatribe on why we should regard time as real, the universe as singular, the laws of the universe as evolving, and mathematics as merely a tool rather than as some sort of absolute superior Platonic reality.
After that, Smolin’s part of the book came as a welcome relief. He makes much the same arguments but supports them with plenty of scientific examples and some witty bits; I particularly enjoyed the idea of the road back to reality (a dig at Penrose methinks). Plainly both cosmology and quantum physics have got themselves into a bit of a mess because the ‘mathematical objects’ they now employ (general relativity and string theory) have vastly more possible solutions than the universe appears to exhibit, and even the solutions that do appear partly applicable to the observed universe seem shot through with inexplicable arbitrary constants or they imply absurd initial conditions. In short, the idea of a Grand Unified Theory of Everything, as dreamed of by physicists of the Penrose-Hawking era, seems a very long way off now. Hooray then, lots more to do.
Concerning how to do it, both authors advocate a return to the principles of Natural Philosophy which underlie the best science, don’t accept anything until you have decent empirical and observational evidence, one might even quip Nullus in Mathematica, don’t accept purely mathematical constructions and extrapolations alone, they may embody false assumptions.
Smolin dismissed the singularities implied by the big bang theory as absurd, although he still seems to adhere to the expanding universe idea. Interestingly he makes a case for the evolution of the laws of nature, they may change with time, however he carefully doesn’t mention Morphic Fields, even though he has very similar ideas.
Dave Lee writes his long awaited and very thorough Review of Epoch
And now for some philosophical musings.
The Philosophical Implications of Hypersphere Cosmology.
Philosophers have long wondered whether the Universe has finite or potentially infinite or actually infinite extension in space and in time.
In the case of finite extension, the question has naturally arisen of what lies beyond it, or what, if anything, ‘contains’ the Universe.
Philosophers have generally regarded space as a Privative Concept rather than a positive concept, and considered space to consist of the absence of things, a nothingness which can accommodate the presence of various phenomena and objects.
Thus a spatially finite universe could, for some philosophers, simply exist within an unlimited space of pure nothingness, but unlimited nothingness means very little except perhaps for the potential for events to happen there.
A Universe consisting of an infinite amount of phenomena and objects spread over an equally infinite amount of space seems a tricky concept. We can say it, but we cannot really visualise it, and many would argue that the concept of infinity can have no physical correlate and that the concept only arises when we take the mistaken course of dividing by zero, or by assuming infinite divisibility, or of assuming that some other quantity has an infinite value. Yet if any quantity has an infinite value then all quantities must have an infinite value. A truly infinite universe would presumably contain an infinite number of stars, an infinite number of earth like planets and an infinite number of creatures including an infinite number of creatures exactly the same as each individual one of us, and an ‘equally’ infinite number of near copies.
Philosophers have also long wondered whether the universe has a finite or a potentially infinite or an actually infinite extension in time, and some have wondered if time itself might have some vast eternal circularity to it, or even to have a purely illusory nature.
Time can to some extent have the appearance of a Privative Concept like empty space, an absence or nothingness which awaits events to fill it up.
The nature of time becomes mysterious in proportion to the amount of thinking devoted to it, yet for any observer, events do seem to have a sequence, some things happen before and some things happen after, that much seems unarguable, and from it we abstract the idea that some form of cause and effect, with the cause preceding the effect, often applies. Even if some observers disagree with others about the order, and some effects appear random, or occasionally retroactive, or magical and occult, the universe broadly seems to go through sequences of events in time, everything obviously doesn’t happen simultaneously.
We can only measure time by movement and change. Potentially infinite time or actually infinite time only has any meaning if some sort of movement or change exists to delineate it.
If absolutely everything in the entire universe stopped moving, right down to the subatomic level, and then started moving again, ‘the amount of time for which it stopped moving’ would remain undetectable and without any effect whatsoever, it would have no reality.
Despite that most of our measures of time have an element of circularity about them; the cycles of night and day, the days of the year, the seemingly endless human cycles of birth and death, the movements of clocks and ultimately the vibrations of atoms in our most reliable timekeeping devices; we also have linear views of time in which many things have a beginning and an end. Even a clock does not exhibit perpetual eternal recurrence; it requires assembly and it will eventually break.
Most monotheist and some pagan religions view the world in terms of a linear timeframe with deities initiating beginning, a middle, and some sort of apocalyptic and/or transcendental ending, and of course most of them regard the universe as limited in space, often vastly more limited than even the simplest astronomical observations now suggest.
The Privative views of space and time do not now seem sustainable since the advent of General Relativity.
Newton considered that space provided some sort of fixed absolute immutable void in which objects could exist and that time provided some sort of constant immutable flow in which objects could change. However, most crucially, the objects within space and time could did not affect the space and time.
‘Absolute space, in its own nature, without regard to anything external, remains always similar and immovable.’
‘Absolute, true and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature flows equably without regard to anything external,’
Einstein’s General Relativity however shows us that the presence of any object; mass or energy, does profoundly affect the properties of space and time. We can no longer consider space and time as voids which can contain events. Space and time have a structure which depends on the presence of mass and energy.
Einstein realised that: - ‘Matter (and energy) tells spacetime how to curve, and curved spacetime tells matter (and energy) how to move.’
Thus gravity does not exist as a ‘force’. Mass and energy give rise to curved spacetime, (that we commonly recognise as gravity) and conversely, spacetime curvature gives rise to mass and energy. None of these phenomena exists independently of the others.
Truly empty space does not exist, it always has some kind of curvature or gravity in it, and the rate at which time ‘flows’ depends on the curvature also.
Einstein’s General Relativity modifies the Newtonian model of gravity under conditions of strong gravity; the Newtonian model remains valid as an approximation where the gravity remains fairly weak. Hypersphere theory modifies General Relativity for the conditions of very strong gravity where the spacetime curvature distorts Euclidian spacetime so much that it adopts a hyperspherical configuration which rotates. This occurs on the scale of the universe itself, almost certainly inside black holes, and rather surprisingly perhaps, in fundamental particles. Hypersphere theory also suggests that the geometry of time matches that of space, and that time has three dimensions rather than one.
For any three dimensional body of roughly uniform density the spacetime curvature increases not by its length but by the cube of its length. Thus the universe cannot consist of a more or less large scale uniform density body of infinite extent, for if it did then the spacetime curvature within it would become infinite as well, time would stop and light could not travel.
In Hypersphere Cosmology the universe has a ‘Finite and Constant’ but ‘Unbounded’ extent in both space and time.
The surface of the Earth has finite and constant but unbounded extent, you can travel as far around it as you like without encountering a boundary or an edge to fall off. Every point on the Earth’s surface also has an antipode point, the point on the other side of the world which represents the furthest away from your starting point that you can get.
Now the entire universe has a similar sort of spatial geometry but in three rather than two dimensions. You could, with a good enough spaceship and plenty of time, travel about 13 billion light years in any direction and eventually reach the furthest point away from your starting point that you could ever reach because the vast gravity of the universe causes it to curve back in on itself at that scale. If you attempted to carry on traveling you would eventually end up back where you started. However as nothing can travel faster than light this return journey would take at least 26 billion years, by which time your starting point would have few recognisable features left. Your home planet and star would probably have ceased to exist and your galaxy would have probably moved a fair distance and changed shape.
The ‘temporal geometry’ of the hyperspherical universe works in a similar way, the vast gravity of the entire universe curves time back in on itself, thus no event will appear to have occurred further away in time than about 13 billion years because the light from it will have become redshifted out of existence. However if you could somehow wait for 13 billion years you would not see the same events unfolding again, in the same way that travelling for 13 billion light years would not bring you back to anything like the ‘same’ place. Nevertheless in theory something like an ingot of tungsten drifting in deep intergalactic space could in principle persist for much longer than 13 billion years so long as a star in a passing galaxy did not suck it in, or cosmic radiation did not gradually erode it.
Hyperspheres rather than singularities will form within black holes, but no matter how much mass they absorb they will not change the overall size of the universe. Even if all matter in the universe falls into hyperspheres and the hyperspheres coalesce into each other that merely leaves the universe as a single hypersphere at the same size.
Hyperspheres with three spatial dimensions necessarily exist embedded within a spatial manifold of four dimensions, much as the curved two dimensional surface of the Earth exists only in the context of three dimensional space. We can of course dig holes some way into the planet, get some short way up into the sky or with enormous effort get a short distance into space. Unfortunately the fourth spatial dimension of a hyperspherical universe does not appear to offer any extra-dimensional travel freedom because the three dimensional space fills it up entirely, it has the same scale.
Philosophically, a universe finite and constant but unbounded in space and time leads to a rather different view of humanities place in it, to the views arising from either an infinite universe or from a universe with a beginning and an end.
A universe with a beginning and an end fits the Judaeo-Christian monotheist model and also some pagan models like the Norse one which ends with a cataclysmic Ragnarok. The final conditions implied by these philosophies suggest either historical or personal lifetime progress towards some kind of transcendence, or stoical endurance till final oblivion.
Some oriental philosophies like Buddhism and Hinduism seem to mainly take an eternalist view of the universe, cycles of creation and destruction, birth, death, and reincarnation go on endlessly with no apparently beginning or ending in sight. Such philosophies can often seem to promote a certain resignation to fate.
A hyperspherical universe, finite but unbounded in space and time, perhaps suggests other philosophical views. Finiteness has become impressed upon us by the pictures of our planet from space and the growing recognition that it cannot supply us with unlimited or infinite resources, we can go around its unbounded surface as far as we like, but we cannot go any further; we will probably have to put up with this for the lifetime of our species, for space travel will forever remain unrealistic unless fundamental physics contains some astonishing possibilities of which we currently have few inklings. Just possibly we may succeed in scaling up quantum effects to allow ‘ships’ (which will look nothing like rockets) to ‘teleport’ us across space to other star systems but this merely enlarges our non-infinite playing field.
In either case the lifetime of our species will depend directly how unboundedly we exploit our finite resources.
The questions of ‘where’ did the universe come from, or ‘when’ did it begin, now seem like the wrong questions. We have no reason to consider nothingness as somehow more fundamental than something-ness, particularly as we cannot actually observe any nothingness, and we have strong theoretical grounds for dismissing it as unnatural. Nature may abhor a vacuum but it doesn’t permit actual voids, even a vacuum contains structured spacetime. Nothingness ‘exists’ only as an abstraction, like the equally false concept of infinity.
As the universe exists as a ‘natural’ phenomenon then it doesn’t require deities to initiate it, to maintain it, or to eventually destroy it. Nevertheless they do have a more modest reality.
They didn’t make us, we make them.
Humans make gods and goddesses as tools and ‘machines’ to help them. Deities exist as Meme-Machines that have many societal, cultural, and personal functions. They can coerce or inspire not just individuals but entire societies to do or to not do a vast range of things.
Memes, like Genes, evolve by a process of mutation and selection, and basically we apply both the mutations and the selection pressure. Deities that have become ineffectual or whose characteristics have become a survival liability tend to die off, whilst new ones become created from the mutated wreckage of the old, although the devotees of a new or improved deity usually prefer not to acknowledge this.
Our imaginary friends have enormous real effects, so we need to design them carefully.
Newton’s god, so far as we can tell, seems to have had the characteristics of some kind of rational ‘Architect of the Universe’; Newton certainly rejected the messy doctrines of the trinity and the divinity of Christ.
Newton’s vision pretty much encapsulates The Enlightenment’s religious position.
Einstein did not believe in a personal god, but rather he adopted a Pantheistic view of an ordered cosmos, divine in itself. He could never quite accept that the universe behaved with a degree of randomness as the quantum physics which he also initiated, seemed to so strongly imply.
Einstein’s vision pretty well encapsulates the New-Age Humanist’s religious position.
Hypersphere Cosmology, well it suggests that the universe does not require a designer and that its quantum behaviour suggests that it does act with a fair degree of randomness, but in a way that makes it more rather than less divine in itself. A totally causal deterministic universe would have only us, or perhaps not even us, to make it unpredictable. Plus we can make gods and goddesses to our hearts delight and terror.
Chaoism? A work in progress…….
Thoughts of the week.
1) The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Physics seems to give a more coherent view of Strong Nuclear Interaction than other models. See http://www.specularium.org/3d-time/item/161-quantum-chromodynamics This may even provide a basis for discriminating between rival interpretations. We mention this because of the very significant metaphysical and magical consequences of quantum transactional mechanisms underlying reality.
2) It seems particularly bizarre that a secular state such as Britain should fund faith based schools of any kind*. This seems either to arise out of a sense of fairness gone mad, a failure of confidence in its own secular values, or perhaps even a quiet overconfidence that they must eventually always prevail. Faith based schools will always prove socially and culturally divisive. Perhaps the famous British traditions of politeness, compromise, and even-handedness now do it a disservice. Liberalism should not extend to compromises with illiberalism.
*Secularism has become the foundation of British Culture. The ‘established’ Church of England no longer plays any significant role in governance. It now follows rather than leads moral culture. It remains as a merely decorative appendage to state occasions and as a service provider to a dwindling minority religious interest group.
A secular, science based, and evidence based culture like Britain should have a religious studies school curriculum which requires familiarity with the overwhelming evidence that all religions without exception have evolved by syncretic processes in which bits and pieces of older religions became cobbled together by humans for various social and political purposes.
This could do more than anything to reduce religion based social decisiveness and home grown terrorism.
Historians and archaeologists should cease to remain the custodians of hard-won and uncomfortable information that we keep away from young people.
3) Leon Brittan dies. The British establishment will however probably wait for a few more of his generation to die before it seriously investigates the allegations. I distinctly remember asking a friend in Reuters about all the accusations in the graffiti sprayed on the walls of London back in the late seventies and early eighties. Everyone in Fleet Street knows, he replied, but it’s unprintable. I also distinctly remember Brittan getting kicked upstairs to the European Comission by Thatcher after his peculiar sudden resignation as home Secretary.
4) Cameron, ever the brilliant tactician, goes to Scotland bearing insufficient devolutionary gifts, so the SNP will drub Labour and the illiberal dimocrats there in May.
5) The European Central Bank decides, Weimar Republic style, to print a trillion euros but this may not persuade the Greeks from taking the sensible route of leaving the EU. If this initiative fails as seems likely, expect the EU to begin unravelling. Hooray!
See Varoufakis here.
"Currency Union can not prosper due to the lack of any deficit/surplus recycling mechanism." Indeed.
In any nation, capital transfers from richer to poorer regions have to take place to prevent the richer regions from further impoverishing the poorer regions and stimulating rebellion. Basically - if the Germans want Greece they will have to buy it first and then force the Greeks to live and work like Germans. (I assume here that they won't try to invade it again.)
The power-crazed Synarcho-Federalists who put the EU together knew full well that monetary union without political union would not work for long and hoped that the first crisis would end in the political union they sought, however the first crisis turned out rather larger than expected and the appetite for political union within a euro-bureaucracy has diminished markedly.
A european union consisting solely of East Germany and West Germany, with the rest of us doing our own thing now seems like a much better idea.
6) Lake Chad has apparently shrunk disastrously due to climate change and excessive demands on its waters. Boko Haram appears as a probable consequence.
The 2015 Chaoist New Year Pontifical Address, Stokastimass, January 8th.
From His Pestilence, Pope Pete 1st.
As we languish in the slough of the dog days following the seasonal celebrations and brace ourselves for a coming year of incessant toil, it behoves us to draw comfort from the better events of 2014 and to contemplate the Chaos ahead.
EPOCH, The Esotericon and Portals of Chaos eventually receives a rapturous reception from the esoteric cognoscenti despite a bit of a cock–up at the print works which led to its unavailability for its official launch at the Esoteric Conference at Glastonbury. The memory of standing up at the conference to talk about a book which didn’t actually exist at the time will long remain. Nevertheless soon after we took delivery of them they started to fly out all over the world despite the daunting carriage costs of sending the two kilogram book and card deck package to foreign lands. Matt Kaybryn’s artwork has set an astonishingly high new standard for magical artwork, the concept of extra-large cards for use as altarpiece icons has already proved its worth, and the paradigm challenging text looks set to keep a lot of philosopher-wizards busy for some long time. A party of intrepid volunteers currently seeks to explore the possibilities of the Epoch’s Necronomicon Mythos on Arcanorium College. Hopefully Azathoth of the Nuclear Chaos may have some intuitions to offer on the particle physics front.
Our Eldest finally got awarded her science doctorate, however in the mental aftermath of writing up her brick thick thesis which specially flown in experts from abroad passed without correction, she forgot to book the actual doctoral graduation ceremony, (a bit of a relief all-round actually) so we climbed a suitably symbolic mountain near her highland home and placed a suitably customised mortar board on her head for posterity and photographs.
The Scottish Referendum yielded a thankfully sensible result, one of the world’s most successful political unions remains secure, and the family feud over this matter has now subsided. My arguments and propaganda efforts did not go down well with our eldest who has gone native bigtime with all the fervour of a recent convert, after marrying into a clan up there. You have to admire Cameron’s balls in calling the bluff of the tartan romantics. I hope he does well in the coming May General Election; a Con-Ukip-Green coalition seems like an interesting and agreeable possibility, and an opportunity to distance Britain from the ghastly mess of the European Union. The other two parties seem laughable and without principle or credibility.
Readership of Hypersphere Cosmology on this site suddenly went astronomical and currently stands at nearly three hundred thousand and climbing. The breakthrough in this hypothesis came with the identification and quantification of the mechanism of galactic redshift which arises as a natural consequence of the positive spacetime curvature of this rotating hypersphere of a universe that we call home. So don’t panic, the universe did not arise from a cataclysmic big bang, it doesn’t bizarrely expand at lightspeed, it won’t end in an entropic fade out or a catastrophic collapse and it doesn’t mostly consist of phlogiston like dark matter and dark energy.
This year’s Knights of Chaos campaign scored some notable hits by psychic attack against specific ecocidal projects going on in various parts of the world, but so much remains to do. Nevertheless a consensus grows that in principle humanity must leave the planet’s carbon reserves where they lie, but the practise desperately needs to catch up.
2015. What Chaos lies ahead?
Particle Physics. Don’t expect any surprises from the Large Hadron Collider when CERN fires it up again. They have probably found all the fundamental particles now and just pouring in more power will only create fleeting composites like the supposed Higgs Boson. The Higgs mechanism remains unproven and unnecessary and in contradiction to General Relativity. Gravity will never reduce to a Gauge Theory. A unified theory will look more like quantum geometry with extra time dimensions, rather than a quantum gravity theory. The LHC may become another Euro-White-Elephant-Mega-Financial-Disaster-Investment if desktop Wakefield Generators come online this year and do much the same job. (I may get one myself.)
Cosmology. Expect to read a lot of sense in the forthcoming book: ‘The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time: A Proposal in Natural Philosophy’. Hardcover – 31 Jan 2015 by Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin
The publication has become a little delayed but from pre-publication reviews and e-book reviews it would seem that these two gentlemen, the first a Philosopher and the second a Physicist, call for a reversion to the principles of Natural Philosophy when it comes to cosmology and the big questions about existence because the current cosmological ‘physics’ has let the mathematics run away with itself into realms of crazy speculations about singularities, dark matter and dark energy, cosmic inflation, multiple universes, multiverses of multiple universes, or a block universe where absolute causality reigns supreme and time has no real meaning, with each of these otherwise unsupported conjectures acting as articles of faith for various cliques of believers in the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics even in the absence of any sort of observational confirmation.
It may well prove a seminal book.
Earth. The plague of humans on this planet shows few signs of self-control when it comes to population growth or resource consumption. We burnt 43 gigatonnes of fossil fuels last year and we seem set to exceed that this year. Expect unpredictable extremes of weather. Whether the human population of this planet by the end of this century will reach 10+ billions or whether it will collapse back to a few hundred thousand hunter-gatherer-scavengers remains an open question.
A world human population of 500 million and an environmentally neutral steady state economy seems the only sustainable long term policy. The challenge remains to achieve this without passing through a phase of civilisation wrecking catastrophe first.
Many of the Islamic countries seem caught in a very difficult position; the theological differences serve only as convenient flags for the underlying problem of conflicts of population and resources. Nearly all of those countries have huge and still growing populations living on rapidly diminishing resources, and cultural attitudes which often inhibit the social and technological reforms which could ameliorate such problems. In the meantime expect the situations to worsen indefinitely.
Beware of any meme complex that cannot tolerate criticism, humour, apostasy, or blasphemy. It means that its own internal contradictions will make it behave violently.
Moral Philosophy. Don’t expect any major changes of moral fashion in 2015. Those who have had their sexualities legalised will continue to opine upon the involuntary nature of such orientations, whilst society will continue to opine upon the elective and punishable nature of illegal orientations. Law and Disgust continue their cultural dance. Necrophilia with prior consent will probably still remain illogically illegal. The victimless crime of sex with other animals will probably continue to attract surprisingly harsh punishment despite that the killing and eating of other animals remains approved. Violence, murder, and war will provide much of the entertainment for all ages as usual, although the slightest hint of sex will still trigger an avalanche of restrictions. Offending fat people may become politically incorrect and then illegal if the fat lobby can prove itself involuntarily fat. Sick old humans will remain condemned to suffer for as long as possible whilst we will continue to put down sick animals at the slightest sign of distress (to us). Sometime in 2015 expect the emergence of a euphemism for ‘unacceptable’, a word which has become tiresomely over used to imply that everyone should dislike what the speaker dislikes. Also the current official PC euphemism for ‘Dimwit’ may become due for its five year replacement.
Magic and Esoterics. The excitement of the last magical revival which began in the late 1960’s shows definite signs of cooling with fewer young magicians taking up the wand at present, the hardcore survivors getting older, and fewer innovative titles becoming published. Basically the 1960’s revival began as a resurgence of a paradigm rooted in Platonism and Neoplatonism and coloured with Neo-Paganism and Orientalism, against the growing current of scientism and the decline of religion in western culture. It took many of its cues from the previous magical revival in the 1880’s when the Romantics tried something similar in the face of growing Industrialism.
The recent revival has left two legacies, firstly it has kept alive the third way of thinking, the magical one, as opposed to the scientific and the religious ones, and this continues as a sort of softcore new-agey factor in many peoples thinking. Secondly, as the revival developed, some theorists began to question the underlying Platonist and Neo-Platonist metaphysics which supported both conventional religious and conventional magical thinking to a considerable extent, and speculated on whether they could replace it with metaphysics based on quantum physics instead.
The mind-body dualism has become as suspect as the spirit-matter dualism and the Platonic essence-substance dualism, whilst the wave-particle dualism has become physically demonstrable, if only in limited circumstances, and it promises a mechanism that could nowadays more comfortably provide an explanatory model for magic. In religious aeons magic tended to share its metaphysics with religion, today it moves towards sharing its metaphysics with science.
The removal of the Platonist essence-substance model form magic would weaken the hold of the spirit-matter model of most contemporary religions. This pernicious idea underlies most of the justifications that religions use for their appalling behaviour on the material plane.
However this paradigm shift remains a struggle in progress, the old model falls into disrepute but the new one remains somewhat obscured by confusion, ill-informed enthusiasm, and the intellectual difficulties associated with any non-trivial new concept. Expect another magical revival as the new paradigm achieves greater coherence, its own vocabulary, and a more widespread understanding.
Over the last year we have found much of interest in the breathtaking scholarship and the musings of the grumpy old Archdruid of America, John Michael Greer: -
However his other blog on the decline of technological civilisation: -
Provides a sobering and sometimes terrifying read.
We live in interesting times, welcome to 2015. Pete.