22 April, 2016

The Tortuous Ascent?

Changes of Evolutionary Mode

It is vital that we are aware both of our shortcomings, as well as our remarkable abilities, when it comes to a sound assessment of our devised concepts, beliefs and models of the Reality that we both inhabit, and attempt to understand.

For, human beings don't (and indeed can't) deal directly in Absolute, Unquestioned Truth.

Indeed, most of what we juggle with and cleverly manipulate, are, at best, useful human inventions, which contain only parts or aspects of that unobtainable Absolute.

Though, often brilliant, and even occasionally wonderful, they are always constructs that, in various ways, attempt to reflect ever more of that existing Reality, but always via means, which can and do, to a significant extent, mislead us.

We have to put away our homocentric prejudices, and significantly change our own assessments to get a developable handle on our "supposed understanding". For, we were not "added-in", as the final, finishing touch, adequately-equipped to both understand and employ that Reality, in the best possible ways.

On the contrary, we evolved via the same selective mechanisms as all other Life to merely survive and maybe prosper, but, certainly not to understand, necessarily!

What was truly remarkable, was that actual evolutionary processes should, in the case of Mankind, be redirected, in a wholly new way, which took our species away from an animalistic, practical set of characterisations and methods to a "GOD-like" attempt to solve problems by attempting to understand them. It involved a crucial, revolutionary redirection, because it was more general, and delivered the possibility of many more solutions than could be amassed by mere individual experiences.

Now, such a redirection has revealed many unpredictable theories and methods, which have literally overthrown the usual strategy-for-survival, (basically the same as for all other life forms), into one in which the Brain, and what we call Thinking became our primary asset.

Ancient Mathematics

We, no longer, merely learn-and-repeat: we also strive to find reasons and causes for what we observe: We attempt to redefine our observations into forms that underlie whole ranges of behaviours. We attempt to understand!

But, of course, that is much easier said than done, and the trajectory of development has not, and, indeed, could not be either direct or self evident.

On the contrary, it is full of misconceptions, many of which lead, inevitably, to dead ends. There has appeared NO direct stairway to Understanding.

What is remarkable is that many very clever inventions have been achieved, which, though including ever more Objective Content, certainly with increasing effectiveness in use, but also often leading us astray theoretically. Indeed, many means have been such, as to only ever be local to a particular area of study - and, so much so, that, in every area, the considerations have always, fairly quickly, reached terminating situations - characterised by the emergence of Dichotomous Pairs of concepts - alternative contradictory ideas that cannot both be true!

Now, this is crucial!

To make any sort of progress in our objective of understanding Reality, Mankind had to do several remarkable things. They had to arrive at a set of premises - basic assumptions, supposedly common to the current area of study, which clarified a seemingly complex situation, into one that could be investigated. There was no avoiding this route!

Reality was too complex and too holistic to be addressed "as is".

We would have to simplify it, to make it more amenable for study, and indeed for use. But, such modifications had two very different effects. First, it did make things easier. But, second, it would inevitably end by leading us into a cul-de-sac - an insurmountable impasse in our formal reasoning.
These crucial areas of real development, led us, inevitably, into very different qualitatively evolving trajectories.

Formal reasoning would get us absolutely nowhere!

First, these impasses divided Reality up into many different areas, within which some objectives could be achieved, but which were always limited in extent, and surrounded by these impasses.

And, such a patchwork, of separate areas, forced us to seek something common to them all as a unifier!

Mankind did find something in Forms and Patterns, so there were these universal formal features that could be recognised, as occurring, across all of these areas. But, though these formal commonalities certainly did recur literally everywhere, they were altogether too common, too simple, and clearly too merely descriptive to be seen as the actual causes.

But, the inviting hole was there to be fallen into, and everyone followed one another "over the edge like lemmings", and soon everyone began to see "Form as Cause", which it most certainly was not!

Of course, such mistakes did nothing to assist in the problem being attempted here. MANY a false path concerned with form alone, often misled those in pursuit of the Dichotomous Pairs.

The only way forward was Hegel's pursuit of these crucial stumbling blocks, followed by the exposure of their causing premises, and their consequent replacement. Only by such a route could the contradictions finally get explained, making further progress possible beyond these tiresome contradictions.

Let us try to make things somewhat clearer.

Man. as with all other living things, evolved by means of Natural Selection. But, in this very special case, where the Brains and Thinking of living human beings became the crucial factors, for mere physical adaptions could do nothing in solving problems like Dichotomous Pairs and their unavoidable impasses. Very different means had to be developed consciously by living human beings for themselves.

It became a very different problem, and took Mankind into a very different sphere of evolution. It wasn't appropriate physical adaptions which enabled development via genes, but new ways of thinking that had to be invented.

If Man was to crack such problems as this one, Natural Selection had to do a very different job, somehow. It had to select for general intelligence, which would "succeed" by achieving wholly new concepts, and new ways of thinking.

And, the most likely areas for that to begin to work would be in hunting strategy successes.

In other words, it would be another kind of intelligence that would be selected for. And, the sought for intelligence, we are considering here, would have to be provided indirectly, and so would involve a whole evolutionary development of a new kind to finally deliver what was required. 

Genetics alone would be insufficient: it is clear that social teaching would be essential too!

Indeed, the idea that there could be different genes, for different "knowledge" is certainly mistaken. More and more characteristics of a new offspring would have to be taught to it as it matures. They could never be coded for in the genes of that individual.

To pass on such things would always have to be achieved ater birth in subsequent education.

Of course, certain mental abilities required to cope with such learning will be inherited, but without the necessary teaching, such abilities will never come to fruition.

Clearly, a wholly new phase in evolution has occurred, when it comes to Mankind. For, though both teaching and learning occur in many animls, it is language and literacy that enable a colossal leap forward. New generations don't only learn from their parents and teachers, but also from long dead thinkers' published writings.

Brotherton Library, University of Leeds

A mammoth step change in communicated knowledge and understanding occurs with language and literacy. No longer was all evolution solely determined by Natural Selection, and limited to purely adaptive improvements, in the actual forms of living things, via living success in survival and reproduction. With Mankind, a whole new trajectory, much less pragmatic than Selection, began to be increasingly significant.

But, clearly, such gains could NOT be passed on genetically, so quite different means were employed by living humans attempting to do the impossible - consciously understand aspects of Reality and passing them on by teaching the new generation. And, of course, doing it entirely without the tailor-made, inherited means of genetics, many mistakes and misinterpretations were inevitable.

What was passed on wasn't always right! Indeed, it may have contained something of real value, but would always be insufficient.

The process wasn't only concerned with effective teaching. It also had to be how Reality was investigated, and how discoveries were made. And, even more difficult, the necessary informed criticism of premises and methods. As it is so poetically put by some thinkers - "Man had to pull himself up by his own bootlaces!" 

The gap between Zeno of Elea and Friedrich Hegel took 2,300 years for the crucial next step to be realised. And from Hegel to now is 200 years (and counting).

The necessary developments are not easy.

Indeed, in perhaps the most advanced Science - Modern Physics, the majority of participants have been idealists for almost 100 years, and with no sign of a change being immanent, it will take even more time to remedy that "backwards step" in our evolution!

12 April, 2016

New Special Issue: The Secret Death of Chaos

This edition is a strange sort of double review. A review of a TV programme on mathematical Chaos from 2010, and a review of a "Marxist" review of it!

Having recently come across Daniel Morley’s review of the BBC TV documentary The Secret Life of Chaos, and finding that his critique (he is a avowed Marxist) was dramatically opposed to my own (also Marxist) series of review papers on the very same TV Programme, I considered criticising his contribution, but relised that a better service to those interested in such things, would be better served by simply re-issueing both together for readers to make their own decisions as to what was correct.

I commenced by simply writing a review of his review, but soon realised that readers would be better informed by seeing not only Daniel Morley’s contribution, but mine also. Access to the original programme would also be essential of course. Here it is:

The.Secret.Life.of.Chaos. by costello74

I was, to say the least annoyed at Morley’s review, but soon came to the conclusion that a Marxist versus Marxist head-to-head would be nowhere near as useful as a presentation of everything under discussion. So contained in this Special Issue of the SHAPE Journal there will be:-

This Introduction
Masters of Another World
Where is Their World?
Formal Chaos
What is The Secret Life of Chaos?
Notes on Daniel Morley’s Review

10 April, 2016

Socialists against BREXIT

Who shouts loudest for BREXIT? It is the most right-wing Tories and UKIP!

WHY do they want it, exactly? They don't want alliance.

HOW do they put their case? They want to be rid of European "red tape" - by which they mean legislation that defends worker's rights. They want free rein to do as they like as they used to! They want to beat their international competitors by foul means if necessary.

What would an even more right-wing Tory Britain be like?

Two groups are arguing loud and long about the forthcoming Referendum. Both groups are essentially lead by Tories who are only really concerned with profit.

Neither side of this argument is remotely concerned about you. They don't care about the state of the Working Class after 8 long years of depression and cuts. If anything they want to turn the screw even harder. Something is holding them back. 

So why should we support either group of Tories? We shouldn't of course! Many voices on the left are calling for a boycott of the EU Referendum. A plague on both their houses!

Yet, we must defend our class.

WHY are the most right-wing, anti-worker, racist, nationalist groups for BREXIT? They want to Leave to end EU laws which protect the worker, which have slowly been won by left-leaning politicians in the European Union. They see the easiest way to exploit the working class is to leave Europe and set their own laws.

Such laws would almost certainly be PRO-employer, PRO-capitalist and ANTI-worker, ANTI-human rights, with a new far-right Tory-lead cabal in charge, post-referendum. Do you doubt it?

But staying in the EU won't make any difference either. It won't mean the end of capitalism! No indeed! But it will allow Europe-wide alliances of Workers to oppose austerity, to oppose ever-more attacks on their jobs and living standards.

Do you really believe that an newly independent Britain, run by unleashed right-wing politicians will be better for working people in this country? It will be considerably WORSE.

Workers must vote NO to leaving the EU. It shouldn't be seen as a vote for the capitalist EU and all of the things we agree are wrong with it, but a vote against the right, a vote against even worse situations for British workers, isolated from hundreds of millions of potential comrades, with the very same problems across the continent. 

Many socialists, including myself, were against the Common Market when joining it was first suggested - for all the right, pro-working class reasons. But that isn't what this vote is really about.

The worst elements of the Tory Party are manoeuvring to bring even more repressive laws against ordinary people. They reckon they could do whatever they wanted unshackled from EU regulation. And maybe they could.

That is the pressing issue we face at the ballot box.

Please don't misunderstand my position: the EU is no friend of the working class, I am fully aware of this. They have done terrible things recently in Greece. But its parliament does make laws which protect people. Occasional majorities of left-of-centre parties have allowed protective laws to get onto the statute book which the Tories cannot currently get around or overthrow. 

Have you noticed the increase in socialist parties in Europe recently, in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal? In a crisis of Capitalism (which this certainly is) we will need to be able to ally with fellow anti-capitalists all over Europe. Freedom of movement is vital. We need to unite the working class across Europe, not isolate ourselves under perpetual Tory rule! 

This capitalist European Union is not OUR Europe, granted. But a United Socialist States of Europe could be! And we need strength to fight capitalism, we need to be in the best position we can be. That isn't on our own.

Many bigger fights are on the horizon. We will need the freedom to unite to win those fights. 



PS. I wrote this piece as a response to increasing socialist voices calling for Brexit. I think this is a mistake. I also think people on the left are confused about this question, and what it might mean for working people. I hope this elucidates on some of the issues. 

Red Shift and the "Quantum Bounce" (PART 1)


The current evident interest in the idea of a Black Hole/White Hole Bounce which was suggested in order to “explain” the recently observed bursts of Radio Waves in Space, may sound somewhat like that idea of a collapsing Universe immediately turning into an on-going expansion of a seemingly, completely new one - but the theorists involved in the new suggestions don’t make that connection at all, for they are solely concerned with forcibly-adding as much “evidence” as possible into their pre-existing, purely-formal theories – in this case concerned with Loop Quantum Gravity (perhaps).

Hence, the whole exercise is totally non-physical! It amounts to formal/mathematical research, without an overt physical basis, yet again extrapolating to “infinity and beyond”!

But, surely, what is really required is a physical, explanatory assault upon such concrete data, along with the best possible physical models of what are supposed to be the entities and happenings involved? Any purely formal route is doomed to failure, for it has to be an incorrect path with its purely descriptive premises, so that it cannot take real explanation any further!

The physical premises, for those purely formal theories must be exposed, criticised and replaced, and a truly scientific attempt made to explain such phenomena physically undertaken.

The problem is that the total abandonment of explanatory theories in modern day Physics, leaves current theorists without a model to criticise and improve upon. Forms cannot be criticised! We have to work back from their current theories to expose what physical premises were assumed.

An Intrinsic Red Shift?

The Electric Universe group talk about a cosmic Red Shift that isn’t caused by a Doppler Effect - transforming the frequencies being observed. They assume instead that it is intrinsic to different modes of production within the developing atom.

Now, presumably, the usual explanation of radiation emitted by atoms assumes a particular context – say, in a vacuum, or, if not, they must be making the productions totally independent of any context!

Now, it is most probably the latter, but if a Universal Substrate exists, and is present not only as context for all atoms, but turns out to even be present within all atoms too, things could be different! For then, distortion of that substrate in extreme, external conditions, will definitely affect the electron orbits inside atoms, and cause changes in both emission and absorption frequencies, when such orbital transactions occur. This might be the only intrinsic modification of the emissions and absorptions in radiation, and hence will, in such extreme cases, affect the Red Shift too!

NOTE: As Red Shifts are so common, it would seem that the electron orbits must all be at lower energies, so that transitions down to lower energy levels will also be lower – towards the red end of the spectrum.

Now, we know that Solid, Liquid and Gas concentrations of atoms do not change the characteristic frequencies of emitted or absorbed radiation, so those modes of matter cannot change how atoms normally work! To find intrinsic modifications of the characteristic frequencies, we must consider extreme circumstances not usually encountered in the usual matter-phase modes. But, if those extreme conditions were to affect the Universal Substrate, that would also affect the insides of atoms, whatever phase they were in, and hence deliver the effects we are trying to explain. It could well be that normal phases are not extreme enough to make significant changes to the substrate. What must be involved will be conditions well beyond the usual ones.

It could be when stable concentrations of the Substrate are well outside the normal – in circumstances, for example when Matter is very highly concentrated, as in a Black Hole, or, alternatively, very sparsely concentrated, as at, or “beyond”, the Edge of the Universe! This being the case, we can assume that, within such an entity, the nature of the Substrate inside it can be significantly changed, so that the natural quantised orbits  will occur at different radii, due to different energy levels.

If we also go to the opposite extreme and consider the effects around the edges, then, once more, the electron orbits within the atom will be changed but in the opposite direction, due to the sparse nature of the Substrate.

Now, if these extreme cases are to throw light upon such things as the Red Shift, we will have to consider very carefully, what will be changed.

Obviously, when general radiation is so “red-shifted” (as seems to be the case for distant sources), we must adjust our measurements, to include the fact that we will be looking into the past, sometime long ago as well as far into the distance. It seems that, in this pretty well universal case, we may well be talking about the possible evolution of the Universal Substrate. It is unlikely to have always been there, exactly as we conceive it now!

It must have changed over time, as did everything else, and therefore, could not have been completely unaffected by the developments with which it had to be connected.

Remember, because looking into the distance in Space also means looking into the past, we already have evidence for the developments of Stars and even Galaxies.

For example, if some kind of Big Bang did happen, how does the establishment of the Universal Substrate fit into that changing scenario? And, even if some form of the Substrate preceded that Big Bang, it would unavoidably be successively modified both by that calamitous Event and its following consequences, with effects sweeping outwards from that “Point of Origin”.

In addition, we have to consider a natural “Temperature” of the Substrate over time. In current theories of the Universal Substrate it underpins many phenomena that use it as both sink and source for energy.

So the Substrate could always have contained a measure of Energy, either in the internal orbits of its component units, or in “whole unit” oscillations or translational travel too!

Hence the propagation of other energy would be promoting the internal orbits to levels above those necessary for its initial establishment, and any due to a general state of a region – its so-called “Temperature”!

NOTE: Though a particular unit with a promoted internal orbit will immediately demote it by transferring a quantum to another “empty” unit, when a whole area has all units with extra energy they will effectively equalise to the same internal “Temperature”.

This being the case, we have to consider how propagation would be affected. Remember, we have assumed that the Substrate does not alter the nature the propagation of so-called radiation: whatever it is, it will be propagated  totally unchanged! But first, how does our unit of Substrate manage that, and secondly, how may this be changed by circumstances?

NOTE: If the theories (of this researcher) concerning the role of the Universal Substrate, within an atom, and concerning quantized electrical orbits, are true, then the vortices caused in that substrate, by the orbiting of an electron, will be changed, if the Substrate differs from the classical form during extreme circumstances.

Clearly, if, for example, the density of the Substrate units were significantly changed (for some external reasons) the necessary matching of the orbit with the rotations of its caused vortices to bring about quantized orbits would also change, and the orbits will be at different radii (and different energy levels) though still close to what they were in normal circumstances.

We must determine how the behaviour of the vortices will be affected in a more densely packed Substrate within the atom. Now, if this caused the transitions between energy levels to be slightly lower, the energy of the released radiation would be lass, and the frequency would undergo a Red Shift – one that is intrinsic to the “Atom plus Substrate” system in those conditions. Also, a crucial factor (perhaps within or very close to a Black Hole) could involve a truly massive matter density, which might well distort the relationship between the orbiting electrons and the Substrate.

The more pressing problem is to explain the Red Shift that is merely from distant and past objects, but is internal rather than due to Doppler Shift. How could the radiation be altered either in initial production within the atom, or in transit while being propagated by units of the substrate?

A word about method!

Notice the very different demands upon Theory, between fitting formal (or even statistical) patterns to measured data, and the alternative of explaining that data via physical reasons in some form of concrete analogistic model. The former method is purely formal and includes no content or context information: it is merely a quantitative form-fitting to pre-existing ideal mathematical forms, whereas the latter MUST involve both content and context and explain phenomena in terms of substances and their properties in particular defining conditions.

Arp's Quasar-Galaxy associations challenge the received wisdom on Red Shift


Halton Arp’s astronomical data may well be crucial in alighting upon a reasonable theory of intrinsic Red Shift. His data will have to be carefully studied, but at his Electric Universe Conference presentation he associated Red Shift with the initial creation and development of galaxies, which he gave evidence to show “budded-off” the hubs of mature galaxies and moved away perpendicular to the plane of the parent galaxy. What were most interesting were the changing Red Shifts as these new-born sub-galaxies moved away, for the Red Shift decline in seemingly quantised steps! It inferred that something determined these particular values, either in initial production or as they changed over time.

An explanation of these data if validated more generally, would imply similar possibilities on a galactic scale to those considered on a sub-atomic one – indeed, with a substrate at all levels.