Desire

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Desire: to wish or long for. “When you wish upon a star”. De-sire comes from the latin de+side (star) – desiderate.

A couple of blogs i have read lately have got me thinking on the subject of Desire.

Our desire(s) could be said to be at the very heart of our being. We can do something to ‘Our Heart’s desire’, our heart aches with desire. Many of the verses in Proverbs and Psalms speak of the vital connection between the heart and our desire as a link to God. “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps 37:4; “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Prov 13:12

Throughout the ages philosphers from Plato to Immanuel Kant have considered desire as an important motivating force in human life. Even Buddhism which considers it necessary to eliminate sensual desire  (that causes all suffering)  in order to find Nirvana concedes that a novice is to work on motivational forces through skilful application of desire.

Our greatest desire determines our main priority in life; our priorities strongly determine our choices; our choices lead to the actions we take and our actions we take determine the kind of life we live. How we behave and who we become.

regret

So what is your greatest single desire?

Is it a desire of self ( one that gives you personally the greatest degree of personal or sensual pleasure) – or a desire to follow the Will of God or of something greater than (external to) just yourself? ( Humanity?, Ecology? Nationality?)

If your greatest desire is to something other than self (but including, as a small part, the self) do you only act in harmony with that desire? Or do you sometimes slip into ‘selfish’ mode and consider your needs over those of others and the greater good?

Could this be behind the ‘conscience’ that sometimes causes us to have a niggling feeling of guilt when we do a thing, or not do a thing?

Maybe in order to reduce the instances of that ‘niggle’ we might consider the idea more carefully?

Any thoughts?

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Why Time Travel is (Probably) Impossible… Addendum

(Subtitled: Ooops! I forgot one) 😉

There is yet another reason why Time Travel is ( probably) impossible, specifically involving the method of light/hyper light speed.

I did not make it clear ( because it makes it even more complicated and confusing to those who don’t like maths) but there is a reason why Time seems to slow down at near light speed. And it is the same principle that creates this latest nail in Time Travel’s coffin so i better give you the lowdown before i come to the clincher.

Around the end of the 19th century Hendrik Lorenz and others were considering the implications of the recently discovered electron and came up with a formula known as the Lorentz Transformation (later refined and corrected by mathematician Henri Poincare in 1905 and which helped Einstein produce his special theory of relativity).

Basically this formula describes how physical equations that describe some events in our ‘normal’ reference frame here on earth have to be modified when their speed relative to someone doing the observing of events is considered.

Forgive the math but it simply (?) says:

γ = 1/√(1-v²/c²)

Anyone who remembers their high school maths knows that as the denominator of a number gets smaller, the resultant gets bigger, and that you can never divide 1 by zero since the answer is something infinitely large.

Looking again at the equation above we see that as our velocity = v starts to get very close to c – the speed of light – v²/c² gets very very close to one, so 1 minus something very, very close to one becomes very, very close to zero! The square root of that number is even closer to zero and so γ becomes massively large.

Using the Lorentz Transformation as it applies to Time between two observers moving apart at speed = v

To = γTv tells us that for the person who sees themselves as ‘stationary’ (To), Tv( time to the moving person  in the spaceship) appears to be Tv = To/γ or, our ‘time’ divided by a huge number if v ~ c meaning their time appears very much slower,

Similarly, for the moving observer (although to him he sees us as moving away from him while he is ‘stationary’ in the spaceship with his clock) To = γTv  so he sees time as moving very fast on Earth compared to his clock back on board.

The same transformation applies to the momentum of any object travelling at speed.

This says that the momentum of the moving object appears to have γ times the momentum of a ‘stationary’ object (a stationary object actually has zero momentum relative to the stationary reference frame since momentum = mass times velocity p= mv, if v=0 then p=0)

But p=mv is true only for ‘low’ values of v at light speed we have to use p= γp so an object has ‘infinite’ momentum if v = c

The energy require to increase an object’s momentum to infinite would also be infinite.

 

In other words it would take more energy than we can ever accumulate to travel fast as or faster than light speed.

Why Time Travel Is (Probably) Impossible! (Part 3)

I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.Blaise Pascal 🙂

(For part 2 see here: )

Alright, as promised so very long ago…

Why Time Travel Is (Probably) Impossible!

Time Machine meets Big Bang

In the movie, The Time Machine, based upon the novel by H.G. Wells, the hero makes a machine that ‘isolates’ him and his machine in a time bubble while the rest of the world around him first experiences a rapid prolonged period of elapsed time and then the same process in reverse. He effectively stays still and, compared to the world, he seems to have no time (does not age) or be incapable of movement. Yet inside his bubble he sees everything inside as ‘normal’ while the world becomes a blur and things decay and pass away and earth builds up and wears down around him as time passes him ‘by’. When he stops his machine he can get out and everything returns to ‘normal’ time but millions of years in the future while he lived only a few minutes inside the machine bubble.  This is very similar to the effect described back in part one. The differences are: a) both he and the earth (and any earth observer) effectively remained travelling at the same speed and direction (never came close to moving at light speed compared to the earth); and b). he was able to do the same journey in reverse.

Basically he moved through Time alone, not through space.

Trouble is though, rarely does one appreciate, that here on earth we are never ‘standing still’.

Standing up or sitting down in one spot as you may now be you are moving in at LEAST 4 different motions and speeds.

In increasing velocities they are:

1. rotation of earth around it’s axis ( between 300 and 1600 km/h for most of us, faster at the equator, slower near the poles)

2. revolving around the sun. (about 100,000km/h)

3. revolving around Milky Way galaxy centre (around 3/4 of a million km/h)

4. the Milky Way galaxy is moving away from the big bang and from other galaxies at enormous speed.

you can add another one if you are in a train, plane or automobile right now.

So, now that we are aware of this fact and also of the interconnectedness of Space-time we are forced to realise that in order to move in time we also must move in space. Where we are ‘now’ is not where we were even a few seconds ago nor will it be where we are next year.

Newton observed that any object in motion will continue in that motion until an unbalanced force acts upon it. Newtons First Law of Motion, also known as Law of Inertia.

In order for us to move through space-time it requires the use of an ‘unbalanced’ force, whether it be to walk along a beach, fly in a plane or journey to Mars, or even to move through time. A force must be placed upon the object to be moved and either attract it (like a magnet does steel) or repel it, like our feet do against the earth and gravity.

This force requires energy. Moving in 3d space requires energy proportional to the distance to be moved and the mass being moved and the objects initial momentum, which is proportional to the objects velocity.

As we saw above any object on earth has an enormous resultant velocity, even stationary ones, and hence enormous momentum to overcome.

So time travel would require energy not only to move in the time dimension  but also significant quantities to move in the physical dimensions. And here is another ‘catch’ – just what do we push against, or attract with to move through the time dimension? To what and to where, exactly, is this force to be applied?

Something else we never normally consider in time travel is the concept in physics of conservation.

Things like mass/energy, momentum and angular momentum must be ‘conserved’ and yet if time travel were possible, there could be more mass and therefore more momentum/angular momentum in the future (if we travel to the future) or the past, if we travel back in time, than there is ‘now’ when we are no longer there. That could make things very confusing indeed.

I think the final ‘proof’ that time travel is not possible however is a very simple to understand one.

Given what we know of our human nature – if time travel was possible (at least in a backwards direction) we surely should have had some evidence of it somewhere in our ‘past’ by now?

That’s a pretty huge ‘secret’ to keep without any hints of being suspected. – Probably! 😉

Why Time Travel Is (Probably) Impossible! (Part 2)

( for part 1 see here).

OK – so part 1 seems to contradict it’s title… by travelling at or very near the speed of light our time slows down relative to a ‘stationary’ observer so that we seem to be able to travel forwards in time relative to them! (But not so relative to us).

So how about going backwards in time? Can we go ‘back’ once we have gone ‘forwards’? Sadly, not by the same method. We can skip ahead by travelling at high speed but we can’t skip back. This is because Time slows down for us relative to a stationary observer. The slowest speed we can travel at is always a positive number or else it is zero – which means we are not moving at all relative to them and our timelines are identical, while we travel at the same speed as them. Travelling in the ‘reverse’ direction is possible in space (forward v backwards, up v down, etc.) but it is always a positive speed relative to a stationary observer; we cannot travel in reverse ‘speed’.

Although Einstein showed it to be impossible for anything with mass to travel faster than the speed of light -because, as you approach that speed, time seems to slow to zero – some have hypothesised that if you could go any faster time would start to travel in the ‘reverse’ direction – As Star Trek and a few other Sci Fi movies like to have us believe could be possible. But we can’t and so it isn’t (probably!) 😉

1701

Physicists hold out a hope for those who want to travel back in time however. To understand why it is necessary to rethink how we view both Time, and Space.

To most of us Time is different to space: we know we can move in any combination of 3 directions called ‘dimensions’  (up/down, left/right, into screen/out of screen) whereas time for us is only in one direction and we cannot move in it in any way other than by seconds that can’t be stopped (but see time and speed in part 1).

Einstein though, developed an entirely new concept – Space-Time, where instead of our 3 dimensional space universe the Universe is actually a four dimensional structure (here is where most minds start to really ‘boggle’ – we know we can simulate a 3d image on a 2d screen, that’s how old televisions and pictures work. These days the effect is improved with the use of glasses or special screens on our TV or cinemas. To simulate a 4d ‘image’ though would need a minimum of three dimensions and some pretty fancy special effects. You can’t do it any justice with a 2d picture – so i won’t even try.

What is important about it though is this… it treats time just like any of the other dimensions. it has a forwards/backwards, up/down thing going on with Time. In space-time every point in time AND space can be uniquely defined, anything in the ‘now’ our past, or our future EXISTS as a possible ‘point’ in space time.

As for the ‘backwards’ part in Time Travel? Physics proposes that things called ‘wormholes’ are possible in space-time, things similar to the ‘bubbles’ in a block of Swiss cheese. If we could enter one of these and live they could (emphasis on  the 2nd ‘could’) be a ‘shortcut’ through space-time to another point. They could connect two points massively far apart in space- or in time, or both!

Travelling through the wormhole would take far less time to travel between those points than it would if we used conventional methods – like walking or ‘fast’ spaceships. (Note: walking is NOT recommended for travel in actual space). Theoretically we could go ‘back’ in time. ONE of the main difficulties though would be the ability to determine where the wormhole ‘came out’.

Our conscious perspective of time is that the time dimension just ‘goes’ one way, one speed… but that is JUST our perspective. Different ‘observers’ in different places and possibly moving at different speeds to us will have different perspectives of our ‘reality’.

This means that different people see the same things happening at different times and in different places.

Weirdly, something that we see as happening in the ‘past’ someone else might see as happening in our ‘now’.

Even weirder, something we think of as ‘will happen’ in our future ( say a solar eclipse) someone else could see as happening in our ‘now’. Their perspective has the exact equal validity as does ours.

This means that the past, future and present may all exist simultaneously, for all of us! Altering our ability to perceive a thing may mean we can see the future, or see the past as though it is happening ‘now’ and what we perceive of as a one way stream of time is just an illusion created by our consciousness and our speed as we travel through space-time. (Remember time effectively slows down to zero, there IS NO ‘time’ at light speed, relative to a stationary observer).

But i digress… the post is supposed to be why Time Travel is (probably) impossible…

I’ll show you, in part 3! 😉

Reality, Imaginary and Complexity.

“Anything (God e.g.) that is imaginary is just that and therefore not real and can be of no practical benefit.” – Discuss.**

** see further down below – line in wide spacing!

Reality, Imaginary and Complexity.

Most people will have their own understandings they attach to each of those 3 words.

For many of us they will usually approximate something like:

Reality is what we live most of our waking life inside of.

Imaginary is something we don’t really believe is real in the current time reference ( the ‘now’). It may never be (like total world peace) or may be if we work hard at it ( like becoming a millionaire, or win first prize in a mega-lotto) or it may be something we prefer never happened (like imagining living in a post nuclear war scenario)

Complexity is something that has more attributes than we can comfortably fit in our brain/conceptualisation of ‘what is’. We might be able to figure it all out given time but we probably won’t ever choose to spend that time if it seems too ‘complex’

Depending upon your own personal experience you probably can attach each one of those words to the concept of God and Religion. To some God is most definitely real and they live accordingly, to some God is purely a figment of human imagination and to some God is too complex an idea to easily fit into either of the previous categories.

I suspect that for a very great many of you that you can prove to your own satisfaction that your personal view is the ‘correct’ one – you can cite all sorts of ‘evidence’ you or others have acquired that fits your own views on the matter while attaching little to no importance to the ‘evidence’ of those who differ to your views.

Many atheists for example will quite confidently state that belief in God is purely imaginary and not ‘real’  (meaning backed by any physical or detectable evidence  – that they have ever found at any rate) and so they are of superior intellect than those who believe in imagined human creations of a ‘super-natural’ being that rules the Universe.

I wonder how many of said atheists remember though, while saying that, that the pride of their reality, of evidential scientific ‘belief’, the great God mathematics which can prove or disprove many earthly things ( and cosmically scaled things also) has both Real, Imaginary and Complex (real plus imaginary) numbers?

What’s that?? an IMAGINARY NUMBER?? In Mathematics, that most logical thought system? The one we use to understand every kind of process from genetic growth to nuclear fusion powering the sun and gravitational forces governing the Universe? They believe in IMAGINARY numbers???? huh?

‘Tis true. A cold hard fact.

Mathematics has ‘real’ numbers – a small subset of which are the ones we most often use in life – the counting numbers we use to define ‘how many/how much’. We use them in commerce:” i want to buy 6 oranges at $2.99 a kilo” In gardening: “500grams of this fertiliser will cover an area of 10 sq metres”. Fibonacci’s sequence in plant petals, pistils etc.. In music: 6 and 12 string guitars, 88 keys on a piano. We use them in practically all aspects of life ( if we look carefully real numbers are obvious everywhere).

Less familiar to those of us who did not particularly like maths in school are negative numbers. You can’t actually ‘see’ a negative number of things and about the only way most of us become aware of them is when we overspend on our credit card balance and have a ‘negative’ number balance. You cannot ever ‘see’ minus $200 – it is not a ‘real’ thing you can hold or feel, but you can certainly ‘feel’ the loss of having one. Again the commercial world finds negative numbers ‘useful’ as a means of dealing with that most in demand commodity, money.

Our scientific world finds these slightly, to us, ‘unreal’ numbers of considerable practical ‘value’.

But where does the imaginary part come into mathematics? So far i have been referring only to what mathematicians and science refers to as REAL numbers.

An imaginary number is one that does not exist in the range of ‘real’ numbers.

That is quite important.. let me say it again slowly..

A n  I m a g i n a r y  N u m b e r   i s  o n e  t h a t  d o e s  N O T  E X I S T  i n  t h e  r a n g e  o f  r e a l  n u m b e r s !

Any actual number  (including +/- decimal points and fractions) that you could possibly write down using our 10 digits does and can only exist in the range of real numbers.

Yet mathematicians/scientists BELIEVE in and can use imaginary numbers  (see above!) to better describe certain aspects of our physical world than they could if they stuck to only what was ‘real’.

How does that sound to you God believers out there??? How often has an atheist/agnostic… hell, even christian minister!, expressed doubt about you believing in an imaginary being and made you feel ever so slightly foolish for doing so?

Yet the God of science and maths has decreed that imaginary things actually exist and have practical applications in our real world. Makes their self-righteous stance on ‘foolish’ beliefs sound a little less ‘certain’ or factually-based to me!

Don’t get me wrong – i fully accept that these Imaginary Numbers  ( and their dependent cousins, ‘Complex Numbers’) have strictly defined laws regarding their manipulation so as to serve humanity in a positive, and not a foolish, fashion.

I just find it somewhat hypocritical of many people who argue that religion is ‘made up’ and so a reason to disregard it as having practical purpose in our every day life, when they are quite happy to accept exactly the same concepts themselves. (At least those are who have the intelligence to have even heard of imaginary and complex number systems).

Just What IS Reality Anyway…?

Saw a very interesting Doco on TV recently “What is Reality”.

The show dealt with how science is defining our reality that we live in and try to make sense of – or as they are doing, Trying to pin down just exactly what ‘everything’ actually is made of and how it all ‘fits’ together at the most basic levels of possible understanding.

This is of course basic (scientific) understanding, not basic (simple) as in: “You came from under a cabbage patch, Rebecca”

Several experts shared their current theories and ideas on the topic in as near to layman’s terms as you can get when describing the Standard Model of sub-atomic theory, quarks, quantum computers and holographic universes!

Even so it was quite mind-blowing stuff. As they point out – even the best experts don’t fully understand some of the aspects ( and might even be a little shaky on most of them) 🙂

Some of the highlights for me were…

Scientists at Fermilab’s Tevatron spending years searching for physical evidence of a sub-atomic particle ( the Top quark, believed to be the most massive of the 6 proposed quarks) which only stays in existance for a billion, billionth of a second – only to eventually realise that they actually had the evidence about 6 years previously but had failed to ‘recognise’ it for what it really was. The main point being that something that had only ever existed in the minds of theoretical physicists was proven to exist once the right technology was invented and built. This last discovery ‘proved’ the previous theory was accurate in Nature.

Everything in nature is now able to be understood in terms of the right combination of the 6 quarks and the fundamental forces of gravity, electromagnetism and the 2 atomic forces.

A Quantum Computer has been built which has the ability for a single bit of information to have more than 2 possible states ( for example the same bit could be on, off or on AND off at the same time!) Thus raising the possibility of vastly more powerful machines than the best supercomputers of today.

The demonstration of photon quantum entanglement, where 2 identical but separate photons are created so as to be able to replicate the actions of one in the other simultaneaously! That the action on one occurs also on the other at the same time even though the particles may be many miles apart means that if some kind of information is being transmitted between them it must do so faster than the speed of light – which in our universe Einstein believed was impossible. The effect has been verified. This suggests that a form of Teleportation, where particles are duplicated over distances faster than light can travel may well be possible.

holouniverse

Perhaps most weird in this exploration of reality though is the concept that everything we can see or touch in this universe is actually a projected 3d hologram with the information to reconstruct anything (including our self) stored on the outer ‘edge’ of our universe. This was proposed by someone who showed that the ‘information’ that entirely described any object that ‘fell’ into a black hole was actually embedded in the black hole’s Event Horizon. While the object ‘s mass may cause it to ‘disappear’ behind the Horizon, Information, like matter, can neither be created nor destroyed and so must remain ‘in’ the Universe and the only place it could then reside is on the event horizon.

Since the ‘end’ of the Universe shares similarity with this Horizon – no information can be lost by passing ‘beyond’ it it was proposed that all information inside the Universe may be a projection of the information at it’s outer ‘limit’.

How Real is that?? 🙂

Anyone who needs a headache pill and a long lie down after reading/absorbing this, there should be a safe place down that-a-way >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>….

For those of you who want to see even deeper down this rabbit hole ( Alice – i’m looking in your direction ) follow this link – if you dare and don’t mind staying awake in a daze for a couple of days. http://www.crystalinks.com/holographic.html 

# The original Doco can be found here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkvoa0_bbc-horizon-2011-what-is-reality-hdtv_tech   (runs 58 mins)