Thursday, February 25, 2016
Monday, February 22, 2016
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Just for the record, in case you wondered, this was NOT a conversation either here in Virginia or on the "astral plane." The noosphere has many aspects...
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Of course, I can easily imagine some Zennies I have known going into orbit after seeing the above.
Buddhist clergy is a diverse lot, like Christian and Moslem clergy, etc.; whatever the founders taught, in all these religions, there are always some insensitive folks who use religious dogmatism as a way to pamper their ego. I still remember visiting Nara, in Japan, where people talk to this day about the nasty physical wars between monks with one color of hat versus monks with another color of hat, and places in China where people think one's chances of enlightenment depend n which way one bends the finger, just for its own sake, and they argue and forget which way is which....
In Tricycle, the magazine of American Buddhism (serving all groups), I was intrigued to read about the great debate at Samye... circa 670AD?... a place in Tibet... where the "nothingness" (Zen) Tibetan school basically lost the debate to the mindfulness school (which became the main Tibetan school), and then went in exile... to Shaolin. Not a Chinese cult after all. Zen has many great techniques, but in the end... sheer logic.. and any serious mindfulness... clearly points towards mindfulness as the sane choice, the only coherent choice between the two, in terms of goals. Techniques are another matter.
Friday, February 12, 2016
Someone asked: 'At these low gas prices'. Cheap is a pretty poor rational for taxation. And to what end? My question is: Can anyone show that such a tax would really reduce the threat of climate change? That is something I'm concerned about.
OK, I'm not a diplomat. Comparing Putin to George Bush on any basis whatsoever was not
a kosher thing to do. (But maybe Trump would say that being a good diplomat is not always the same as being diplomatic?). The analogy between what Russia is doing in Syria, even just giving a total green light to Assad (the guy whose recent statements really drive the West up a tree), and George Bush's invasion of Iraq, is the kind of comparison no one wants to think about, Just as no one wants to think about H2S poisoning everyone on earth. We humans really do have limits, and we do have to manage our limits. Just as Putin might not want to think about that comparison, and its unpleasant implications requiring all kinds of complex thought and sticky stuff... I guess I have my limits too. It is equally hard for ME to think about how it is the Erdogan Turks, not the Russians, attacking safe zones for Kurds!!! What do we do about THAT? What an incredible mess. But I have the excuse that
it's not even remotely my job, and I do have two nontrivial personal commitments coming up (for nontrivial talks, one a week away and one about three weeks).....
One friend has even said: "Hey, NOTHING is your job now. Denial is an important defense mechanism for folks who can't do anything anyway."
(1) I keep remember what Hannah Arendt once said, "All that is required for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing"... not to mention Wiesel's poem "there was no one left to come for me"... aptly mirroring the recent transformation of the US executive branch;
(2) George Valliant's study shows quite directly and forcibly that there are OTHER defense mechanisms besides denial, ones which work better,
Giving up would be ever so justifiable and natural... but logic keeps pushing in another direction.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
The curve represents the predictions of time-symmetric physics -- of any of a set of new local realistic models I developed last year. The dots represent the actual measured data. These were the first results for the continuous-angle triphoton experiment (triple entanglement), which had never been performed before on earth,In that experiment, the predictions of time-symmetric physics disagree decisively from those of the traditional forms of quantum mechanics assuming collapse of the wave function.
When Yanhua showed me these results, I stated in my talks that this triphoton experiment, in general, is as important as the Michelson and Morley experiment was. But it defies conventional thinking. It took some time to really explain it -- and Luda took on the actual task of translating it from my way of thinking to conventional language and thinking, as was essential to the peer-reviewed publication in the past few months in the journal Quantum Information Processing, in the special issue dedicated to Howard Brandt, a central player behind the scenes in IS work on quantum information science and technology.
Because realism (literally, the belief in objective reality) and heresy are both far less accepted now than they were 100 years ago, we may have to wait before other leading labs replicate the experiment, and address the many issues described in our paper. But it really does change everything, and open lots of doors which will be closed forever if we do not go further with it.
My initial reaction: "Trump says that his followers are so loyal that he could shoot someone on the streets of New York and they would still support him. Is Elon Musk now showing he could promise to open a Star Wars cantina on Mars, and get lots of support from gullible customers asking to pay for tickets today?" I strongly support most of the causes Musk supports, but am a bit concerned about reality.
But it turns out that Mars is the big PR theme of the day in Washington DC, mainly because folks looking for billions of dollars believe it's a good PR strategy. Others on the same list questioned how real those policy debates are now.
Monday, February 8, 2016
There are actually many specific pathways or credible scenarios or real time-tracks leading from where we are to the clusters of human species extinction which I label as "NUC/AI" for short. (H2S is also still in play, but two items are enough to analyze in one post.)