Tuesday, September 26, 2017

NFL's takingAKnee is Trump tweets

Bill Murray tells a fantastic joke that covers most of everything we are seeing today.

The joke, badly paraphrased from memory:

A man comes in to see a doctor and the doc starts him out on the standard inkblot test.

The man winces and says "a couple making love under a tree!"

The doc flips to the next, and the man says "a couple having sex on a table."

The doc flips through five more.

"sex sex sex sex sex"

The doc says "I think I know what the problem is, you're obsessed with sex."

The patient slams his hands against the table, outraged, "I'm obsessed with sex? You are the one with all the dirty pictures!"

What we have is an inkblot test with people seeing very different thinks. It really does NOT matter what the intent of the players is, their intent is the inkblot. Failing ratings proves millions of people are seeing something very offensive, and tuning out.

We can argue over what the inkblot (taking a knee) "really" means, but it's not going to be any more successful than telling the man that he, not the doctor, is obsessed with sex.

This is the same phenomenon we see with the inkblot called Trump. Millions see a Hitler (with a Jewish daughter and Jewish grandchildren), while others see that 'Hitler stuff' as absurd. It's an inkblot. Both are inkblots that tell ONLY what THE VIEWER sees; and what the viewer sees has NOTHING to do with the truth of the inkblot and everything to do with what's going on in the mind of the VIEWER. Inkblots illuminate the illusions in our own minds, not reality.

An inkblot is just an inkblot, they are pictures of nothing.

Football means what the viewer THINKS it means. The NFL and the Players have as much control over what "taking a knee" means as the doctor has over what a patient sees in an inkblot. And Trump has no control over what people "think" he means by his tweet. Half of America "thinks" it means the opposite of what the other half "thinks" it means.

"Taking a knee" is, literally, the NFL's version of the Trump tweets everyone says he should stop doing.

The difference is that Trump does not need the people who think he's Hitler, he already got elected without them. He actually benefits from driving them insane, he benefits from having them screaming 'sex sex sex' at everything they see, it destroys their credibility. Where the NFL can't afford to have half their audience "think" the NFL hates the police, the military, and America.

It doesn't matter what the inkblot really is a picture of, to the NFL it matters what the audience THINKS the inkblot means, and right or wrong, too many "think" taking a knee means the NFL hates America.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Charlottesville and confederate statues

The reason why Auschwitz was built is entirely different than the reason why it should never be torn down.

"Never Again"

The reason why these confederate statues were put up is entirely different than the reason why they should never be torn down.

"Never again"

I'm a libertarian. I'm "one of those" that wastes their vote every year, so my political views are generally hated by BOTH sides.

Southern states seceded before Lincoln was even inaugurated. Not until Trump have more Democrats boycotted an inauguration than Lincoln's. This fact is unsettling to an outside observer, like me.

The democrat mayor of Charlottesville declared it "the capital of the resistance" before Trump's inauguration... just as Richmond, just a few miles down the road, was named the capital of the confederacy (resistance) before Lincoln was inaugurated.

Staged violence was used to start the civil war, too.

"Never again"

Not one of the southern states had a republican governor, they were all ruled (super majorities) by democrats. The KKK was formed by a delegate to the DNC named Forrest (like in Forrest Gump). Not one democrat signed the first ANTI-KKK law, in fact, a democrat president vetoed it, but was overridden by Republicans.

The amendments to the constitution freeing the slaves, making them citizens, and giving them the vote were all done entirely by Republicans without a single Democrat senator's vote.


The Germans were not all Nazis. The average soldier believed they were fighting for their country, not to exterminate Jews. They were largely duped by their politicians.

The average confederate soldier believed they were fighting against northern aggression. They believed they were fighting for the states' rights to self-govern. Less than one percent owned slaves. Put another way, getting millions of poor southerners to fight for a plantation owners' rights to own slaves would be as hard a sell as getting the poor today to fight for the rights of millionaires to own yachts.

The average German soldier was not suited to the task of exterminating Jews. It sickened them so much that Hitler was forced into building death camps. Running rail cars, building camps, using ovens is far more expensive than firing a single bullet and letting the body rot where it falls. But the average German soldier wouldn't slaughter civilians without ruining themselves (PTSD), so the camps had to be built.

The death camps, in a way, are a testament to the reluctance to kill civilians of the average soldier. It took a special kind of evil to work at one of the camps that the average German didn't have.

Confederate soldiers were duped into fighting for a temper tantrum that the democrat party threw over the first republican president.

But they threw it for a reason.


The first constitution written entirely by democrats during the confederacy was the only pro-slavery constitution in history. Not one republican pen ever touched it.


Anti-slavery republicans didn't want to count slaves at all. Slave-holding democrats wanted to count them as whole, even though slaves could never vote.

There was a twisted reason for this. By counting slaves as people, slave-states got extra seats in The House. Since slaves could not vote, this effectively let slave owners vote for their slaves. Sanctuary cities, all Democrat strongholds today, still use this strategy to inflate their power in House Seats.

The revolt and the Democrats' revulsion over Lincoln was largely over this issue (loss of house seats due to slavery), but this wasn't what was sold to the people.

The Democrats today Hate Trump because if he is successful in deporting illegals and building a wall, sanctuary cities lose house seats that let democrats vote on behalf of those illegals. They stand to lose as much illegitimate power as Lincoln took from them.

"Never again"

Those statues honor what confederates fought for, states' rights, and what they were duped into fighting for, slavery. It says "never again" very loudly, in a way mere words can not.

Robert E Lee.

Robert E Lee was an anti-slavery general that Turned Down Lincoln's request to fight on the side of the union. Lee bought into the 'states' rights' argument and fought out of loyalty to his state, over his country. This is an honorable thing. The first thing Lee did after the war was visit a Black Church and pray for forgiveness. His life after the war was dedicated to unification.

I lived near Monument in Va. These statues fit the area. They fit the architecture. As art, they are magnificently sculpted and a testament to the talent of the artists. They are museum quality art for everyone to see.

They may have been installed to intimidate republicans and to oppress blacks, but today they mean something very different.

Auschwitz means something different today too.

Both are testaments to people falling for the lies of politicians. Both are testaments to the fallen. Both are warnings to future generations that say "never again" in a way only they can.

As a libertarian, I fully expect both sides to hate all of what I just said, just as the duped soldiers of those two wars would.

But I hope, very soon, some will find themselves quietly praying for forgiveness, like Lee did, and work on the unification that is badly needed.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Global warming confusion

One of the main problems with environmental science, global warming, and public figures like AlGore is a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between applied and theoretical physics.

Put simply, theoretical physics -- the underpinning of global warming -- is best thought of as Dick Tracy, where applied physics is the iPhone.

Sure, Tracy may have been eventually proven right by Steve Jobs, but it was purely fictional until the first iPhone.

It was not fact.

When something is not a fact, it can be a theory based on fact, but that is still a fancy way of saying fiction.

The cold, hard truth is theoretical physicists are science fiction authors with PHDs. They don't like hearing that, and I don't like saying it, and AlGore refuses to believe it, but it is what it is. More theories will be proven wrong than proven right. String theory included. This is not to diminish their brilliance or their achievements, but merely to put it back into perspective. Because a theoretical physicist says it, that does not make it a fact any more than if it came out of a comic book.

Today, there are at least 4 different theories on quantum physics taught. People spend a fortune learning them, being tested on them, being graded on them... when the only fact we know for sure is that at least 3 of them are wrong. At least 3 out of 4 might as well be learning Hogwarts. Fiction. But because they pay money and take tests, it gives them the illusion delusion that what they are learning has value equal to the effort and price paid... when common sense says most will learn fiction, not fact.

The worst part for most of these graduates is not that they spent a fortune learning fiction (theory is fiction), but that along the way they lost critical thinking and common sense, something few ever get back.

The reality is that computer models are really video games with bad graphics, they are not facts and do not generate facts, nor should they be treated as such. They generate guesses. Nobody would turn an indie car over to the best driver of grand theft auto, nor should we give our economy over to a climate model. Sorry, that's just dumb.

Hawkings, as much as I respect the man and believe him to have a much higher than average odds of being right, he is still a fiction writer, no different than Hogwarts or Dick Tracy. It will take a Steve Jobs before his theories become facts.

Unfortunately, too many people like AlGore hear what they want to hear, and thus willfully confuse theory (fiction) with fact. It may be a fact that Hawkings said the world will end, but that doesn't mean the world will end. It just means he said it would.

Hawkings is by far the most famous science fiction author of our time, much as Einstein was in his. And like Einstein, much of what Hawkings predicts (theories/fiction) will likely be proven as facts... but until then, it is still fiction. And we, the people whose money they are spending, need to keep that fact in mind.

The only thing we really know as a fact is that theories are NOT facts, they are fiction. Theories. Nothing more. Computer models are not facts. They are guesses, as flawless and fallible as a Tesla autopilot that works perfectly until someone dies.

Applied physics is an iPhone, theoretical physics is Dick Tracy. Without a Steve Jobs, theoretical physicists are nothing more than science fiction authors with PHDs. We forget this reality at our peril, and the world is imperiled by theoretical physicists... that's a fact.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Are Environments Darwin deniers?

What's the difference between an environmentalist and a Darwin denier?

Less than you think.

Anti-humanists believe that humans are killing the planet and must be stopped to prevent the mass extinction of every living thing that will inevitably result if the temp goes up one degree.

This means, by default, that they reject Darwin.

The globe has gone up one degree already, from the end of the mini iceage (late 1800s), so we know the real world effects of what an increase looks like.

Humanity grew exponentially over this period of warming, most of this growth happened in parts of the world that saw the greatest impact of this increase. These places include Africa, China, and India. Cooler climates also saw increases in population but to lesser degrees and they were less impacted by the temp increase. There was no population explosion in Siberia or Alaska, for example.

But humans were not the only ones to benefit from this warming. Plants, animals, and insects all grew as well over this same warming period. Some, did not. This is how Darwin works. Those that fail to adapt, fall in population, where those that adapt well increase in population. Darwin is based on the real world where change always happens and nothing stays the same.

So, by focusing on the fate of each tree prevents anti-humanists from seeing the health of the forest. A thriving forest is not dependent on a specific plant thriving or failing, it just depends on biomass increasing instead of decreasing. So, if pine trees disappear from forests, that does not mean that the forest is sick, it just means something more fit has replaced pines.

And that is, in fact, what has happened throughout history. The overall biomass of the planet has increased with each degree of warming, while, at the same time, less 'fit' species faded away into nothingness. Darwin suggests that all species will become extinct at some point, replaced by something more fit, and there are almost no species that have survived unchanged throughout history, which validates that idea.

100,000yrs ago, Canada and Europe were covered under a mile of ice. Nothing at all grew or lived on all of that land. All that ice melted, slowly, over the years. This is warming. The globe has been warming for 100,000 years. That warming allowed life in all forms to populate Canada and Europe that couldn't otherwise exist because it was too cold to support them.

Darwin, in action, again. Those life forms most fit for a warming Canada, trees and grass, elk and bunnies, filled in the void that melted-ice left. The biomass -- the total weight of all living things on the entire planet -- went up, easily doubling in fact. This doubling of the amount of life happened ONLY because of the warming that melted the ice off of Canada. If the globe had cooled instead of warmed, no ice would have melted and nothing would be living on Canada.

Warming was always good for life. Darwin, 101.

The little ice age happened (depending who you read) between the 1300-1800. The Delaware and the Thames regularly froze over, something that never happens after the warming continues. During the little ice age, life struggled all over the planet. Biomass shrunk. Populations collapsed of all plants, insects, and animals. Hunting and farming were harder, this fact was recorded in books from those times.

But after the mini iceage ended, populations exploded again. The biomass of the planet continued to increase as the temperature continued to rise.

Now, specific creatures went extinct, Darwined out of existence, but the biomass (the weight of all living things on the entire planet) steadily increases with each degree of warming that is added into the system.

Not once, in the history of the planet, has warming decreased the biomass of the entire planet.

Iceages, on the other hand, have decreased the biomass of the planet each and every time they happens. With each ice age, the biomass of the planet goes down drastically, typically by more than half.

CO2 increases are always followed by explosions in plant growth when accompanied by warming. This plant growth supports increases in animal and insect life. More warmth has always meant more biomass and more life, never less.

Darwin 101: if a species can adapt favorably, it's numbers tend to increase. If it can't, its numbers collapse, sometimes to zero. A species health is often judged by their population numbers. Thus, high population numbers are, by themselves, proof of favorable conditions. Put another way, population increases ONLY happen when conditions are favorable to that creature. Population collapses happen when conditions are unfavorable AND the creature can NOT adapt.

All human high pop numbers are in warm zones with moderate winters (Africa,china,India) all low pop zones are cold (Alaska, Siberia). This is generally true of all plants, animals, species, insects, bacteria, and life on this planet (and any other)

It has never been the case that life flourishes in the cold. Decreasing global temps are always bad.

Coffee plants tend to die if they get below 50, for example.

Now, some argument can be made about deserts 'proving' that life fails when it gets too hot.

Deserts are dry (actual dictionary def), and it's the lack of water that kills, not the heat. California and Vegas are good examples of deserts that flourish with irrigation. And irrigation is one of the ways humans have directly INCREASED the biomass of the planet. It's how we adapt to an ever changing planet (Darwin).

Ice ages kill, warming trends do not. No warming period has ever decreased the biomass of the planet. It simply has never happened. There is no historic proof that warming has been anything other than good for humans AND the planet. HOWEVER, every ice age or 'cold spell' has decreased the entire planet's biomass. Now, warming trends are ended with cold spells and cold spells do kill. But warming is always accompanied by increases in life. All life.

That's Darwin, 101.

Everything changes. Everything must adapt. Those that can adapt, thrive. Those that can't adapt, die.

The endangered species list is, largely, an attempt to break this law of nature. This 'law' of Darwin.

Some creatures should be let go.

Not everything that once lived should be saved.

Giant sloths, sabertooth tigers, and mammoths have no place in today's world, and we are better off without them. I love dino movies with raptors eating people, but that doesn't mean I want raptors walking the streets like squirrels. We are better off without most of the creatures that have gone extinct. This may sound cold, but it is true. I love my grandmother, but if grandmothers never died the planet would be mile high in grandmothers in short order. Everything and everyone has their time, and when their time is over, it's done.

That's Darwin. That is simply the way it is.

If you believe warming or 'any change' MUST be bad, then you are a Darwin denier. Because Darwin is based on change being a force of nature. A needed element for growth to ever come.

And warming has always been good for humanity. Not once in human history has warming cause us harm.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

as a DOC

As a .doc

Word Macro for inserting Hyperlinks for/to every page break (chapter)

This Word Macro automates the inserting of hyperlinks (Table of Contents)

It first inserts 500 spaces wherever you currently are, then replaces one for each chapter (^m) it finds, and labels it whatever the first line is.

It's a little rough but it works.

Sub HypLinkCh()
' HypLinkCh Macro
' Macro recorded 1/1/2002 by R
aStartPoint = Selection.End 'Where the cursor is now
aa = Selection.Start 'Where the TOC is to be put

CH = inputbox("Enter or I To insert 500 spaces here" & Chr(13) & _
"It Eats one chr per chapter, S to skip", , "I")
If CH = "I" Or CH = "i" Then Selection.TypeText Text:=String(500, " ")

Selection.MoveDown Unit:=wdLine, Count:=1

With Selection.Find
.Text = "^m"
.Replacement.Text = ""
.Forward = True
.Wrap = wdFindAsk
.Format = False
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchWildcards = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False
End With
Selection.MoveDown Unit:=wdLine, Count:=1
Selection.EndKey Unit:=wdLine
Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdLine, Extend:=wdExtend
If Selection.End = Selection.Start Then
Selection.Start = Selection.Start - 2
End If
aLastPoint = Selection.End

' If bb = "1" Then
' bb = "2"
' CH = "s"
' Else
CH = inputbox("enter or A to add, S to skip, X to end", , "A")
' End If

If CH = "A" Then
Selection.Start = aa
Selection.End = aa
Selection.PasteSpecial Link:=True, DataType:=wdPasteHyperlink
aa = Selection.End + 1
aLastPoint = aLastPoint + Len(Selection.Text)
' Selection.EndOf

Selection.Start = aLastPoint + 100
Selection.End = aLastPoint + 100
' Selection.EndOf
bb = "1"
GoTo FindNext:
End If
If CH = "S" Or CH = "s" Then GoTo FindNext:
Selection.Start = aa

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"... there is a problem with Islam..."

Trump is feeling some heat over "...there is a problem with Islam..."

So, lets put it into context by starting with something less controversial, "There is a problem with Christianity."

Somehow, one statement is judged (by US judges) as an obvious fact, and the other is judged (by the same US judges) as racist. When someone says there is a problem with Christianity, most think of decades of Popes hiding the child-molesting priests in their midst, instead of turning them over and pushing for the maximum penalty under the law (after all, the victims of the priests were Christians too).

So, hiding child molesters and providing them with easy access to more victims is a serious problem, and when decades of Popes ignored it and tried to hide it from the public, it only made it worse and tainted the religion. The number of priests molesting children is tiny, likely inline with molesters in any other occupation, but by ignoring it and hiding it and providing the molesters with cover, the church appeared to endorse it, and their shroud of secrecy around it made it seem much more wide-spread than it was.

But what's worse is what's happening in Islam. It's preachers, or imams, are actively recruiting for ISIS. Yes, ISIS members were talked into it by Islam's version of a preacher. Almost all were recruited through Islamic places of worship. Almost all of ISIS fighters are convinced that they are fighting a religious war against non-believers. Now, the numbers of these preacher/recruiters are small, but what's being ignored and hidden and forbidden from being discussed is the elephant in the room, and it is orders of magnitude a bigger problem than some children being molested... and shielding child molesters was nearly big enough to destroy the church.

"...There is a problem in Islam..."

Its preachers and scholars are powerful recruiters of terrorists and, just like with Christianity, their main victims are their fellow believers. It should be repeated here that, just like with the child-molesting priests, the number of imams that are ISIS recruiters here is 'small', but the deaths they cause are disproportionately large.

Shias are too often taught by their imams that killing a Sunni or Kurd or Christian or Jew is the best way to serve God. Too often, Sunnis are taught almost the same thing. Palestinian children are taught that the greatest gift to God is to murder a Jew. The level of 'Islamic' sponsored/endorsed murder strictly on the basis of religion is the main problem in Islam, and it causes the deaths of tens of thousands of mostly fellow Muslims every year. That's orders of magnitude worse than a few hundred molestations and it's made far worse by ignoring it. Taking a life for any reason by almost every other religion is considered a sin.

When gays are thrown off the roof of buildings, those doing the shoving believe they are following the will of their God, because their religious leaders said so. When a suicide bomber blows up a school for girls, they do it to honor their God because a religious leader told them that girls being taught is a blasphemy before God. There's video of them quoting the Koran as justification before blowing themselves up. The terrorists clearly believe they are doing God's will and they clearly believe they are the true voice of Islam. They are not picking targets for military advantages, but religious ones. When a school full of Christian girls is taken hostage and they are given out or sold as sex slaves, there is a religious ruling by religious leaders legitimizing it on the basis of the religious beliefs of the girls and sections of the Koran are quoted as proof of its legality.

In all of the 'banned' countries, polling suggest well over 70 percent consider the use of suicide bombings against civilians of any 'other' religion or sect 'justified' by the Koran. This isn't something they came up with on their own after hours of deep thought, it was taught to them from a young age and vomited up out of reflex like others memorize the ten commandments. That is a real problem that will not simply go away by ignoring it and pretending it doesn't exist. It can only be fixed by addressing it often, addressing it repeatedly, and addressing it publicly. Like a nail, it has to be pounded on the head as often as it takes to drive it in, there's no polite, PC way to do it. The church had to be humiliated and shamed into halting their practice of protecting molesters. The same, unfortunately, may be required with Islam.

It should be noted that it used to be legal in the US to murder Mormons just because of their religion, so the problem with Islam is not unique and it is not exclusive to Islam. In fact, most religions were like this hundreds of years ago, in The Dark Ages. But Islam is the last major religion to hold onto and condone the murder of other religions or sects based entirely on their beliefs. Condoning, in this case, may be rightly implied by the complete lack of outrage over suicide bombers, honor killings, stoning women, or gays being tossed off roofs, contrasted against the literal burning down of towns over a cartoon and the murder of entire Christian families over rumors that they 'might' have insulted the Koran.

This is the kind of problem that is made much much worse when ignored.

Ignoring child-molesting priests made it look like the Pope endorsed it, and that code of silence made a simple law enforcement problem into a religious coverup. Ignoring the fact that ('some') imams and religious scholars are the primary recruiters for terrorists is making it look, sound, and feel like Islam endorses and condones terrorists, and Islam's continued refusal to turn over and evict these recruiters from their ranks can and will be used as evidence that 'the pope endorses child-molesting preachers' and 'Islam endorses terrorism in the name of Islam'.

The world is waiting for the day that murdering gays because they are gay will engender the same level of outrage in Islam that the publishing of a cartoon currently does, but we all know that day is decades away ... if it comes at all. And we're not even touching on honor killings yet.

There is a problem with Islam that only Islam can solve, and Islam MUST solve it soon. Muslims must address it loudly, often, and repeatedly, it must stop making excuses and stop blindly ignoring what the rest of the world sees. It must decide to hold all life sacred, not just their particular sect. Because it is dangerously out of hand right now and, if allowed to persist, all the solutions available from outside Islam look a lot like WWIII, and nobody really wants that.

This 'God wants you to murder unbelievers' has been dropped by all other major religions and, for the most part, has been dropped by Islam inside the US. There is a path here for Islam to follow, but time is running out.

Calling people racist for pointing this out is as stupid and counter-productive as the Pope calling people racists for daring to suggest that even one priest ever raped a child.

We have given Islam a pass for 15 years, we have walked around on egg shells for fear of offending. We have pretended that there is no problem in the hopes that ignoring it will make it go away. And like a Pope that never felt any criticism over child-molestation, the leaders in Islam decided to ignore it too.

That let AlQuida become ISIS and a caliphate was born.

It may be time for some shaming.

It may be time to paint all Christian preachers as molesters, and all imams as ISIS recruiters until such time as they are shamed into getting a grip on the problem they are so desperate to ignore.

It may be time for some humiliating and some verbal bullying and a lot of uncomfortable, politically incorrect words.

It may be time to let Trump be Trump and put the bully back in the pulpit. More coddling and ignoring and pretending that their isn't a problem simply isn't going to work. And being afraid to offend Islam... well, Islam NEEDS to be offended by what ISIS is doing in its name, but it doesn't seem to be. Islam NEEDS to be offended when gays are tossed off roofs in its name, but few imams preach against it. Islam needs to be offended by stoning women for walking home with a man not related to them, in its name, but so far nothing. Islam needs to be offended every time a suicide bomber quotes the Koran before murdering, but instead statues and portraits go up in the bomber's honor. Islam need to be offended by things done in its name instead of by the names it gets called.

...there is a problem with Islam...

Friday, May 5, 2017

out on an e=mc^2 limb

Out on a limb...

No, this is not a review of a Mathew Brodrick movie.

I'm about to commit credibility suicide as a scifi author, perhaps even more suicidal than trying to review a ?three? decade old movie (a fun movie, by the way, about evil twins, crazy brothers, and a pinch of a quirky romance).


It has profound implications that reach far beyond Iran and North Korea.

For those that believe in God, the equation looks something like this.

If God created the universe, then the power of God is greater than or equal to all the energy in the universe (orbiting planets, burning suns, orbiting electrons...) plus the mass of the entire universe (from black holes to every speck of dust between the stars) times the speed of light squared.

God >= EofUniverse + MofUniverse * C^2.

A very big number, but acceptable if you believe in an all powerful God.

But if you believe only in science, then it gets a little bumpy from here.

The big bang bumpy.

According to E=MC^2, the energy that existed before the big bang is the same equation that lets you estimate the minimum power of God.

That's still a really really really big number, but this time without a good source. It's so big that it can't possibly be a 'rounding error' and looks an awful lot like a mistake big enough to prove a theory wrong. The big bang answers nothing, in other words, because it can't account for even one percent of where any of this energy came from, all it can answer is what happened to all that power after it was created.

Enter vacuum energy.

In the space between stars, that vacuum averages an atom or two every few feet. That's not exactly what anyone is really calling the source of vacuum energy. That's a vacuum in the same way that what we use to clean the floors is a vacuum. It's figurative, not literal. Vacuum energy is theoretical, namely because it doesn't exist in practice, but it's popular because it solves the God-level math error in the Big bang problem. The theory goes that true nothingness is the source of near infinite energy. Well, maybe, but I'm skeptical.

Vacuum energy

Imagine nothing, absolutely nothing for billions of light years in every direction. No energy. No heat. No mass. No nothing. (As an aside, what is the max speed of nothingness, and how would you know, and if it had speed would it still be nothingness? :)

If you dropped a particle into that much nothingness, vacuum energy would, in theory, rip it apart like a reverse black hole... much like a deep-sea fish might explode if you pulled it up onto the boat, or an astronaut might explode if he did a space walk without a suit. Or, best analogy, a helium party balloon will stretch until it explodes, usually long before it gets high enough to touch clouds. One can argue, convincingly, that the energy is not in the vacuum itself, but in the astronaut, fish, or balloon instead. Explode vs ripped apart. Exploding comes from forces within, where ripped apart are forces acting from outside. To the observer, they look the same.

So, for me, vacuum energy doesn't work, but because it solves the big bang energy problem nicely, many are deeply invested in it. But even a vacuum of one atom per cubic yard is impossible to produce here on Earth, let alone a vacuum at absolute zero, so any real answer one way or the other is unlikely to ever happen. (If you had a container that you could pump every atom out of, the container itself would be made of countless atoms, making the size of the container bigger than the sun in order to average less than an atom per foot, assuming no atoms fell off the walls of the container, which is equally unlikely)


It's so simple and elegant a formula that really the only wiggle room left in the equation is in C^2.

C, or the speed of light is a constant. But maybe not. If we could make it equal zero then we could create all the mass (m) we want and it would take (M*zero^2=0) no energy. In an absolute vacuum, the speed of light might actually be zero.

Consider, if light is a particle, then it may well be ripped to shreds in a pure vacuum. Light can't escape a black hole, so other things having a similar property are possible, if unlikely. Being instantly destroyed would give it a speed of zero. And if it was a wave, it could not pass through a medium of absolute nothingness for the same reason that sound stops traveling at the edge of space. By the way, this idea of even light particles being shredded by a pure vacuum would also give you a 'background radiation' type noise along the lines of the 'proof' of the big bang. The edges of our universe that touch into nothingness would be slowly shredded (evaporated or sublimated may be more accurate a visual representation), with some of that feeding back into the universe as background noise.

The math here works... sort of... but fuzzy.

But the instant that mass is created, the vacuum is destroyed and the speed of light gets insanely big again. And as for the instant mass, it is either put all in one place (maximum-gravity black-hole-of-all-black-holes, maximum 'vacuum energy' too) in which case it is likely big-bang exploded and the speed of light increases along a curve at the rate of the explosion... Or the mass is everywhere all at once, in which case the speed of light is instantly big and not much of a bang happens until much later. By the way, this 'dust cloud' model is how we see stars and solar systems being born, so, IF it is one of these, it's more likely a dust cloud of an atom every foot all at once (which we have billions of examples of) instead of a singularity 'big bang' that hasn't happened once outside a computer model.

An argument can be made that light would travel as a particle through a pure vacuum at the speed of light, since it would presumably enter with that speed and encounter nothing to destroy it or slow it down. Semantically, once a particle is in a vacuum it is no longer 'pure' and hence no longer exists. Put another way, if the particle exists then the vacuum can not, and if the vacuum exists then the particle can not. They are mutually exclusive, like dark or light. I buy that, but it destroys the theory of 'vacuum energy' entirely (I believe vacuum energy is wrong, but it's impossible to 'prove' it).

And some might be thinking... if mass or energy can be created 'on the cheap' wherever light has a speed of zero, then suns and black holes can make infinite mass and energy... but they don't seem to. Most explain this away by saying that the speed of light inside these super massive bodies isn't being slowed but more accurately time dilated. In other words, TIME has slowed for the photons inside such high gravity bodies and only appears slow or stopped to us outsiders; inside the black hole, from the photon's perspective, light is still screaming along, it's just time that has stopped for it instead. I kinda buy that, though it makes my head hurt.

Another 'flaw' is there's likely a zone around black holes where not only the speed of light it 'time dilated' to zero, but pure vacuums also exist, after all, black holes are considered to 'vacuum' up stars. If vacuum energy exists it should be there... but it doesn't seem to be.

So, to recap, about the only way (if you take God out of the equation) that you can create the entire universe using zero energy (because if you used any energy at all you have to then answer the 'well, where did that original energy/mass come from') is if you can somehow make the speed of light equal zero for at least a fraction of a second. Otherwise it violates E=MC^2 and you have to come up with where the mass of the universe or an even C-squared bigger amount of energy came from....

The 'flaw' of the big bang theory is the 'where did the exploding stuff come from,' and it's a God-level amount of energy/mass to explain away.

That is...Unless E=MC^2 is wrong....

Or, at the very least, it's incomplete. :)

I think there's more to that equation... and just perhaps a scifi author found it, but more on that a little later. I'm still weighing the credibility suicide of rewriting the world's most famous equation just so the ending of my book will work. I'm leaning towards it may be worth it.

the low bp fog is lifting

And the fog is lifting... but I don't want to jinx it.

For at least the last year, but most likely the last two years or more, I've had low blood pressure. By low, I mean a few times a year I would actually faint and land on the floor. Once a month a wall would hold me up.

Ideal BP is anything from 90/60 to 120/80. Average for me was in the 80s / 50s, which is well inside the fainting zone low. But fainting is not the only side effect, it also made me very lethargic and unable to focus, mentally.

Once I knew what was wrong, or more accurately the symptom of what was wrong, I did what every writer with a writer's insurance does, looked for cheap fixes on the Internet.

Salt. Check, tried it but it doesn't work well enough and comes with side effects too.

Lemon. Check, it works a little, no side effects, but doesn't keep me in the right zone.

Coffee. Check. Been doing that all along, but drinking even more coffee than I already was can't possibly be good for anyone. Any doctor in the world would say I'm taking an unhealthy or even a lethal dose of coffee already. If anything, I need to cut back on that addictive muddy water, not double up on it.

Basil. My first experiment with basil was a nightmare. I used too much and I went right past normal and into hypertension and stayed there for two days. I've never in my life experienced hypertension. It was Terrifying, but clearly this was my 'silver bullet' because it lasted for two days and a little went a long way.

I just had to get the dose right.

Because I had such a powerful reaction and it stayed in my system so long, this meant I would have to start extremely low, keep with it for a week, then increase a tiny bit and test for another week. Time consuming, but the safe approach.

I don't want to jinx it, but I think I've done just that and found the right dose.

For an entire week (since last Friday) I've been in the 90s/60s, right where I want to be.

The dose, 3/10ths a tsp per day. It sounded metric so I was pretty sure it had to be wrong :) , but that seems to do the trick and the fog that has clouded my head for the last two years is lifting.

Now, I still don't know, and probably will never find out, what the underlying problem was, but basil is covered by my insurance (10 cent seed pack at the dollar tree with my insurance card).

Oddly, after spending the last two years in a lethargic fog, returning to my real normal feels like I'm lacing my coffee with speed.