22 March, 2017

Maths-first Science? II

Not Mathematical Form But Physical Content

Now, with diametrically opposed premises and physical contributing entities, delivering the Copenhageners' formulae, by a non-Copenhagen means, will not be straight forward.

Instead of the Wave/Particle Duality and Uncertainty Principle, this alternative will be primarily physical, and will produce the supposedly anomalous behaviours by interactions between Particles and an affective and responsive Universal Substrate, which will indeed produce wave-like disturbances, and recursive effects upon the causing Particles, depending upon interactions with crucial physical conditions.

The Key phenomena for us, as they are also currently for the Copenhageners too, will be the series of Double Slit Experiments. But, the processing will NOT resort to the idealist Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory at any point in either the explanations or the predictions.

Now, the key departure from Classical Physics in the Copenhagen stance is in having "The Particle" as an inexplicably transformative entity, ranging from something like a classical Particle, to alternatively behaving according to wave-like properties. BUT, and this is very important, there aren't any actual Waves.

For, the trick used by the Copenhageners, is that Wave Equations are used to give only Probabilities that the "Particle" is currently in a given position. Indeed, the Wave Equation will deliver probabilities for every single position (literally off to infinity), though, of course, these will be prohibitively low for more distant positions.

It is NOT a physically valid use of such an equation, which was established for delivering disturbances over an extensive range of an existing and affected medium.

And, given these Copenhagen equations, it is impossible to derive from them some conception of a physically existing situation, and, even more inadmissible, is the conception of the Collapse of the Wave Function, which occurs when the ONLY entity involved, reverts to being something like a classical Particle once more.

Their key entity is a magically transforming "beastie" that can switch from acting like a descrete particle to delivering a seemingly "wave determined" performance and vice versa.

How on earth, you might well ask, could, and indeed did, the scientists involved arrive at such an amazing and impossible concoction?

These two questions deserve full answers!

The only way the wave-like behaviours could possibly match measured Reality, would be because some form of real waves are involved. But, the scientists taking this position insist that there is no medium, so that is not possible in the classical sense.

But, the second part of that key question, as to why they did devise this concoction, was because their faith in Formal Equations surmounts any purely physical conceptions. They believe that forms can be found to fit everything that exists, AND, crucially, and idealistically, that these forms actually drive Reality. They have embraced Idealism, and abandoned explanatory Materialism!

So, how would a materialist explain their success (for their amazing amalgam does predict sufficiently well for things to be achieved)? Now, to answer that important question properly, would involve a clear understanding of what Mathematics actually is, and how it relates to concretely-existing Reality.

This work is already available from the writer of this paper, but cannot be inserted-in-full here. But, it can be more briefly explained in terms of Description versus Explanation.

Historically, Mankind had noticed recurring patterns or Forms, long before he had any idea at all as to why they occurred. Indeed, the first serious and extensive intellectual discipline, Mathematics, was an entirely descriptive undertaking. And, its power, in allowing predictions, resided in the universal occurrence of various describable patterns. The very same pattern could occur in very diverse circumstances, and for very different reasons. In other words, describing how something behaved or appeared in a given pattern, could never, YES NEVER, explain exactly why it took that pattern in those precise circumstances.

To do that you had to be schooled in a very different discipline, namely Science. To claim to explain phenomena, purely on the basis of their evident Forms, is an Idealist position, whereas actually explaining situations, in terms of entities and their properties, is a Materialist position.

Clearly, there is a causal relation between forms and nature, but it is only one-way. Forms do not determine Nature, but Nature does determine Forms.

So, our objective is possible, even though the vastly different premises involved are likely to confuse the unwary! We must proceed from a sound materialist base to explain why the Copenhagenists idealist formulae can match Reality, even though they cannot produce the Reality in themselves!

Let us, therefore, establish our materialist basis despite, as yet, not being in a position to prove all that we assume.

To justify this claim, I am pressed to remind readers of the example of James Clerk Maxwell, who, despite not knowing the nature of his assumed universal medium - The Ether, still managed, via his devised model - based upon significant objective evidence, to develop his world famous, and still used, conceptions and equations of Electromagnetism.

Though Absolute Truth is never available to us, the increase in Objective Content, parts or aspects of that truth, are indeed both possible and successfully useable in both Theory and in Practice.

The key assumption is, like Maxwell's, the existence of an existing, but currently-undetectable, Universal Substrate, and based, once again like Maxwell's, upon extensive knowledge such as Energy Propagation, Electrical and Magnetic fields, Pair annihilations and Productions, and the ubiquitous Action-at-a-distance (as with Gravity).

Now, clearly, the pseudo-science of Copenhagen-type Wave Equations is here replaced in these premises by actually-caused and recursively-causing Waves in this Substrate. Without any other assumptions at all, absolutely ALL, yes every single one, of the anomalies, occurring in the Double Slit Experiments, were removed immediately, by this premise alone!

The main exemplar explanation involved a moving charged particle (for example) causing a disturbance in the Substrate, which was propagated in all directions, including towards the Slits, at the Speed of Light (much faster than that of the causing Particle). These disturbances would reach BOTH of the slits and pass through, so that after diffraction at those slits, would cause the propagations to cross one another, and set up an interference pattern in the space beyond.

So, when the Particle itself arrives, it will pass through either one of the slits but then encounter its self-caused interference pattern, and be deflected or not, depending upon its passage through the pattern.

Consequently, the final striking, on the detection screen, would be determined by its passage through, and, over a series of such Particles, they would build up the observed pattern on the detection screen.

Now, we must remember that the disturbance was caused by a single tiny particle, so, it would not be strongly maintained, and the insertion of any measuring device in the area beyond the slits would cause many, and much stronger, disturbances, which would totally dissociate the interference pattern, and allow any following particles to pass through in the classical way, and give a very different pattern on the screen.

So, instead of the idealist Collapse of the Wave Function, we have, instead, the collapse of the interference pattern in the Substrate, for good materialist reasons.

Now, my objective is clear: with thorough-going theories for the propagations in the suggested Substrate, for the diffraction at the Slits, and for the kind of "interference pattern" within that Substrate, we will have alternatives to use overall to predict the Pattern on the screen, and we, like the Copenhagenists will use overall methods to do this. But, this time real particles will be considered, travelling all possible paths, to deliver a predicted pattern on the screen.

The particles will NOT be switching between an implicit Wave and Particle nature, they will be causing Substrate effects, and being caused by Substrate effects (also affected by the Slits) to traverse various possible paths from straight through to various degrees of deflection.

But, straight forward classical Wave Theory will not be sufficient. The Substrate will NOT be a classical continuous, elastically-connected Medium!

It will, however, be sufficiently similar, for the Classical Theory to approximate to what happens. But, other demanding criteria have required a very different nature to this Substrate. To deliver all the other requirements (as briefly mentioned earlier), the substrate has to deliver Propagation of Electromagnetic Energy in Quanta! And, this demands a Substrate composed of Units, with similar properties to a Hydrogen Atom (say): that is particles composed of two, mutually-orbiting sub-particles, with internal, promoteable and demote-able orbits. And, to compound the felony, these particles would also have to be undetectable in every possible way.

Immediately, such a substrate will NOT be like an elastic medium, where the composing units bodily oscillate to hold energy, and behaving naturally due to elastic connections, pass it on. The energy will, instead, be held internally as in atoms, and propagation will involve promotion to a higher orbit via externally supplied energy, immediately followed by the demotion of that orbit, to give up the energy to the nearest adjacent substrate unit.

Now, that requires something else too... It cannot be a gas - it just wouldn't work!

It would have to be in some very closely, if loosely, linked association, with adjacent units of the substrate.

And, the units undetectability infers that they are completely neutral, and hence the usual means of Substrate association would not be available.

Now, finally, we just had to suggest a unit for this Substrate, but, once more, referring to James Clerk Maxwell's model of the Ether, it isn't necessary to get it absolutely right. What has to be achieved, though, is a particle that theoretically-at-least, could indeed deliver the required properties of the resulting Substrate.

So, this theorist devised an Empty Photon - a mutually orbiting pair consisting of one electron and one positron. And as these were of opposite charge, and opposite matter type, yet identical in size, they would differ from a Hydrogen atom, in that the two subunits would symmetrically orbit one another, in a shared orbit.

And, as they would occupy exactly opposite sides, this would make certain properties available.

The charged sub-particles would both be as far away from each other as possible, yet each one would be right at the edges of the joint unit.

Also being neutral identical units such as these could approach one another very closely indeed! Close enough, in fact, the sub-particles within adjacent units to briefly affect one another. And as both would be orbiting, the effect when extremely close would be a sinusoidally varying attraction/repulsion cycle.

If undisturbed the two substrate units would remain close together oscillating towards and way-from each other, and remaining within a tiny separating gap.

A loose, but binding association could form undisturbed units into what I call a Paving!

But, in addition, and significantly, any energetic passage through such a Paving, will, at least, temporarily dissociate the Paving back into separate joint-units, and will, in addition, cause vortices of those separated units to be formed around, and be left behind such a vigorous interloper.

Interestingly, any constantly repeating motion, like an orbit, will be continually re-encountering its own vortices, allowing further energy transfers in both directions between orbit and vortices, which will naturally settle into a stable balance, when the two speeds are harmonically related.

This has made it possible to explain quantized orbits in atoms, entirely without any recourse to Copenhagen premises whatsoever!

So, having established something of the suggested Universal Substrate, and some of its already known features, it may now be possible to identify what must be done in a non-Copenhagen way, but without some of the past contradictory assumptions, to map onto a non Copenhagen way of "explaining" Copenhagen theories and equations.

14 March, 2017

Interference and Interaction in a Neutritron Substrate

Let us consider both the Interference within a Neutritron Substrate, and, thereafter, the effects of such a Substrate, both a normal undisturbed one, and one involving an interference situation, upon any interloping, charged particles, for example.

The interference in a Neutritron Substrate will be very different from that in a classical medium: for here, the individual units do not usually move about: they stay in relatively fixed positions with respect to one another, and do not pass on propagated energy as a transferable oscillation of strongly (elastically) connected and already-oscillating, whole substrate units, but, on the contrary, as transfers of internally-contained quanta of energy, between adjacent closely positioned and relatively loosely-connected substrate units.

Indeed, a propagation is extremely rapid, traversing, sometimes enormous sequences of stationary units, in a bucket brigade fashion, "like a veritable hot potato being immediately got rid of, as soon as it is received, by each temporary holder in a line of tender-handed people".

Though the quanta are held (briefly) in a promoted internal orbit, there is nothing to keep it there, and it is immediately off-loaded to the next immediately adjacent and as yet un-promoted next-unit-in-line.

BUT, and it is a big but, "What determines the direction of transfer, for every substrate unit will be surrounded by many others?"

It has to be the incoming direction of transfer from the previous unit! Somehow, this must direct the then transfer to only the adjacent unit on the exact opposite side from that of the incoming direction.

In other words the direction of transfer will be retained throughout a series of transitions. Something of that prior direction must influence the immediately subsequent direction.

Let us say that a small movement of the unit itself must be involved in the transfer, which moves it towards only one adjacent unit, so that is the direction of subsequent transfer: it moves to the closest adjacent unit, and in turn, gives it a small kick as it transfers the quantum. And, this in turn-after-turn, moves the receiving unit closer to the next unit in line, which will then be the natural receiver.

But, where do all these kicks com from?

In fact, its only one kick, passed on from unit to unit, literally forever - like the transferred impulse in a Newton's Cradle, but with no losses. And, for this to be the case, all that will be required is an initial directional impulse along with the initial transfer of a quantum into the Substrate.

Now, switching from propagation of pure energy to the effect upon the Substrate by an interloping particle, such as an electron. It will merely plough through and, depending on its speed will leave a narrow or wider path of units dissociated from their weak connections to the Paving, left behind separately. Yet, these tracks don't last long, as they very soon naturally re-associate.

And, such a path-through will be pretty straight.

But, things will be very different if the traversed Substrate contains a maintained interference pattern within it, due to colliding propagations (as in the Double Slit case). For, we know exactly what happens there, and, as it is surprising, indeed classically inexplicable by the usual means, we must explain it.

Clearly, depending upon its path through the pattern, the interloping particle will be affected in a range of ways, extending from "Not-at-all" to "Significantly, left or right", with all possible gradations in between included too. What occurs can only mean that the interference pattern is affecting the particle in different ways depending upon its path.

The Copenhagenists have the Wave/Particle-unified-entity interfering with itself, but that is idealist nonsense. The particle is being affected by the actual changes in the physical substrate caused by the interference of the two waves emanating from the apparatus's two Slits.

The question, of course, is, "How?"

Now, this isn't another example of normal classical Wave Theory!

How could the Substrate units be so changed by the process of interference to selectively affect the traversing particle in such an organised range of ways?

It can only be in the orientations of the units' internal orbits!

So, instead of the amplitudes of sinusoidal oscillations either adding up (in two ways) or totally cancelling out, we must here have a "similar pattern of interactions, but with the orientations of the internal orbits of the substrate units involved.

And, thereafter, when the interloper passes through, it will be let through when the orientations are effectively a random mix along that path, but, alternatively they can all be aligned, and deliver a summing series of deflections to the traversing particle, which moves it out of that channel, and into the ajoining channel.

Juicy! Innit?

New Special Issue: At The Bottom!

This new edition presents a collection of papers on our various explorations of the bottomost levels of reality, and why we have got it so wrong.

Immediately I am forced to ask, “Why is it that the clear idealism of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory has now ruled the roost for a full 90 years?” And secondly to wonder “Why haven’t we, as Marxists, as materialist philosophers, defeated this position long ago?”

Are we to really believe that Yves Couder’s brilliant experiments alone were sufficent to finally turn a corner and allow us to carry this through to completion?

I have been a supporter of the Marxist stance since I, as a young man studying Physics at Leeds University in the 1950s, became profoundly disillusioned with my chosen subject. It was my intuitive opposition which led me to Lenin’s powerful book Materialism and Empirio Criticsism in 1959 and to joining the Communist Party. Yet sadly, as I was still an immature youth and was never equipped by my colleagues and comrades to tackle these difficult problems, only very slowly did I realise that the primary objective of Marx in abandoning Hegelian Idealism for what he termed Dialectical Materialism, was clearly to directly unify with the best practitioners and theorists of Science - and even to this day, this has never been achieved.

In fact, Lenin’s great book, written well over 100 years ago, was the last significant contribution in that absolutely crucial area. Yet, the very tendency in Physics, then led by Henri Poincare and Ernst Mach, against whom he was arguing, was the very same tendency that developed into Bohr and Heisenberg’s final irrevocable retreat into Idealism.

Why on earth wasn’t the job done before now?

11 March, 2017

Maths-first Science? I

Use before understanding!


Currently, Physics is seemingly embroiled in an irresolvable crisis, and to understand how it arrived at this desperate juncture, it is necessary to go back to its historical sources, and understand its initial and continuing motivations, and, even more importantly, its intellectual origins too.

From Man's hunter/gatherer origins he had effectively conquered the known World with his dexterity and intelligence, coupled with a single practical tenet, namely, "If it works, it is right", or, in a word - Pragmatism! Remarkably, with experience, intelligence and some basic arithmetic, Mankind had created Agriculture, Irrigation and even metal-working, and also, for its ever increasing trade, built roads, canals, and even sea-going ships, to supply their fast-growing cities.

Even Pyramids of colossal size, were constructed, as well as temples and palaces, and then giant empires were built across many countries. At a certain juncture in this trajectory, and focussed in the City States of Ancient Greece, Mankind began to create an intellectual aspect in its cultural life, going beyond, but still built upon, that same Pragmatism. 

And the first developable intellectual discpline which was realised was Mathematics, or to bemore precise, that foundation stone of Mathematics, termed Geometry.

Observing both nature and his own works, Man discerned certain patterns, which recurred over and over again, and via "drawing" them in the sand, or on paper, he idealised them into Pure Forms, which could then be studied, as such!

Remarkably, these idealised extractions could, in themselves, be studied and indeed sequentially related to one another, so that a new, extended intellectual discipline was created of seemingly endless range and complexity.

It was a remarkable creation, for it certainly did not exist, as such, in Reality, but did, at least partially, reflect aspects of Reality, though ONLY in a descriptively formal and idealised way. And, crucially, it could also be used effectively, if approximately, to predict certain kinds of outcomes!

Such successes caused it to colour our thinking in general! It was the immutability of the ideal forms that seemed to enable the proliferation of both its processes and its regular extensions. So, when the same approach was applied to Reasoning - involing the implications of statements, it led to Formal Logic, as another seemingly infinitely extensible intellectual discipline. An idealised and manipulate-able parallel world, of useable reflections, had been shown to be possible, and began to grow at markable rate.

What had been involved, in these developments, was a brilliant extension of that process, which Mankind had been doing for millennia - a process which became known as Abstraction.

It extracted something from Reality, which could be, thereafter, effectively be used in Thinking, even though no individual abstraction was ever a fully comprehensive account. What it did contain, however, was often extremely useful: for it invariably had a significant measure of what is termed Objective Content.
The consequences, when the very same methods were applied in the observation of Reality, were, therefore, pre-determined. Abstractions, once again, extracted something of value, but in the form of unchanging entities and their fixed inter-relations or Laws: what was extracted and used were seen as fixedobjects with eternal Natural Laws ONLY affecting them - and, in the usually fairly stable unchanging circumstances, these were real reflections, and could be used effectively.

Of course, to begin with, such naturally stable situations were limited to things like the Observation of the Heavens, but slowly, Mankind learned how to control or "farm" local domains of Reality, into simplified and artificially maintained, stable situations that could indeed be processed effectively.

Science too was therefore inevitably built upon the same foundations. Indeed, the most profound, but unstated common premise involved-throughout, was the now standard idea of unchanging essences, and this later became known as the Principle of Plurality!

Early Methods

Now, early science, could not penetrate Reality very deeply: indeed, most observations and even measurements were superficial: they could not analyse Reality, but took it as it presented itself, and at best, when it was varying, Man could find ways of holding it still, and so making dependable measurements of that.

So, apart from dimensions and maybe weight, no underlying causes could be revealed. Gradually, though, overall conceptions began to be imagined such as Temperature, Pressure and Energy, but these were not seen as properties of individual constituent parts, but of the complex thing as-a-whole. In other words, early Science was, generally, entirely of this overall nature. And, even when it began to be realised that there, indeed, were constituent units making up a whole, it still wasn't possible to measure all the individual parts, and sum their effects.

Only overall, resultant values were measurable.

Now, as better means of penetrating things more deeply became available, various methods of relating these overall measurables to the constituent parts were developed, as were means of relating what could be determined from constituent parts to things measured overall.

A parallel suite of techniques to indiviual part measurements was developed to relate the two. It took the general title of Statistics, along with a means of top-down interpretations were part of the system, termed Probabilities.

Now, this short excursion was necessary, as it was an alternative to the a more general method of analysis, involving layer-below-layer, increasingly-detailed analytic revelatons, until some ultimate fundamental causing entities were finally reached.

That approach, termed Reductionism, soon dominated, though it was never carried through completely: instead it was just conceptually-assumed, to underpin all partial investigations. And, the same approach took all found relations, as direct consequences of Laws at a lower level, and so on level-below-level, until at the bottommost, fundamental level, there would be the final eternal Natural Laws generating all of Reality via a hierarchy of consequent levels.

So, wherever possible, this would be implemented, at least partially, and when it wasn't, the reliable Statistics and Probabilities were resorted to instead!

The Final Crisis

Now, though usually ignored as being merely due to current ignorance, there were many intractable anomalies in the results obtained, due to the various differing and even contradictory premises and philosophical stances, that had been adopted by different groups of scientists doing different things.

But, the consequent, overall amalgam survived by a division of the participants involved, into different specialisms, who did their bit, within their particular stances, and passed over their results to other specialists, to be used as they saw fit!

Addressing the Massive Conceptual Crisis in Physics

Now, this admittedly cursory introduction has been necessary, in order to tackle the significant retreat adopted in Sub Atomic Physics in response to the perplexing discovery of the Quantum, on the one hand, and the increasingly unavoidable anomalies and contradictions on the other.

In fact, the most basic definitions seemed to be being totally undermined, as Particles seemed to, sometimes, act like Waves, while Waves, occasionally, appeared to behave like descrete Particles.

So, the tendency that depended upon, and trusted most, the embodiment of discovered relations into Formal Equations, knew that they, as always, would be able to mirror all phenomena in such Forms, and denounced Explanatory Physics, at least, at the Sub Atomic Level, as mere self-kid.

Reality was said to be determined by formal equations (Natural Laws), and they would be found in this area too.

So, the reason for this writer's preamble will now become clear!

Bohr and Heisenberg, along with many others, gradually achieved their formal claims, by using Probabilities and Wave Equations in a physically unjustifiable ways. There is a name for such tricks in Mathematics: it is termed a frig!

There was NO underlying physical explanation for what they achieved, but, the ancient and still existing "If it works, it is right!" justification was used to finally dispense with all explanations other than "Obeys this equation!"

The new stance was termed The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory, and its increasingly-emerging clear inadequacies had to be papered-over with an increasing number of speculative inventions, and further abstract extensions in Pure Mathematics.
Now, some physicists still refused to submit, including Einstein, but neither side had the faintest idea what in physical theory itself, had been the problem.

For, the problem was most certainly the Pragmatism-driven amalgam of contradictory premises, upon which Classical Science, Formal Logic and even Mathematics had all been built.

But, the key pragmatic botch-up was certainly in Sub Atomic Physics, where Materialism, Idealism and Pragmatism had been patched together upon the same premise of Plurality, with "If it works, it is right!" Indeed, it could only exist by repeated separations into distinct "specialisms", with defined and limited spans - all created at the precise points where blatant contradictions became unavoidable. But, of course, they were avoidable - by setting fixed boundaries exactly where the anomalies presented themselves, and "agreeing to differ" with co-operating colleagues in adjacent specialisms.

Indeed, throughout the Industrial Revolution, and the rise of the consequent form of Capitalist Economics in the 19th Century, Science had merely become the "Richest Mine" of new discoveries for Technology's proliferating and profitable applications. There were "sound financial reasons" for the necessary blinkers!

So, try as they might, the Classical lobby could not defeat the Copenhageners.

They were simply too philosophically ill-equipped to do anything about it. David Bohm, and later the neo-Bohmians, tried with their suggestion of an accompanying Pilot Wave to every elementary Particle, but nothing theoretically was achieved.

The problems went far deeper, and unless they were made clearly evident and tackled head-on, absolutely no progress would be made.

Yet, 200 years before, the German idealist philosopher, Friedrich Hegel, had, in his Thinking about Thought research, begun to tackle the iniquities of pluralist Formal Logic, based, initially, upon the Dichotomous Pairs of contradictory concepts that had, 2,300 years earlier, led the Greek, Zeno of Elea, to formulate his famous Paradoxes - based upon the alternatives of Continuity and Descreteness.

Hegel unearthed multiple Dichotomous Pairs, which always brought Formal Reasoning to a dead halt - to a logical impasse, which could never, rationally, be transcended, but were always pragmatically "got around" by suck-it-and-see try-outs of each alternative to see which allowed a transition to further reasoning beyond the impasse. Absolutely no explanation of why that worked was ever revealed: it was a purely pragmatic (if it works, it is right) get-around!

But, Hegel found a solution: he unearthed the differing premises of each of the Dichotomous Pairs, and by correcting what was amiss or inserting what was missing, he healed the wound and restored a continuing Logic, at that point at least!

He also, as a holist (the direct opposite of Plurality) opened up the Dichotomy into a range of possibilities, both ends of which could dominate in differing circumstances, and even flip from one to the other, dynamically, at crucial overall transitions in complex situations. He developed the Interpentration of Opposites method of seeing complex situations from BOTH opposite points of view, and so began to get some sort of grasp upon Qualitative Change, which Formal Logic could never deal with.

But, Hegel was an Idealist: all things considered were only objects of Thought, while most answers could only be found in concrete Reality - that is by materialist scientists!

This was realised among Hegel's followers - The Young Hegelians, including both Feuerbach and Karl Marx, and they switched over to becoming materialists, while retaining Hegel's brilliant discoveries termed Dialectics.

In fact, Marx began to construct what he termed Dialectical Materialism, to distinguish it from the so-called Mechanical Materialist mish-mash of the current scientists. His objective was to create a Union of Science and Philosophy upon his new stance.

But, in spite of his wonderful contributions in History, Politics and Economics, he didn't ever get around to that crucial central task. His Mathematical Manuscripts revealed his efforts to get to grips with the other side, but as a mathematician and physicist, myself, it is clear that he didn't manage it.

It was simply too much to ask of a single individual, no matter how dedicated he was.

So now, we have another slant upon the current Crisis in Physics, as well as a direction of necessary research, but as both Marx and Lenin proved, it would require investigators who were professional mathematicians and scientists, who had also been won to Marxism, and, crucially, fully understood its philosophy and methodology.

Now, when put like that, it seems the required investigator has to be myself, but, committing to doing it is much easier said than done, for though I called myself a Marxist when aged just 19, it has taken me over 50 years of high-level research in my primary professions, namely Mathematics, Physics and Computing, with a career finally ending up as a professor in a world class University, before I finally believed I could do it.

In fact, I have already developed a non-Copenhagen Theory for the Double Slit Experiments, produced a definition of a Universal Substrate that can poropagate Electromagnetic Radiation in quanta, and deliver both Electrical and Magnetic fields subtended around initiating charged objects. I have also explained quantized electron orbits within atoms, without resorting to the Copenhagen stance, and am currently tackling Quantum Entanglement!

The reason it took so long was that I didn't really understand Dialectical Materialism, until I was forced back into studying both Hegel and Marx by demanding research into the Analysis of creative Human Movement in Dance. Not only did that research reap valuable rewards in those studies, but helped myself and my co-researcher win A British Interactive Video Award for excellence.

So, finally, after a long and necessary justification, I can, at last, begin to address the only research that would be considered valid by the Copehagen opposition [for they are convinced that their philosophic stance is totally adequate, no matter what I say].

But, arriving at their frigged formulae via a totally antagonistic set of premises and explanations, may just do the trick!
To be continued in Part II...

03 March, 2017

First Americans

The First Peopling of America

In how many waves, and when and how did they come?

Things are changing fast in the studies of Early Man, and many once-firm conclusions are being dismantled by new archaeological evidence.

A very interesting body of different discoveries from all over the whole of North and South America, are questioning the generally-believed single first immigration from Siberia, only 40 thousand years ago, which now looks as though it may have been at least three incursions, including much earlier ones by very different routes.

Quite apart from the above archaeology, there has always been seeming contradictions in the cultures of various tribes and civilisations that have left their proof in both the constructions still standing, and the peoples still existing to this day.

It has always seemed to me that the most primitive economic system that has existed until recently on the plains of the Mid West, in what is now the USA, the hunter/gatherers, contrasts markedly with the much more advanced peoples very much further south, in Central and South America.

For, the former were much closer to the supposed original point of entry - across the now Baring Strait, presumably when it had been turned into a land-bridge, with the decline in sea-level, caused by the build-up on land of the fast-advancing, vast glaciers of the Ice Age.

And, to raise even more questions, remains found in Brazil of an ancient woman or girl, were validly dated as the oldest ever found in the Americas, and she looked nothing like either the Plains people up north, or even the supposed Siberians or Mongolians who were considered to be the ancestors of all first Americans.Indeed, she looked more like the first peoples of Australia.

Then, even more recently found, some very old remains were revealed to have features more like modern Europeans. And, some were reconstructed to look more like the Ainu from northern Japan.

Finally a well-preserved, but very ancient body was found, and investigations proved that his entire diet had been of fish, which inferred a possible close-to-the-sea route of access, while along the south coast of Alaska animal remains proved conclusively that they must have lived upon land, next to, but not covered by the Ice Sheet that was dominating the rest of the Land.

And, of course, the ancient land revealed by the locking up of water in the Ice Sheet, will by now be inaccessible, due to the demise of that Ice Age, and the returning of the water to underneath the Pacific Ocean, so cannot be investigated for necessary evidence.

Now, why would anyone brave the rigors of the ancient far north to reach America?

The best argument seems to be the herds of Caribou, which occur, today, not only in Alaska and Canada, but across Eurasia from Scandinavia to Siberia.

And, Man soon learned to follow them in their essential vast migrations to new pastures. With a way of getting to such resources in America Humans could have followed them, using them for food, clothing and even transportation, as they do today.

Some time ago I put up a paper entitled "Did the Eskimos Discover America", reasoning that they could have conquered living in the Arctic of Eurasia, and merely followed the edge of the ice, during the Ice Age, occasionally on their sea-skin boats, to America.

And, this contribution has proved very popular. So, though that is clearly not the full story, it had merit.

From what I can make out from the excellent NOVA Documentary (on YouTube), there now seem to be several waves of early immigrants at very different times, stretching back much further than the now replaced single incursion.

14 February, 2017

Issue 48: Marxism: Science and Philosophy

This new edition closely examines and evaluates an essay by Max Eastman from 1935 entitled Marxism: Science or Philosophy? Originally published in New International the work is now public domain, and has been reproduced here alongside two critical essays by Marxist philosopher Jim Schofield.

Eastman's piece attempts to undermine Marxism from a purportedly materialist standpoint, using Hegel's idealism against Marx. He wrote it at a crucial point in his own trajectory abandoning the socialist views of his youth for free market advocacy and eventually conservative ideology - Eastman's anti-communist writing in the 1950s played a formative role in the policies of McCarthyism.

There is still a role to play here for Eastman's writing, however, in the debate regarding the role of Philosophy in Science - the argument about where idealism ends and materialism begins, how science alone cannot answer all our questions.

While Eastman may have had an argument regarding the “forcible imposition” of Marxist Philosophy by Stalinist bureaucrats, he made the same mistake as them, in fundamentally missing the point of Dialectical Materialism, and its revolutionary potential not only for society, but in the sciences as well.

13 February, 2017

The Limits of Abstraction

The Processes and Productions of Abstraction

How Does Abstraction Fit Into A Dialectical World?

Some years ago, after extensive research, I produced the above diagram entitled The Processes and Productions of Abstraction

It requires a close look at the accompanying papers on both SHAPE Blog and SHAPE Journal to be able to correctly extract what the diagram delivers, but it did then lead to some major advances in the many possible worlds in which such different productions could actually exist.

The formal areas on the diagram are:-

MAN - the active element, in the middle

REALITY - as the all-containing Ground

CONCEPTS - through-and-into which the various Productions occurred

An important, and surprising, part of that latter "mental area" of CONCEPTS was termed Ideality - because it by-passed Reality crucially in the various Processes involved in its Productions.

Indeed, it was this Ideality - a rich conceptual World, that was the repository for Mathematics, and enabled a significant advance yo be made in the Philosophy of Mathematics by this theorist.

But, it was only a first step, for it then, more generally, and only briefly, involved just a few, and by no means enough, recursive loops, back to earlier productions, and, thereafter, consequent processes, with necessary corrections.

But, clearly, even more radical, and even transformative changes turned out to be absolitely essential too!

It was not yet, by any means, about Dialectical Logic and the essential Dialectical Materialist philosophical standpoint.

For, NO Abstraction can possibly ever be Absolutely Correct!

The actual process involved, in arriving at an Abstraction, though it is the result of a valid realisation of some measure of occurring Objective Content - some individual aspects or parts of the Truth, will still never be comprehensive. Only for a time, will it be possible to handle a given Abstraction, as if it were "The Whole Truth". For, its validating context will always be limited.

Indeed, we have already-fairly-quickly become aware that unless we remained within the exact-same context, or even rigorously worked to maintain it, our Abstraction would always, ultimately, begin to Fail.

And, remarkably, when t does, the relevant Abstraction, or even "Law", could actually turn into its exact-opposite. We could even arrive at a point where Two-Diametrically-Opposite-Abstractions, would both be, apparently, equally-valid, but on then trying each alternative in-turn, only one would lead onwards in our reasoning. 

What Zeno of Elea had discovered, 2,500 years ago, was concerned with the abstractions Continuity and Descreteness - for, when applied to Movement, it was not an odd-and-rare occurrence at all, but a very general and unavoidable feature of all Abstractions - reflecting both the Holist (constant-change) Nature of Reality and the natural trajectory of such changes.

The Formal Reasoning assumption that Absolute Truth could be built out of sufficient eternal elements, be they Abstractions ort Laws, was clearly incorrect!

And, therefore, what finally buried Formal Logic and its Reasoning, which always prohibited contradiction, as a sure proof of failure, either due to incorrect Reasoning or erroneous oncepts, was, instead, slowly being realised to be the natural dynamic of intrinsic change and development!

Of course, the emergence of the exact-opposite to a conception takes a great deal of swallowing: why couldn't qualitative changes just lead to something else?

Why only the exact-opposite?

Now, if the very centre of your mental world is Formal Logic, the required explanation will just never be found! To discover it, you have to study concrete Reality, not only as it exists today, at this moment - but, also, via the History of its development, wherever it leaves sequential evidence!

Instead of attempting to derive higher levels of existence from mechanistic complication of lower levels, you must, instead, study the higher levels to throw light upon the lower ones - twhere the evidence is always unavailable!

The real revealers of Reality are only available by studying Geology, Life, Man and Consciousness - for there the tempo can be made visible and analysed.

The Natural Emergence of Opposites

The emergence of opposites in reality, mentioned above, really does require further elaboration. Perhaps surprisingly, the ideas which ultimately led to the following Theory, came originally from Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, via his Theory of Natural Selection.

For, in the attempt of this theorist to tackle the Origin of Life on Earth, Darwin's Theory could not be used, because it only involved contention between populations of living species, competing to survive. Clearly then, though such could be used after the Origin of Life, it certainly could not in the conversion of non-living processes into the very first Living Things.

So, the arena for that Origin, and the natural processes occurring there, would have to be considered, as somehow, having a similar effect to those involved in consequent Evolution, but with none of the necessary competition-and-reproduction that dominated Darwin's Natural Selection.

Clearly, only various physical and chemical circumstances-and-processes would have to be happening.

I'm afraid the old random chance occurrences, allowing significant changing of the game, is just too unlikely to be seriously contemplated, no matter how long you give it to act. So, upon careful analysis, it is clearly totally impossible!

The most important features would have to involve easy moving of involved substances, varying conditions and multiple, available substances.

Clearly, the most obvious transportations, would occur if everything was happening in a liquid (water), which due to other external physical forces was constantly "on-the -move" and, consequently, also "on-the-mix".

Many such environments have been suggested, but only one stands out as ideal.

It is the occurrence of shallow and connected, tidal pools, on the edge of a globally-connected ocean of water, situated on a spinning planet, with an inclined axis, and a nearby, warming star, whose rays would frequently get-to-and-affect our described environment,

A reasonably-complex Atmosphere would also be essential, so the diurnal changes in illumination by the star, due to the spin, and the seasonal changes, due to the inclined axis, would not only cause varying Weather, but also both vigorous flows and strong interactions between that Weather and the global ocean.

The Nature of that Atmosphere should also be regularly added-to by ongoing volcanism and eruptions.

All of these situations would enable varying conditions, that also regularly recurred, all of which would be conducive at different temperatures, to many different chemical reactions being possible.

So, with the right conditions in place, what would unavoidably happen?

Various reactions would take place: though different in varying local conditions, and an active sea would move these around - not only locally, but also globally. Some would dissociate again, if the conditions became too extreme, but with the full picture as described above, there will always be places where certain things could and would survive, even if they were not happening everywhere.

We can conceive of a mix of different reactions taking place both incessantly and simultaneously, with facilitating energy perhaps from the nearby Star, or heated water from the vicinity of volcanism.

The big question is, "What would happen next?"

The usual assumption is that in time all possible situations will occur, and in many one-chance-occurrences, these will lead to more complex entities being produced, though still entirely non-living!

Taking the very same reasoning further, and over colossal time periods, enough totally chance occurrences, will very slowly take the complication to the very threshold of, and then into, the existence of the very first life. What utter rubbish!

You can see that the theorists involved in such theories are of the classical, pluralist, formalist type. But, that would never, ever do it! It is a mechanist, almost Laplacian narrative.
But, the Origin of Life was an actual, and totally game-changing, Revolution: an Emergence of the first water. A change, that once it occurred, took hold and completely out-competed all non-living processes from the outset.

With absolutely NO living competitors as yet, it would rapidly dominate every reachable conducive area across major parts of the Globe.

Now, compare this with the frequently suggested sequence of very unlikely, random occurrences, that fail in their millions before one manages to survive - faced then with another long stagnation, before another freak occurrence moves another small step towards Life.

The alternative presented here conceives of an entity being created that has absolutely NO living competitors yet possible, and something on-the-way-to-life, just competing with non living chemical processes, solely, on the basis of competing for the same resources. Indeed, what will have happened in the preceding period with only non-living processes happening, is that certain processes requiring, and finding, their required resource in abundance, usually churns on for literally millennia, producing enough products to lay down a layer of sediment thick enough to form rocks, still around billions of years later.

It seems very likely that the first "near-life" occurrence will also dominate in a similar way to the non-living example suggested above.
Of course, for this to happen, there is, still, a Revolution to describe!

It is, as been proved many times, totally impossible using the usual mechanistic, pluralist assumptions. So, as suggested earlier, we must look for evidence of actually-occurring Revolutions, in much later developments, long after the First Emergence of Life, to extract a working conception of how such a radical, totally transforming Change occurs, to see if it can throw light upon the most Revolutionary Event of all - The Emergence of Life on Earth.

It has been done several times, in various different ways. First, Karl Marx applied the newly discovered Dialectical approach to History, and discovered a whole series of such Revolutions in the Social Organisation of Human Societies.

Second, Lenin used it as a general method to guide the Bolsheviks within the Russian Revolution to seriously affect the outcome.

Third, Schofield went on to generalise Darwin's Natural Selection to non-living competition between chemical processes, in the period immediately prior to the Origin of Life.

Fourth, he then went on to formulate his Theory of Emergences, which traced the trajectory of an Emergent Event from a prior Stability, via a major Crisis to a Cataclysmic Collapse, swooping to what appeared to be Total Chaos, but then naturally-and-inevitably then delivering a self-constructed ascent to a wholly New Stability, at a different Level entirely.

Though much has still to be done, it is already underway.

Solving old economic problems...

24 January, 2017

What is left of "Marxism"?

Marxism for sale! Buy now!

What has happened to Revolutionary Marxism & Marxist Philosophy?

I am finally a real Marxist!

Yet, it has taken me a very long time. And, I got there by a very unusual route...

I had been interested, from the first contact with it as a University student, and slowly built up an extensive library of Marxist works, ever since my first involvement, and have since spent my whole adult life in professedly Marxist-committed parties, or at the very least as an active and trenchant supporter - but I didn't get either educated, or even trained, in any one of those organisations.

I come from a working class family, resident in a major industrial city - Manchester, in the North of England, in which my dad was an unskilled labourer, and my mam a sewing-machinist: but, somehow, I got an education, and ended up as a physicist and teacher.

I did, briefly, make a real difference, politically, when still a very young man, as I worked almost exclusively among working class youth, on the same kind of Council House Estates, on which I had lived and grown up, but, very soon I was outnumbered-and-outargued in the parties to which I belonged, by middle class "intellectuals".

From being a leader I was soon relegated to being the always-available working class activist, to send in, where the middle class certainly could not productively venture, and indeed, feared to tread!

And, my commitment to becoming a Marxist, though undiminished, never found any teachers either willing, or even able, to take me forward - and, I don't just mean in my chosen discipline - Physics. Indeed, though I met fairly able Marxist Economists, I never met a single Marxist Philosopher, any Marxist Mathematicians, or Marxist Scientists whatsoever.

Now, I had first got into revolutionary politics for a very unusual reason. I had been totally disgusted in my very first term at University, when presented with the Copenhagenist drivel (that was then, and still is, the current-received-wisdom) being dispensed by my professors and lecturers. My puzzled questions only elicited ridicule, both from both my tutors, and even my fellow students. But I was, certainly in the right place, and made lifelong friends - one of whom recommended me to read Lenin's Materialism and Empirio Criticism. (He was, by the way, a fellow student, studying, of all things, English Literature).

And on reading this, my first Marxist book, I immediately realised that Lenin had the answer to the decline in Physics. His chosen opponents in the book were the famous physicists Henri Poincaré and Ernst Mach, who were the immediate theoretical predecessors of the Copenhagenists who later came to totally dominate Physics.

So, I began to read Marx, and then Engels, but I clearly needed help.

The politics was easy to understand coming from my background, but the philosophy, most certainly was not! Indeed, it was clear that Marx was preoccupied with using the newly established Dialectical Materialism in tackling Capitalist Economics, and it was left to his colleague Engels, to "describe" that stance's detailed Nature and Methodology. And, though he did a great job upon materialist Holism, he was by no means, the dialectician that Marx certainly was. Indeed, Engels "found" Dialectics everywhere in Nature, but NOT as its driving fornce, but rather as a kind of set of properties.

It wasn't enough!

Nevertheless, pamphlets like "The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man", were indeed brilliant.

I discussed Lenin's book with my colleagues, in my then Party, but they were absolutely no help, and they even began to get annoyed. "Pack in this Physics stuff! It's an excuse - a diversion from the real work!"

But, they were wrong.

I had no trouble relating to working class youth: after all, I was one of them! In fact, I was pretty successful working with such people. Any new target area that was decided upon, in my branch, would always involve sending me into the fray.

Clearly, my concerns with Physics Theory could play no role there, it never got addressed - ever!

So, my working life as a Mathematics and Science teacher, was separated from my work in political activities, to the real detriment of both.

I began to make real gains as a teacher, and had a successful career, which took me from a Middle school, teaching 11 year olds, by stages and changes of job and disciplines, until I finally got a series of posts in Universities. The separation was remarkable, as when working in Glasgow, I would spend my daytime assisting post-graduate researchers, by writing tailor-made computer programs to aid in their researches: while in the evenings, I'd be teaching unemployed working class youth Computing in a converted warehouse.

But, crucially, it was in my professional daytime work that I, all by myself, made significant progress, philosophically, when designing multimedia aids along with a dance expert colleague, to crack an important problem in using film and video footage in the teaching of Dance Performance and Choreography.

The old Paradoxes of Zeno, in addressing Movement, were finally integrated via Hegel's Dialectics, and, I began to put together my interpretation of what Marx had been implictly using, throughout, in creating Das Kapital.

And, my original problem with the ill-famed Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory, could now, potentionally at least, be tackled and resolved!

I returned to Hegel - to review his vital criticisms of Formal Logic, his identification of Dichotomous Pairs of contradictory concepts - occurring frequently at non-transcendable rational impasses, and his recourse to holist, "dialectical" means to correct mistaken premises and begin to establish his Dialectical Logic. 

Reciprocal Structures by Michael C Coldwell

And, as an "aspirant-and-intended" Marxist, AND a competent physicist, I began to tackle the key 20th century developments in Physics, which had led to Copenhagen. The first requirement was obvious: it had to be the addressing of the crucially important Double Slit Experiments. Using the very methods I had unearthed in cracking Movement Studies, I addressed the assumed premises of the Double Slit Experiments, and realised, not so much a flaw, as a crucial omission.

The inclusion of some kind of Universal Substrate, theoretically, at least, resolved every-single-one of the anomalies of these Experiments.

The Wave/Particle Duality resolved-itself into a classic Dichotomous Pair, and was explained away by a dialectical, recursive relationship between moving particles and an affect-able and affecting Substrate. 

Initially, of course, it was, indeed, a purely theoretical solution!

But, the same approach led to further theoretical successes, in defining the concrete nature of such a substrate, endowing it, not only with the necessary properties to deliver all required functionalities: but also explaining its undetectability.

NOTE: Also full experimental credit must be given to the French physicist, Yves Couder, whose "Walker" Expedriments - using only a silicone-oil-substrate and energy, enabled him to create his Walker entities, and even show how they could be made to move in "quantized orbits" - far from the confines of Sub Atomic Copenhagenism.

After decades incorrectly claiming to be a Marxist, I had finally made the grade. But, notice, in that important process, I didn't even mention political activities. What I had achieved was purely philosophical! Marxism is after all a Philosophy.

So, instead of deciding political activities by means of precedent, which is what all the professed Marxists I knew did, the practising Marxist, as I now appeared to be, was able to use Marx's methods, and NOT only his past experiences and solutions, to analyse situations afresh, as they are now, and also in every possible field.

To be a Marxist, you have to be a practising Marxist Philosopher! 

Understanding, and then using, Marx's Philosophy was absolutely vital. Without it, you had to depend upon the past experiences of others: and that just isn't good enough. Having made these conclusions I returned to accessing all the usual supposed sources of Marxist analysis currently available, and their uniform lack of a Full Dialectical Materialist Method was immediately evident.

The supposed "Use of Dialectics" boiled down to the usual tenets of Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis, Extremes Meet, and the Driving of Change by the interaction of opposites - employed by the activists, OR, the "Back-to-Hegel Dialectics" of theorists like Žižek.

The inadequacies, of them all, have been tragically exposed by events like the Brexit result in the UK Referendum and the Trump victory in the US Presidential Election.

"A plague on both their houses", is not Marxism.

When the Left fails utterly, Populism tragically triumphs! We need the philosophy of dialectical materialism now more than ever. 

So, the answer to the question posed in this article's title:- "What is left of "Marxism?" has to be Marxism! And the time to start using it is now...