Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Ho Ho Holographic Universe? Guest blog by A.E. Williams

Well, it’s that time of year again: the time when ancient pagan rituals are subsumed by a mad rush to capitalist excess, religious introspection, old animated cartoons with questionable moral values and a plethora of musical assaults about improbable procreative events leading to the founding of paradigms.
But, none of that really matters…

Frequent visitors to the Speculative Fiction Showcase realize that there are certain odd things about the universe in which we live. For instance, why is it that, despite our best efforts, we cannot view other people’s dreams in ‘real time?’
Dreams make no sense, when told to someone else.
You: “I was floating in the ocean, only it was blood pudding, and the sharks were inflatable toy sausages, painted in paisley patterns. They had those eyes, those unseeing doll’s eyes… And, then, one tried to bite me, but I ate it instead. It made me gassy, and the next thing you know, I am in orbit around a neutron star!”
Your now worried friend: “Umm. That’s…interesting. Say, did you drink or take ‘shrooms last night before bedtime?”
You: “This means something!”
Your now concerned friend (muttered under their breath): “It means you’re a loony!”
You: “What? I didn’t hear that?”
Your soon-to-be-ex friend: “Sorry, I just was thinking about all this awful holiday music, and how it’ less ‘tune-ey’ than other kinds of music, like Gregorian chants, or that song by Mozart that’s pretty filthy.”
You (annoyed and irritated): “That reminds me, what are you getting me for Christmas?”
Your now almost non-friend: “A push on the UNFRIEND button…”

We can learn nothing from these kinds of communications.

But, in the physical realm, there are equally puzzling interactions.
Let’s take a look, shall we?

DARK MATTER – Despite space being mostly, uh, space, and empty, and a vacuum (presumably, see below), physicists and other people who spend a lot of time exploring this kind of thing say that the mass of the Universe doesn’t compute. That, in order to explain gravity (also see below) and the physics of celestial mechanics properly, that there is some huge missing quantity of matter that would allow the calculations to be properly described.
So, the concept was put forth about dark matter. This is some kind of special matter that solves the problem mathematically, but has not really been proven as existing. Like, we can’t detect it, see it or measure it directly. It’s all about gravity lensing, and how things ‘should’ work.
Unfortunately, we haven’t the technology to prove it, just yet.
But that doesn’t stop us from discovering new things almost every day!
Like a new universal force![1]

FIFTH FORCE – recently, some scientists were looking for dark matter and discovered something completely different. In physics, there are four observed fundamental forces or interactions that form the basis of all known interactions in nature: gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear forces.
But, just last month, November 2019,[2] a team of scientists in Hungary reported that their scientific measurements had made observations regarding isotopes of Helium and Beryllium that seem to indicate the existence of this fifth force of nature.
Can the X17 particle bring about agreement between classical physics and quantum physics?
Stay tuned!

GRAVITY – Gravity is just this guy, you know? It manages to be everywhere and yet mysterious. It attracts objects to each other, and is mathematically consistent. What it is, however, remains an enigma.
For instance – why would light be unable to escape a black hole, because photons are massless, right? Yet, gravity is blamed as the reason for this. Gravity acts on mass. And, apparently, some other attribute of matter.
And, another interesting thing about gravity is the way objects cannot repel each other. Magnets repel. Electrical forces can repel. But gravity? Nope.

VACUUM - Just what is a vacuum? Is it the absence of ‘everything?’ That seems unlikely, right? I mean, think about the fact that, even in interstellar space, there are nebulae, debris from exploded stars, whatever the black holes are tossing out from their event horizons and probably some dead aliens.
Despite the vast distances involved, the space between things is littered with stuff. So, technically, NOT a vacuum!

SPACE - This is one of those times when a pithy Douglass Adams’ quote springs readily to mind:
“Oh, no! Not again!”[3]
I am speaking about space as it is the thing keeping everything else apart.
The Bible tells us that there are the Heavens and Earth, and mentions the ‘firmament,’ which is where the stars reside, one imagines. What if the firmament were actually another dimension of space-time fabric? Some very famous scientists posited that, and some very famous science fiction authors used it as a plot device in their stories.
In the early 1900’s there was a concept known as the ‘ether’ or ‘aether’ depending on which expert you read.
This was a material that existed in our Universe that kept things orderly. Physical objects, such as planets and stars, (and us) were on the ethereal plane. But, beneath that was the sub-ether. You still hear this kind of term bandied about in science fiction, usually as hyper-space or sub-space, but it was around a long time before “Star Trek” was even a gleam in Gene Roddenberry’s eye.
The idea of the ether has been dismissed as an inaccurate model for our Universe. However, we seem to keep stumbling upon ideas that had been discarded long ago, and then rediscovered and repurposed for today’s existence.
Concrete and Damascus steel provide two examples of this.
Why not the ether?

TIME – By this I am referring to the idea that Einstein and Hawking posited, ie that time exists to make sure everything doesn’t happen at once.
But what IS it?
We can measure it, just as we measure temperature, on an abstract gauge of values that we created to instill some order to where we live. You can say “It is hot.” People may argue about how hot, or cold, it actually is, but we all understand the concept of temperature.
Time is defined similarly.
“It is young,” means that something is new, or newish. The opposite of that is “It is old.” And, again, we have created some arbitrary means of measuring this concept of time.
If you look, you see that things can be heated up. Then, they cool down. There is a direction component, a vector, regarding temperature, that is based on the thermodynamic equilibrium of a system. Energy is imparted, then dissipates. Second law, entropy, and all that…
But time?
Time’s arrow only moves forward, in our reality. Sure, we can simulate it going ‘backwards,’ but that is only an illusion.
Time travel is difficult not in that it may seem impossible, but in that it doesn’t really follow the same entropic rules as everything else. This is one of those factors that seem to make sense until you really think about it.
Like, if time decayed and went to some hypothetical ‘time zero,’ would it mean that all motion freezes? Does energy cease to exist? Would matter stop resonating or vibrating or whatever it is that string theory decides?
These are important questions. They may give us glimpses into why the Universe acts as it does.
But for now, they are just ideas to contemplate under the starry skies of the cool, crisp winter moon.

You really have to ask the question “Why, in a day and age that 97% of scientists have reached consensus on climate change, that tracking Santa Claus is still a thing?”
Seriously, and not to diminish your enjoyment of a fictitious, arbitrary celebration confiscated and mutated by various religions from the Druids and Celts, why does the United States military perform this silly task?
Unless…it’s not silly.
This is one of the things I add to my ever-growing list of things that are unbelievable, but still occur.
For example, here is a list of skeptical counter-arguments vis a vis AGW:

  1. Insurance companies are still insuring coastal properties.
  2. Most previous predictions have been incorrect or wildly inaccurate.[4]
  3. The US Military, while concerned with climate change, is mostly interested in weather control for tactical and strategic reasons.
  4. Food production is only going to increase as the Earth warms, so that’s a good thing?
  5. My farm will one day become waterfront property!
  6. Hollywood fiction, while somewhat entertaining, is just FICTION.
  7. Santa Clause is magic.
With these factors in mind, put me down in the “still not a climate change believer” column.
And, finally, for your reading enjoyment, a brief weather forecast from the North Forty.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the mid-80’s in North Central Florida!

It was 31F on Tuesday morning.

A.E. Williams
High Springs, Florida
December 5, 2019

About A.E. Williams:

 A.E. Williams has a unique background of military experience, aerospace engineering and intelligence analysis. 
Born near Pittsburgh, A.E. Williams is man of a mystery. As a young man, Williams served the United States government in various capacities, which he then followed with ten years as an outfitter. Williams finally retired and moved down to rural central Florida, where he ran a medium - sized tilapia farm. He did his writing at night, usually accompanied by a bottle of Maker's Mark bourbon and a large supply of Classic Dr. Pepper and ice.
A.E. Williams is the author of the exciting hard science fiction series Terminal Reset, which is about the effects of a mysterious force from billions of miles away from Earth that was formed millions of years ago. When The Wave strikes, everything changes! 

[1] Cue ‘Star Wars’ theme!
[3] Agrajag, as a bowl of petunias.
[4] Paul Erlich’s “The Population Bomb,” Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock,” and John Naisbitt’s “Megatrends” have fared poorly in predicting the future. As opposed to my own 2019 predictions, which are 98% true!

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