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03/13/21 07:23 AM #1320    


Virginia Wolfe (Scheffer)

However, they were only a nickel apiece versus a laptop at $500 and more!

03/13/21 02:55 PM #1321    


Bill Engelhardt

03/13/21 05:09 PM #1322    


Gregg Wilson

                   It's Daylight Savings Time!!

03/22/21 08:28 PM #1323    

Tom Chavez

Introduction to Ignorance


    Throughout human history, philosophers and sages have sought to understand the cosmos. Western scientists have operated on the assumption that the universe can be understood mechanistically—in terms of numbers and mathematics.


    Many times scientists have felt that an ultimate mathematical description of nature was nearly within their grasp. In the mid-nineteenth century Hermann von Helmholtz declared that all phenomena of nature “could be reduced to to forces of attraction and repulsion, proportionate to the mutual distance of material bodies.” 


    By 1900 many new concepts and discoveries made Helmholtz’s idea obsolete. Albert Einstein began a more sophisticated program to explain all phenomena as oscillations in one fundamental “unified field.” But revolutionary developments in physics soon rendered his basic approach obsolete. 


    In 1979 three physicists (Glashow, Salem, and Weinberg) won the Nobel Prize in physics for partially tying together some of the various physical theories. Scientists still hope to find a “theory of everything” in terms of mathematical equations describing a single, primordial “unified force.”


   For homework, write equations to describe the following natural phenomena:


03/24/21 01:58 PM #1324    

Tom Chavez

The pin-ball universe or, how useful is mathematics, really?


The usefulness of mathematics in science is a miracle with no rational explanation. It is a gift for which we should be grateful. — Eugene Wigner  


Physicists give a higher degree of reality to mathematical models of the universe than they accord the ordinary world of sensation. — Steven Weinberg  


Some scientists believe that mathematical laws apply to all phenomena of nature, and the discovery of such laws will lead to a complete understanding of the universe. 


Richard Thompson’s thought experiment consists of an array of fixed 2-inch spheres, spaced four inches apart, extending in all directions. Consider the track of a moving sphere that rebounds elastically off the fixed spheres. 



A slight variation in the initial direction of the moving sphere will be greatly magnified as it bounces off others. We need to know the sphere’s initial direction with great accuracy to predict its path correctly. 


Thompson calculates that if the sphere moves at sixty miles per hour, to predict its path for one hour would require accuracy of roughly two million decimal places, which would take over 700 pages to write out.


To specify the sphere’s movements for one year, would require more than six million pages. 


Generalizing the experiment by allowing all the spheres to move and interact by force laws of various kinds gives a 2D classical Newtonian model of nature.


Thompson concludes that the prospects for a simple universal mathematical theory are dismal, as it must account for almost unlimited detailed information. 


Conclusion: the practical usefulness of mathematics is great, but limited.

03/24/21 02:28 PM #1325    


Gregg Wilson

Hi Tom,

There will never be a theory of everything in terms of mathematics, equations, etc.

The universe consists of three realms:

1) The gravitational flux - everywhere and in all directions. Gravitons consist of mass and velocity - nothing else.

2) The light carrying medium. Light is a wave, not a particle. This medium has light, heat, temperature. The medium can be moved by gravitons. It can be thin, dense, even liquid.

3) Protons. They have no inherent velocity, nor heat, nor temperature. They possess mass and GEOMETRY.

Existence does not obey mathematics, equations.

You have posted the fantastic picture of LIFE. The universe has existed forever. Life has existed forever.

Theories by physicists, astronomers, cosmologists, etc, do not account for life.

03/26/21 09:00 PM #1326    

Tom Chavez

Hey Gregg, salutations! Let’s have some fun!


I agree with you that mathematics cannot describe everything, and that theories by physicists, astronomers, cosmologists, etc, do not account for life. 


We are in good company. Some respectable scientists and mathematicians also agree.


As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. — Albert Einstein 


Physics is mathematical not because we know so much about the physical world, but because we know so little; it is only its mathematical properties that we can discover. — Bertrand Russell


The only one thing more unreasonable than the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in physics, is the unreasonable ineffectiveness of mathematics in biology. — Isreal Gelfand


Your alien realms, beyond my puny comprehension, remind me, “never underestimate your own ignorance." 


This is a Hubble pic of Galaxy NGC 236. Is your home planet out there somewhere?


03/27/21 09:27 PM #1327    


Gregg Wilson

Hi Tom,

Let's consider Charles Darwin. He did not have very much "current" information, so his theory of survival of the fittest probably has some validity. However, when this is extended to the idea that life began on Earth - this has no validity.

Assuming that one celled life began in mud, sandstone, clay with water is ridiculous. Single cell life has DNA. To say the DNA is complex and highly organized is an understatement. This is supposed to have occurred in conjunction with creation of a single cell? No way.

So life came from off planet. It is sensible that sentient beings brought life to Earth. This is where Christians are much closer to the truth than Darwinists, though I don't think that they understand why.

If one wants to call the being that brought life to Earth God, I don't care. But life has existed forever. So assuming that God created the Universe has no basis. The Universe was not created. So, we have to assume that God is a "local" God.

And don't anyone propose the Big Bang. Since gravity is NOT attractive (see Isaac Newton) the Big Bang is nonsense. Personally, I prefer Calvin's "horrendous space kablooie".


03/29/21 01:44 PM #1328    

Tom Chavez

Aloha Gregg,


I agree that evolution is not a viable explanation for biological complexity. DNA requires proteins to replicate, and proteins require DNA for their production. We have a “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” problem.


The fact is that no one has ever proposed even a possible detailed evolutionary sequence for developing biological complexity from simple precursors. 


Professor of Biochemistry Michael Behe in his book Darwin’s Black Box, refers to the Journal of Molecular Evolution, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and other scientific resources, to note:


“Molecular evolution is not based upon scientific authority. There is no publication in the scientific literature—in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books—that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred.”


Pan-spermia is the theory that biological forms came to Earth from elsewhere, but that just moves the problem of life’s origin elsewhere. It is not an explanation for the origin of life.


Rational laws of cause and effect are the basis of science. Reality didn’t just pop into existence from nothing. Something has existed eternally, as a precursor cause of our existence. 


For most of human history civilized societies have attributed the existence of both biological life and the universe itself to an omniscient God that transcends both.


For us Earthlings who are ignorant of your infallible alien authority, what is the rationale for claiming that the universe and biological life have eternally existed? How do you rule out other possible causal scenarios?

03/29/21 06:28 PM #1329    


Gregg Wilson

Hi Tom,

I don't know where you are going with this. Existence does not need a thumbs up. There is no alternative. There is no prior to or outside of existence.

03/30/21 07:44 PM #1330    

Tom Chavez

Ah, Gregg, you describe existence as graviton flux, light-carrying medium, and geometric protons. Where are you going with that?


Human intelligence naturally inquires. What is this existence? What the hell am I doing here? Sober minds want to know.


There are many philosophies, sciences, religions, ideologies, etc., which offer various views and answers. It can be hard to sift relevant from irrelevant, or truth from illusion. Don’t give up!


Modern science offers us a periodic table of elements. We hear that sodium is a soft metal that explodes on contact with water. And chlorine is a deadly poisonous gas. 


Although true, this is irrelevant to most of us. What is relevant to me is that sodium and chlorine combine to form salt, which I need for my fries!


I find Vedic philosophy to be simple and relevant. The basic Vedic understanding is that there are two main energies: superior and inferior. One energy is matter, and the other is consciousness.


Quantum mechanics has led some some modern scientists to recognize this distinction.


Nobel physicist Eugene Wigner, “there are two kinds of existence: the existence of my consciousness and the existence of everything else. This latter reality is not absolute but only relative.”


Matter is inferior and relative. Consciousness is superior and absolute. That, Gregg, is where I am going.

04/01/21 09:27 AM #1331    

Tom Chavez

It is common sense that there are two basic energies: matter and consciousness. But materialists deny the existence of consciousness by labeling it an illusory ‘epiphenomenon’ created by interaction of material elements, without substantial independent existence.


Materialists focus their consciousness upon matter in material science. Transcendentalists focus upon consciousness itself, by methods of yoga and meditation, in a science of consciousness, or self-realization.


Some transcendentalists perceive consciousness as an all-pervading field of energy permeating everything, which upholds and sustains the laws of nature. They identify with that field and believe that our experience of individuality is illusion. They are called impersonalists.


Advanced transcendentalists understand that although all consciousness is one in quality, there is a difference in quantity. Our individual consciousness is tiny, but there is a higher divine consciousness much greater than our own. 


The ultimate meaning of “yoga” is related to the English word “yoke” which means to link up. Yoga means to link our tiny consciousness with the Supreme Divine consciousness. That connection is called God consciousness, Christ consciousness or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

04/01/21 01:13 PM #1332    


Gregg Wilson

Hi Tom,

You have entered religion. I do not go there.

04/01/21 03:23 PM #1333    


Bill Engelhardt

04/02/21 07:34 AM #1334    


Virginia Wolfe (Scheffer)

Unless those shoes were sold at WigWam, we never got them!  Always was jealous.  OK, I have gotten over that now!

04/03/21 09:31 AM #1335    

Tom Chavez

What’s religion got to do with it?


This entry is not for those who abjure religion or think it inappropriate for public discussion.


“That’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion

a hurt, lost and blinded fool

Oh no I’ve said too much

I haven’t said enough…” ~ R.E.M.


Religion in this age has a bad reputation for good reason. It has become associated with blind faith, fanaticism, sentimentalism, politics, prejudice, hypocrisy, anti-scientism, etc. In America, previously considered very religious, less than 50% of people now affiliate with any religious organization.


Einstein famously said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Religion is essentially a science to purify and elevate consciousness. When we focus too much on matter, we lose sight of consciousness, and religion as a science becomes lost.


The word religion comes from “re-ligio.” Ligio relates to ligature or ligament, it means to link or connect, and re means again. Religion means “to reconnect,”  and is similar in meaning to yoga, which means to yoke or link. Religion is supposed to reconnect the individual human consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness, or God. 


Traditionally this connection or reconnection is promoted by methods of meditation, prayer, church or temple worship, sacrifice, charity, austerity, study of transcendental knowledge, etc. In world history we find a variety of religions and religious practices in various cultures, climates and conditions.



Saint Petersburg Cathedral in Russia

04/06/21 12:53 PM #1336    

Tom Chavez

I would like to describe an ancient concept of religion. This is not intended for hypocritical, atheistic, dishonest, or faithless persons who are not humble. If you fall into these categories, please skip over this.


For those who adhere to a particular denomination or faith, this applies to any religion. In place of Kṛṣṇa you may use your own name or concept of God. The same one Supreme is differently named in different religions, but the essence is one. 


Conflict in this world is caused by people thinking that a particular group are my people, my clan, my countrymen, and those other people do not belong. This self-interested view ignores the unity of existence.


The following describes a different attitude that would remove the many problems of discrimination, conflict and hate based upon racial, sexual, ethnic, religious, national and class distinctions.


Kṛṣṇa tells Uddhava, “I shall describe bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion, by which a human conquers unconquerable death.”


“With pure heart one should see Me within all beings, pure and omnipresent, externally and internally, like space. One who sees Me in all living entities, and offers respect to everyone, is wise.”


“This process – using mind, words and body to realize Me within all living entities – is the best method of spiritual enlightenment.”


“In danger an ordinary person cries, fears and laments, although such useless emotions do not help. But activities offered to Me without selfish motive, even though externally useless, are the actual process of religion.”


“This process is the supreme intelligence of the intelligent and the cleverness of the most clever, for by this one makes use of the temporary and material to achieve Me, the eternal spiritual reality and Supreme Absolute Truth.” 


The highest intelligence is to focus consciousness on the Supreme consciousness, without desire or duplicity, sincerely acting to please that Supreme Person. (Consciousness implies personhood.) 


One who consciously seeks the Supreme, will realize God in proportion to their sincerity of devotion.


04/08/21 05:59 PM #1337    


Gregg Wilson

04/11/21 09:53 AM #1338    

Tom Chavez

From Mother Earth’s Perspective


Tiny mites and bacteria inhabit our human bodies without awareness that the entire body is owned by a human personality. Similarly, we inhabit planet Earth with little or no awareness of the conscious personality of Mother Earth.


Sukadeva told King Pariksit how Mother Earth views human beings:


Seeing the kings trying to conquer her, the Earth laughed and said, “These kings, playthings in the hands of death, desire to conquer me. Even those who are learned meet frustration and failure because of material lust. Driven by lust, they place great hope and faith in the body, even though it is as fleeting as foam on water.”


“Kings and politicians imagine: ‘First I will conquer my senses and mind; then I will subdue my ministers, citizens, friends and relatives, etc., and gradually conquer the entire earth.’ Because their hearts are full of expectations, they fail to see death waiting nearby.”


“After conquering all my land, they enter the ocean to conquer the sea. What is the use of self-control aimed at exploitation? The goal of self-control is liberation.”


    “To conquer me, materialists fight one another. Fathers fight sons, and brothers fight one another, for political power. Political leaders challenge one another: ‘All this land is mine! It’s not yours, you fool!’ Thus they attack one another and die.” 


    “Many great kings and demons who possessed great powers of control over others, were full of knowledge, heroic, all-conquering and unconquerable. Nevertheless, although they intensely tried to possess me, all were subject to time, which reduced them to mere historical accounts. None of them could permanently establish their rule.”


~ Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Canto 12, Chapter 3



04/12/21 10:22 PM #1339    

Tom Chavez

Mother Nature beautifies our nation's capitol…

…photos from this past weeked courtesy of the Washington Post.

04/15/21 03:38 PM #1340    


Bill Engelhardt

We have come a long way.

04/16/21 01:29 PM #1341    


Tim Jones (Jones)


I recall when Tandy Corporation (Radio Shack) started selling home computers.  We'd get the catalogs; Gee, this model has 32K memory! Wow! This one has a whopping 64K memory.

I sensed that computers were going to be big and would take my oldest, Graeme to the school library to play Lemonade Stand and Oregon Trail on the schools floppy drive computers.

Then in 1989 I made the big jump.  Bought a used Macintosh 2X computer. It was about a year old and was the first really expandable color computer. Computer, 19 inch monitor and keyboard, $3500 !! Well, it was a leap of faith on my part.  I recall my middle son, Barry, locking me out of the computer.  This was before the days of the internet. We laugh about that today.  Wasn't funny at the time.

I belive in starting kids early in whatever interests them. Their brains are like sponges. Today Barry is in his 9th year at Apple, a software engineer. Yes, start them early.  That $3500 used Mac was one of the best investments I've ever made. Now we carry all that computer power around in our phone. What an amazing technical evolution.


04/16/21 06:06 PM #1342    

Tom Chavez

I’d like to thank Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tim Cook, Barry Jones and all the staff at Apple for their great products. I have to thank you, Tim, for making Barry’s contribution possible!


I never owned any computer other than an Apple, which I have used for for publishing, e-commerce, accounting, art design, etc. I'm an Apple fan(atic).


I also thank Claude Shannon, who jump-started digital circuit design. His work on information theory led to the digitalization of modern telecommunications.


Claude Shannon’s theory implies that the most efficient digital message uses a code which minimizes redundancy and approaches apparent randomness.


That means that the most succinct messages will appear as random nonsense to one who doesn’t know the message’s language. 


Which implies that what we see as meaningless random natural phenomena, like spontaneous radioactive decay or “junk DNA”, may be very meaningful.

04/19/21 12:19 PM #1343    

Tom Chavez

Imagine that technologically advanced aliens descended in their flying saucer and offered humanity a wondrous invention that would improve everyday life in almost every way. But it would also come with a cost. In exchange for bestowing this invention on society, the aliens would choose 1,000 young men and women and kill them.


Would you take the deal? Most of us would say, “Hell no!” 



But consider. The automobile kills about 40,000 people annually. We accept this toll, almost without thought, because we are accustomed to it.


Humans are irrational about risk. We underestimate large chronic dangers like cars, guns and pollution, and fixate on tiny risks like plane crashes or shark attacks.


Recent news is that about 5,800 fully vaccinated Americans have contracted Covid. That sounds bad, but it means a vaccinated person’s risk of Covid is about 1 in 11,000. The chance of getting a version worse than the common cold is far lower. 


About 100 persons are likely to die in car crashes today. The data suggests that the number of vaccinated persons dying from Covid today will be either 0 or 1.


But many people remain more worried about the risk of vaccination than the risk of contracting Covid. Counties that voted for Donald Trump have lower vaccination rates. It’s a poor gamble.

04/19/21 12:42 PM #1344    

Tom Chavez

PS Deaths from Covid are averaging over 700 per day now, versus averages well into the thousands during the past peak from December to February.

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