Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bravo Edward Snowden

The man who leaked the documents revealing the absurd NSA surveillance has more integrity than James Clapper (who lied to Congress), President Obama (who lies to the American people) and EVERY last Congress-critter that voted to authorize and re-authorize this obscenity.

and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched

Do you see in there where it says "except for warrants issued in secret by a secret court not under the authority of the Supreme Court"?  Or where it says that not only the court's decisions but the very law it is ruling on is held to be a state secret shielded from the knowledge of the American citizenry?  Me neither.

Searching billions of call records amongst millions of American citizens - exactly how is that not an invasion of The People's houses, persons and effects?  Where exactly is the Federal government authorized to do this - beside in the made-up doctrine of National Security (as catalyzed and metastasized by Cold War paranoia).

Obama wants to soothe by saying we weren't listening to what you said - as if that excuses doing something that the Constitution does not allow.  This is the ultimate outcome of Progressive disregard for the strictures of the Constitution.  Unbounded exercise of naked power not only lacking regard for The People, but openly contemptuous of them.

We have to wait until next year to truly hold Congress accountable.  You have no excuse for re-electing anyone who voted for the last re-authorization of Patriot/FISA.  Any excuse you make up to avoid getting rid of that person - no matter your partisan stripe - is an excuse to ALL of Congress.  You must hold Congress accountable, you must remind them that you elected them and they swore to defend the Constitution, not to upend it.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Time, time, time...

Standard Time in a Fictional Universe - what the hell is that supposed to mean?

First is the obvious: STFU.  Although rude this is often the sagest advice that a person can hear.  You need to listen and you can't do that if you don't stop running yer yap.

Second, is my utterly amateur interest in the physics of time.  Time is something like gravity - at once obvious and immediately accessible, but the deeper you delve into it, the more puzzling it becomes.

I read A Brief History of Time some years ago not long after it first came out.  More recently I've been chewing on, slowly, Time's Arrow & Archimede's Point.  In the former, one of the great minds of our era allowed himself a single equation in his book (in order to maintain accessibility of his subject to a non-specialist audience): the equation of course being e=mc2.  This is the touchstone of modern physics.  You can play with it in many ways, altering one variable and reliably deriving another, except for one.  The speed of light.  That is a constant.  Which is strange because in virtually all other contexts speed isn't constant.  But the really curious part isn't that the speed of light is constant, the curious part is time.  After all speed is nothing but distance divided by the time to travel that distance.  For our everyday life this is quite unremarkable.  But in physics in general, equations are supposed to be symmetric.  I can travel from point A to point B in a given time.  And I can travel from point B to point A.  Direction doesn't matter - except for time, at least as we perceive and experience it.  And that is the question at the heart of the latter book.

Standard physics shouldn't allow for such non-symmetric characterization (in contrast to distance which can be traversed in either direction), and Price explores the various ways physicists have tried to sweep that problem under the rug.  No one has cracked the nut.  Considering that some folks have pondered if we aren't approaching the summit of understanding the cosmos, it becomes apparent that they aren't accounting for all of what we don't know.  We once thought of space in Euclidean terms - three dimensions.  Einstein added time as a dimension, yet as far as we understand you can only traverse time in one direction (unlike the other three).  Physics doesn't like special cases - they tend to be less than satisfactory explanations, and yet that seems to be exactly what we have here.

Of course, if you try to think of time just like the other three dimensions of space, your mind gets really twisted - because our reality just doesn't allow for examples of time running in any way but from past to future. Then again, who are we to say that reality is only limited to what we can perceive - for if it is, that quickly leads us to an anthropocentric cosmos.  Imagine that, man at the center of the universe!