Friday, October 29, 2010

theories of uncertainty and reality and Sufis

One list I visit is perhaps the world's top list for discussing issues like fuzzy logic versus probability theory,

and how we can better understand UNCERTAINTY. A US researcher summarized a paper by Gupta, saying that

there are two general types of uncertainty, "objective" and "cognitive". (To see what he posted, go to the end.)

A researcher in Europe replied:

Dear Dr. ..,

Thanks for your clear description of the 'two broad categories' under which the 'various types of uncertainty' can be classified. However, I wonder how the two are related or can be unified. Aren't we running here into the perennial problem of the relationship between KNOWLEDGE and REALITY, a relationship on which philosophers in India, China, Japan and the West have had different views?

Here is my reply:

Many of us would see the situation as follows.

First, we would assume the existence of an Objective Reality, a larger universe or multiverse or cosmos,

whose state across state and time is determined by some kind of Underlying Physical Law. Let us call this the Objective Reality Hypothesis (ORH).

WITHIN the large set of possible Underlying Physical Laws, there is of course the traditional Einsteinian set -- laws defined over continuous

3+1-dimensional space time, expressed by stating a Lagrange function which leads to Lagrange-Euler equations, a subset of the larger set

of 3+1-dimensional partial differential equation (PDE) models.

BUT THE SET is certainly larger than that. There is no reason why it should not including stochastic PDE or mixed forwards-backwards stochastic PDE.

Any mathematically well-defined system is acceptable within ORH, so long as we can use it to make predictions.

To avoid being too pompous -- perhaps a kind of joke is in order.

One version of quantum mechanics has been stated as follows:

"First God created the universe by throwing dice many, many times, over a vast four-dimensional checkerboard. He looked out

upon his work... as you might look out upon a Christmas tree you just set up... and he said in a booming voice: 'Yuk! It is not good!'

So he gave it a good ninety degree kick and left the room never to be seen again."

Actually, many people believe that this is the closest thing we now have to a mathematically well-defined rigorous formulation of quantum field theory.

It is described in a classic book by Glimm and Jaffe. The first stage is, more precisely, simulation or implementation of a Markhov Random Field

over four-dimensional Euclidean space. The ninety degree "kick" is a Wick rotation, kicking one randomly chosen direction (original raw time)

into its analytic extension. It actually sounds like a kind of Realistic model ... if you believe that the Wick rotation has the right properties.

I tend to doubt it. What it does to certain ordinary Fourier modes...

If you go back further, to philosophers of the West like the Pythagorean Order (which I take with many grains of salt), they still support the claim that

everything we see is governed by some kind of natural law. There is a challenge in understanding what KIND of natural law. I have not seen anything in

Chinese philosophy which would contract that general sort of approach, though they would often feel in a pragmatic way that they need not be bothered with

the theory of things in general. Many in the West used to believe it can be a bit dangerous to play around too casually with things before understanding them, but

the current elections seem to reflect some other way of thinking...


In a way, this all gets back to Gupta's categorization, but tilted more towards the cognitive side. There may or may not be "uncertainties" inherent in the formulation of the

underlying Physical Law -- but within the ORH approach, these are really just options one has in trying to express what the Physical Law is.

After that... "uncertainty" is basically something we intelligent creatures experience. We experience it at "many levels," simply because our mind

works on many levels. In a sense, many of the "objective" uncertainties that Gupta talks about are essentially cognitive in nature; we use uncertainty as

an attribute of the approximate models we use to describe complex dynamical systems in the physical world. Approximation and probability are the two recurring themes here...

I tend to view "fuzziness as opposed to probability" as a hook to the approximation side of things.



Many years ago, I had a discussion about ORH with one of the leaders of one of the most powerful Sufi Orders in the world.

He basically asked: "Why do you Pythagorean types keep trying to understand how reality works in mathematical terms?

Why do you assume it is possible?"

The truly honest answer is that I do not Axiomatically commit myself at the most fundamental level to assuming that it is possible.

At the deepest level... you could say it is like what Heidegger says, or you could say I am like one of those little organisms I sketch in some slides...

simply trying to make sense of a stream of direct personal experience as best I can. That's the deepest foundation. But we have certainly learned,

over centuries and centuries, that ORH has yielded immense improvements in our ability to cope with that stream of experience, that it is very

general in what it allows (in a sense, able to encompass anything else workable as a subset), and that folks bouncing against the walls without it..

with the use of a "mirror" to connect the objective and subjective world ... do easily get lost in all kinds of crazy thrashing which goes nowhere.

Many modern philosophers say that the alternative to realism is solipsism, and the world still keeps giving us examples of people doing crazy stuff

through solipsistic thinking. We do not know the true Physical Law, and rationally should remain open-minded about a wide variety of possible theories...

(constantly updating subjective probabilities ala Raiffa for such alternatives)... but it is WAY too early to give up on understanding much

better than we now do.

But... he thrashed around a lot, went back to Pakistan after 9/11, and died. I am very sorry that I didn't work harder to improve the dialogue before it was too late.

Best of luck to us all,


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Using geoengineering to save us from climate change

My evaluation (for the Global Climate Change Situation Room, GCCSR)

of a proposal to handle climate change..

First, the proposal:

On Oct 19, 2010, at 10:44 PM, Jerome C. Glenn wrote:

Check out Solutions' new feature article: "Geoengineering: The Inescapable

Truth of Getting to 350" by Charles H. Greene, Bruce C. Monger, and Mark



While geoengineering may be one of the most controversial solutions

proposed for getting to 350ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, the authors argue

that it will be essential to reaching this goal by the end of this


The authors believe that one technology in particular has great promise,


paired with an aggressive emissions-reduction plan.

Read it here:


My evaluation:


Most of us would be very interested in the important question this article


what does it take to keep CO2 from rising above 350 ppm?

Systems people might prefer a slightly sharper version of the question: how

can we minimize the cost and maximize the probability

of CO2 not rising above 350 OR of getting the environmental damage which a

CO2 above 350 would imply?

Real optimizers usually would want to fine tune almost any strategy, to try

to do a little

better. In that spirit, here are some comments on how to tune or interpret

(or implement) what this article offers...

in addressing that question.


First two sections:

The article begins by discussing how serious the problem may be. I won't

focus on that, since that's not the question

posed above. But it's interesting that they discuss the risk that sea level

might rise by EIGHTY meters. Peter Ward

of U. Washington will be discussing similar issues at NSF in a few days. (I

can't go due to other commitments.) IPCC

people were estimating a 5-20% probability of a 20 meter sea level rise,

under business as usual and what was known a few years ago.

That's already risky to human species survival, if one accounts for all the

downstream things which might follow.

When I tracked these issues last year from an office in the Senate, this

flooding risk was by far the most important

worst-case risk from rising CO2 levels.

"Averting Catastrophic Climate change."

The authors say that there is little chance that we could reduce CO2 enough

in time by emission reductions alone.

That's only a half truth. In the US, at least, petroleum is the fuel which

accounts for the most emissions.

On a technology level, best guess is that it would only take 20 to 25 years

for the US to become

100% independent from fossil oil, at little or no net overall cost to the


**IF** we took the right action. (In all fairness, I would claim to know the

integrated picture of this better than anyone else on earth. See For example, IEEE has gotten me access to the

engineers on the front lines

of this technology, to the folks at Toyota leading their efforts, and to key

battery manufacturers in China. NSF efforts on nonfuel biofuels have also


a crucial start.) The biggest single emissions SECTOR is electric power

(which I now handle at NSF).

There have been impressive breakthroughs in Carbon Capture and Reuse (CCR)

which could be deployed rather widely

within 20 years, with the right incentives, and CO2 prices no greater than

$30/ton at most.

HOWEVER -- due to lack of will and action (and coherent thinking in the

policy world), I have to agree that the chances are looking pretty dismal.

Thus as a matter of rationality, and of hedging our bets, it is very

sensible for folks at the R&D level to find ways to

prepare for a high probability of continued failure to deploy emission

reduction technology fast enough. The kinds of actions endorsed in the

article are important

at this point.

"Geoengineering Options"

The article recommends a mixed portfolio, a combination of two kinds of

action, above and beyond continued efforts

aimed at emissions control:

1. Solar Radiation Management (SRM)

2. Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)

I agree with that.

1. SRM

With SRM they mention three key options -- sulfate aerosols, seawater

droplets or other cloud condensation nuclei, and mirrors in space.

The article does not sound so excited about exploring these three, because

they are unproven and because costs may be high.

But I would not be so negative. The whole point of the geoengineering

options is to try use R&D (a mostly lower cost activity)

to hedge our bets against the failure of policy by the folks who dispose of

bigger sums of money. And the whole point of R&D is to explore what we do

not yet know. Some of that is positive and some of that is negative. (I

actually have a book chapter in press on strategic thinking for

leadership in S&T which elaborates on such things.) The risk of

acidification of the ocean is not nearly so great as I would have thought

before studying it more closely last year. The worst case risk they are

talking about (according to a deep balanced assessment report from the

Congressional Research Service) is that ocean pH might go down from 8.0 to

7.7 by 2100. That's not nice, but it's nowhere near as large as

other risks we are trading off here. Still, the sulfate cycle can become

lethal under some circumstances (see Ward's book, Under a Green Sky);

we really need to know a lot more about that cycle, and about the ecology

and potential variability of archaea in general,

from atmosphere to deep under the ocean floor and to deep reservoirs under

the land. With water and nucleation, we need to follow up on recent

breakthrough discoveries at NASA regarding the rapid movement of water

vapor. (From the folks watching asteroids, not from the climate models!)

The cost of large space based mirrors might well be made much lower than it

is today; if only I could find a way to get key decision makers to follow up


unmet technical opportunities to get access to space about three orders of

magnitude cheaper than its present cost,

and an order of magnitude cheaper than what I'd expect form the new X37B

technology!! The option is there, and is economically justified by

other benefits ... but no one is doing the key enabling work, which could be

done at a cost as low as $35 million! Would be happy to say more.

ALL of these things really ought to be pushed as hard as we can, to minimize

the chances of catastrophe. Life itself is worth the investment.

It's all about RISK REDUCTION... and that does require doing some high risk

stuff at times. When the bullets are flying at us, we can't afford to wait

for certainty.

2. CDR

For CDR, they rightly stress the great potential of algae as a way to get

low cost removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Having 10 minutes left right now, before my next meeting (ironically on

climate satellites under our GEO people)... must be too brief. is one of many good sources. They say they could

convert CO2 to 60% fish food and 40% liquid fuel,

at $60 per barrel crude oil price, if environment permits... after some

demos. The bill I posted at

would provide an effective mechanism to move this along faster. Not only

algae but other microbes would qualify,

and have promise. Sustainability rules are part of the proposed legislation.

But R&D on cutting the cost of

other approaches is also indicated. The long-term economics of extracting

CO2 form flue gas versus atmosphere are

simply not known, and policy should not assume that it is known. The

challenges are to improve the economics of BOTH routes

(especially by more effective R&D) and make sure there are correct

incentives (and kill the market failures) which inhibit both.

This is, again, an urgent matter of life and death, and I thank Jerry for

moving us ahead on it...

Best of luck to us all,


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mystical (and Physical) Visit to Byzantium

Mystical (and Physical) Visit to Byzantium

October 2010

n Written at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Thursday October 14.

n I arrived in Istanbul late last Saturday. The story of these six days is very complicated. That’s how it usually is for me with international travel. Why waste any time when one may never get a chance to see the area ever again? I spent most of the time with the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, where I gave the first plenary talk on Monday. I spoke on “Neural Networks: From Toys to Cars to the Brain.” But there was a free day. Here I’ll mainly talk about the hour or two on that free day when I got to visit Hagia Sophia, which is also called St. Sophia or Ayasophia – the main church of the Eastern Roman Empire, built by the Emperor Justinian from 532 to 537 AD.

First, some background ==========================================

1. (Added 10/16.) Just what is the proper name of Hagia Sophia? Wikipedia asserts that the full original name in Greek means “Church of the Holy Wisdom of God.” Sacred Wisdom. Sancta Sophia, not Saint Sophie.

2. It feels very strange, “leading dozens of different lives in parallel.” In my plenary talk, I said a little bit about that. I argued that the biggest, most important challenge to science today is to really understand and replicate the higher intelligence and consciousness which exists in the brain of a single, isolated mouse. “Here in Istanbul and at an SMC Conference, it is very tempting to talk about intelligence and Mind beyond the level of the mouse… but I need to discipline myself, and not discuss that other half of my existence, except for one slide and one line on another slide.” In visiting Hagia Sophia – I do the opposite. If you want real science (as defined by Thomas Kuhn, for example), please read no further. We all have a right to lead parallel lives.

3. For many, many years, I usually try to do some kind of meditation when I visit a unique historic site. I make an effort to contain my ordinary brain thoughts, to avoid being distracted by them, and practice “listening” (a skill which Quakers work hard to cultivate), to project some questions or dialogue, and to shift over different “frequencies” or textures or directions of thought so as to avoid missing things. In other places, the feedback I have gotten has usually been much simpler, more unified and more graphic than what I picked up here. Usually there is some especially interesting stream of thought, which feels as if there is a single mind or nucleus of thinking in the middle of it. (One time, in Guillmaraes in Portugal, I recall at least three streams… but at different places, encountered at different times.) At Hagia Sophia, it was more like eight streams in the one building, which was essentially one gigantic room at the mundane level.

4. Of course, it requires incessant checking and skepticism and analysis to hold on to reality with this kind of activity, and to avoid succumbing to personal imagination masquerading as psychic inputs. I really like the introduction to McMoneagle’s book on time which discusses some important aspects of the required discipline. (It is very unfortunate, however, that he only addresses the basic cognitive discipline, and not the affective discipline, which is even more important. I suspect that lack of proper affective discipline is a major reason why the kinds of programs he worked on did not really prosper.) I have always felt some contempt for people who live their lives by “hermeneutics” – a kind of word game, devoid of spirit, which seems very sensible and logical if one asumes that there was some initial Text in ancient times which was the Whole Original Truth. But it now occurs to me that there is a kind of hermeneutics of experience, which is not so different in structure, form an abstract point of view. I wonder whether folks like Bishop Berkeley or the Reverend Occam ever talked about that? Or Francis Bacon? (added later: Heidegger?) I am tempted to say more, but there are some bits of knowledge which could be misused. In the end – some of the things I have received this way have been “veridical”(testable), while others could be seen as a way to better use my subconscious mind to reconstruct a deeper picture of what I should have been able to figure out anyway **if** I had made full use of the available information elsewhere. If the picture works, and is a big upgrade from my earlier picture, I don’t worry too much about which type of feedback it was. The majority of what I picked up in Hagia Sophia was like that – really what one should have expected anyway.

5. Prior to Hagia Sophia, I had some discussion of Sufi training and such – both at a Mevlevi Hane (dervish training place) near the tramway, and with Professor Okyay Kaynak, chair of the SMC conference, whom I thank for inviting me. (The trip to Turkey was paid for by IEEE SMC. Not a penny from the US taxpayer. The side trip to Hagia Sofia cost me about $3 each way on pubic transport.) A key question: aside from the training to dance, to make the right physical movements and to know the traditional interpretation of the movements, what still exists of the ancient training methods to discipline and exercise the mind, soul and feelings? The dervishes I talked to felt that most of that was lost, maybe even all of it, at the time of Ataturk. (Ataturk led the Young Turks just after World War I to create modern, secular Turkey.) They understood the need for what Ataturk did, and the damage that fundamentalism and corruption do to real spiritual growth, but maybe not quite as intensely as I do. (I have a stronger feeling for the lessons of the reformation in England, and for some things one sees on Fox News.) Perhaps I will have more discussion with them or their colleagues in the future,

6. Like Isaac Newton and Dan Brown, I have generally assumed that the “great miracles” of the Emperor Constantine, converting to Christianity, were not so different from the later “miracle” when Lenin appointed himself head of the Russian Orthodox Church, or when Henry VIII created the Chruch of England. We were not astounded when the Politburo voted unanimously to accept Lenin’s manifestoes. Likewise, it was no miracle when Constantine’s people voted unanimously to bless Constantine’s edited version of the Bible and to bless his offficial party line. “Render unto Caeser what is Caeser’s”? Long before that, I had several interesting conversations with the older anti-Melkite church, but that’s another story, not for today. Of course, Constantine’s political manuever was inspired in part by what he saw of earlier priest kings, and of certain bishops acquiring power by similar means. Byzantium became the walled city of Constantinople, the capitol of the Eastern Roman Empire from 330AD to 1453AD.

7. I scanned about 4 little guide books or blurbs before going to Hagia Sophia. Only one of the four mentioned that the world headquarters of Orthodox Christianity is in St. George’s, only a little west of the area I explored. They said that a large part of the Byzantine Empire was actually run from Hagia Sophia for a long time, rather than the rundown palaces which were removed when Sultan Mehmet II the Conqueror came in 1453 AD. But actually, The Great Palace was the greatest government center in Byzantine times. There is an archeological park near Hagia Sofia, where the ruins of the Great Palace have been partly excavated. It too had interesting palpable vibes. But in 1202-1261, “Latin invasion,” it was razed to the ground, presumably by crusaders sent there by a jealous church in Rome. It seems there was a triangle of power for many years, from the Great Palace to Hagia Sophia to the Hippodrome (a focus of political parties when these were tolerated). The Great Palace had a beautiful commanding view of the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara, which reminded me of George Washinston’s view of the Potomac – with a similar degree of confidence and competence.

Next: Experience of the Place ==============================

1. As you enter, you first go through a kind of long hall, as broad as the whole front of the massive building, but only about 10 meters or so deep into the interior, with several big openings to the main chamber. Lots of typical poster boards with background for the tourist, but only one – in the center – with unusual information. It basically says: “Here you see a relief image of Jesus Christ the Creator of the Universe, palling around with his buddy the Roman Emperor.” I immediately felt a kind of visceral negative reaction to this, welling up through my viscera. I really doubt that Jesus would have said kind words to folks who would call him the “creator of the Universe.” (After all, wasn’t he the guy who said “I do not do these things of myself, but only the Father does them through me?” And who used the words “lawyers and hypocrites” to certain folks he encountered in other temples, and warned about certain kinds of rich folks? ) My reaction was so sharp and so intense that I immediately damped it down, to avoid going so negative that it would block my sensitivity and create inappropriate side effects. I always remembered the need to maintain balance, in working with the complex thoughts and dynamics of this world. I then thought: “I wouldn’t even begin to let myself get so far out of hand in China, with all its golden calves and pigs and goats. I guess it is especially upsetting when one’s own people do such things.” But then as I stretched, I realized… this was not just my own personal reaction that I was feeling here. In fact, the main essence of this place, from about 1453 to 1920, was a similar horror by even the most enlighted Moslems at precisely what was highlighted, in such dispassionate objective terms, at the entrance here. I looked for thoughts about the foibles which exist within Islam as well, but did not find them here. Not a major theme in this place (though of course there were some Greeks still loyal to their church, visible even in the streets outside).

2. Beyond the thin veneer of later thoughts, the ground floor (the floor of the whole gigantic domed chamber) was pretty much all Justinian’s show. The guidebooks were proud about how quickly the church was built … after the the earlier version built under the Emperor Theodosius was burned to the ground in the Nika rebellion. That sank deeper into my mind as I explored the ground floor. There was a lot of typical average-person piety in the air, which reminded me of one of the better Catholic churches in Munich, but a lot weaker, perhaps because of time. But there was also a lot of clear awareness, perhaps from earlier times, of the “bait and switch” game the Emperor was playing when pretending to be Christian but stifling the real spirit of original Christianity. (It reminded me of the incessant bait and switch games now routine in Washington, and of the folks who tried to sell the Waxman or Kerry-Boxer climate bills by pretending they address our addiction to oil. Such games are played by both parties, but that’s the one which came to mind here.) I asked: were they really aware of the seriousness of letting that bait and switch game go uncontrolled? Of course – that’s real reason why they burned the first version of this church to the ground!

3. Circling around the edges of the big ground floor…back near the entry, a kind of open passageway with a high rounded ceiling, with amazing acoustics I could literally feel before I tested them. And I could tell they were very consciously used in the past. Following tradition somewhat, I began a kind of low humming (low in its mundane component) to resonate and use to probe the area a bit further. Of course, I made sure that the mundane component could not be easily traced to me; mouth closed, sounds from all directions. I could maintain that same resonance all through the rest of my movement around that floor. At points it felt as if I were moving quickly through statue-like clumps of inert tourists, a bit like part of Dan Brown movie or like a science fiction about walking in a lively way through people whose time flow had slowed down.

4. I ran across a couple of interesting small high open corridors to the right of the chamber (from as you enter). One for confident middle level importantly busy clerics, on typical important errands, not the kind where you could tell whether they were Christian or Moslem – all pretty much the same at that level. A less important corridor for more maintenance kinds of people, a bit more aware of what was around them than the clerics. At the far back, some more recognized area without much energy.

5. Back to the entry hallway, on the far left, the wide entry to a gallery passage, a wide winding ramp to to the second floor, a kind of vast balcony overlooking the one great chamber. Near the entry, looking over the ground floor and ahead towards where the old altar had to have been. The feeling here was very different from the feeling on the ground floor. It was basically the same as that in the Washington Cathedral, which reminds me of comfortable jackets and ties and George Bush and prep school. Loyal comfortable burgers. Of course, not complacent; very active, but assured that they were better and more insightful than the average folks. More educated. And of course more aware and proud of their true Greek cultural roots, deeper and more intellectual than the Christian side of their sphere, but still proud to be good charitable people, creating progress in this, the most enlightened center of the most modern and advanced civilization ever. A very, very familiar set of thoughts!

6. Still in the gallery level, closer to the front, still overlooking the altar. The imperial place. And many stages or layers, though flowing together, in that place. (On the whole, Hagia Sophia reminds me of what someone said about Cappadoccia – seven layers of civilization in one place! Sic on the psychic/spiritual level here!) Such a great struggle to try to maintain civilization, and whatever progress one can manage, in the face of so many challenges. And so many unfortunate unavoidable shortcuts. (After having seen China, and how the Emperor Qin approached the issue of achieving peace and order, how much could I complain about these guys here?) It was so unfortunate to have to shut down the more powerful spiritual side of Christianity, but it was necessary, and, besides, those who were really worthy could simply follow the more advanced Greek (and Egyptian) traditions. Later, it was so unfortunate to have to make so many allowances to the growing power of the church as such, and allow restriction of the Greek culture and less freedom even for one’s own cousins… but we all must make some sacrifices to maintian civilization when it is under threat. (Added later: it reminds me a bit of changes in pension rules in France this month – or rather, of a whole set of changes around the world economy today.) But in the end, no matter how hard we struggle … each effort seems to give way to a need for even more compromise… nothing more than prolonging an inescapable long prolonged slide down to the ultimate horror. Could not find any way out.

7. In the same general area – I paused. This was such a center of culture and civilization and of mind and spirit. What could I find at a higher level? In all that time, were there any clearer and more disciplined minds, more like “eagles,” flying high and seeing far, breathing fresh mountain winds? Anyone there? Certainly. What would you make of all this depressing stuff (not so different from the depressing global trends which upset me in the present time, though far less global)? No depression, no worry at all. Great confidence and optimism. (Not what I feel!) Yes, the government structure in Byzantium is on an inevitable long slide, due to things like corruption and lack of vision and various politico-economic forces, but there is a good balance between some fundamental progress in the higher culture here and the development of new nuclei elsewhere which will carryr on. One to the north a few hundred miles away. One towards south and east not so far. (Comment: that’s as much as I got. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.) I started to walk away, but came back: “But hey, what about what was lost when the library of Alexandria was burned down?” Laughter. “Don’t worry about that ancient history. We have everything here, and it is all being taken care of.”

8. On the ramp down, I did notice some real special energy around a little holy water fountain in a side corridor.

9. I intended to walk a bit (east?) to more Islamic areas, to see if I could catch a glimpse of later history, at a meditative level, but living people had different conversations to offer, along with apple tea and rugs and so on. I later saw a Rosicrucian cross (but flower next to cross) from 6th to 9th century providing a bit of modest support. From the work of Corbin and others, we already know there was a major Pythagorean (and Stoic and neoPlatonist?) influence in the genesis of Sufis, and a whole lot of constructive interchange at the same time as the bad stuff during the crusades. And I remember Alexander’s letter to Aristotle, in Plutarch’s Lives.

There is more to be said on these themes, but not here and now.

Added Later ================================

To entertain myself in the airport and on the flight, I brought a new paperback novel, Blackout, by Connie Willis, whose writings seem to demonstrate a really acute awareness. This novel talked about historians trying to interrogate past time. It asked – is there a risk that one might actually CHANGE past time?

At, I have posted my paper in the International Journal of Theoretical Physics on backwards time effects. From all I can see in any laboratory experiments, I have arrived at conclusions quite similar to what she calls “estbalished physics of 2060.” It is possible in theory to “affect” the past but not to “change” it. The universe is “able” to minimize its Lagrangian between two time surfaces, even if we humans make it very hard to reconcile them; a solution between two hard-or-reconcile states would basically act like a “weirdness generator,” like the kind of flow of events she depicts with amazing clarity.

But our laboratories today are not the whole realm of physics. Could it be, when we learn more, that we will have to revise this picture a little? Maybe. Certainly beyond the scope of this posting.

As for optimism – even the most far-seeing of us must sometimes rely a lot on hope and faith and waiting for openings.