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Romantische Landschaft mit Menschenopfer
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Dienstag, 5. April 2011

The Concept of Time and the responsibility of Science.

A letter to Franklin Mayer, Author of the book: 

The Geometry of Time in Physics and Cosmology and the Fall of the Canonical Model from 10. September 2008, version ß1 (CCC2 draft.

see also:

The Geometry of Time in Physics and Cosmology and the Fall of the Canonical Model, First Print Edition (PREVIEW), 15. June 2010, ISBN 0-615-28941X

http://jaypritzker.org/pages/book.html

And :

Report on the Current Status of the Standard Cosmological Model,

Prepared for rapid review and criticism by the participants of the December 2010 workshop: Experimental and Theoretical Challenges to Probing Dark Energy France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, A. F. Mayer, Jay Pritzker Fellow in Theoretical Physics 30 November 2010, La Bibliothèque de l'ESPCI ParisTech

Jupiter

Some remarks to: The Concept of Time and the responsibility of Science, as Franklin Mayer depicts it.

Hi Alexander Franklin Mayer,

I happened to discover your work on the Internet. I am still occupied to understand it. It needs work because I am not a 'native' student of physics or mathematics. But I think I can work it out, though I might be a bit slower than I would like to be.

I was never convinced of the so called 'Big Bang Theory' of the origin of the universe. My idea was, while I tried to understand the theories, that all of them ignored what Immanuel Kant had explained in the 'critic of pure reason', in the rather short chapter explaining what he called the 'antinomies of pure reason', when he pointed out that it is impossible to even THINK of a beginning or an end of or in time or space respectively. His arguments are, as I see it, absolutely convincing. It is simply impossible.

Kant's argument is different from your argument, pointing out that 'it defies logic', but as I see it, it is the same argument. I always wondered why the English speaking literature and almost nobody in physics apparently never even gave a hint that they knew about Kant's argument.

Anyway, as I see it, it i absolutely convincing that the basic attempt underlying this type of cosmology is based on an completely unintelligible assumption, which implies, above all what is called a 'petitio principii’.

It can be shown that it is a mixture of hubris and ignorance to build ANY version of a cosmology on such a basis. Any variation of it makes implicit use of what it claims to deduce. It can easily shown that every cosmology that wants to deduce a cosmos from an absolute starting point from ‘outside’ or ‘before’ the ‘beginning’ of space/time (and, of course ‘matter’, energy, information) is caught in the unintelligible ‘paradox’ to deduce a creation ex nihilo, however this is disguised. The string-theory is an attempt to escape into a creationism ex mathematic. That is in good correspondence with Stephen Hawkings remark, that he wanted to think the thought of God (five minutes?) before creation. All in all these ‘cosmologies’ are modern variations of physic-theology after the ‘relegation’ of God. In steps the constructor of a huge nuclear bomb presenting his phantasma making believe that we live in the explosion cloud of the biggest nuclear bomb ever, presenting the ‘content’ of the unconscious foundations of conscious ‘thinking. This is perfectly compatible with a perfect mathematical approach, that constructs an arbitrary set of ‘Hinterwelten’ ‘before’ (what else?) the existence of the cosmos, that follows from these ‘Vorwelten’ in the manner of the logical implication, that is: ‘If A then B’ does not justify: ‘If B, then A’, especially when A is a theory and B is a set of empirical date or a mixture of a set of subsets of ‘theories’ on one hand and a set of subsets of interpreted (!) data.

Saturn

One might, as you yourself point out in your latest online document – as far as I have seen through it since yesterday evening – take another look at Poppers work, Logik der Forschung, for instance. I might add here, that the work of Thomas S. Kuhn and the anarchic theory of scientific discovery have encouraged a manner of fashionable popmusic attempts to place a ‘greatest hit’ in cosmology, stemming from the, let me say typical, misunderstanding of the plumbers mind (or the ‘mechatroniker’s’ mind) of the Geistesgeschichte of socio-cultural ‘Wissensformen’, being only the fraction called ‘history of science’, as the most effective predator, feeding from the wandering herd. It is obvious that ‘paradigm-change’ has become something like a sport of as well bureaucrats as employees of science institutions, while, as the idea of a change of Wissensformen, as it was developed by continental philosophy in the wake of World war I. (for instance by Ernst Cassirer and his turn to a ‘philosophy of symbolic forms’) meant a far wider and neither bureaucratic nor a form of change implemented through or by theory-designers or as a by-product of nuclear weapons developers to impress ‘mankind’ to the utmost with their kind of ‘intelligence’ (the ‘self-conscious’ wit of a cannibalistic beast without any self-restraint, that is, as you come nearer, nothing but the perfect trained poodle, as shepherd dog, a slave, well trained by its masters from childhood on, as they have long discovered homo sapiens as (when the hunters discovered that homo sapiens was) the most worthwhile prey to turn to, because you will never be able to train a poodle to make a nuclear weapon for you J ).

Since Kuhn’s reduced propaganda of what his benighted understanding of Geistes- and Kulturgeschichte would mean, left from it for the plumbers understanding of the ‘world’ ( a concept of symbolic representation as any, a symbolic construction interacting with ‘the imaginative’ – a reference to Jaques Lacan , and to add it: I do not follow Gardner’s views at all. He is occupied by a ‘computer oriented approach of understanding, in a linear pursuit, that propagates the research interests of a technological approach that is interested in an exploitation of the ‘mental’ capabilities of ‘the human brain’, in other words: Far too narrow, a technological design leaning on a concept of language following something like the linguistic approach of Chomsky’s syntactic concept, though he tries to ‘transcend it’, as all these ‘Allesüberwinder’ do: The limes seems to be something like The Chinese Room concept of understanding, extremely behavioristic, ignoring that, form the viewpoint of man it is fascism turned science. You might not believe it, but maybe you might still find something intelligible here though you might not like that politics is mixing in here, but since all this might be, as Whitehead mentioned, a commentary to Platon and Aristoteles, you might not circumvent the political implications of all this all to successfully forever or in any case. I myself do not feel obliged to navigate this way. Quite the contrary. - ) the remainder he built his career on has paved the way for theory-designers, theory-popstars and people fishing for attention (and financial resources of course).

It reveals a variation of the ‘Trahison de Clercs’ (Julien Benda), a mixture of irresponsibility and playfulness of a cannibalistic predator, morally spoken, that is, in terms of social categories, the boldest and most audacious and brazenly conglomeration of criminal energy Homo sapiens ever had to suffer, not to speak of the suffering of ‘man’ ( a socio-cultural concept, that is connected to biology in so far as it is based on the existence of the species Homo sapiens, that is, as a concept of biology, only ‘life’ and as such on one plane with any life-form whatsoever, regardless of the quantitative notion of ‘complexity’, which adds to the sole criterion of ‘intelligence’, as identified with ‘success’ nothing special (differentia specifica), because every contemporary life form coexisting with any other is in so far more successful, the longer it all in all exists from the beginning of its existence, and even through significant changes it has undergone due to changes in its environment and its adaptive responses to it.)

This is similar, if not identical to your argument, that the universe is not an 'object'.

That is why I call any cosmology of this type the 'plumbers cosmology'. But this is not the end of the reflection. I always was stunned by the outright arrogance of Stephen Hawking, declaring that 'philosophy' has lost any function and is restricted to some fumbling with 'language', an argument that is incompetent because, whatever he says elsewhere what he is talking about here is something he is definitely not competent for and this shows that he does not shrink at all from the perceived limits and borderlines of his competence, and that reflects in his ‘cosmology’ in the title of his work, named: ‘A Short History of Time’, where utterly every word is a problem, and their combination is an insoluble problem, a promise that even a God could not redeem.

It is worth mentioning the misnamed ‘black hole’ – the most compact agglomeration or matter – and the ‘big bang’, where no ear can listen or hear. These metaphors are not at all irrelevant – at least for anybody who has any sensibility for symbolic representation, not to speak of such metaphors declaring that ‘black holes have no hairs’. It reminds me of a french painter who painted ‘l’origine du monde’, and it reveals, though it might regard itself as ‘funny’, the implicitly underlying unconscious phantasma (It reminds me of some of the suggestions of Melanie Klein’s and Margaret Mahler’s investigations of the very early infancy and the psychosis stemming from it. No wonder, that all this fits in a nutshell, as Bob Dylan once texted: “…He can ride down Niagara falls in the barrel of your scull…” The ‘nutshell’ that is spoken of is as big as the scull of the scientist, slightly bigger than a coconut. As well the development line of the theory designs following each other like the ‘generations of cars on the streets’, running from an assembly-line, at least of the state of an economy on the level of ‘manufacture state’ of industrial development, shows social implications, wandering unconsciously into the design: First a Great Expansion, imperial in its overall concept, next the creeping fear of a dead end in a process of cooling out and ‘Verödung’ in the face of an exhausted world, and now a ‘Big Final Crunch’, combining a catastrophic concept of explosion and implosion with imperial outreach, as it fits the expectation of declining Empires (Hellenism, late Rome…, …eschatological concepts of catastrophe, ekpyrosis, apokalypsis, apokatastasis and ‘revolution’ or katastrophé (different meanings referring to the Greek sense of the words as transported in the ‘Geistesgeschichte’, not to some ‘everyday understanding’) – the shrinking universe starting from the point again from which it emerged, with a new ‘Aion’, as Stephen Hawking’s idea of an ever revolving pointer of a watch, periodically passing the ‘twelve-o-clock-point’ of a universe alternating between a maximum compression, expansion, inversion and restart, - economic or military - expansion and recession (affording the concept of a ‘meta-time’ and such idiotic ‘ideas’. ), that leads implicitly back to a meta-cosmos that is eternally stable besides these fluctuations, and all these constructions can be arbitrarily multiplied in Hinterwelten of any kind. Mathematics and Physics take over the function Latin had for Christianity when it took over the function of a social-technology for the post-Antike: The Barbarians are excluded from the understanding of the theological concept of the religion of the masses, as Nietzsche mentioned: Christianity (or whatever) is Platonism for the people. That is not the same as to say: Religion is opium of the people, because the first formula only points out a difference in levels for different capabilities of understanding, while the second denounces religion as a drug for people living under the conditions of the life of ‘the lonely crowd’.

image

It is a kind of astonishing wonder that your mind was capable to escape the ultra-massive propaganda of a physic-theology, that is, pars pro toto and as the protagonist of a pseudo-religion propagated ubiquitously through a kind of political propaganda, that is interesting in itself, as far as Science Fiction, from ‘Star-Trek’ through ‘Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Star-Gate’ to ‘Battle Star Galactica’, with the intermediate series with Captain Janeway and others reflect changes in the political system of the USA, that would deserve attention and would make a good lot of Ph. D’s in social and political sciences, not to speak of the ‘energy-concepts’ they cherish and nurture, which are definitely not very near to reality, but to overriding fantasy drunken with the conviction that resources and possibilities, ‘opportunities’ are boundless and instantaneous. These convictions will be taught by the laws of thermodynamics all too soon: The Great Wall, this ever more accelerated train of endless progress and development will crash on, driven by the leaders and fueled by a kind of science lending not only one hand to bolster up the insanest greed of a species of insatiable rodents and omnivores. It reminds me of one of the brighter science fiction novels I once bought in a train station while I was idle. It’s title was…I do not remember the title and the book shelf is out of reach…

One of the amusing aspects of the plot was that the astronauts had a problem with a species of rodents or squirrels that where completely unconscious of their astonishing capability to fumble with technical any apparatus or machine and to prop up their capabilities, and which had a fantastic multiplication-rate and so became very molesting from time to time unless the astronauts periodically opened airlocks to open space so most, but never all of the creatures where blown out of the space ship and the astronauts (the authors, two, were a physician and a mathematician, as I remember) often entertained themselves with the operation as s kind of sport.

In finally understood that the authors might have mocked about a species of rodents and tinkers, diggers and technically obsessed freaks that turns the world upside down while it explodes in an unceasingly expanding mass, and that has to be periodically reduced not to become to disturbing and destructive.

It is remarkable to see that you return to an old Greek concept of a cosmology that is ‘there’, no question as to whether created or not – even the gods where ‘objects’ in the sense of ‘object-psychology’ in this cosmos, and by no means creators. It was simply forever and since ever.

Your concept is the first that is in line with human capabilities and its limits, and by all means plausible, with an astonishingly consistent interpretation and understanding of the empirical data and the problem of the complex constitution of the ‘data’, which are by no means ‘given’, but entrenched with implicit or explicit interpretations even into the most formal aspects of their symbolic representation, which makes them irrevocably products of Symbolic formations of the Imaginary, which, combined make up for what we regard as ‘Reality’.

It is convincing in every aspect and above all without the unreasonable demand to twist one’s own mind, as a reader, to understand, to accommodate to absurdities that try to impress as intelligence of the incomprehensible genius.

What impresses me most was the demonstration of Einstein’s errors, stemming from a kind of obvious ungrateful arrogance against his teacher Minkowski, you were able to point out by simply pointing to the operation with complex numbers that immediately clarifies the mind-boggling representation of the false concept, of an algebraic concept of space-time.

I had a lot to discuss with Bernulf Kanitscheider ( Philosophie und Moderne Physik, Systeme, Strukturen, Synthesen, Darmstadt 1979, ISBN 3-534-00808-1), who introduced me into the completely unintelligible concepts he leaned on with blindness of readiness to believe that was armed to the brim with logic positivism and an empiricism that made him seem to be a knight in shining armor who came to sentence us, referring to Thomas S. Kuhn, to death, as representatives of an ‘old paradigm’, and you can be sure that he was not only at once the attorney, the judge and the bailiff, but the hangman executing the delinquents, and the angel of intellectual death who embraced the slaughtered. He convinced a whole series of student generations of his physical fundamentalism with a nearly invincible dogmatism, appearing as the limes of undefeatable rationalism at the edge of Avant-garde, and all I could do at the time was keeping a sort of mental reserve I could only hold with respect to Kant’s Argument, everybody tried do render ad absurdum (for instance v. Weizsäcker) and which I could only keep in mind while I tried to make myself familiar with the mathematical forms underlying modern physics and to understand Einstein’s explanations with respect to his watches and his exponation of his concept of space-time, that kept being a somehow unreasonable affront though it kept being an enigma, leaving me with the tormenting suspicion to be too stupid to understand what I was told: The pure truth, while my adaption to the exponation of the theory did not succeed and my doubts of the intelligibility of the theory did not cease. To repeat it, I am not a mathematician or a physician. I had to study that from scratch, when I stumbled into the problem they exposed while I did not agree that I simply must be too stupid to understand the genies that superseded my capabilities of understanding, if I agreed that I was not able to develop the ideas they presented. And since I am convinced that the human ‘intelligence’ is one and not divisible, so there cannot be that one can understand for instance complex philosophical and concepts of social theory or the problems of language and psychoanalysis, but not the genius of mathematics or physics, because of a lack of ‘talent’. I think my stubborn refusal to believe the suggestion, that I was stupid of somehow had a split and minor capability, that was the hidden curriculum in all these teachings saved me from being overwhelmed successfully by the brain-washing-attempt I was definitely exposed to.

Remarkably enough all the theory of the astrophysics of the ‘big bang’ Kanitscheider brings into the discussion is completely the same with or without all the arms of Austrian empiricism (Logic Positivism), and its far reaching consequences (Popper, Lakatos, Toulmin, Kuhn). So all the arguments provided by logic positivism with respect to the theory of knowledge are in effect not related to what it seems to ‘support’, namely the ‘astrophysics of the big bang’. The English literature does not at all make any references to it and has exactly the same arguments (For instance: Hawley, Holcomb, Modern Cosmology, or Penrose, The Road to Reality [I learned a lot from reading this book.]). And Kant is, though appreciated outside the community of physicists (For instance: Sebastian Gardner, Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason, ISBN 0-203-015487) , not regarded as ‘relevant’.

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These people definitely were ruthless killers, and they profited very much from the power projection on which they could lean because it was at their side and stood behind them, arming them in every aspect, privileged them and inflated their ego so that it was able to fill the socio-cultural realm as a whole and became a projection, that filled the universe and expanded over its limits to conquer dreamed up backyards as well as an exploding mass of innumerably multiplied parallel universes as well as the compete future, though not for long. It all lastet three generations of lifetimes, all in all a nanoblip of time, but enough to ruin many alternatives and lives with another inclination.

I was lucky that I finally stumbled into your book. It is something that lifts a nightmare I was not sure ever to escape from. It confirms a conviction I never gave up: That the INTERPRETATION and the interpretational increments and components of what only appeared to be empirical ‘data’ in the sense of ‘protocol sentences’ of ‘sensations’ or instrument-mediated or amplified ‘perceptions’ could be the heart of the solution of the seeming enigmas the theories presented to be the ultimate solutions that could not be questioned any further.

I am convinced that I finally withstood a really subtle but treacherous attempt to wash my brain for lifetime by means of academic education and though I was aware that the only means might be to consume more of it risking to get lost in the end and forever and to die in the labyrinth without finding an exit, I kept on going until I found your book: The Geometry of Time in Physics and Cosmology and the Fall of the Canonical Model from 10. September 2008, version ß1 (CCC2 draft), and now the other texts you published on the internet.

It is in every respect convincing and what I would call Enlightenment in the best sense of the original impulses that once gave birth to science and are in great danger to be corrupted by junk-science and private vested interests (re-privatization) or unscrupulous careerism.

It is a beautiful book of a beautiful mind beyond the somewhat ambiguous sense of the movie with the same title, because its poor hero fell exactly to the projection of power, of his hidden masters he wanted so much to impress as good parents who’s love he deserved so much.

Your book could be an example of how these poor boys and girls could be rescued before they fall to irresponsible seductions of their masters, an example of responsibility in science and education.

It is not only paradigm-chance that has to be talked about here. The kind of  ‘Geistesgeschichte’, which is represented by ‘The structure of Scientific Revolutions’ is in itself a problem, part of a fatal misunderstanding of a tradition of thought, that was uprooted and as such is based on a kind of retrograde amnesia that is not simply a ‘psychological problem’ of a one-body-psychology.

I do not know if this sounds intelligible to you. I was inspired to write it and I did it.

I dedicate it to all the poor children who get fatally lost in the labyrinth of this kind of education and science and I hope you understand, that I refer to a real problem of responsibility that is not appropriately met in education systems, which are so overwhelmingly dedicated to power and careerism.

Maybe I should dedicate it to the child the ‘UNA-bomber’ once might have been before he got lost in the labyrinth, going mad. and who did never find back to himself, so he has to starve to death in the dungeon with the dragons feeding on his live until the end, and the lemmings watch it with hollow eyes. But since I am not inclined to act out violent impulses, it would not be in line with my overall intentions, and misleading. It is just a glimpse to an idea of what might have happened to a lot of students in this era of conditioning and indoctrination with these ‘scientific theories’, whether they have become aware of it or not.

There is no doubt that the riddle you solved unmasks a hidden dogmatism, a kind of undetected fundamentalism equivalent to the most dogmatic and violent forms of exertion of religious power and dogmatic theology, shoes in which modern science walks on, inheriting its social functions, whatever the form. The problem, the relation of dogmatism and enlightenment, rhetoric persuasion and social pressure on one hand, and freedom of thought and investigation or research on the other represent makes both co-present. The suggestions of Kuhn are wrong. Normal science is not normal.

The problem might be the transformation of  ‘Forschung’ in technology, the habit of transforming research, a productive habit of a living intelligence, into text-books for learning and learners, training of  ‘farm-hands’  for the plantations and latifundiums of technology and administration, clergymen for the lower positions who are dismissed with ‘grades’ and forgotten. They are only consumers of capitalized ‘knowledge’ who have to invest in themselves and take the risk that it will not pay off, a perverted system that trains (dressieren) slaves insinuating them to be ‘the better educated’, while they are tools in a cannibalistic machine that exploits their lives, splitting it in ‘hours’, homogenous and quantitatively equal little parts that can be bought and sold for nothing.

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Meanwhile lifetime goes by without being noticed as consisting of a qualitatively unique succession of irrevocably gone by moments that put together what you are at the moment, the absolute present.

Best wishes

(I just hacked it into the window of the site. Sorry for mistakes I did not recognize.)

Alain Leclaire

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Most appreciable is your conclusion I find after finishing these remarks:

“The Big Bang theory is not just wrong; it is evidence of a systemic 20th-century mental pathology affecting science, art and culture that requires general recognition, understanding and remediation.”

in: Report on the Current Status of the Standard Cosmological Model, S. 11 (as cited above).

Indeed all the imaginations, that have been hardened and armored with mathematics and hard boiled science turn out and reveal their ‘quality’ of projections of a highly anthropomorphic type partly following the slowly changing social climate. And not many of  them are really conscious and reflected scientifically, and many are due to imitation, ambition and the wish to supersede predecessors, in other words, they stem from unconscious primitives of drivenness, derivates of the animal homo sapiens.

It would have been scientific to realize that, not to act it out.

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