23 July, 2015

Both Ways Causality

The Crucial Importance of Recursion

Is causality a one-way mechanism? Do certain circumstances simply produce a single predictable outcome? Are cause-and-effect phenomena a one-way transaction, governed by an unchanging Natural Law? For, if all these were indeed true, then the outcomes, produced in a given context, may then become the cause in yet another unavoidable happening.

Causes and effects will be possible in long forward-moving linear sequences to predict future outcomes, yet can also, just as certainly, be traced backwards to original starting points, as is assumed in both Analysis and Reductionism.

Now, essentially, this position is clearly embodied in the rare even mentioned Principle of Plurality, and it alone has established the assumptions underlying the investigative methods we employ in many areas of study, and, most importantly, in what we call Science.

Though normally left entirely unstated, this Principle is almost universally dominant, and this is because it alone seems to provide us with an applicable investigative and theoretical process, which both delivers what are termed Natural Laws, and, as already mentioned, allows extension via both Analysis of complex situations, and even a tracing back through Time via Reductionism.

Indeed, physicists, studying what they regard as the Fundamental Particles of all Reality and hence the basis of all the sciences, justify that claim, by assuming that Plurality is indeed the true Nature of Reality. Many leading scientists have claimed as much, such as Murray Gell-Man, with his book The Quark and the Jaguar.

But, is this unstated assumed Principle really true? The simple and correct answer is, of course, “No!” Nevertheless, it has been, and still is, a useful initial stance, for in carefully chosen adjusted and then maintained circumstances, it can work quite well in many applications, where certain outcomes are required, and can reliably be made to occur.

The best description I can think of is that this approach is akin to The Farming of Reality. And, when this is done properly, it can certainly be made to work, and for the same reasons that Agriculture has been so effective in the large-scale production of food.

Instead of relying exclusively upon Reality-as-is, and simply using what we could find naturally occurring in the World around us, and using it “as found” (as was the case in our Hunter/Gatherer stage of development), we instead found ways to both change and prepare the land, to facilitate high yields from purposely sown-and-grown crops of what we required. And, that is also exactly what pluralist Science has managed to achieve in tackling a much wider series of situations and possibilities in our World - we are managing reality in order to use it.

Farming reality - agriculture as seen from space

But, just as Agriculture did not form a basis for understanding the Biology of Plants, so purely pluralist methods cannot automatically lead to a full understanding of Reality. It is clearly a pragmatic system of assumptions, concepts and methods, which necessarily kills the thing to be investigated, in order to try to understand it. It holds the piece of Reality dead still, in order to study it!

“Mix thoroughly and wait for equilibrium to become established before taking measurements” - does such a credo tell us anything about what was dynamically achieving our finally measured result, while we sat and waited?

So, if we can get by with most of our requirements by believing in this Principle, why is it also so misleading, and ultimately inadequate to addressing, and then explaining, the most important problems in Science?

The problem is partially to do with its too linear idea of Cause-and-Effect, as well as its too simplifying approach in its descriptions and its definitions. Effectively, it is an ideal method for studying static or stable situations only. But, it is useless for dealing with dynamic, evolving, or even only qualitatively changing situations.

So, its consequent way of dealing with Recursion is almost useless for it turns an actually ongoing and repeatable series of phases into a single caused effect, always ignoring ongoing, and frequently recursive transformations entirely.

Yet, when certain causes produce an effect, which only later on brings about a significant change in the original cause, a pluralist approach does not deal with that vital process at all: for it is, instead, addressed as just another cause affecting the original situation at a later time only. But it certainly isn’t that: it is a recursive consequence of the earlier cause, reflecting back upon it.

Now, such dissociated causes and methods as this are also carried over to become the main cornerstone of the ever more used method of Simulation. For, that has to be the only possible pluralist approach in complex, real-world scenarios, which cannot be separated into single effectively dominant contributions to be individually studied, without losing the actual crucial dynamic of the overall process.

To cope with the unavoidably complex situation, that have various intermediate outcomes, which cannot be predicted by isolated causes, a significant and unpredictable qualitative change is, instead, identified, from prior experience, with the passing of a threshold value of a certain variable. So, that, when this occurs, the situation is merely switched from one dominant model and its equations, directly to another dominant form, with its own equations. Both dominant phases are simplifications of what really occurs, and the Threshold variable is simply used as a switch between them, without the smallest vestige of an explanation as to why it occurs in the real situation.

The pluralist solution to a real-world complex and holistic situation, is a large set of pluralist, dominant simplifications, with the switches between them governed by rules of thumb, involving variable and the threshold values at which switches should be made.

Such means are not only very crude attempts, but are also entirely retrospective, in that they will only cover already experienced phases: it can never deliver the wholly new!

Now, Man is a highly intelligent animal, and has honed these methods to a remarkable degree, and just as our hunter/gatherer ancestors invented and effectively used Bows-and-Arrows, which transformed their lives, without their knowing why they worked so well, the scientists of today can manage to get remarkable results out of their studies, even though their resultant Laws are NOT of natural Reality-as-is, but only of specially farmed sections of Reality – though never, even then, representing what is actually going on, but, instead, using one particularly dominant part of that situation, until it has to be replaced entirely by another.

Clearly, Pluralist Science is the study of Static and Appropriately Farmed Domains, and totally omits the really important processes of a Developing situation, which very often will unavoidably involve Recursion.

True Causality is not one-way, and rarely strictly linear.

We can make farmed areas of it, in specially prepared and maintained Domains, but true Reality doesn’t work like that, particularly when it's on the move! The reason for the creation of phenomena, that are wholly new, is that Reality can, and indeed does, work both ways. The result of a certain conjunction of causes can, and does, react back upon those causes, and changes them, and their then consequences, significantly.

NOTE: It is certainly worth mentioning here that the recent solution to the perplexing anomalies, in the famous series of Double Slit Experiments, involved just such recursive effects caused initially, by the things travelling towards those slits, upon a reactive substrate, which later on reacted back upon those very same causes to deliver the full set of anomalies, unpredictable by any pluralist means.

Such significant, qualitative changes do not happen constantly, of course, for Reality’s commonest mode is one of settling into a series of relatively Stable Regimes – into so-called Eras of Temporary Stability, but every single one of these periods are always finally terminated: for developments occur in what are called Emergent Interludes outwith Stability, which start with crises, then deepen into wholesale collapses, and only then finally climb again via tumultuous, and even chaotic, periods of new, qualitative changes, which we term Emergences.

NOTE: So, it isn’t only the holistic changes that are necessary, but equally important is to recognise the oscillations between Stability and Emergences, without which creative Evolution could never happen.

And, in attempting to understand what occurs in these crucial interludes, Plurality is totally useless.

The only effective approach has to be the direct opposite one, which is emphatically holistic and replaces the static with the dynamic, and “keep it stable” approach with the alternation of Stability and Emergence that actually is crucial to understanding qualitative changes!

17 July, 2015

The Paths to Truth

Perhaps surprisingly, I see important resonances between the best scientists and the best fictional writers. I am sure that the reason is because there is no direct path to Absolute Truth in Humanity’s abilities and techniques. Whether you are a committed scientist or a dedicated writer, you have to find meaningful indirect routes, carrying sufficient Objective Content to deliver a measure of progress. But, of themselves, and in any particular production, these turn out to be never wholly sufficient.

Of course, I am not talking about all scientists, or all writers. I mean the very best in both these fields, who manage to reveal something of the Truth in their work.

This aspect wont be immediately evident, when considering the work of the majority of scientists, nor in that of most writers. For, the overwhelming majority of scientists are really technologists, and are primarily intent upon finding exploitable discoveries, while most writers readily admit to being entertaining story tellers. I am talking, in both areas, of those who earnestly tackle the question “Why?”.

For, believe it or not, such an imperative is not common to either most scientists or most writers: where a version of answering “How?” is considered sufficient. But, when you come across the very best writers, you are immediately aware that important things are being addressed, and you come away from reading their work with a definitely deeper understanding of important questions.

And, it is likewise, with the work of the best scientists (though I must emphasize that I do not include the “equation manipulators”, who currently dominate Sub Atomic Physics in this definition). I mean those who glimpse possible significant meanings, and are motivated to address why their studied areas are as they are.

We must realise that such people, in both areas, do not comfortably fit into the general social status quo! And, they are frequently given a hard time by those who feel threatened by their work. For, such purposely questioning work cannot but come up against the many things in their world, which hold it back, and keep it safe for those who currently hold sway.

For example, the writer of this piece is a scientist, and throughout his career he has been forced to take two unavoidable and directly contrasting roles in the opinions of his superiors. At first, he would invariably be the “blue-eyed boy”, for his abilities were soon evident, and he was seen as an asset to his superiors, and his place of work. But, such an interlude would never last! For, these entrepreneurs could not count upon his subservience to their requirements. He evidently had imperatives of his own to pursue. So, the alternative phase would always be that of the “enemy of the people”(see Ibsen’s famous play), in which he was seen as a thorn in the side of his superiors (and sometimes even his colleagues). The work being achieved was still of the same quality, but it no longer fitted in with the ambitions of his superiors.

The only way he was able to continue to make progress was by using his achievements to get a new job in another institution. It wasn’t that easy, for competition would always be with known locals, but in the end he usually made a good move, and the “blue-eyed boy”/”enemy of the people” oscillation would begin again. The policy adopted did in fact work, and he ended up as a professor in London University.

But, such a tumultuous journey was never plain sailing!

He, only rarely, found colleagues who had a similar approach, though when he did, he would remain (without promotion) at that particular post for a long time. In his most fruitful post, he stayed for ten years, and completed work, which finally allowed him to move into Higher Education.

The general state of his scientific colleagues in literally all of his posts was determined by the social imperatives of those in charge, so most employees subordinated themselves to that in order to slowly ascend the promotional ladder.

Now, though I am now a writer myself, I am not a creator of novels, and it is the best in that field, with which I feel the strongest resonances. But, they couldn’t be more different to the usual scientist. Whereas, the latter seek equations and useable discoveries, the writers never deal in anything similar, for it is invariably the qualities, both good and bad, of living that they pursue and reveal.

13 July, 2015

The coffin for Copenhagen now awaits!

Some comments on Bush’s Recent Review of
Yves Couder’s Experiments

The recent review entitled Pilot Wave Hydrodynamics by John W.M. Bush (of MIT’s Department of Mathematics) published in Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 2015, is without doubt comprehensive, and has confirmed this theorist’s (Jim Schofield’s) own ideas upon what the brilliant French physicist, Yves Couder, has finally revealed in an important series of experiments.

I would recommend it to all who are interested parties in that paradigm changing work.

Yet, in spite of almost completely evident (yet unstated) conclusions about the errors in present day physicists’ current Copenhagen stance, it chickens out within the very last paragraph of his final conclusions, in subscribing to Everett’s Many-World stance. (We must not forget that this contributor is a mathematician, rather than a physicist, so he reasons accordingly).

And, for the same reasons the account is saturated with the current consensus stance in such investigations, and it should not surprise us as he is from M.I.T.’s Department of Mathematics, and, at present, in Sub Atomic Physics (the evident target for the discoveries of Couder) the formal equation rules OK, and the approach is one in which the objective is to unearth and formulate purely mathematical descriptions, as if they were the essences of any physical attempts at explanation.

So, his review is automatically two stages removed from what is actually required in explaining not only what Couder and his historical antecedents have revealed so brilliantly, but the consequences of this work for Sub Atomic Physics is omitted.

There is, consequently, both the formalisation of that Sub Atomic Realm, and, then, the whole ethos of the professional mathematician, which together prohibit the required physical explanation of what has been revealed.

Nevertheless, what is available in this review is excellent in its historical references, and will facilitate truly physical investigators to, in consequence, have access to important gains and misdirections of the past. And these are, indeed, important! If the result of this work and this review is to re-interpret the Atom, and finally bury the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory forever, then a great deal will have been made available to that essential objective.


Two new Special Issues of the SHAPE Journal are now available by the physicist and philosopher Jim Schofield. The first is entitled The Substrate, and the second The Atom, and constitute, as far as that writer can tell, the first suggestions as to a physical alternative to Copenhagen.

09 July, 2015

New Special Issue: The Atom and the Substrate 2

The 37th Special Issue of the SHAPE Journal and the second in a landmark series outlining an entirely new approach to Sub-Atomic Physics.

Clearly, if we are to seriously consider the presence of a Universal Substrate (like the now discarded Ether, but of a concrete composition), which is nevertheless undetectable by the usually applied means, we also have to address the dominating emptiness which, using all the current models, exists within the atom.

For, taking the known sizes of even the simplest atom’s components, and their distances apart, it would be hard to exclude any general substrate from filling those spaces too.

Now, if the consequence of such a substrate, outside of all the “material components”, was a major rethink, then the situation within atoms will certainly be even more demanding of a full explanatory account. Indeed, the current Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory is definitely NOT a physical description, never mind a physical explanation of phenomena in that realm, but, on the contrary, only a probabilistic description – involving only formal, abstracted elements, supported by a great deal of unsupported speculation.

Now, in this theorist’s treatment of the famed Double Slit Experiments, it was merely the presence of a Universal Substrate, which enabled an adequate, coherent and comprehensive explanation of all the confusing phenomena occurring there.

Thus, as we switch to the Sub Atomic Realm, we simply must consider all the effects that would be caused by the presence of that same substrate, on all phenomena occurring inside the atom too. So, this Special Issue of SHAPE Journal has as its remit the physical explanation of those phenomena – including, of course, the quantization of the orbits of contained electrons, and the presence of caused vortices in that substrate, which transform exactly how such phenomena are caused and inter-related to one another.

06 July, 2015

Bravo Varoufakis!

The Greeks move on

Having won the Referendum on rejecting the creditors' terms for continuing financial help, the socialist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis turn up the heat yet another notch.

Just as their creditors' are clearly trying to demonise self-confessed Marxist Varoufakis for his strident condemnation of their tactics, he resigns out of the blue.

These Greek leaders are not falling for it. With Varoufakis tactically excluding himself from the negotiating team, the capitalists can no longer use him as the damning "fly in the ointment", and the intended mudslinging has been undermined.

I wonder why the BBC took 4 hours to announce his resignation. Didn't they know what to say?

The restructuring of the debts now becomes the key demand of the Greeks, and with some others and the IMF beginning to rethink the situation, they can fight hard to stop further Austerity.

Also, Spain is moving towards a general election later this year, and a party not unlike Syriza (Podemos) is in the running, and growing in strength with every gain made in the Greek battle. 

Clearly the credit-based capitalist union is being severely questioned. Why should the poorest pay for its evident and recurring weaknesses?

The fight-back has begun. 

Bravo Varoufakis!

Victory for the Greek people!