A Final Word

I hope you’ve enjoyed my last two posts about math and words and truth and lies.  I couldn’t resist this one, although I hate to ever give any possible encouragement to those that think the world is flat.

It is beyond question that nothing in the universe can travel faster than a massless particle, which is 300,000 km per second.  Remember we are considering objects in the universe.

But if you ask a cosmologist if anything anywhere could possibly go faster than that he will tell you about Inflation Theory, which states that right after the big bang the universe almost instantaneously expanded to near its present size.  It seems that the universal speed limit applies to objects within space, but not to space itself; it can expand as fast as it wants.

Now aint that a kick in the balls?

More Words

When I was writing last night about words and how treacherous they can be  I forgot a massive one.  Sorry. But I wanted to finish NW and ND.

Some years back I got a piece of snail mail selling something that would cure some things that are everybody knows are simply incurable.  I cant see anyone but a dumbass Hoosier falling for this one, but terrified, desperate people will believe anything.

The writer of the letter proceeded pontifically that sometimes science is simply wrong, and that is true.  But the math simply is never wrong.

There was an experiment sometime before this where a laser was shot at an Einstein Bosen cloud.  Doesn’t matter what that is.  It’s just some particles that the experimenters wanted to see how fast could slow down the laser.

Since i’d read that far I continued reading what this goofball said.  I laughed when he claimed that the laser came out of the cloud 300 times faster than it went in. At first I couldn’t stop laughing because for that to happen effects would precede causes and that simply cant happen.  The laser would come out of the cloud before the laser was fired.  The experimenters suspected equipment problems but as it turned out it was just a 19th century classical wave interference reading that was machine error.  Then I thought it was funny.  Then I realized it was chilling.  In one semantic sense the laser traveled “faster than light” but it was machine error.  The writer conveniently left that out.

Here’s another one.  Anything with mass cannot travel at light speed but in theory it can travel 99.9999…%.  That’s called an asymptotical function.  Only massless particles like electrons, photons and neutrinos can travel at 100%c.  But these particles have different properties.

A photon of visible light can be stopped by a piece of black paper.  And photons are slowed down by the atmosphere,  more by a medium such as water.  A neutrino wont slow down at all.  They go thru the Earth all the time and we’re completely unaware of it.  It takes three cubic light years of lead to stop a neutrino.  A light year is about 6 billion miles, if it matters.

Now the point.  A neutrino never goes faster than 186,000 miles a second because it cant.   Still, a con man can say neutrinos can travel faster than light and they do when light is slowed by something like an atmosphere.  Maybe this would be clearer if we just state that nothing in the universe can travel faster than 186000 miles/sec, the speed of light in a vacuum.

But this is a very subtle, even brilliant con because semantically he is right.  A neutrino continues to go at light speed when light is slowed down by a piece of paper.  I guess this is why I wrote that post last night.  It’s because of words.  Truth is a lie and lies are truth.

Words

Figgers don’t lie.  They simply do not.  You may not have the mental agility to take a model further (such as what happened before the big bang; the model works fine till then, when they start yielding infinities and other absurdities as answers).  But truth inheres in math.  In words they do not, and that makes them treacherous.  Luther frequently complained of this when he was writing his Wittenburg theses.  He was right.

Words may say things that are absolutely correct.  A lie may have just enough truth to provoke precipitous and disastrous action.  Something that was once true is later a complete, lying absurdity. Words have viscosity, or plasticity, and can be said like to be like stretchable taffy can be, malleable enough to make truth look like lies and lies seem like the word of God.  Yet we depend on language for so much.

The only talent I have is for words.  At any math beyond high school algebra/trig, I absolutely sucked.  Still, I got the equivalent of a Chemistry minor but not so easily when it came to the math part.  When I aced Organic 2 I decided to call it a sweep and quit while I was ahead.  I never made less than an A in Chemistry my entire life but that was probably from the brutal hours of study I subjected myself to.   Perhaps words and numbers can both enhance and subvert the other and the key is the kind of vision that grasps the difference.

So what does this have to do with anything?  WTF, IDK.  I cant complain with the verbal talent I was born with but sometimes it feels that I am the procurator of lies without knowing it.  This is why I am a rationalist to the core.  That is why there are no Vampires or Ghosts or Zombies (Christ, I am so fuckin tired of everything on TV being about Zombies) or aliens in my stories.  But I once came dangerously close.  In Tenement, I discovered that the protagonist simply could not live without his wife, and there was nothing for it but to bring her back.  I had killed her off in the previous book but unfortunately not in a way where she could just walk back in, such as a fire where they find a crispy critter that they believe is her.

I had to invent a science fiction way she could come back, and it seemed to work.  Good science fiction can legitimately stretch the possible as far as it can go, and does not violate the laws of science.  I stretched my explanation pretty far but theoretical physicists go ‘way beyond this all the time.  To me their work about things like white holes, or Einstein-Rosen Bridges seems mere mathematical masturbation but WTF do I know?  I’m only a writer.

 

Perdition Road

I’ve lived in this new place for almost a month and they only put in internet this morning.  For weeks before that my computer didn’t work, so it’s been a while.  I have really missed you guys.  All of you.  And thanks again for the warm support and encouragement last summer.  I’m not sure that without it I might actually have offed myself.  It’s taken a month to get this house in order but now it is and I have plenty of time to feel bad.  A Xanax in the morning and one at night.

I went from living on an isolated farm I used to own half of to living in a crappy little house in a crappy little town one county over from where I used to live.  I’ve driven thru it many times but I get lost sometimes.  This house is in a residential neighborhood where everything looks alike.  The first few times I left the house I did it on foot and those times I got completely lost and was either was able to talk somebody into giving me a ride or to find this needle in a haystack they call a house myself.  A couple of weeks ago I got lost and walked for three hours before I found the place.  It was getting colder.  It occurred to me that I might easily freeze to death because I couldn’t find my own house.

It goes without saying that this town doesn’t have a taxi service.

When I finally started using the car to get around something more bizarre happened.  I parked somewhere, got lost on foot, found the place where I needed to do the errand but by then I was so unnerved I could not remember where I parked the car. After a massive search for the car I gave up and walked home.

Hours later my ex wife comes over and wants to know where my car is and I simply cannot remember.  We got in her car and argued that the best way to find it is to look at one of several places I might of parked the car but just didn’t see it.  That turned out to be true.  I had parked in back of the bank and apparently while I was gone other cars parked around so I didn’t see it when I went back to look for it.  In retribution my former old lady takes my car keys and gives them to the landlord like I was some 90 year old that was too fucked up to drive.  Maybe she had time to think on the utter absurdity of  her actions because she gave me the keys back.

And yes, I am one of these people that cannot remember where they parked when they come out of Walmart with a bag of groceries.

With all that behind me I have more time to be depressed, and this is a hell of a time of year for that.  It has been many, many years since I spent the holidays alone and this will not be fun.  I have no family of any kind.  Those of you who have a family, even a crappy one, are blessed.  The rest of us who don’t, well, let’s hope this one isn’t too bad.

The most painful thing is that every time my ex comes over here she is more emotionally distant.  That hurts, it really does.  I guess I need a gf but there is nothing around here I would have any interest in, like the one that scratched her ass in the dollar store.  If they do that in public god knows what they do at home.  I’m becoming convinced I will die alone, unloved, ungrieved.  To some people that wouldn’t matter but it does to me.

I never was much good at living alone.

And the quality of life as well as the mood continues into the dark abyss of Perdition Road.